Re: [Wikimedia-l] Update and feedback results from the Wikimedia's chairpersons retreat

2019-01-03 Thread Dan Garry (Deskana)
On Sun, 30 Dec 2018 at 03:39, Pine W  wrote:

> I am wondering whether, for the purposes of (1) increasing the cost
> effectiveness of travel expenses, (2) reducing the negative environmental
> effects from travel, and (3) increasing the number of chairpersons who
> participate, if future meetings could be scheduled immediately before or
> after Wikimania or the Wikimedia (WMF + Affiliates) Summit.


This is already being done to a large extent. For example, lots of team
offsites are scheduled to run either before or after the annual all staff
meeting, hackathons, Wikimania, etc, which wasn't really the case a few
years back. The effects of this policy can be seen in the annual financial
statements—in FY2013/14 and FY2017/8 the amount spent on travel and
conferences was almost exactly the same [1] in spite of the Foundation
having grown by around 100 staff [2].

As to whether more bundling of meetings with other meetings should be done,
I find it to be a mixed bag. On the one hand, travel spending is reduced,
and it's more likely that people can attend meetings due to bundling things
together. On the other hand, the effectiveness of the meetings is reduced;
conferences like Wikimania are exhausting enough without having to do
important meetings that require a lot of concentration either before or
afterwards. Whether that trade-off is worth it or not depends on the
situation. It's certainly not as clear cut as you make it out to be here.

With regards to environmental impact, I always recommend the "green stuff"
thread
.

Dan

[1]: Source: Wikimedia Foundation financial reports
. In FY2013/14
there was a total of $1,965,854 spent on travel and conferences, and in
FY2017/18 the same spending was $1,954,772. Travel spending fluctuated up
by around 17% in the years between these, but it went back down afterwards.
Travel spending has remained basically the same despite significant growth
of the organisation, demonstrating the effectiveness of policy changes on
decreasing travel spending.

[2]: Source: my memory. An exact figure could probably be figured out by
looking at the history of the staff and contractors page on
foundation.wikimedia.org.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Update and feedback results from the Wikimedia's chairpersons retreat

2019-01-01 Thread Pine W
Hi Itzik,

I understand your good point regarding the difficulty of scheduling due to
chairpersons' availability for volunteer activities. Would having online
meetings make scheduling be easier?

I think that I understand your choice to use an external facilitator. I am
willing to support spending money when I think that the benefits make the
costs worthwhile. Also, I support spending money on pilot projects when I
think that the risks are reasonable. I want people to feel okay about
taking some risks with pilot projects. If a pilot project fails completely,
sometimes that is okay after a well-considered decision was made to take
the risk and the people who attempted the pilot project did a reasonably
good job in the circumstances. I wouldn't want a failed pilot project to
have unanticipated costs of hundreds of hours of volunteers' time or many
thousands of donated dollars to clean up, so not every failure of a pilot
project is okay, but I can support some failures and reasonable expenses. I
have failed myself on more than one occasion, and with experience I am
getting better at understanding how failures happen and recovering faster,
and having a more positive attitude about some types of failures. So, I
support other people making pilot projects, taking some risks, and spending
some time and money, even if some projects fail. The chairs' meetings seem
to be successful, and I hope that the meetings will continue. Thanks for
your work on these meetings.

Pine
( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pine )


On Tue, Jan 1, 2019 at 10:58 AM Itzik - Wikimedia Israel <
it...@wikimedia.org.il> wrote:

> Hi Pine,
>
> So far the chairperson meetings took place during Wikimedia Summit or
> Wikimania, and some other were online. So yes, undoubtedly there are ways
> to prevent more travels, and this is what we did for the past four years.
>
> You mentioned three factors about international meetings, but you forgot
> one important one. The chairpersons are volunteers, so the element of
> vacation days is also a factor which we need to consider when we evaluate
> such volunteers meetings. Adding another two days meeting to Wikimania for
> example (which was this year in a distant destination) - can mean almost a
> week off to the ones that would have participated. Also, we worked to
> arrange this meeting for a quite long time, additional to other
> work-related and our affiliate's obligations. And even if we wanted, we
> couldn't be ready enough with this meeting enough time before Wikimania, in
> a way that will also give enough notice time to the chairs (some of them
> didn't attend Wikimania this year).
>
> As far as we were concerned, it was a pilot, so it was very important for
> us to be assisted by an external facilitator and to be immediately
> attentive to feedback to assess the value of the meeting.
>
> Thank you for the warm words in your email summary.
>
>
> *Itzik Edri*
> Chairperson
> it...@wikimedia.org.il
> +972-54-5878078
>
>
>
>
> On Sun, Dec 30, 2018 at 5:39 AM Pine W  wrote:
>
> > Hi Itzik, Frans, and Vojtěch,
> >
> > I am very behind on email but I wanted to say thanks for sharing this
> > report from the chairpersons' meeting.
> >
> > I am wondering whether, for the purposes of (1) increasing the cost
> > effectiveness of travel expenses, (2) reducing the negative environmental
> > effects from travel, and (3) increasing the number of chairpersons who
> > participate, if future meetings could be scheduled immediately before or
> > after Wikimania or the Wikimedia (WMF + Affiliates) Summit.
> Alternatively,
> > future meetings could be held online so that travel is not necessary.
> What
> > do you think?
> >
> > Thanks again for sharing this report. I get the impression that the
> > chairpersons found the meeting to be valuable, and I hope that similar
> > meetings will happen in the future. My guess is that being a chair of a
> > Wikimedia affiliate can require significant time and involve difficult
> > conversations. I'm grateful for those who volunteer their time to serve.
> >
> > Regards,
> >
> > Pine
> > ( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pine )
> >
> >
> > On Mon, Dec 3, 2018 at 8:31 PM Itzik - Wikimedia Israel <
> > it...@wikimedia.org.il> wrote:
> >
> > > Hi,
> > >
> > > For four years now, since Wikimania 2014 in London, the chairpersons of
> > the
> > > recognized chapters have met as a group twice a year, during Wikimania
> > and
> > > the Wikimedia Conference (now the Wikimedia Summit), usually for 1 - 2
> > > hours during one of the lunch breaks.
> > >
> > > I started to arrange these meetings as an opportunity for the
> > chairpersons
> > > to meet, and the concept of these meetings at the beginning was to host
> > > every time a different person from our movement.
> > >
> > > Later on, Tim Moritz Hector (WMDE) and Frans Grijzenhout (WMNL) joined
> to
> > > help me arrange and plan these meetings, and as result also from the
> > > feedback of the other chairs, we changed the 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Update and feedback results from the Wikimedia's chairpersons retreat

2019-01-01 Thread Itzik - Wikimedia Israel
Hi Pine,

So far the chairperson meetings took place during Wikimedia Summit or
Wikimania, and some other were online. So yes, undoubtedly there are ways
to prevent more travels, and this is what we did for the past four years.

You mentioned three factors about international meetings, but you forgot
one important one. The chairpersons are volunteers, so the element of
vacation days is also a factor which we need to consider when we evaluate
such volunteers meetings. Adding another two days meeting to Wikimania for
example (which was this year in a distant destination) - can mean almost a
week off to the ones that would have participated. Also, we worked to
arrange this meeting for a quite long time, additional to other
work-related and our affiliate's obligations. And even if we wanted, we
couldn't be ready enough with this meeting enough time before Wikimania, in
a way that will also give enough notice time to the chairs (some of them
didn't attend Wikimania this year).

As far as we were concerned, it was a pilot, so it was very important for
us to be assisted by an external facilitator and to be immediately
attentive to feedback to assess the value of the meeting.

Thank you for the warm words in your email summary.


*Itzik Edri*
Chairperson
it...@wikimedia.org.il
+972-54-5878078




On Sun, Dec 30, 2018 at 5:39 AM Pine W  wrote:

> Hi Itzik, Frans, and Vojtěch,
>
> I am very behind on email but I wanted to say thanks for sharing this
> report from the chairpersons' meeting.
>
> I am wondering whether, for the purposes of (1) increasing the cost
> effectiveness of travel expenses, (2) reducing the negative environmental
> effects from travel, and (3) increasing the number of chairpersons who
> participate, if future meetings could be scheduled immediately before or
> after Wikimania or the Wikimedia (WMF + Affiliates) Summit. Alternatively,
> future meetings could be held online so that travel is not necessary. What
> do you think?
>
> Thanks again for sharing this report. I get the impression that the
> chairpersons found the meeting to be valuable, and I hope that similar
> meetings will happen in the future. My guess is that being a chair of a
> Wikimedia affiliate can require significant time and involve difficult
> conversations. I'm grateful for those who volunteer their time to serve.
>
> Regards,
>
> Pine
> ( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pine )
>
>
> On Mon, Dec 3, 2018 at 8:31 PM Itzik - Wikimedia Israel <
> it...@wikimedia.org.il> wrote:
>
> > Hi,
> >
> > For four years now, since Wikimania 2014 in London, the chairpersons of
> the
> > recognized chapters have met as a group twice a year, during Wikimania
> and
> > the Wikimedia Conference (now the Wikimedia Summit), usually for 1 - 2
> > hours during one of the lunch breaks.
> >
> > I started to arrange these meetings as an opportunity for the
> chairpersons
> > to meet, and the concept of these meetings at the beginning was to host
> > every time a different person from our movement.
> >
> > Later on, Tim Moritz Hector (WMDE) and Frans Grijzenhout (WMNL) joined to
> > help me arrange and plan these meetings, and as result also from the
> > feedback of the other chairs, we changed the concept to discussions and
> > presentations format in order to speak about issues related to the
> > organizations we represent and our movement in general. We also created a
> > mailing list as a place to get updates but also to raise questions and
> > share information (such as questions related to the organization's
> > policies, ED, board issues and other).
> >
> > About half a year ago, Frans and me thought we had to take these meetings
> > to a higher level, and, for the first time, we proposed to organize a two
> > days meeting, where we can have a dedicated time, without interruptions
> > (and lunch on our tables...) in order to focus on bigger issues.
> >
> > We already have board trainings for new board members, but we don’t have
> > any program which supports the chairpersons as leaders of their boards
> and
> > their organizations. So we decided to focus on improving the
> interpersonal
> > skills and leadership competencies of chairpersons and give them other
> > tools to become better and more effective in their roles.
> >
> > In order to achieve this, we decided to contract an experienced external
> > trainer & facilitator.
> >
> > In the beginning, we planned to have this meeting with all the
> > chairpersons, from the big and from the small chapters. But as the WMF’s
> > grants program were temporarily not accepting new grants requests, we
> > weren't able to get support to finance the participation of the small
> > chapters which didn’t have the budget to cover the costs.
> >
> > So in the end, we hold a smaller meeting a week ago (hosted by WMCZ in
> > Prague), with 17 chairpersons which could cover the travel and meeting
> > costs (with a small grant from the WMF to help to support part of the
> > facilitator's fee).
> >
> > 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Update and feedback results from the Wikimedia's chairpersons retreat

2018-12-29 Thread Pine W
Hi Itzik, Frans, and Vojtěch,

I am very behind on email but I wanted to say thanks for sharing this
report from the chairpersons' meeting.

I am wondering whether, for the purposes of (1) increasing the cost
effectiveness of travel expenses, (2) reducing the negative environmental
effects from travel, and (3) increasing the number of chairpersons who
participate, if future meetings could be scheduled immediately before or
after Wikimania or the Wikimedia (WMF + Affiliates) Summit. Alternatively,
future meetings could be held online so that travel is not necessary. What
do you think?

Thanks again for sharing this report. I get the impression that the
chairpersons found the meeting to be valuable, and I hope that similar
meetings will happen in the future. My guess is that being a chair of a
Wikimedia affiliate can require significant time and involve difficult
conversations. I'm grateful for those who volunteer their time to serve.

Regards,

Pine
( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pine )


On Mon, Dec 3, 2018 at 8:31 PM Itzik - Wikimedia Israel <
it...@wikimedia.org.il> wrote:

> Hi,
>
> For four years now, since Wikimania 2014 in London, the chairpersons of the
> recognized chapters have met as a group twice a year, during Wikimania and
> the Wikimedia Conference (now the Wikimedia Summit), usually for 1 - 2
> hours during one of the lunch breaks.
>
> I started to arrange these meetings as an opportunity for the chairpersons
> to meet, and the concept of these meetings at the beginning was to host
> every time a different person from our movement.
>
> Later on, Tim Moritz Hector (WMDE) and Frans Grijzenhout (WMNL) joined to
> help me arrange and plan these meetings, and as result also from the
> feedback of the other chairs, we changed the concept to discussions and
> presentations format in order to speak about issues related to the
> organizations we represent and our movement in general. We also created a
> mailing list as a place to get updates but also to raise questions and
> share information (such as questions related to the organization's
> policies, ED, board issues and other).
>
> About half a year ago, Frans and me thought we had to take these meetings
> to a higher level, and, for the first time, we proposed to organize a two
> days meeting, where we can have a dedicated time, without interruptions
> (and lunch on our tables...) in order to focus on bigger issues.
>
> We already have board trainings for new board members, but we don’t have
> any program which supports the chairpersons as leaders of their boards and
> their organizations. So we decided to focus on improving the interpersonal
> skills and leadership competencies of chairpersons and give them other
> tools to become better and more effective in their roles.
>
> In order to achieve this, we decided to contract an experienced external
> trainer & facilitator.
>
> In the beginning, we planned to have this meeting with all the
> chairpersons, from the big and from the small chapters. But as the WMF’s
> grants program were temporarily not accepting new grants requests, we
> weren't able to get support to finance the participation of the small
> chapters which didn’t have the budget to cover the costs.
>
> So in the end, we hold a smaller meeting a week ago (hosted by WMCZ in
> Prague), with 17 chairpersons which could cover the travel and meeting
> costs (with a small grant from the WMF to help to support part of the
> facilitator's fee).
>
> During the meeting (or you can also call it a retreat) we had workshops and
> sessions to know each other better, to speak about effective and
> accountable boards, team dynamics, failures (and how to continue) and work
> on interpersonal skills and more.
>
> We decided to share with you the results and feedback we received, which
> may be used by other groups or similar events:
>
> https://drive.google.com/file/d/1MOBru_m1wQu-IESItb5IWjWp9mVVdRuG/view?usp=sharing
>
> You can read more about the meeting on Meta:
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliate_Chairpersons_meeting_November_24_-_25,_2018
>
> And also the notes of some of the session:
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Affiliate_Chairpersons_meeting_November_24_-_25,_2018
>
> We felt this information will be valuable to share with the rest of the
> movement.
>
> Yours,
> Itzik, Frans, and Vojtěch (WMCZ)
>
>
>
> *Itzik Edri*
> Chairperson
> it...@wikimedia.org.il
> +972-54-5878078
> ___
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
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[Wikimedia-l] Update and feedback results from the Wikimedia's chairpersons retreat

2018-12-03 Thread Itzik - Wikimedia Israel
Hi,

For four years now, since Wikimania 2014 in London, the chairpersons of the
recognized chapters have met as a group twice a year, during Wikimania and
the Wikimedia Conference (now the Wikimedia Summit), usually for 1 - 2
hours during one of the lunch breaks.

I started to arrange these meetings as an opportunity for the chairpersons
to meet, and the concept of these meetings at the beginning was to host
every time a different person from our movement.

Later on, Tim Moritz Hector (WMDE) and Frans Grijzenhout (WMNL) joined to
help me arrange and plan these meetings, and as result also from the
feedback of the other chairs, we changed the concept to discussions and
presentations format in order to speak about issues related to the
organizations we represent and our movement in general. We also created a
mailing list as a place to get updates but also to raise questions and
share information (such as questions related to the organization's
policies, ED, board issues and other).

About half a year ago, Frans and me thought we had to take these meetings
to a higher level, and, for the first time, we proposed to organize a two
days meeting, where we can have a dedicated time, without interruptions
(and lunch on our tables...) in order to focus on bigger issues.

We already have board trainings for new board members, but we don’t have
any program which supports the chairpersons as leaders of their boards and
their organizations. So we decided to focus on improving the interpersonal
skills and leadership competencies of chairpersons and give them other
tools to become better and more effective in their roles.

In order to achieve this, we decided to contract an experienced external
trainer & facilitator.

In the beginning, we planned to have this meeting with all the
chairpersons, from the big and from the small chapters. But as the WMF’s
grants program were temporarily not accepting new grants requests, we
weren't able to get support to finance the participation of the small
chapters which didn’t have the budget to cover the costs.

So in the end, we hold a smaller meeting a week ago (hosted by WMCZ in
Prague), with 17 chairpersons which could cover the travel and meeting
costs (with a small grant from the WMF to help to support part of the
facilitator's fee).

During the meeting (or you can also call it a retreat) we had workshops and
sessions to know each other better, to speak about effective and
accountable boards, team dynamics, failures (and how to continue) and work
on interpersonal skills and more.

We decided to share with you the results and feedback we received, which
may be used by other groups or similar events:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1MOBru_m1wQu-IESItb5IWjWp9mVVdRuG/view?usp=sharing

You can read more about the meeting on Meta:
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliate_Chairpersons_meeting_November_24_-_25,_2018

And also the notes of some of the session:
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Affiliate_Chairpersons_meeting_November_24_-_25,_2018

We felt this information will be valuable to share with the rest of the
movement.

Yours,
Itzik, Frans, and Vojtěch (WMCZ)



*Itzik Edri*
Chairperson
it...@wikimedia.org.il
+972-54-5878078
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