Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees/Call for feedback: Community Board seats/Reports/2021-03-01 Telegram conversation (spanish)

This report gathers the main suggestions, doubts, and comments from the Telegram group dedicated to the Spanish-speaking community (Latin America and Spain) about the call for feedback about the community selection process for the Board of Trustees. The comments have only been modified for clarity, otherwise, they remain the same as they were made in the group.

February 15 - March 10


General comments

  • On the draft of rules for the election of community members to the Board, one volunteer thinks that Jacob Rogers could be invited to the discussion. He participated in the drafting of the UCoC and the volunteer found him to have a superb handle on policy drafting, especially in view of the U.S. laws where they would have to be based.
  • One volunteer believes that the regional organizations that are represented in the Board should have a person who comes from the same context as their participants and who has a direct relationship with the local communities, who has the capacity to open the way both in the foundation and in the other countries or territories where there is no representation.


  • On a gender quota, one volunteer argued that women are a large portion of the global population, thus they are not a minority group, based in that a gender equality quota is fundamental in the Board o Trustees.
  • One volunteer thinks that a 50/50 gender quota is a binary concept that doesn't take into account the participation of LGBTQ+ individuals, that have lots of things to contribute within a movement like ours.
  • One volunteer considers it's of no utility to convene a group of different origins in an aseptic way. It is useful to analyze the particular context of what you want to place as a group. This about diversity quotas, where in the past the Wikimedia Foundation has mistaken the term diversity with difference.
  • A volunteer considers that any kind of quota produces a silent minority. This is the problem of thinking about reserved quotas, which in his country has been to the detriment of the indigenous community of that country.

Call for types of skills and experiences

  • One volunteer felt that the assessment map shared by Melissa Ganus is very good, and definitely lists several qualities needed both for affiliates and the board. The volunteer believes that another tool that could be used is a version of the Community Capacity Map.

Vetting of candidates

  • A volunteer considers it essential that candidates have experience in Wikimedia activities, not necessarily leading groups but organizing activities. Experience as an editor of Wikipedia or other projects is also considered essential by the volunteer. The volunteer ask what kind of decisions can be made by someone who does not know Wikimedia or how it works because he or she has no experience as a volunteer? Among the hundreds of thousands of volunteers there must be someone with the skills needed. The rest is training.
  • One volunteer feels that people on the board should not necessarily have wiki experience. Ideally they should know the Wikimedia context, but they can have different backgrounds, training and skills.
  • One volunteer feels that people who are passionately dedicated to the project are highly valued, but it takes much more than this to fill a Board position.
  • One volunteer suggests that the current format of "candidacy" refers to the electoral referent. It is likely that in the future elections will be held based on a series of criteria. The volunteer considers that the number of editions would be put as something "desirable", it all depends on the profiles we want to look for. We will probably have someone with a lot of experience in inclusion or diversity issues who barely has an account, and we will decide based on the criteria if that person can contribute.

Regional seats

  • One volunteer ponders that it is not possible to measure each regional group with the same yardstick (referring to Iberocoop, Wiki Indaba, CEE, etc), since country to country conditions change radically and this conditions change how Wikimedia's mission is delivered. Other variables such as GDP, HDI, population size or the level of Internet coverage or access must be taken into account.
  • A volunteer is still against regional quotas and would not understand allocating geographic quotas based on past achievements of affiliates.
  • Pondering on the relation of this idea and the hypotheticals regional hubs, one volunteer thinks that future hubs can be both good and bad, good, as it allows WMF to better organize its efforts in regional policies in support of local communities, and sensitizes the movement to the actions of all member groups. Bad, as it hides opposing realities in each region, as regional hubs tend to normalize situations of existing groups or groups that have a voice in the hub.
  • One volunteer says that the best way to ease workloads on regional issues, whether it be community seats, the global council or regional hubs, is through working groups that focus on everything from governance to operational work task.
  • A volunteer ponders that currently the movement is about who has the time (or money) to be present at the discussions. To move someone up to a regional seat in the Board it must be someone who has time (or is paid to have time) and local skills that are deemed desirable.

Candidate resources

  • On board members compensation, one volunteer believes that "Wikimedia is not Wikipedia", the volunteer argued that it is common to extrapolate the five pillars to real life decisions. Sure, there are certain processes that should be voluntary because of conflict of interest issues. But in others, a decent payment is not bad and does not undermine the moral dimension of the movement.
  • A volunteer believes that the people who are going to be part of the board should be trained before they are elected. In order not to discriminate, all those who apply should be trained.
  • A volunteer proposes a continuing education program or scholarships for volunteers who are interested in being part of the movement's governance.