Strategic Wikimedia Affiliates Network/2020 10

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File:SWAN board - 2020-10-24.pdf
Strategic Wikimedia Affiliates Network group notes

Agenda[edit]

To be discussed include:

  • Wikimedia Foundation Board noticeboard/September 2020 - Update
  • Wikimedia Foundation Board noticeboard/October 2020 - Proposed Bylaws changes
    • Questions for clarification put forward by affliates during the preparation of this meeting:
      1. These proposed changes are put forward by which entity? Board Governance Committee or whole board?
      2. Where are we in the process? After the 26th what happens? More drafts? What deadlines are coming up?
      3. How widely were these proposed bylaws changes publicized to our community (Affiliates and non-affiliated) groups?
      4. According to the information in the “Revised” number of members, it would be possible to have a configuration of 1 community-sourced, 7 Board-selected, and 1 Founder.  Is that your understanding too?
      5. How do these changes fit into the movement strategy process, particularly the roles and responsibilities recommendations?
      6. Could we pause this proposal now, and move the proposal into the movement strategy process, e.g. during the Roles & Responsibilities discussion?
  • Collaborative writing break
  • Wiki 20 Countdown and potential for a Wikimania-like online event in January and activities around the anniversary
  • Discuss Movement Strategy International meeting (Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Transition/Global Conversations)

The two times are:

The location is:

Notes[edit]

Summary of meeting[edit]

Intro for both sessions[edit]

  1. Brand update
    1. "has resolved to pause the Movement Brand Project until the next calendar year"
    2. "establish a small ad-hoc Board committee to liaise with staff, and develop a process of collaboration and decision-making appropriate for the Movement’s brand"
    3. "include a small number of community representatives from affiliates, open letter signatories, and emerging communities, and Foundation staff to be designated by the Executive Director"
    4. Maybe correspond with James Heilman, Raju Narisetti, and Shani Evenstein Sigalov for how to select members
    5. Wikimedia_Foundation_Board_noticeboard/October_2020_-_Call_for_feedback_about_Bylaws_changes_and_Board_candidate_rubric
  2. Movement Strategy International meeting
  3. Bylaws changes
  4. welcome and meeting rules
  5. The meeting began 4 minutes after the hour with 42 people in attendance.
    1. (en:Chatham House Rule)
  6. Anyone can edit the shared notes
    1. copyright is Wikimedia compatible
    2. notes go to meta after the meeting
    3. SWAN 2020-10-24 public collaborative notes

03:00 UTC, Asia-Pacific friendly time[edit]

03:00 UTC Participants[edit]

Anyone with an affiliation is welcome to join, even if they are not officially a liaison or representative

Saturday night for North and South America; Sunday morning/afternoon for Asia/ESEAP

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  1. Pharos (talk) 18:11, 18 October 2020 (UTC)
  2. Megs (talk) 02:01, 20 October 2020 (UTC)
  3. dwf² (runding) 22:18, 20 October 2020 (UTC)
  4. Canley (talk) 23:36, 20 October 2020 (UTC)
  5. T.Shafee(Evo﹠Evo)talk 23:54, 20 October 2020 (UTC)
  6. Base (talk) 03:11, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
  7. Alphama (talk) 17:28, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
  8. Pavanaja (talk) 10:31, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
  9. Biyanto Rebin (WMID) (talk) 04:33, 24 October 2020 (UTC)
  10. AKeton (WMF) (talk) 15:04, 24 October 2020 (UTC)
  11. Charles M. Roslof (WMF) (talk) 00:53, 25 October 2020 (UTC)
  12. Pru.mitchell (talk) 02:57, 25 October 2020 (UTC)
  13. Jim.henderson (talk) 03:05, 25 October 2020 (UTC)
  14. Rajeeb (talk) 04:11, 25 October 2020 (UTC)
  15. Frhdkazan (talk) 05:12, 25 October 2020 (UTC)
  16. SHISHIR DUA (talk) 05:37, 25 October 2020 (UTC)
  17. Exec8 (talk) 12:30, 24 October 2020 (UTC)

03:00 UTC notes[edit]

  1. Main concerns from call:
    1. Role of affiliates in the process vs present system
    2. Short timetable for feedback
    3. "Community-sourced" is ambiguous
    4. Is it possible to have an election for the 5 community seats before a big overhaul of the bylaws?
  2. What kind of relationship would exist between the Board of Trustees and (proposed) Global Council?
    1. Add more
    2. Suggested general changes for Board of Trustees practices
    3. 6-week minimum for feedback
    4. Aims/Motivations for changes would be v useful (e.g. paragraph at top of bylaws changes) to reduce community fears
    5. Board minutes released after x days (with clear redactions)
    6. Board agenda released x days ahead of time
  3. Amanda Keton (WMF General Counsel) messages
    1. When asked about the possible scenario (given current proposed bylaws changes) of only 1 community-sourced member and 6+ appointed members
      1. "Wasn't our intent"
      2. "Found a bug"
      3. "Thanks for finding that"
      4. Preparing for Fiscal year elections - June next year
      5. Was originally thinking 2 weeks
      6. Goal is a board of 16, most, majority sourced from the community
      7. "So it would be 8, 7 and 1"
  4. Questions for clarification put forward by affiliates during the preparation of this meeting:
    1. Which entity is proposing the changes: Board Governance Committee or whole board?
    2. Where are we in the process? After the 26th what happens? More drafts? What deadlines are coming up?
    3. How widely were these proposed bylaws changes publicized to our community (Affiliates and non-affiliated) groups?
    4. According to the information in the “Revised” number of members, it would be possible to have a configuration of 1 community-sourced, 7 Board-selected, and 1 Founder. Is that your understanding too?
    5. How do these changes fit into the movement strategy process, particularly the roles and responsibilities recommendations?
    6. Could we pause this proposal now, and move the proposal into the movement strategy process, e.g. during the Roles & Responsibilities discussion?
  5. Collaborative writing exercise https://jamboard.google.com/d/1P5l2L-tWAEaCKKlol-ahM0sWu6ajepIAOqnftI6-sjQ/viewer?f=0
    1. Wiki 20 Countdown and potential for a Wikimania-like online event in January and activities around the anniversary
    2. Week before and after January 15th
    3. Days for different regions (voice for affiliates)?
    4. Discuss Movement Strategy International meeting Strategy/Wikimedia_movement/2018-20/Transition/Global_Conversations
    5. Regular meeting slot suggestion: 3rd weekend of the month

19:00 UTC, Europe-Africa-Americas friendly time[edit]

19:00 UTC participants[edit]

Anyone with an affiliation is welcome to join, even if they are not officially a liaison or representative

Sunday evening for Europe/Africa; Sunday afternoon for North and South America

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  1. Marcmiquel (talk) 18:15, 18 October 2020 (UTC)
  2. Sandra Rientjes - WMNL (talk) 14:43, 19 October 2020 (UTC)
  3. Rajeeb (talk) 18:16, 19 October 2020 (UTC)
  4. TaronjaSatsuma (talk) 09:09, 20 October 2020 (UTC)
  5. Magioladitis (talk) 15:19, 20 October 2020 (UTC)
  6. --MARKELLOSLeave me a message 15:25, 20 October 2020 (UTC)
  7. Template:U (UG-GE)
  8. Rosiestep (talk) 22:33, 20 October 2020 (UTC)
  9. Kirill Lokshin (talk) 17:41, 21 October 2020 (UTC)
  10. Pharos (talk) 23:30, 21 October 2020 (UTC)
  11. Em-mustapha User | talk 13:01, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
  12. Nicole Ebber (WMDE) (talk) 14:36, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
  13. Ziko (talk) 16:52, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
  14. Jadnapac (talk) 16:56, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
  15. Camelia (talk) 17:02, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
  16. Peaceray (talk) 17:15, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
  17. --- Darwin Ahoy! 18:30, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
  18. Reify-tech (talk) 18:56, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
  19. Uzoma 20:15, 22 October 2020 (UTC)
  20. Ctac (Stas Kozlovskiy) (Wikimedia Russia)
  21. Yair rand (probably) 03:02, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
  22. Astrid Carlsen (WMNO) (talk) 08:51, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
  23. --Discott (talk) 11:46, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
  24. MPourzaki (WMF) (talk) 17:29, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
  25. AKeton (WMF) (talk) 15:05, 24 October 2020 (UTC)
  26. Qgil-WMF (talk) 16:13, 24 October 2020 (UTC)
  27. Jan-Bart (talk) 17:25, 24 October 2020 (UTC)
  28. Tuanminh01 (talk) 14:34, 24 October 2020 (UTC)
  29. SHISHIR DUA (talk) 05:37, 25 October 2020 (UTC)
  30. Blue Rasberry (talk) 11:08, 25 October 2020 (UTC)
  31. Alice Wiegand (talk) 16:13, 25 October 2020 (UTC)
  32. Suyash Dwivedi (talk) 16:37, 25 October 2020 (UTC)
  33. Jim.henderson (talk) 18:42, 25 October 2020 (UTC)
  34. Tgr (talk) 18:51, 25 October 2020 (UTC)
  35. Emufarmers (talk) 19:03, 25 October 2020 (UTC)
  36. Joalpe (talk) 19:08, 25 October 2020 (UTC), Wiki Movimento Brasil/Wikipedia & Education User Group
  37. --Alexmar983 (talk) 19:13, 25 October 2020 (UTC) Wikiclassics
  38. Geert Van Pamel (WMBE) (talk) 15:17, 27 October 2020 (UTC)
  39. aegis maelstrom δ, WMPL

19:00 UTC notes[edit]

Andrew Lih opens meeting welcoming people to SWAN

  • Rosie Stephenson Goodnight explained the Chatham House Rule. Anyone is free to use the information received but not attribute the speaker or the speaker’s organization. The exception is Wikimedia Foundation staff or board in their roles as staff or trustees.
  • Andrew: there may be an executive session without WMF people in attendance.
end of intro - from this point no names named - Chatham House in operation
  1. Movement brand update
    1. recently the WMF board published an update about the Wikimedia Movement Brand project
    2. previously this group, SWAN, had published COLOR, an open letter advocating for a pause to the branding project
    3. there is a call for a community committee to form to discuss the brand project
    4. the board and WMF have not given details
    5. the only thing we know at this point is that there will be three board members who are managing this issue - Shani, James, and Raju
    6. comment - thanks to everyone who participated in the open letter. We had 72 community affiliates sign onto the letter.
    7. comment - I am excited that there was a response. I remain worried that there is still no transparency or discussion about the issue of branding, and that in the midst of this conflict between the WMF and the community there is a change to the bylaws without discussion.
    8. comment - anyone is welcome to add more comments to the notes directly
    9. comment - there are months more to sort this out
  2. update from Mehrdad at the WMF on the movement strategy
    1. Mehrdad: Right now there are many regional and local meetings happening organized by communities to identify their priorities. Some people have already shared priorities with the WMF.
    2. save the date for November 21 and 22 for global meetings, happening at different times to accommodate global participation. (Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Transition/Global Conversations)
    3. there will be follow up meetings December 5 and 6
    4. The intent behind scheduling these meetings is to give everyone an opportunity to join. The first set (Nov. 21+22) will probably be more about introducing the steps, bringing the priorities together, and connecting people.
    5. the gap in between the meetings is to allow people to discuss, prioritize in case they hadn’t done before, and connect with each other.
    6. The second set of meetings (Dec. 5+6) will involve more detailed work, particularly on who does what and the needed resources
    7. Opportunity to have thematic calls (e.g. regional hubs, interim Global Council) in the few weeks between the two sets of calls.
    8. many regional and local meetings have already happened
    9. Africa and Arabic Wikipedians have already met
    10. South Asia and West Africa are next week
    11. there is a women's meeting being planned by the community
    12. File:Movement_Strategy_Prioritization_Events_presentation_ORIGINAL.pdf
    13. Q: How is funds dissemination currently expected to work in the coming year?
      1. A: ? See recommendation 4 (ensuring equity in decision making) which touches on reimagining how resources are generated and reallocated. The community resources team is definitely considering this. M is not sure what the plan is for supporting new APG requests, or significant expansion of current APGs (or training of regional fundraisers for regional work to become more independently sustainable), but Movement Strategy has been integrated into events and other grants already. We are closely working with the Community Resources team at the Foundation to accommodate work on Movement Strategy in 2021 for new and existing recipients.
      2. Prioritization is not supposed to be adding extra labour. Affiliates involved in annual planning next year can indicate this as their priorities. Priorities for implementation in 2021 can be shared by filling out and emailing a template OR by filling out a survey:
        1. Template
        2. Survey
      3. For those that rely on rapid grants, we are happy to work closely with you to think about what your priorities are: based on existing work, how you’d like to grow next year, and what your needs are. For groups focused on events, Movement Strategy has been integrated into Events Grants.
      4. For events for this year, we have also set up a grant to cover data package, facilitation, documentation, etc. Grants:Project/Rapid/Apply#Movement_Strategy_discussions
      5. (Note-taker’s reflection: It seems no one knows who will be involved, what the future of FDC or its replacement will be. That seems like an important gap to bridge.)
      6. (It is a _lot_ of work to review annual plans, but also an essential way to bring affiliates into self-sustenance. It seems unlikely to be one of the first things that a new governance council is excited to do -- they will have to figure out more basic things at first. So how could we return to supporting new longer-term planning, and independence + self-sufficiency?)
      7. (It is a _lot_ of work to review annual plans, but also an essential way to bring affiliates into self-sustenance. It seems unlikely to be one of the first things that a new governance council is excited to do -- they will have to figure out more basic things at first. So how could we return to supporting new longer-term planning, and independence + self-sufficiency?)
    14. I hear that there is a women's meeting. Can there be a trans inclusive meeting? Recently the WMF sent out a survey with a gender binary when the Wikimedia community has insisted on inclusivity and recognition of trans folks. There has also been requests that WMF events not be trans exclusive.
      1. Mehrdad: The Design Group had suggested thematic meetings for women and for BIPOC-oriented groups and individuals. We are happy to support any event that communities would like to organize. the community requested a women's meeting. If the community wants that then they can organize that and request it. If you want to organize this event yourself then there are WMF resources available to support you.
    15. I have a question about the global meetings. What should attendees bring with them to join a global meeting. Should they come with clear requests, positions, resources from wikimedia community groups? Should people come as individuals with their own requests? What does the WMF expect people to bring to the meeting?
      1. Mehrdad: All of these roles are welcome. These meetings are for everyone. If multiple groups want to work on the same issues then they can collaborate at the meeting and afterwards. Four areas put forth by the WMF design group are the social aspects of the meetings, coming together, introducing the recommendations, and bringing identified priorities together. This is fully open, and some people suggested a gallery walkabout or a market bazaar for people to connect. The best preparation is for people to meet and set their priorities. Between the global meetings people may have other meetings. (note - not all four areas counted)
    16. can you clarify - is this a meeting where people need to be ready to make decisions?
      1. Mehrdad - no decisions will happen at the calls. If there are any decisions, this will be shared on wiki, with the option for people to provide asynchronous input. If people can’t attend the call, the won’t miss out on anything.
    17. some of us are trying to plan a European meeting. If we the wiki community groups come up with our own values and statement in our own meeting, then what is the added value in joining the WMF meeting? Can we just organize our own meeting and then send our requests to the summary?
      1. Mehrdad: the point of the regional meetings is to share information. Wikimedia individuals and affiliate organizations will actually determine the priorities.
  3. bylaws changes
    1. Wikimedia_Foundation_Board_noticeboard/October_2020_-_Proposed_Bylaws_changes
    2. deadline tomorrow for reacting to the proposed by-laws change
    3. summary of situation: the community feedback on bylaws changes include the following:
      1. where are we in the development process? is this an ongoing development or more advanced than the announcement states?
      2. were was there only 19 days to have a global wikimedia community discussion about what seems to be one of the biggest changes to Wikimedia community governance ever?
      3. there is great ambiguity about the changes, if any, to community participation in Wikimedia Foundation board governance
    4. user:AKeton (WMF) (Amanda Keton) - WMF General Counsel (top attorney), not speaking for the Board.
      1. Gave Shani and Nat a chance to speak first
      2. наталія тимків - happy for you to go, Amanda
      3. Shani Evenstein - Go for it, Amanda :)
    5. This is my first time in a deep community discussion. I know that so much discussion with the community is so thoughtful. I want to say thank you for looking at things so closely. I agree with the comment that this information should be in the first letter. This is a mistake that I have learned the hard way. I should have given a broad overview of how we are going to approach this. Where we are in the process: there are two steps of the process. There are really big changes. We were imagining that there would be a "what" - what are the skills and expertise we need to get board work done. Then there is a "how" for how we select board members from the community and push them on the pathway to recruitment. We want skills, qualification, representation, and then to plan for how this actually works. One idea is that we work with a global council. We have been working on this for an entire year. There is still time in this process. We had imagined that there will be a discussion which is richer and longer than this first post. What I am hearing and understanding and what we have seen on meta is that we need more conversation. Someone pointed out on meta that we need safeguards. The way the text is phrased is that there could be one community representative, which wiki community members pointed out. Some people who are participating in developing this include Maggie Dennis's team with the Universal Code of Conduct and also the WMF Movement Strategy team.
    6. Affiliate reps on the Board Shani and Natalia are invited to comment.
      1. (Below, the term BGC is used. It refers to a committee of the WMF’s Board, called the Wikimedia Foundation Board Governance Committee. Members are Lisa Lewin (Chair), Dariusz Jemielniak, and Maria Sefidari, an alternate, Esra'a Al Shafei , and several named advisorsan alternate.)
        1. Shani - thanks for inviting us to speak. I have to say I do not wish to speak in this case, as I do not represent the whole board. I am here in my capacity as a volunteer, who is involved with affiliates, and also hear to listen carefully as a board member. I am also not part of the BGC yet. I suggest that Amanda collects comments and brings them back to the BGC and comes back with community comments.
        2. Natalia - I am also not a part of the BGC. There is no official spokesperson for the BGC. The rules of this meeting make it difficult for anyone to speak at this meeting. Amanda is a lawyer and can only speak correctly. It always happens that the board members are less comfortable to speak because what board members say will be attributed to the whole board. Comments need to be in by October 27. The things flagged by Shani, Nat and Amanda, will go back to the BGC. The last by-laws conversation was in 2018.
        3. comment - when this was announced I saw in the mailing list a question about what kind of evaluation process or external support the board got. What was the answer to that?
          1. Amanda - I will post it in the side chat.
        4. Comment - how does this change work in light of the movement strategy recommendation for "roles and responsibilities"? My innocent look at the proposed change is that this is not urgent, and does not need to be rushed, and that this change could take time to be aligned with the movement strategy. This is recommendation #4 - "ensure equity in decision making".
      2. comment - a lot of people here are members of their Wikimedia community groups and also have experience with other NGOs. How can community groups work out consensus statements with two-week deadlines from the time of the announcement, when the announcement sets an expectation that everyone should have time to comment thoughtfully?
        1. Amanda - I agree and want to align this with movement strategy. There is a lot in the "equity and decision making" recommendation to inform this change of bylaws. I think that a 16 person board has to function differently than a 10 person board. One change is that we have committees which make recommendations, rather than having the entire board join all the decisions. We would like to implement Robert’s Rules of Order and also have information packets for board members to consider. Given the breadth of what the Foundation does and wanting people to do that work, and also wanting expertise like product and tech means that we have to make changes. (? I typed this correctly, does not seem to answer)
          1. It is a pity no one from BGC is here. The rationale provided does not explain the proposed change of the selection, it also does not include explanation of dropping the voting.
          2. It also goes against the recommendation of equity, and does not explain the future role of the WMF BoT.
          3. all elections languages has disappeared
          4. this is a huge huge change to the bylaws
          5. with regards to time: if the text is this rough and there are so many questions... 3 weeks is way too short... If you have an exact, technical proposal which seems to have a minor impact you might need less time... but let’s turn it around: why is there a rush NOW? all of a sudden?
          6. comment: the BGC has non-trustees in its membership.
          7. @Shani I appreciate what you're saying. We often say "we're building the plane as we're flying it," and it sounds like that might apply here. However, that's usually a good indicator that it's time to slow down
      3. Shani - I want people to recognize that this is a combination of a few processes happening in parallel. First, the board wants and needs to be more efficient in its work. Second, the elections need to happen but were paused by COVID-19. We recognize that something is not working well in the current system and we want more people with the right expertise to participate in the board. The third change underway is the movement strategy. Some of the things happening are processes which we thought made sense. We thought the BGC should talk about expansion, then later talk about by-laws changes, and only then the pathways for elections. What comes next is a work in progress. We are listening very carefully to what you are saying. Someone said in the chat that it was sad that BCG representatives are not here. They are not supposed to be here. This is a community discussion.
      4. Amanda - there are more ideas for changes than there are board members. We are considering all these various ideas.
      5. Natalia - the proposal is in process. It is unfinished. The number of people involved in the process is much smaller than the number of people who are developing them. There are some things that we cannot do because of limitations. We bring comments back to the BGC. Whatever we show to the community first is going to be unfinished because there is going to be more discussion.
      6. In response to a question, Amanda said it would be fine to have a non-Board member on a Board of Trustees committee. (From above, maybe this is already the case for the BGC.)
      7. (so much discussion, so much said, not recorded ...)
      8. comment: Given the wording of the text, it seems like the proposal was something about to be adopted. The text reads as close to being final. Because of this, the community reacted quickly with urgency.
        1. Amanda - thank you. I hope to talk with the BGC Tuesday morning and post a response to meta shortly after.
    7. comment - when do you expect a final vote on the by-laws change?
      1. Natalia - we would like to have it by the end of the year but it depends on how quickly the BGC develops the text. It is difficult to plan at this time.
    8. comment: is the development of the by-laws delaying the scheduling of the election?
      1. Natalia - there is discussion between the board and the WMF staff. Most of the board are not native speakers of English language. If I post to the meta page, I prefer to talk with a lawyer first. If we are talking about the community selection process, discussing this requires planning and an allocation of WMF staff time. Before we start the discussion we have to plan for an allocation process.
    9. from the chat box:
      1. the weird thing, just like the branding discussion... the discussion becomes more about the process rather than the outcome... we have to get better at this
      2. with that i agree)
      3. Yes, I agree. I aim to post after the BGC as Andrew mentioned earlier.
      4. by this time we should be better at explaining the process
      5. It's difficult to know where we can be most effective when decisions are proposed as final/close to final
      6. a) what is the process leading to a final vote on such a Bylaws change? when do you expect that to happen? b) is _some_ bylaws change required to happen before the end of the year? c) what is needed to start the Trustee election that was delayed from earlier this year?
      7. 🙋‍♂️ Had my hand raised 15 min ago...
      8. I still remember :)
      9. Nat; You don't want to be wordsmithing bylaws changes :) I think that this case proves that it is not easier... that could be your final step, after having consulted the community on the general principle and overall changes
      10. isn't there a legitimacy issue if the bylaws are voted by BoT members with mandates that are expired for months, already?
      11. Would the BoT consider consulting lawyers outside of WMF?
      12. Given that the Board has governance over WMF, there may be a conflict of interest
      13. sorry you will be next - it has been hard to read all the comments :)
      14. Because the Bylaws are a legal governance document, discussing the actual wording is an important part of the process. Distinct changes, with an explanation of goals, would be more helpful than a consultation about goals only.
    10. comment - the big change that many people noticed was a change to board structure, particularly removing the community from board majority. There were other issues. The original explanation was to expand the board, which seems fair. If this is the case, then how do all the other changes relate to transferring power from the community to some other structure?
      1. Amanda - I agree with you that the primary change was to get more board members both to enhance community representation. We have such diversity of communities across the globe. We want to get diverse representation in board seats. Another issue is getting the CEO into board members. We took the liberty to draft and reflect on this more. Typically, the CEO stays for half of the meeting and leaves. When the CEO is gone the board discusses her performance and compensation. I hope that answers your question.
        1. comment - So was it an oversight to remove the majority of community members from the board?
          1. Amanda - this was an oversight. We were imagining that there would always be full seats. We would never make appointments without filling the community seats. We expect to always have community seats.
          2. comment - we want you to retain the language to keep the majority of seats from the community.
            1. Amanda - I hear you. I do not have a proposal ready.
          3. comment - (frenzy, community has lots to say, insisting about the language)
            1. Amanda - I am listening. We want the language to be flexible.
            2. comment - I would like to assume good faith and that everyone is working with good intentions. The by-laws should present clarity, and they are obfuscating the relationship between the Wikimedia Foundation and the community. I would like to think that the unclear language is due to an error, but I fear that the intent is to have optional community representation for a year or two then transition to a model with less or no community governance.
      2. comment - can we add some safeguards to the by-laws which promise and commit to community representation in the governance. Right now there seems to be a change to allow the board to decide everything, including who can stand for election, who can be represented, and every other detail. This is a change from the previous election format which was accepted by everyone on the community. Previously to make a change like this we would have expected a community or affiliate vote and now the WMF is claiming the right to make all these changes.
    11. Amanda - I am hearing that there is a community request for more representation. I hear you that there are a lot of challenges about the representation.
    12. Shani - we also hear you about the elections. This is another issue. We recognize it and are going to consider it as well.
    13. comment - what is said on meta in the by-laws is not the same as what is being discussed here. It is tough to read these by-laws as they are and conclude what the WMF team is saying now.
    14. comment - thank you for clarifying this proposal. I think our heart rates dropped hearing that this is not the final text. I hope that the committee will change the text to match Wikimedia community expectations. I hope that the text is changed to get approval by the community. As it was mentioned, some kind of selection like the voting process ensures representation and equity. The "community sourced" term is too vague. I am sure that the Americans would not like their president to be "America sourced" in a few weeks, as they expect an election and community choice. We need to know that these pages are open to everyone and these pages can bring havoc when they come to community removing representation from editing and volunteer communities. I saw text which said that members of the board of trustees should not be leaders of Wikimedia community affiliates. I found this unclear, and want to request guidance for the wiki community to prepare to support people from joining the board.
    15. Shani - To answer the question, yes, board members can be active in affiliates, but cannot be active as board members of affiliates, which makes perfect sense. We can advise though. For example, I’m in volved with Wikimedia Israel, Wiki & Education UG, and Wikimedia Medicine to mention a few. So do James and Nat. So we can participate in these groups and sometimes advise their board, but not be a member of the board of these groups. We encourage this kind of community participation. Anything to add Amanda?
      1. Amanda - that sounds great
    16. Clarification: Amanda wants to make sure that the board selection processes are worked out by the end of the year. (Possibly discussed above.) In this conversation “end of the year” sometimes referred to the end of WMF’s fiscal year, which is June 30 2021.
    17. Shani - I want to use this platform to clarify something else that was mentioned. Someone said that the current election works for everyone. This is not inaccurate.We want to have elections which bring diverse communities onto the board, people with the right expertise. The community elections, for example, favor people who are members of large Wikimedia community groups. We are losing board representation from members of small groups, who might have essential qualifications, or simply people with excellent expertise the board needs, but that are not heavily involved in community work. In the current system they have no chance of getting elected. We want to identify the people who have the right expertise and skills, and not necessarily those who can win a popularity contest. We do not have the answer to how to go about this yet. For us at least the current system is not working that well. The decision the board made two years ago to open the election to all affiliates is a step in the right direction, but we feel that we can do more. As the WMF, the WMF board, and the movement itself, becomes more mature, we want to be more thoughtful about how to weave all the various parts together and make it all work.
    18. comment - we all care about elections and there are lots of ways to structure them. For example, we could have a dedicated seat for a demographic, like by region or by expertise. The Wikimedia community would like clarity in the by-laws rather than an ambiguous system which can remove community representation.
    19. Shani - This is still being discussed by the BGC and then needs to be discussed by the Board and the community. Personally, you are preaching to the choir and I agree, but that is not an official statement from the board and only my perspective. It will be brought to the table. Also, thanks for bearing with us as we try new things. As in all new things, some of the things we are trying out may not be successful and might fail, and that’s ok..
    20. from the chat
      1. Responding to your earlier question Kat Walsh is listed as an advisor to the BGC: Wikimedia_Foundation_Board_Governance_Committee
      2. Talk:Wikimedia_Foundation_Board_noticeboard/October_2020_-_Proposed_Bylaws_changes#Reply_to_statement
      3. Flexible language in a governance document is a bad, bad idea
      4. "Having a majority of people from the community on the Board is preserved, that doesn't change." -Raystorm(Maria)
        1. But this is not consistent with the bylaws changes as written.
      5. Problem is also that the WMF wants to change the definition of „Community“: From people who contribute to the projects to anyone who feels somehow related to Wikimedia in the largest sense.
      6. Unfortunately, I need to leave, I apologize for that. Thank you for this important conversation. Good night
        1. Good night!
      7. +1 to comments
      8. and delegation of responsibility! not just participation, shared ownership. This added flexibility includes the removal of current delegations of responsibility. While half the purpose here is to increase board effectiveness ... that seems inconsistent.
      9. Talk:Wikimedia_Foundation_Board_noticeboard/October_2020_-_Proposed_Bylaws_changes#Statement_of_Opposition_from_Wikimedia_NYC
      10. The changes don't /require/ a change to the election process, but they /allow/ one.
      11. I think more *representatives* is not a replacement for more *democracy*
      12. (since June,, the WMDE supervisory board has a 'Wikipedian minority', and there are chapters like WMUK who have a non-Wikipedian board chair. I'd be interested to discuss whether this is a problem or not (not in this call))
      13. I think we all understand the level 1 text needs to be expanded and more specific. We can discuss particular concepts.
    21. comment - the Wikimedia community has published guidelines for what kinds of consultation it wants, including posting on meta, clarifying the invited wiki community participation, and seeking consensus without making great changes without community support.
      1. Amanda - yes ...
WIKIMEDIA FOUNDATION staff and board LEAVE
Wikimedia Community discussion only from this point on
Everyone note, this is a next phase of this meeting!
File:SWAN board - 2020-10-24.pdf
Strategic Wikimedia Affiliates Network group notes
  1. Every individual can post their thoughts on by-laws changes to this interactive board
    1. Andrew presents a board - the Wikimedia Foundation are out now. This is a community conversation.
      1. I am sharing a "Jam board" for to collect community comments
      2. https://jamboard.google.com/d/1P5l2L-tWAEaCKKlol-ahM0sWu6ajepIAOqnftI6-sjQ/viewer?f=0
      3. It has a list of topic areas. Please people add thoughts, write comments
    2. comments
      1. challenging to use with iPad
      2. some of the comments on the jam board -
      3. by-law changes are "frustratingly non-specific"
      4. comment - what is the rubric?
      5. confusion about the meaning of "rubric" - perhaps use a different word?
        1. for some non-native English speakers this word seems difficult to translate
      6. at the previous meeting there was talk of a 6-week minimum timeline for discussion
  2. We are 1 hour 45 minutes into this meeting - 15 more minutes scheduled
  3. notice - Wikipedia's 20th Anniversary
    1. anyone who wishes to do so should plan events and celebrations
    2. cake
      1. uncertainty about WMF budget allocations for purchasing cake for Wikipedia Day
      2. the Wikimedia Foundation by-laws fails to address issue of access to cake
      3. I haven't heard that anyone want to connect online at all. People just want to have cake together :)
      4. i think wikipedia in portuguese was created in may. there is a community discussion to hold our birthday events in may
      5. I actually don't think having cake together will be an option in many places in January due to covid restrictions.
      6. I am not saying what is possible, I am reflecting what people _want_ :D
      7. 😀
      8. true, thanks, I want cake with friends, too! <3
      9. you can mail people the cake, and tben have it together on a call... :)
  4. this monthly meeting is also an opportunity for community and affiliate groups can present themselves to get extra attention
    1. should we make this meeting regular - third weekend of every month?>
    2. might be nice to have a regular time for this
    3. regular meetings could help people plan to attend
    4. the East South East Asian PAcific Group (ESEAP Group) meets the second weekend
    5. comment - some community groups, like the German community, will have members who want to meet with their own community then bring up comments. Not everyone will want to join a global community. How should we go forward?
      1. Not sure! Probably we should have a mix of community groups and some global meetings. We need a governance process to represent what comes from particular communities.
  5. European Affiliates Meeting
    1. Germans, Dutch, and Austrians organizing
    2. November 14
    3. we thought this was going to be a prep meeting for the global meeting the week after
    4. we just heard Mehrdad in this meeting say that priorities are not urgent to have ready for this global meeting
    5. yesterday at the Italian WikiCon we discussed whether we want all of the Mediterranean to be a group. It is up to us to organize as works for us.
  6. Lane / user:bluerasberry - when and under what circumstance can I post these notes to meta?
    1. Chatham house - strip names
    2. okay to post in 1 week, unless someone objects, give people time to edit
    3. please summarize the chat
    4. chat is hard to summarize -please everyone edit as they like
    5. Copyright is aligned with Meta-Wiki. This group requires and collects consent for conventional Wikimedia compatible copyright.
  7. Why did Wikimedia Foundation staff and board members join? Did someone invite them?
    1. ???
    2. (no one answers, no one here knows?)
    3. (silence)
  8. Wikimedia Foundation board resolutions
    1. none passed in 2020
    2. four resolutions passed in 2019
    3. for these by-laws changes we discussed, James Heilman abstained from voting
    4. wmf:Resolution:Board_Expansion_2020


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