Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-20 Thread Bence Damokos
Dear Community Members,

The Affiliations Committee has put together a public response to the
Board's decision to express the dissatisfaction with the process and
outcome of the decision, and thereby the opportunity lost to actually
discuss and address the Board's underlying concerns. This opportunity can
be restored with an open, sustained dialogue - we will be available online
as well as in person at the Berlin Wikimedia Conference, among other venues
- we hope the Board and other community members will commit to
participating.

You can find our statement at:
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:WMF_Board_meetings/2013-11-24/FAQ#AffCom_response(translations
can be provided at:
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliations_Committee/February_2014_Statement).
The English version is copied below for your convenience.

Best regards,
Bence Damokos
Chair, Affiliations Committee



Dear Community Members,

The Affiliations Committee shares the surprise and disappointment felt by
many in the community with the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees’
recent decision to require all new chapters and thematic organizations to
exist as affiliated user groups for two years prior to being allowed to
formally organize, and the restrictions placed on the Funds Dissemination
Committee.

We remain committed to serving the Wikimedia mission by advising the Board
and the movement at large and fulfilling the mandate given to us, but we
feel the way this decision was taken and its potential negative effects
warrant public comment.

We are deeply saddened by the demotivating effect this decision will likely
have on the volunteers building future affiliates, especially those who
have already begun their organising work only to find out that the rules
have suddenly changed. As a committee, we will continue to provide maximum
support to current and future user groups, but that might not be enough to
mitigate the immediate and long-term repercussions of this decision.

We are concerned that the decision sets a negative example for good
governance and transparency in the movement. This decision was not made in
a process consistent with Wikimedia movement values, and the Affiliations
Committee has seen no evidence that this decision will achieve the Board’s
stated goals. This approach taken by the board and the contradictory
messages sent by this decision and subsequent communications will only
demotivate the very volunteers the Foundation proclaims it is working with
to engage and empower.

We share the Board’s desire to take a strategic view on how Wikimedia
organisations can best achieve the goals of the movement and how we can
support them in building up the necessary capacity for long-term
effectiveness. Unfortunately, making a decision without any prior
consultation or research does not further that discussion -- it merely
introduces an arbitrary change with unclear goals, impacts, and
consequences.

While we appreciate the logic presented by the board, we feel ultimately
that this decision was a lost opportunity to address the board’s underlying
concerns. The limitations this places on future organizations creates an
unfair disadvantage for developing countries and sends conflicting messages
about fostering dependency on the Wikimedia Foundation for local
programmatic work. By announcing the decision without proper consultation,
the board has sent several mixed messages about process, alarmed groups
impacted most, and discouraged affiliates from commenting by bundling and
framing the two decisions in a way they fear will label them as being
financially motivated to comment on.

It is our hope that the Board sees the publication of its decision as the
start of a conversation and that it will commit to engage the wider
community, the movement stakeholders, and experts in evaluating it. We hope
the conversation will be constructive, focusing on how volunteers can best
be empowered to fulfill our joint mission. We are ready to participate in,
facilitate, or aid that discussion in the interests of the movement.

We encourage candidate affiliates, existing affiliates, and community
members to leave questions, comments, viewpoints, factual briefings, and
feedback on the Board
noticeboardhttps://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Board_noticeboard or
the talk page of this
decisionhttps://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:WMF_Board_meetings/2013-11-24/FAQ
on
Meta. We are also happy to hear community members’ perspectives and hope to
engage the Board in an open dialogue.


Best regards,
the Affiliations Committee


On Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 6:33 AM, phoebe ayers phoebe.w...@gmail.com wrote:

 Hi all,

 I want to draw your attention to two Wikimedia Board of Trustees decisions
 that were recently published, regarding funds allocated to the FDC/Annual
 plan grant process and Board approval of chapter/thematic organization
 status. In a nutshell, the Board decided to allocate approximately the same
 amount of funding to the FDC for the next two years. 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-13 Thread Gregory Varnum
Phoebe,

I appreciate you sharing this information - it fills in a few gaps.  I am
still concerned that there was not more opportunity for input prior to the
decision - and that everyone was clearly not on the same page about what
was going to be discussed exactly.

Regarding your earlier comments on the funding. I recognize that there are
options beyond FDC - however it seems to send mixed messages. Also, did the
board discuss capping the other WMF funding options? I still think there is
confusion over the incorporated user group concerns - but I will keep that
conversation on Meta. Finally, can you speak to any changes the board may
be making in future processes and if the community or at least committees
will have more input on these types of decisions?

-greg aka varnent
PS. Nothing said from any official AffCom or WM related roles.


On Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 5:16 PM, phoebe ayers phoebe.w...@gmail.com wrote:

 On Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 10:37 AM, Gregory Varnum
 gregory.var...@gmail.comwrote:

  While AffCom will likely be making an official statement later, I am
 having
  a hard time not chiming in and I do think it is worth pointing out that
  AffCom was not consulted in a manner I think most of us would have
 imagined
  occurring. I have noticed it mentioned a few times that our feedback was
  taken into consideration, but that may give the wrong idea of what
  happened.
 
  While it is true we provided feedback before the decision was made, I
 would
  not consider it consulting with us or even communicating with AffCom in a
  way that allowed us to provide the level of feedback I think the
 community
  has come to expect. Frankly we got a lot of our information second-hand,
  and am still not sure personally we know the full story. My personal
  expectation would have involved a lot more communication before the
  decision was made, and most importantly, some two-way dialogue. At the
 very
  least I think the chairs of FDC and AffCom should have been looped into
  parts of the conversation during the meeting


 Hi Greg and all,

 This is not a direct reply to your points, but I think it might be helpful
 in removing the cloak of mystery from all this.

 Here is what happened during the board meeting, from my perspective.*

 Background context:

 * The board has been discussing movement roles for literally years (as have
 many of the folks commenting!)
 * The board started discussing the topic again specifically in October;
 many trustees are interested in broad movement roles questions and it was
 brought to the table as a broad topic the board should take up.
 * Various contexts to the discussion include: the need to review new
 affiliates more thoroughly than we historically have done (as recommended
 by our legal team, and as indicated by the history of some chapters not
 staying active); the new trademark and user group policies which make
 different models for volunteers both possible and easier; and various
 trustee concerns over our increasing focus movement-wide on incorporation
 and administration.

 For these two specific decisions:

 * The board first discussed the ideas of usergroups-first  capping the
 budgets in October. This was without any specific proposals or wording.
 * Later on, before the November meeting, a recommendation to take these
 decisions was presented in a packet by the WMF Executive Director to the
 board, along with some context. The packet included a summary
 recommendation, some arguments pro and con, and emails from Affcom and the
 FDC, with the proposal as presented by staff to these committees and the
 committee replies.
 * we (board members) discussed the recommendations first on our email list
 for a week or so before our meeting, and then over two sessions in our
 meeting, over the course of two+ days. On the list and in the meeting, we
 discussed the arguments as presented as well as arguments that emerged over
 the course of discussion from our own individual viewpoints, as well as the
 overall milleux of movement roles.

 * Important note that perhaps wasn't emphasized enough in the FAQ: the set
 of decisions was not meant or presented as major strategy but as a
 temporary set of decisions, to buy us all some time while we hire a new ED
 and reconsider movement roles strategy. The new ED point is important; we
 wanted to try to decide these issues before they start, since they will
 have plenty of other stuff on their plate to figure out.

 * In the meeting, we (the board) wrote and re-wrote the text of the
 decisions to match our emerging consensus about what we wanted to do.
 * When we seemed to have reached a stable version of the text, and also to
 have exhausted our ability to reach further consensus, we voted on these
 two decisions. I motioned for the vote because I happened to be
 facilitating the discussion at the time, and it seemed to me that as a
 group we were ready to vote.

 * The no consensus thing: of course we discussed this as well. Like 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-13 Thread Federico Leva (Nemo)

Mark, 13/02/2014 00:58:

In other projects this doesn't seem to be as big of a deal. I'm a heavy
participant in OpenStreetMap, which is an organization legally based in
the UK. That's a country I have no connection to at all. But it doesn't
really matter, because the OSM Foundation does things I benefit from,
since they aren't really UK-specific: they maintain the servers,
maintain and develop the software, look after the legal situation of the
project, etc. As a map editor, I have no complaints with their
stewardship of the core project. Of course, actual mapping activities
happen on a distributed basis (it is difficult to map Denmark well, if
you don't live here), but that doesn't mean there is anything wrong with
letting the UK organization continue to manage maintenance of the
servers and software.


OSM has chapters too.

Nemo

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-13 Thread phoebe ayers
Hi Greg!

A few fast notes before I go to bed :)

On Wed, Feb 12, 2014 at 11:59 PM, Gregory Varnum
gregory.var...@gmail.comwrote:

 Phoebe,

 I appreciate you sharing this information - it fills in a few gaps.  I am
 still concerned that there was not more opportunity for input prior to the
 decision - and that everyone was clearly not on the same page about what
 was going to be discussed exactly.


I take your point about wanting more formal committee consultation, for
sure, and in hindsight I agree we should have done things differently. (I
think writing comments would probably work better logistically than skyping
folks in, just for logistical and stylistic reasons, but it's an
interesting thought -- perhaps worth a try).


 Regarding your earlier comments on the funding. I recognize that there are
 options beyond FDC - however it seems to send mixed messages. Also, did the
 board discuss capping the other WMF funding options?


Nope.


 I still think there is
 confusion over the incorporated user group concerns - but I will keep that
 conversation on Meta.


I just posted a reply on meta about this, that hopefully will clear up some
concerns. Short answer: if you need to incorporate in your country for
whatever reason, go ahead and incorporate. You just don't *have* to for
wikimedia recognition.


 Finally, can you speak to any changes the board may
 be making in future processes and if the community or at least committees
 will have more input on these types of decisions?


Hmm. I know there is a desire to talk about movement roles strategy in
general among several trustees, so we may well talk about related issues,
but I don't know if that will be on a meeting agenda in the near future,
and we don't have any decisions planned that I know of (though of course
issues may be raised that aren't on the agenda now). The April meeting will
hopefully mostly be adjusting/approving the annual plan and working on the
shift to a new executive director, especially if they are hired and
available by then.

-- Phoebe
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-13 Thread Gregory Varnum
Quick follow-up question and comment -

Is there any reason for affiliates to feel they should now at least plan
for possible caps on other areas? Does that absolutely seem unlikely
(granted anything is possible) or not really something the board can
comment on more firmly - which I suspect will just keep people concerned
about this cap indicating a new trend while new strategic planning under
the new ED begins (er..continues..).

I am happy to hear that there is agreement that things should be done
better next time. My one comment on the notes is that I hope they are more
immediately two-way in nature. While the liaisons and committees are very
helpful in many circumstances - the nature of things sometimes causes
multiple week gaps between individual notes. That is just my personal
reaction.

Also - and sorry if I just overlooked this elsewhere - will the board be
discussing or presenting more on this topic at the April conference in
Berlin?

-greg


On Thu, Feb 13, 2014 at 3:19 AM, phoebe ayers phoebe.w...@gmail.com wrote:

 Hi Greg!

 A few fast notes before I go to bed :)

 On Wed, Feb 12, 2014 at 11:59 PM, Gregory Varnum
 gregory.var...@gmail.comwrote:

  Phoebe,
 
  I appreciate you sharing this information - it fills in a few gaps.  I am
  still concerned that there was not more opportunity for input prior to
 the
  decision - and that everyone was clearly not on the same page about what
  was going to be discussed exactly.
 

 I take your point about wanting more formal committee consultation, for
 sure, and in hindsight I agree we should have done things differently. (I
 think writing comments would probably work better logistically than skyping
 folks in, just for logistical and stylistic reasons, but it's an
 interesting thought -- perhaps worth a try).


  Regarding your earlier comments on the funding. I recognize that there
 are
  options beyond FDC - however it seems to send mixed messages. Also, did
 the
  board discuss capping the other WMF funding options?


 Nope.


  I still think there is
  confusion over the incorporated user group concerns - but I will keep
 that
  conversation on Meta.


 I just posted a reply on meta about this, that hopefully will clear up some
 concerns. Short answer: if you need to incorporate in your country for
 whatever reason, go ahead and incorporate. You just don't *have* to for
 wikimedia recognition.


  Finally, can you speak to any changes the board may
  be making in future processes and if the community or at least committees
  will have more input on these types of decisions?


 Hmm. I know there is a desire to talk about movement roles strategy in
 general among several trustees, so we may well talk about related issues,
 but I don't know if that will be on a meeting agenda in the near future,
 and we don't have any decisions planned that I know of (though of course
 issues may be raised that aren't on the agenda now). The April meeting will
 hopefully mostly be adjusting/approving the annual plan and working on the
 shift to a new executive director, especially if they are hired and
 available by then.

 -- Phoebe
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-13 Thread Michael Peel

On 11 Feb 2014, at 20:18, Samuel Klein meta...@gmail.com wrote:

 Hello Frédéric, a quick comment:
 
 On Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 4:44 AM, Frédéric Schütz sch...@mathgen.ch wrote:
 Your decision is not you should have a good track
 record, it is you should have a good track record AND NOT have bylaws.
 
 Bylaws are fine, whatever makes sense for each group; just not mandatory.
 The Board is looking for two years of active work when recognizing entities.
 
 The WMF also wants to let all groups have easier access to trademarks
 and funds.  This is what user groups were designed to allow, with
 minimal overhead.  These two ideas were combined into be a user group
 for two years.

The board meeting minutes specifically say unincorporated Wikimedia user 
group”, though, which makes it sound like you don’t want groups to, well, 
incorporate. Which means people involved in those user groups take on personal 
liability for their activities rather than having the protection of a formal 
organisation, which is really bad for the volunteers should anything go badly...

Thanks,
Mike


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-12 Thread Risker
I think perhaps this financial benefit discussion has taken us a bit
off track.  This thread has a wealth of well-informed commentary, the
majority of it coming from volunteers; for most, any financial
benefit is the result of expenses being (partially) covered to carry
out these volunteer activities.

Perhaps the point that Nathan might be trying to make is that it is
useful for everyone involved in these wide-ranging discussions to
understand each other's relative experience.  For example, it would be
helpful to interpret Cynthia's and Lodewijk's comments knowing that
they are members of the Affiliations Committee. That is not to suggest
that their opinions should be discounted; in fact, quite the opposite.
They are opinions that have been informed by the fact of their
committee membership, although of course they are speaking for
themselves and not the committee as a whole. I will note as an aside
that I was aware they were both on some relevant committee, but it
took some digging to figure out which one.

Similarly, those who hold executive roles with chapters, or are
members of the FDC or other global or local groups that would be
affected by these decisions, are able to share their knowledge from
those experiences.

Risker/Anne

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-12 Thread Mathias Damour

Le 12/02/2014 03:14, Mark a écrit :

On 2/11/14, 9:18 PM, Samuel Klein wrote:

The WMF also wants to let all groups have easier access to trademarks
and funds.  This is what user groups were designed to allow, with
minimal overhead.  These two ideas were combined into be a user group
for two years.



This part I do think is a good idea. There are many models of how 
individuals and groups participate and organize themselves within the 
global Wikimedia movement besides the umbrella Wikimedia Foundation, 
and imo the previous organizational/funding focus overlooked those who 
didn't fit one specific model: national Chapters, i.e. organizations 
seeking to represent Wikimedia-movement activities in a general sense, 
within the territory of one nation-state, and usually in a fairly 
official manner (paid staff, boards of directors, political 
visibility, etc.).


Yes, that's exactly what I want to keep and see developing in my 
country, to achieve reliability, acknowledgment by third people, etc.


I like that initiatives such as the individual-engagement grants, 
user-group recognition, etc. are opening up more avenues for 
Wikimedian organizations, organized along different lines, to find a 
more recognized (and funded) role in the movement.


I like them too, saved I want it to be supervised by my chapter rather 
than the WMF !


Mark, may you disclose which country you are from/live in ? I am from 
France, living in France.


--
Mathias Damour
https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utilisateur:Astirmays
http://fr.vikidia.org/wiki/Utilisateur:Astirmays
http://en.vikidia.org

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-12 Thread Mark

On 2/12/14, 10:55 PM, Mathias Damour wrote:
I like that initiatives such as the individual-engagement grants, 
user-group recognition, etc. are opening up more avenues for 
Wikimedian organizations, organized along different lines, to find a 
more recognized (and funded) role in the movement.


I like them too, saved I want it to be supervised by my chapter rather 
than the WMF !


Mark, may you disclose which country you are from/live in ? I am 
from France, living in France. 


Since you asked: I am Greek by ethnicity, I live in Denmark, and I 
mostly grew up in the USA. So I guess, no one country? That is part of 
what causes my discomfort with nation-state-based organizations, because 
I fit in none of them particularly well. Should I orient my activities 
under Wikimedia Denmark, where I live? But I am not Danish, and I speak 
the language poorly. Maybe Wikimedia Greece? I don't live there, and 
haven't really in a long time, though I do speak Greek and have the 
right genetics. Maybe some kind of Wikimedia USA? I don't live there 
either, though I used to, and I do speak English well. What I feel most 
comfortable in is a global movement that does not require me to prove 
allegiance/membership in any particular country; deciding which country 
my Wikimedia participation belongs to seems decidedly unhelpful, for me 
personally.


In other projects this doesn't seem to be as big of a deal. I'm a heavy 
participant in OpenStreetMap, which is an organization legally based in 
the UK. That's a country I have no connection to at all. But it doesn't 
really matter, because the OSM Foundation does things I benefit from, 
since they aren't really UK-specific: they maintain the servers, 
maintain and develop the software, look after the legal situation of the 
project, etc. As a map editor, I have no complaints with their 
stewardship of the core project. Of course, actual mapping activities 
happen on a distributed basis (it is difficult to map Denmark well, if 
you don't live here), but that doesn't mean there is anything wrong with 
letting the UK organization continue to manage maintenance of the 
servers and software.


-Mark


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-12 Thread Gerard Meijssen
Hoi,
Yes, people employed by the WMF working from outside the USA exis. They are
very much part of what WMF does and, there is no trickle back to the
local countries really. They are part of the WMF structure and their
priorities are the WMF priorities.

There is a huge potential outside the USA and I am sorry but this is not
reflected in the way priorities are set, programmes are developed,
technology is assessed and implemented. While I do agree that many of the
arguments made for programmes are sound, there is this lack of focus for
what the relevance is outside of the USA/ English speaking world and it
effectively prevents many things from happening on our shared globe.
Thanks,
 GerardM


On 12 February 2014 18:01, Delirium delir...@hackish.org wrote:

 On 2/11/14, 9:14 AM, Gerard Meijssen wrote:

 There are two areas where the Wikimedia Foundation is active; the USA
 where
 it is active through both chapters and the office in San Francisco. The
 rest of the world where it is active through chapters and whatever.

  Well, you did leave out a few of the countries in the WMF is active,
 mainly by paying staff located there to work on things ranging from the
 Visual Editor to core MediaWiki development to internationalization to
 analytics: Netherlands, Spain, Canada, Austria, Australia, UK, Czech
 Republic, Croatia, Israel, India, Finland...

 -Mark



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-11 Thread phoebe ayers
On Mon, Feb 10, 2014 at 11:46 PM, phoebe ayers phoebe.w...@gmail.comwrote:


 On Mon, Feb 10, 2014 at 10:30 PM, rupert THURNER rupert.thur...@gmail.com
  wrote:

 pheobe, concerning your motion to vote saying:
wikimedia foundation grows, the affiliated organisations do not grow
the affiliated organisations are recommended to seek other funding
 (which the foundation did try and did not succeed very well)
 i am disappointed personally by you. you as a person, you as an american,
 and you as a board member of the foundation. especially about your
 inability to grasp international cultural differences in terms of funding,
 fundraising.


 I'm sorry you're disappointed in me.



 because trust is mentioned: the FAQ and the minutes are written by a
 lawyer now, who has maximum 300 wikipedia edits as his lifetime
 achievement. https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l



 Just so it's clear -- Stephen *posted* the FAQ and minutes for us -- he
 helps out the board by posting documents and taking minutes during the
 meeting -- but the decisions, and the FAQ, were written by members of the
 board in what I can promise was a highly collaborative process :)

 That said, I find it strange that you would accuse him of anything. Not
 that it matters, but in his free time he's been volunteering with Wikipedia
 events, coding and editing for years. Regardless, though, he was just doing
 his job here -- as requested *by the board*, and specifically by me  -- so
 please lay off the criticism of him. I have nothing but respect for our
 ultra-hard-working LCA team.

 -- phoebe

 Also, I just have to point out, having lots of edits is obviously no
guarantee of wisdom anyway -- I have 20K edits under my belt, and you still
think I make terrible decisions :)

-- phoebe



-- 
* I use this address for lists; send personal messages to phoebe.ayers at
gmail.com *
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-11 Thread Itzik Edri
What I can say about this new-old not surprising decision?
When WMDE posted their feedback about the FDC, the responses from the
board/fdc was wait, we want to finish 2 years cycle and then talk about
the it. Of course it didn't stopped the WMF, before having such a
discussion, to decide and limit already from now the future of this
process. the process itself without a budget or ability to grove, makes the
FDC kind of powerless, having to face him over the next 2 year with a
really hard decisions about really limiting the allocation for the
chapters, without of course, having enough time, knowledge or resources for
them to prepare for self fundraising.

I have a lot what to say about it, but from a past experience from the
board's letters i believe it will end with 1000 emails on this list, but
nothing will be change, so I'll save my time. I'll just again doubt why we
reached for such a decision, without open call for comment before.



On Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 7:33 AM, phoebe ayers phoebe.w...@gmail.com wrote:

 Hi all,

 I want to draw your attention to two Wikimedia Board of Trustees decisions
 that were recently published, regarding funds allocated to the FDC/Annual
 plan grant process and Board approval of chapter/thematic organization
 status. In a nutshell, the Board decided to allocate approximately the same
 amount of funding to the FDC for the next two years. The Board also decided
 that new organizations should first form as a user group and have two years
 of programmatic experience before being approved as a legally incorporated
 entity (either a chapter or thematic organization).

 The decisions are published in the meeting minutes here:
 https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Minutes/2013-11-24#Movement_roles

 There is also a FAQ on Meta:
 https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Movement_roles_FAQ

 You will notice these decisions are published in the minutes for the
 November meeting. We originally took these decisions at that meeting;
 however as the FAQ explains it took us some time to talk to community
 groups, clarify our wording and write the FAQ.

 Hopefully the FAQ will answer many of your questions about these decisions;
 however, if there are other questions please do ask them, here or on the
 meta talk page. Thank you!

 for the Board,
 Phoebe
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-11 Thread Federico Leva (Nemo)

phoebe ayers, 11/02/2014 06:33:

The Board also decided
that new organizations should first form as a user group and have two years
of programmatic experience before being approved as a legally incorporated
entity (either a chapter or thematic organization).


A very unfortunate slowdown. What a pity that the new movement roles 
mechanism only results in additional burdens for new chapters.


Nemo

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-11 Thread Anders Wennersten


Itzik Edri skrev 2014-02-11 09:26:

  makes the FDC kind of powerless, having to face him over the next 2 year with 
a
really hard decisions about really limiting the allocation for the
chapters, without of course, having enough time, knowledge or resources for
them to prepare for self fundraising.
FDC is a subcommittee to the Board and our prime input is the directives 
and guidelines from the Board and the FDC framework. This decision does 
not change this or the role or work of FDC. And limiting allocation we 
have already done in three Rounds ;)


I personally am not happy with this decision, mainly because it, as it 
is written,  seems to limit the possibilities of growth in new and 
emerging entities that can give results with good impact for the 
movement locally. But it is nine months until it will come into actual 
effect and with some clever thinking and discussion among all of us, I 
think it would be possible to come to allocations that will mean a cap 
on growth at the same time as we can give proper support to the newer 
entities


Anders







On Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 7:33 AM, phoebe ayers phoebe.w...@gmail.com wrote:


Hi all,

I want to draw your attention to two Wikimedia Board of Trustees decisions
that were recently published, regarding funds allocated to the FDC/Annual
plan grant process and Board approval of chapter/thematic organization
status. In a nutshell, the Board decided to allocate approximately the same
amount of funding to the FDC for the next two years. The Board also decided
that new organizations should first form as a user group and have two years
of programmatic experience before being approved as a legally incorporated
entity (either a chapter or thematic organization).

The decisions are published in the meeting minutes here:
https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Minutes/2013-11-24#Movement_roles

There is also a FAQ on Meta:
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Movement_roles_FAQ

You will notice these decisions are published in the minutes for the
November meeting. We originally took these decisions at that meeting;
however as the FAQ explains it took us some time to talk to community
groups, clarify our wording and write the FAQ.

Hopefully the FAQ will answer many of your questions about these decisions;
however, if there are other questions please do ask them, here or on the
meta talk page. Thank you!

for the Board,
Phoebe
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-11 Thread Frédéric Schütz
On 11/02/14 09:03, phoebe ayers wrote:

Hi Phoebe,

thanks for your answer !

 It is indeed up to the WMF to decide the conditions a group must have
 achieved before being recognized as a chapter or thematic organization.
 However, this is an assessment at a given point in time. How the group
 actually got there should have no influence on the result.

 
 Should it not? I think we disagree on that point. We want the group to do
 stuff, to have a great track record, to show some evidence that they will
 stay active if we call them a Wikimedia chapter -- not just to prove that
 they have a good lawyer in the group who can draw up bylaws. (That's the
 crux of the matter, not the user group label, as far as I'm concerned).

What you say makes a lot of sense, but it is disconnected from the
actual decision. Your decision is not you should have a good track
record, it is you should have a good track record AND NOT have bylaws.

What I understand the board is saying is: if you have a fantastic track
record over the past two years, and you have successfully incorporated
two years ago, and have maybe even managed somehow to attract external
funding to conduct your projects, then sorry, this is exactly the kind
of organization we do *not* want as a Wikimedia chapter or thematic
organization.

How can this possibly be something positive for the movement ?

 I see that the WMF ED suggested the change, and that it was not endorsed
 by the Affcom (which is interesting in itself). But why doesn't the
 community have a chance to comment on how it should organize itself ?

I'd love to hear your comment about this point. Agreeing with Itzik, I
don't really understand why we are having this discussion after the
discussion has already been made (and, indeed, will not change whatever
amount of discussion we have) and not before.

 What if a user group doesn't make sense for us? We want to do a specific
 project, and really feel we need chapter or thematic organization status
 for our situation.
 
 Please tell us what part of user group status is problematic, and for what
 reasons. We do not want to hinder planned or ambitious projects; we also do
 not know of any current cases where this would be a problem.
 
 Really, if you or anyone is forming a group, has some projects planned, and

I am not; I am lucky enough to be a founding member of a (successful, I
hope) Wikimedia chapter that managed to exist *thanks to the absence of
such a policy*, and would likely not be where it is if it had had to be
created under such arbitrary constraints. Creating the formal structure
is what got people together; Switzerland is a land of associations (most
Swiss people are members of several of them) and that's how we work.

However, I am not a fan of saying I am happy because I managed to form
a group when it was easy to do so, so now I don't care about what
happens next for other people.

 thinks the user group framework absolutely won't work -- well, let us know.
 We are not unreasonable heartless people! But we are trying to get us all
 on a different footing in how we view incorporation of groups.

The burden of the proof should be on the WMF board to explain why this
proposal makes sense, and what positive outcome it brings to the
community -- not on motivated community members who have to beg to get
exceptions.

I don't think I have seen much concrete rationale for this decision
beyond vague comments and concerns which I can only call patronizing
(hey, users, we know how you should spend your time and organize
yourself; no, no, don't think about creating a formal structure, it is
bad for your health. And bad for the movement; will anyone think of the
movement ?)

As a side note, this is the only point that I will keep from Rupert's
email: this decision completely ignores international cultural
differences in terms of funding, fundraising and organization in
general. Indeed, in a quote above, you talk about good lawyer in the
group who can draw up bylaws; this reinforces the incorrect premise
your decision is based on: that incorporation is a complicated and
bureaucratic process that should be avoided. And this is something that
can not be decided globally.

Frédéric

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-11 Thread Jan-Bart de Vreede
Dear Frederic,


On 11 Feb 2014, at 10:44, Frédéric Schütz sch...@mathgen.ch wrote:

 On 11/02/14 09:03, phoebe ayers wrote:
 
 Hi Phoebe,
 
 thanks for your answer !
 
 It is indeed up to the WMF to decide the conditions a group must have
 achieved before being recognized as a chapter or thematic organization.
 However, this is an assessment at a given point in time. How the group
 actually got there should have no influence on the result.
 
 
 Should it not? I think we disagree on that point. We want the group to do
 stuff, to have a great track record, to show some evidence that they will
 stay active if we call them a Wikimedia chapter -- not just to prove that
 they have a good lawyer in the group who can draw up bylaws. (That's the
 crux of the matter, not the user group label, as far as I'm concerned).
 
 What you say makes a lot of sense, but it is disconnected from the
 actual decision. Your decision is not you should have a good track
 record, it is you should have a good track record AND NOT have bylaws.
 
 What I understand the board is saying is: if you have a fantastic track
 record over the past two years, and you have successfully incorporated
 two years ago, and have maybe even managed somehow to attract external
 funding to conduct your projects, then sorry, this is exactly the kind
 of organization we do *not* want as a Wikimedia chapter or thematic
 organization.
 
 How can this possibly be something positive for the movement ?

I think you misunderstand us, can you tell me where you got this impression, 
because it is the wrong one. We are saying that a track record is important, 
and much more important that the previous focus on having bylaws. This because 
we know that a proven track record is a very good indicator of the chances of 
succes of a chapter or thematic organisation. 

 
 I see that the WMF ED suggested the change, and that it was not endorsed
 by the Affcom (which is interesting in itself). But why doesn't the
 community have a chance to comment on how it should organize itself ?
 
 I'd love to hear your comment about this point. Agreeing with Itzik, I
 don't really understand why we are having this discussion after the
 discussion has already been made (and, indeed, will not change whatever
 amount of discussion we have) and not before.

Its not like the community does not have a chance to comment on how it should 
organise itself. There are several ways to organise yourself (including the 
user group entity which can benefit greatly from the recently improved 
trademark policy). The board has indicated that there is now an additional 
requirement for becoming a chapter/thematic organisation, which is just ONE way 
of organising yourself. The chapter/thematic choice brings with it a lot of 
responsibility and we feel that our measure will help us fulfil our 
responsibility of being able to approve both chapters and thematic 
organisations while adhering to our governance responsibility.

For the record: The board took the feedback from both the AffCom and FDC into 
account and then made its decision, based on factors that were really the 
responsibility of the board. I respect the volunteers within both committees 
tremendously, but it in the end it really was a decision which was taken while 
taking into account the entire picture (pieces of which were provided by the 
Affcom and FDC). 

SNIP

 
 thinks the user group framework absolutely won't work -- well, let us know.
 We are not unreasonable heartless people! But we are trying to get us all
 on a different footing in how we view incorporation of groups.
 
 The burden of the proof should be on the WMF board to explain why this
 proposal makes sense, and what positive outcome it brings to the
 community -- not on motivated community members who have to beg to get
 exceptions.

Hmmm…. I would say that 
1) We made a decision in which we took several factors into account 
2) We recognise that there might be situations which we might not have taken 
into account and we invite you to let us know it you think this is the case.

would be better than the alternative of not being open to feedback about the 
decision’s impact in specific cases.


 
 I don't think I have seen much concrete rationale for this decision
 beyond vague comments and concerns which I can only call patronizing
 (hey, users, we know how you should spend your time and organize
 yourself; no, no, don't think about creating a formal structure, it is
 bad for your health. And bad for the movement; will anyone think of the
 movement ?”)

I really think that the FAQ gives a pretty good indication. What concerns me 
(and other board members) is the fact that there is a natural tendency to 
incorporate a group of volunteers into a chapter or thematic organisation even 
if there is no real track record or a good reason to want to do so (especially 
since the revised trademark policy gives user groups much more freedom to make 
use of the trademarks). Chapters 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-11 Thread Cynthia Ashley-Nelson
Consensus indicates that the implementation of this decision will greatly
hinder the work of affiliates.It may help to disclose the initial problem
statement presented to the Board, which resulted in the establishment of
these new guidelines.What resolution is the Board seeking to achieve? In
the Board discussion that took place, were there other options presented?
If so, can the Board disclose what these were and why they were
disregarded? How will the implementation of this decision bring about
progress and benefit the movement on a global basis?

Best regards,

Cynthia Ashley-Nelson


On Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 5:36 AM, Jan-Bart de Vreede jdevre...@wikimedia.org
 wrote:

 Dear Frederic,


 On 11 Feb 2014, at 10:44, Frédéric Schütz sch...@mathgen.ch wrote:

  On 11/02/14 09:03, phoebe ayers wrote:
 
  Hi Phoebe,
 
  thanks for your answer !
 
  It is indeed up to the WMF to decide the conditions a group must have
  achieved before being recognized as a chapter or thematic organization.
  However, this is an assessment at a given point in time. How the group
  actually got there should have no influence on the result.
 
 
  Should it not? I think we disagree on that point. We want the group to
 do
  stuff, to have a great track record, to show some evidence that they
 will
  stay active if we call them a Wikimedia chapter -- not just to prove
 that
  they have a good lawyer in the group who can draw up bylaws. (That's the
  crux of the matter, not the user group label, as far as I'm
 concerned).
 
  What you say makes a lot of sense, but it is disconnected from the
  actual decision. Your decision is not you should have a good track
  record, it is you should have a good track record AND NOT have bylaws.
 
  What I understand the board is saying is: if you have a fantastic track
  record over the past two years, and you have successfully incorporated
  two years ago, and have maybe even managed somehow to attract external
  funding to conduct your projects, then sorry, this is exactly the kind
  of organization we do *not* want as a Wikimedia chapter or thematic
  organization.
 
  How can this possibly be something positive for the movement ?

 I think you misunderstand us, can you tell me where you got this
 impression, because it is the wrong one. We are saying that a track record
 is important, and much more important that the previous focus on having
 bylaws. This because we know that a proven track record is a very good
 indicator of the chances of succes of a chapter or thematic organisation.

 
  I see that the WMF ED suggested the change, and that it was not
 endorsed
  by the Affcom (which is interesting in itself). But why doesn't the
  community have a chance to comment on how it should organize itself ?
 
  I'd love to hear your comment about this point. Agreeing with Itzik, I
  don't really understand why we are having this discussion after the
  discussion has already been made (and, indeed, will not change whatever
  amount of discussion we have) and not before.

 Its not like the community does not have a chance to comment on how it
 should organise itself. There are several ways to organise yourself
 (including the user group entity which can benefit greatly from the
 recently improved trademark policy). The board has indicated that there is
 now an additional requirement for becoming a chapter/thematic organisation,
 which is just ONE way of organising yourself. The chapter/thematic choice
 brings with it a lot of responsibility and we feel that our measure will
 help us fulfil our responsibility of being able to approve both chapters
 and thematic organisations while adhering to our governance responsibility.

 For the record: The board took the feedback from both the AffCom and FDC
 into account and then made its decision, based on factors that were really
 the responsibility of the board. I respect the volunteers within both
 committees tremendously, but it in the end it really was a decision which
 was taken while taking into account the entire picture (pieces of which
 were provided by the Affcom and FDC).

 SNIP

 
  thinks the user group framework absolutely won't work -- well, let us
 know.
  We are not unreasonable heartless people! But we are trying to get us
 all
  on a different footing in how we view incorporation of groups.
 
  The burden of the proof should be on the WMF board to explain why this
  proposal makes sense, and what positive outcome it brings to the
  community -- not on motivated community members who have to beg to get
  exceptions.

 Hmmm I would say that
 1) We made a decision in which we took several factors into account
 2) We recognise that there might be situations which we might not have
 taken into account and we invite you to let us know it you think this is
 the case.

 would be better than the alternative of not being open to feedback about
 the decision's impact in specific cases.


 
  I don't think I have seen much concrete rationale for 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-11 Thread Risker
Not to be nit-picky, but what consensus would that be, Cynthia?  The
board's consensus is reflected in the decision. There's almost no public
discussion of this outside of this specific thread on a mailing list (a
grand total of two comments on the talk page of the FAQ, as I write), so
I'm not sure which consensus you're speaking of.

Risker/Anne


On 11 February 2014 12:59, Cynthia Ashley-Nelson cindam...@gmail.comwrote:

 Consensus indicates that the implementation of this decision will greatly
 hinder the work of affiliates.It may help to disclose the initial problem
 statement presented to the Board, which resulted in the establishment of
 these new guidelines.What resolution is the Board seeking to achieve? In
 the Board discussion that took place, were there other options presented?
 If so, can the Board disclose what these were and why they were
 disregarded? How will the implementation of this decision bring about
 progress and benefit the movement on a global basis?

 Best regards,

 Cynthia Ashley-Nelson


 On Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 5:36 AM, Jan-Bart de Vreede 
 jdevre...@wikimedia.org
  wrote:

  Dear Frederic,
 
 
  On 11 Feb 2014, at 10:44, Frédéric Schütz sch...@mathgen.ch wrote:
 
   On 11/02/14 09:03, phoebe ayers wrote:
  
   Hi Phoebe,
  
   thanks for your answer !
  
   It is indeed up to the WMF to decide the conditions a group must have
   achieved before being recognized as a chapter or thematic
 organization.
   However, this is an assessment at a given point in time. How the
 group
   actually got there should have no influence on the result.
  
  
   Should it not? I think we disagree on that point. We want the group to
  do
   stuff, to have a great track record, to show some evidence that they
  will
   stay active if we call them a Wikimedia chapter -- not just to prove
  that
   they have a good lawyer in the group who can draw up bylaws. (That's
 the
   crux of the matter, not the user group label, as far as I'm
  concerned).
  
   What you say makes a lot of sense, but it is disconnected from the
   actual decision. Your decision is not you should have a good track
   record, it is you should have a good track record AND NOT have
 bylaws.
  
   What I understand the board is saying is: if you have a fantastic
 track
   record over the past two years, and you have successfully incorporated
   two years ago, and have maybe even managed somehow to attract external
   funding to conduct your projects, then sorry, this is exactly the kind
   of organization we do *not* want as a Wikimedia chapter or thematic
   organization.
  
   How can this possibly be something positive for the movement ?
 
  I think you misunderstand us, can you tell me where you got this
  impression, because it is the wrong one. We are saying that a track
 record
  is important, and much more important that the previous focus on having
  bylaws. This because we know that a proven track record is a very good
  indicator of the chances of succes of a chapter or thematic organisation.
 
  
   I see that the WMF ED suggested the change, and that it was not
  endorsed
   by the Affcom (which is interesting in itself). But why doesn't the
   community have a chance to comment on how it should organize itself ?
  
   I'd love to hear your comment about this point. Agreeing with Itzik, I
   don't really understand why we are having this discussion after the
   discussion has already been made (and, indeed, will not change whatever
   amount of discussion we have) and not before.
 
  Its not like the community does not have a chance to comment on how it
  should organise itself. There are several ways to organise yourself
  (including the user group entity which can benefit greatly from the
  recently improved trademark policy). The board has indicated that there
 is
  now an additional requirement for becoming a chapter/thematic
 organisation,
  which is just ONE way of organising yourself. The chapter/thematic choice
  brings with it a lot of responsibility and we feel that our measure will
  help us fulfil our responsibility of being able to approve both chapters
  and thematic organisations while adhering to our governance
 responsibility.
 
  For the record: The board took the feedback from both the AffCom and FDC
  into account and then made its decision, based on factors that were
 really
  the responsibility of the board. I respect the volunteers within both
  committees tremendously, but it in the end it really was a decision which
  was taken while taking into account the entire picture (pieces of which
  were provided by the Affcom and FDC).
 
  SNIP
 
  
   thinks the user group framework absolutely won't work -- well, let us
  know.
   We are not unreasonable heartless people! But we are trying to get us
  all
   on a different footing in how we view incorporation of groups.
  
   The burden of the proof should be on the WMF board to explain why this
   proposal makes sense, and what positive outcome it 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-11 Thread Cynthia Ashley-Nelson
Yes, I agree that the consensus of the Board is clear. I'm referring to the
current consensus of the community, i.e., the feedback being received about
this decision.

Cynthia


On Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 10:14 AM, Risker risker...@gmail.com wrote:

 Not to be nit-picky, but what consensus would that be, Cynthia?  The
 board's consensus is reflected in the decision. There's almost no public
 discussion of this outside of this specific thread on a mailing list (a
 grand total of two comments on the talk page of the FAQ, as I write), so
 I'm not sure which consensus you're speaking of.

 Risker/Anne


 On 11 February 2014 12:59, Cynthia Ashley-Nelson cindam...@gmail.com
 wrote:

  Consensus indicates that the implementation of this decision will greatly
  hinder the work of affiliates.It may help to disclose the initial problem
  statement presented to the Board, which resulted in the establishment of
  these new guidelines.What resolution is the Board seeking to achieve? In
  the Board discussion that took place, were there other options presented?
  If so, can the Board disclose what these were and why they were
  disregarded? How will the implementation of this decision bring about
  progress and benefit the movement on a global basis?
 
  Best regards,
 
  Cynthia Ashley-Nelson
 
 
  On Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 5:36 AM, Jan-Bart de Vreede 
  jdevre...@wikimedia.org
   wrote:
 
   Dear Frederic,
  
  
   On 11 Feb 2014, at 10:44, Frédéric Schütz sch...@mathgen.ch wrote:
  
On 11/02/14 09:03, phoebe ayers wrote:
   
Hi Phoebe,
   
thanks for your answer !
   
It is indeed up to the WMF to decide the conditions a group must
 have
achieved before being recognized as a chapter or thematic
  organization.
However, this is an assessment at a given point in time. How the
  group
actually got there should have no influence on the result.
   
   
Should it not? I think we disagree on that point. We want the group
 to
   do
stuff, to have a great track record, to show some evidence that they
   will
stay active if we call them a Wikimedia chapter -- not just to prove
   that
they have a good lawyer in the group who can draw up bylaws. (That's
  the
crux of the matter, not the user group label, as far as I'm
   concerned).
   
What you say makes a lot of sense, but it is disconnected from the
actual decision. Your decision is not you should have a good track
record, it is you should have a good track record AND NOT have
  bylaws.
   
What I understand the board is saying is: if you have a fantastic
  track
record over the past two years, and you have successfully
 incorporated
two years ago, and have maybe even managed somehow to attract
 external
funding to conduct your projects, then sorry, this is exactly the
 kind
of organization we do *not* want as a Wikimedia chapter or thematic
organization.
   
How can this possibly be something positive for the movement ?
  
   I think you misunderstand us, can you tell me where you got this
   impression, because it is the wrong one. We are saying that a track
  record
   is important, and much more important that the previous focus on having
   bylaws. This because we know that a proven track record is a very good
   indicator of the chances of succes of a chapter or thematic
 organisation.
  
   
I see that the WMF ED suggested the change, and that it was not
   endorsed
by the Affcom (which is interesting in itself). But why doesn't the
community have a chance to comment on how it should organize
 itself ?
   
I'd love to hear your comment about this point. Agreeing with Itzik,
 I
don't really understand why we are having this discussion after the
discussion has already been made (and, indeed, will not change
 whatever
amount of discussion we have) and not before.
  
   Its not like the community does not have a chance to comment on how it
   should organise itself. There are several ways to organise yourself
   (including the user group entity which can benefit greatly from the
   recently improved trademark policy). The board has indicated that there
  is
   now an additional requirement for becoming a chapter/thematic
  organisation,
   which is just ONE way of organising yourself. The chapter/thematic
 choice
   brings with it a lot of responsibility and we feel that our measure
 will
   help us fulfil our responsibility of being able to approve both
 chapters
   and thematic organisations while adhering to our governance
  responsibility.
  
   For the record: The board took the feedback from both the AffCom and
 FDC
   into account and then made its decision, based on factors that were
  really
   the responsibility of the board. I respect the volunteers within both
   committees tremendously, but it in the end it really was a decision
 which
   was taken while taking into account the entire picture (pieces of which
   were provided by the Affcom and FDC).

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-11 Thread Gregory Varnum
While AffCom will likely be making an official statement later, I am having
a hard time not chiming in and I do think it is worth pointing out that
AffCom was not consulted in a manner I think most of us would have imagined
occurring. I have noticed it mentioned a few times that our feedback was
taken into consideration, but that may give the wrong idea of what happened.

While it is true we provided feedback before the decision was made, I would
not consider it consulting with us or even communicating with AffCom in a
way that allowed us to provide the level of feedback I think the community
has come to expect. Frankly we got a lot of our information second-hand,
and am still not sure personally we know the full story. My personal
expectation would have involved a lot more communication before the
decision was made, and most importantly, some two-way dialogue. At the very
least I think the chairs of FDC and AffCom should have been looped into
parts of the conversation during the meeting.

I think it is fair to say that AffCom got notice before the broader
community, and we had opportunities to express our concerns and objections
- however I would not characterize it as a conversation or true feedback
gathering. I am not personally convinced it was taken into much
consideration as the people proposing this bad idea were physically there
to speak to their idea, but no one opposed to it was invited. My
understanding is the same was true for FDC - but I obviously cannot speak
to that.

Aside from my disappointment in the decision, I am perhaps even more
disappointed with the process. Without going into lengthy details, I was
not impressed with how AffCom was consulted on this (or not consulted
depending on your take) and frankly the board's attitude I think calls into
question their true interest in utilizing FDC and AffCom as actual advisors
to the board. In a world and movement so woven into technology, the notion
that we could not bring some advisors in for parts of these meetings just
doesn't make sense to me. I recognize that has not generally been done, but
that seems like something to change and not a pattern to stay within.

I also want to be clear that I have a lot of empathy for the board, these
are difficult roles, and I think the people in them are genuinely trying
their best. I like them all on a personal level, and am confident these
disagrees won't harm that. I also know that while the board stands united,
these decisions are not privately made without debate. However, they are
our board and I think sharing concerns like this is a healthy part of the
process. Some of the tone people have taken on this thread is less helpful,
and I hope we can get it back on a more civil track.

-greg

PS. I send this a volunteer and not wearing any official AffCom or WM
anything hat (although that hat obviously formed my opinion).


On Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 12:59 PM, Cynthia Ashley-Nelson cindam...@gmail.com
 wrote:

 Consensus indicates that the implementation of this decision will greatly
 hinder the work of affiliates.It may help to disclose the initial problem
 statement presented to the Board, which resulted in the establishment of
 these new guidelines.What resolution is the Board seeking to achieve? In
 the Board discussion that took place, were there other options presented?
 If so, can the Board disclose what these were and why they were
 disregarded? How will the implementation of this decision bring about
 progress and benefit the movement on a global basis?

 Best regards,

 Cynthia Ashley-Nelson


 On Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 5:36 AM, Jan-Bart de Vreede 
 jdevre...@wikimedia.org
  wrote:

  Dear Frederic,
 
 
  On 11 Feb 2014, at 10:44, Frédéric Schütz sch...@mathgen.ch wrote:
 
   On 11/02/14 09:03, phoebe ayers wrote:
  
   Hi Phoebe,
  
   thanks for your answer !
  
   It is indeed up to the WMF to decide the conditions a group must have
   achieved before being recognized as a chapter or thematic
 organization.
   However, this is an assessment at a given point in time. How the
 group
   actually got there should have no influence on the result.
  
  
   Should it not? I think we disagree on that point. We want the group to
  do
   stuff, to have a great track record, to show some evidence that they
  will
   stay active if we call them a Wikimedia chapter -- not just to prove
  that
   they have a good lawyer in the group who can draw up bylaws. (That's
 the
   crux of the matter, not the user group label, as far as I'm
  concerned).
  
   What you say makes a lot of sense, but it is disconnected from the
   actual decision. Your decision is not you should have a good track
   record, it is you should have a good track record AND NOT have
 bylaws.
  
   What I understand the board is saying is: if you have a fantastic
 track
   record over the past two years, and you have successfully incorporated
   two years ago, and have maybe even managed somehow to attract external
   funding to conduct your 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-11 Thread Samuel Klein
Hello Frédéric, a quick comment:

On Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 4:44 AM, Frédéric Schütz sch...@mathgen.ch wrote:
 Your decision is not you should have a good track
 record, it is you should have a good track record AND NOT have bylaws.

Bylaws are fine, whatever makes sense for each group; just not mandatory.
The Board is looking for two years of active work when recognizing entities.

The WMF also wants to let all groups have easier access to trademarks
and funds.  This is what user groups were designed to allow, with
minimal overhead.  These two ideas were combined into be a user group
for two years.

Sam.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-11 Thread Nicole Ebber
Dear members of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees, dear Wikimedians,

I would like to share a few thoughts and questions with you. Thoughts
and questions that I would love to see being addressed when talking
about these movement issues. I have the feeling that this substantial
decision is coming somewhat out of the blue, without a prior
discussion among the broader movement – at least none that I am aware
of. It would be helpful if you can provide some insights into the
bigger picture or broader evaluation these decisions are based upon.

== User Groups ==
Not only two years ago, two new movement affiliate models were
introduced, resulting from an extensive, transparent and collaborative
process that involved all movement stakeholders. The current decision
kind of neglects this process, the people involved, and its outcome.

At first sight, I can understand your approach of giving UGs time to
develop governance as well as structures and experiment with their
capacities. But since there is hardly any structured support for these
young and aspiring volunteer groups to grow, to develop and to become
trusted partners, I fear that time alone won’t do the trick.

Defining affiliates’ goals and providing guidance for development
paths are inevitable tasks for a healthy movement, but it remains
completely unclear who has (or should have) a mandate for this
support. Without securing this support and empowerment, our movement
might miss the unique chance to uncover the treasures of Free
Knowledge around the world.

The most pressing question here remains: In an ideal world, how would
an organization model for Wikimedia look like? And does the
restriction of choices for affiliations' models help us to reach this
goal? I’ve got the impression that this step is more a patch for the
symptoms, while we as a movement should strive for a fix for a – yet
unspecified – “problem”.

== FDC funding ==
Similar questions arise regarding the FDC freeze. Why now? Wouldn’t it
make sense to wait for the FDC Advisory Group, who is charged with
reviewing and evaluating the funds dissemination process as a whole?
Do we have to understand this decision as a declaration of bankruptcy
of the FDC process already? Which data is this freeze based upon?

For a young movement like ours, with a cause that is so new and
unique, how can we even dare not to invest into exploring new
territory, into finding the right things to do? Why do we not embrace
all the exciting projects that the affiliate volunteers and staff are
offering to our movement, and which fulfill our common mission?
Together, we have to figure out the best balance between
effectiveness-driven and money-driven decisions. We need to define
what is meant by “healthy growth”, taking different circumstances and
stages of development into account. The Wikimedia movement is in the
luxury position that our donors generously support our endeavors, they
trust us with our efforts to advance our mission, and I wonder if it
is reasonable if we artificially limit the support that is available
to our global movement.

Our whole grantmaking process is unique, we are pioneers within the
non-profit world. And the same goes for the evaluation of our work. Of
course, we are all – big and small – facing growing pains and need to
scrutinize our processes over and over again. Does retracting from
this experiment at such an early stage, without proper assessment and
evaluation, reflect our movement’s culture of being bold and
innovative?

What also puzzles me is the fact that on the one hand your decision
encourages affiliates to seek funding from outside sources, but on the
other hand speaks against building structures. One of the reasons for
centralizing the fundraising in 2012 was the argument that chapters
should focus on their work and leave the collection of funds to the
WMF. Now that they have lost their capability and skills for raising
funds, you not only ask affiliates and volunteer groups to start
building up these capacities again, you also put them in jeopardy of
becoming dependent from corporations, governments and other sponsors
that we as a movement hardly have any control over. Would it not be a
good idea to at least support the process and make WMF funds available
to build up structures for a sustainable external fundraising, full of
integrity?

== Outlook ==
My hope is that these decisions can serve as an initial spark to bring
all involved parties together and frankly (I mean it!) discuss
questions relevant for the future of our movement and the
organizational structures that benefit our mission in the most
effective way. I see several occasions in the not too distant future,
for example:

In the FAQ, you are referring to the strategy process as the place to
discuss and solve all these issues. It would be really helpful to know
more about this process and the involvement of the different movement
stakeholders.

Some of the topics covered in the decisions and FAQs are already 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-11 Thread Gregory Varnum
One of the (many) problems that I have with this is that it both makes
these user groups more dependent on movement funds for a longer period of
time, but then caps those funds in the same decision. It is easy to tell
the org to just find some outside funding (which is mentioned in the FAQ) -
except that the user groups do not have the same legal status and that will
make it essentially impossible to get outside funding. So we will either
have incorporated user groups, which we seem to want to avoid, underfunded
projects, or greater competition for a pool of funds that has increasing
demand but no increase in supply. As a professional nonprofit fundraiser,
the combination of these two decisions seems so contradictory it makes my
head hurt.  Asking these groups to become dependent on WMF funds in their
first years seems contrary to serving the donors long-term. Shouldn't we be
helping these groups diversify their income and become less dependent on
movement funds? If that is the cause, then new projects that have a large
scope and potential for outside revenue are harmed greatly by this decision.

While the board's support for this decision was not universal, opposition
to it from AffCom and FDC seems to be pretty universal. I wish that was
taken into greater consideration by the board. I know they said they did -
but I just don't believe that based on the timeline and what I witnessed
personally. As the volunteers who work and deal with these topics weekly,
it is very dismaying that our opinions were given second class treatment
behind those offered by the staff (or so it appears from my perspective - I
would be happy to be corrected on that). I would like for the board at some
point to address how it will better handle things like this in the future.
I recognize the staff will always have greater access to the board than FDC
and AffCom - but what is the point of calling them advisory groups if the
board treats them more like grunts and not advisors. I do not accept the
premise that this decision would have been delayed, hindered, or harmed in
any way by Skyping in the chairs of FDC and AffCom to speak to this topic
as it was being presented by the staff. There is still not clarity on how
that even happened, or what materials were presented. I am told there was
supporting evidence, but I have yet to see it. Why was the documentation
presented by the staff not shared with AffCom and FDC while our comments
were shared with the staff? Are we misunderstanding how this happened? If
so, why has that not been made clearer by now? Was FDC officially asked to
provide feedback (AffCom offered it without being asked)? If not, why not?
Did the board not think this was a big change? With so much care put into
other decisions, why was this one done so quietly and internally?

-greg


On Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 3:18 PM, Samuel Klein meta...@gmail.com wrote:

 Hello Frédéric, a quick comment:

 On Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 4:44 AM, Frédéric Schütz sch...@mathgen.ch
 wrote:
  Your decision is not you should have a good track
  record, it is you should have a good track record AND NOT have bylaws.

 Bylaws are fine, whatever makes sense for each group; just not mandatory.
 The Board is looking for two years of active work when recognizing
 entities.

 The WMF also wants to let all groups have easier access to trademarks
 and funds.  This is what user groups were designed to allow, with
 minimal overhead.  These two ideas were combined into be a user group
 for two years.

 Sam.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-11 Thread phoebe ayers
On Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 12:43 PM, Gregory Varnum
gregory.var...@gmail.comwrote:

 One of the (many) problems that I have with this is that it both makes
 these user groups more dependent on movement funds for a longer period of
 time, but then caps those funds in the same decision.


One quick correction: we're not capping grant funds for all grant programs,
just the FDC process, which user groups aren't part of (neither are all --
or even most -- existing chapters). User groups can definitely (and
should!) apply for grants through the other grant processes.

Thanks for the constructive emails from all, and I will try to send some
longer replies later today or tonight.

-- phoebe
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-11 Thread Cristian Consonni
2014-02-11 19:22 GMT+01:00 Cynthia Ashley-Nelson cindam...@gmail.com:
 Yes, I agree that the consensus of the Board is clear.

IMHO, I wouldn't say that for two decisions taken with 7-3 and 6-4[1],
when you can see that most of the times[2] the vote was unanimous.

Cristian

[1] https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Minutes/2013-11-24#Movement_roles
[2] http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolutions

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-11 Thread Risker
Consensus is not the same as unanimity, and anyone who's crossed a few
different Wikimedia projects will know that what is defined as consensus
varies pretty widely, from majority +1 to 80% or higher support.  For the
purposes of board votes, it's majority +1.

I'm actually quite pleased that the board has moved away from twisting
itself in knots trying to ensure unanimous support of proposals: it led to
watered-down, poorly structured decisions that have often left the
community confused and uncertain as to their intent.  I'm also pleased to
see that they are identifying who has supported or opposed motions.

Risker/Anne


On 11 February 2014 16:49, Cristian Consonni kikkocrist...@gmail.comwrote:

 2014-02-11 19:22 GMT+01:00 Cynthia Ashley-Nelson cindam...@gmail.com:
  Yes, I agree that the consensus of the Board is clear.

 IMHO, I wouldn't say that for two decisions taken with 7-3 and 6-4[1],
 when you can see that most of the times[2] the vote was unanimous.

 Cristian

 [1] https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Minutes/2013-11-24#Movement_roles
 [2] http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolutions

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-11 Thread Bence Damokos
Speaking in my personal capacity, I echo the surprise that the Board has
decided to move a motion before they had full or close to full consensus on
the issue - which is in general a departure from the usual.

I can only assume that there was a better reason behind the urgency than
the need to pause and reflect 8-9 months before the next reflection period
(the strategy process) actually began and that the Board will be able to
share that reason in a transparent manner with the community.

Best regards,
Bence


On Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 10:49 PM, Cristian Consonni kikkocrist...@gmail.com
 wrote:

 2014-02-11 19:22 GMT+01:00 Cynthia Ashley-Nelson cindam...@gmail.com:
  Yes, I agree that the consensus of the Board is clear.

 IMHO, I wouldn't say that for two decisions taken with 7-3 and 6-4[1],
 when you can see that most of the times[2] the vote was unanimous.

 Cristian

 [1] https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Minutes/2013-11-24#Movement_roles
 [2] http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolutions

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-11 Thread phoebe ayers
On Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 10:37 AM, Gregory Varnum
gregory.var...@gmail.comwrote:

 While AffCom will likely be making an official statement later, I am having
 a hard time not chiming in and I do think it is worth pointing out that
 AffCom was not consulted in a manner I think most of us would have imagined
 occurring. I have noticed it mentioned a few times that our feedback was
 taken into consideration, but that may give the wrong idea of what
 happened.

 While it is true we provided feedback before the decision was made, I would
 not consider it consulting with us or even communicating with AffCom in a
 way that allowed us to provide the level of feedback I think the community
 has come to expect. Frankly we got a lot of our information second-hand,
 and am still not sure personally we know the full story. My personal
 expectation would have involved a lot more communication before the
 decision was made, and most importantly, some two-way dialogue. At the very
 least I think the chairs of FDC and AffCom should have been looped into
 parts of the conversation during the meeting


Hi Greg and all,

This is not a direct reply to your points, but I think it might be helpful
in removing the cloak of mystery from all this.

Here is what happened during the board meeting, from my perspective.*

Background context:

* The board has been discussing movement roles for literally years (as have
many of the folks commenting!)
* The board started discussing the topic again specifically in October;
many trustees are interested in broad movement roles questions and it was
brought to the table as a broad topic the board should take up.
* Various contexts to the discussion include: the need to review new
affiliates more thoroughly than we historically have done (as recommended
by our legal team, and as indicated by the history of some chapters not
staying active); the new trademark and user group policies which make
different models for volunteers both possible and easier; and various
trustee concerns over our increasing focus movement-wide on incorporation
and administration.

For these two specific decisions:

* The board first discussed the ideas of usergroups-first  capping the
budgets in October. This was without any specific proposals or wording.
* Later on, before the November meeting, a recommendation to take these
decisions was presented in a packet by the WMF Executive Director to the
board, along with some context. The packet included a summary
recommendation, some arguments pro and con, and emails from Affcom and the
FDC, with the proposal as presented by staff to these committees and the
committee replies.
* we (board members) discussed the recommendations first on our email list
for a week or so before our meeting, and then over two sessions in our
meeting, over the course of two+ days. On the list and in the meeting, we
discussed the arguments as presented as well as arguments that emerged over
the course of discussion from our own individual viewpoints, as well as the
overall milleux of movement roles.

* Important note that perhaps wasn't emphasized enough in the FAQ: the set
of decisions was not meant or presented as major strategy but as a
temporary set of decisions, to buy us all some time while we hire a new ED
and reconsider movement roles strategy. The new ED point is important; we
wanted to try to decide these issues before they start, since they will
have plenty of other stuff on their plate to figure out.

* In the meeting, we (the board) wrote and re-wrote the text of the
decisions to match our emerging consensus about what we wanted to do.
* When we seemed to have reached a stable version of the text, and also to
have exhausted our ability to reach further consensus, we voted on these
two decisions. I motioned for the vote because I happened to be
facilitating the discussion at the time, and it seemed to me that as a
group we were ready to vote.

* The no consensus thing: of course we discussed this as well. Like all
boards in our movement, I expect, we always have a question of whether we
should work towards unanimous consensus or whether we should accept split
votes. Personally I think it depends on the context and topic. in general,
I think, agreed to accept a split vote on this topic though it was somewhat
contentious to do so. Why was the vote split? Each trustee should speak for
themselves, but there was a range of arguments and feeling. I can tell you
that similar questions to those raised on the list so far were raised.

* After voting and recording the text, we then sent the text of the
decisions to Affcom and the FDC, via the Board liaisons.
* Then we (board members) wrote the FAQ over the course of several weeks
following, trying to answer the questions that Affcom  the FDC raised
emails back to us after we shared the published decision with them, and
also trying to answer additional questions we thought might arise.
* In the course of writing the FAQ and pondering the committee 

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-11 Thread Cristian Consonni
2014-02-11 23:01 GMT+01:00 Risker risker...@gmail.com:
 Consensus is not the same as unanimity, and anyone who's crossed a few
 different Wikimedia projects will know that what is defined as consensus
 varies pretty widely, from majority +1 to 80% or higher support.  For the
 purposes of board votes, it's majority +1.

I disagree with this interpretation.
The major point is what are the reasons for the dissent?

2014-02-11 23:01 GMT+01:00 Risker risker...@gmail.com:
 I'm actually quite pleased that the board has moved away from twisting
 itself in knots trying to ensure unanimous support of proposals: it led to
 watered-down, poorly structured decisions that have often left the
 community confused and uncertain as to their intent.

2014-02-11 23:01 GMT+01:00 Bence Damokos bdamo...@gmail.com:
 Speaking in my personal capacity, I echo the surprise that the Board has
 decided to move a motion before they had full or close to full consensus on
 the issue - which is in general a departure from the usual.

Well, it seems we have two very different ideas here.

C

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-11 Thread Nathan



 Hi Greg and all,

 This is not a direct reply to your points, but I think it might be helpful
 in removing the cloak of mystery from all this.

 Here is what happened during the board meeting, from my perspective.*

 Background context:

 * The board has been discussing movement roles for literally years (as have
 many of the folks commenting!)
 * The board started discussing the topic again specifically in October;
 many trustees are interested in broad movement roles questions and it was
 brought to the table as a broad topic the board should take up.
 * Various contexts to the discussion include: the need to review new
 affiliates more thoroughly than we historically have done (as recommended
 by our legal team, and as indicated by the history of some chapters not
 staying active); the new trademark and user group policies which make
 different models for volunteers both possible and easier; and various
 trustee concerns over our increasing focus movement-wide on incorporation
 and administration.

 For these two specific decisions:

 * The board first discussed the ideas of usergroups-first  capping the
 budgets in October. This was without any specific proposals or wording.
 * Later on, before the November meeting, a recommendation to take these
 decisions was presented in a packet by the WMF Executive Director to the
 board, along with some context. The packet included a summary
 recommendation, some arguments pro and con, and emails from Affcom and the
 FDC, with the proposal as presented by staff to these committees and the
 committee replies.
 * we (board members) discussed the recommendations first on our email list
 for a week or so before our meeting, and then over two sessions in our
 meeting, over the course of two+ days. On the list and in the meeting, we
 discussed the arguments as presented as well as arguments that emerged over
 the course of discussion from our own individual viewpoints, as well as the
 overall milleux of movement roles.

 * Important note that perhaps wasn't emphasized enough in the FAQ: the set
 of decisions was not meant or presented as major strategy but as a
 temporary set of decisions, to buy us all some time while we hire a new ED
 and reconsider movement roles strategy. The new ED point is important; we
 wanted to try to decide these issues before they start, since they will
 have plenty of other stuff on their plate to figure out.

 * In the meeting, we (the board) wrote and re-wrote the text of the
 decisions to match our emerging consensus about what we wanted to do.
 * When we seemed to have reached a stable version of the text, and also to
 have exhausted our ability to reach further consensus, we voted on these
 two decisions. I motioned for the vote because I happened to be
 facilitating the discussion at the time, and it seemed to me that as a
 group we were ready to vote.

 * The no consensus thing: of course we discussed this as well. Like all
 boards in our movement, I expect, we always have a question of whether we
 should work towards unanimous consensus or whether we should accept split
 votes. Personally I think it depends on the context and topic. in general,
 I think, agreed to accept a split vote on this topic though it was somewhat
 contentious to do so. Why was the vote split? Each trustee should speak for
 themselves, but there was a range of arguments and feeling. I can tell you
 that similar questions to those raised on the list so far were raised.

 * After voting and recording the text, we then sent the text of the
 decisions to Affcom and the FDC, via the Board liaisons.
 * Then we (board members) wrote the FAQ over the course of several weeks
 following, trying to answer the questions that Affcom  the FDC raised
 emails back to us after we shared the published decision with them, and
 also trying to answer additional questions we thought might arise.
 * In the course of writing the FAQ and pondering the committee responses,
 we debated some additional questions, including whether we should
 reconsider the decisions in the light of AffCom's response. We did not get
 consensus on the latter question, but considered it serious enough to bring
 up again in our next in-person meeting, where a majority felt that the
 decisions should stand (this was not a formal vote, but in the context of a
 discussion to resolve outstanding issues).

 * We finished the FAQ, resolving our last issues and trying to make the
 wording as clear as possible, asked for it to be published, I sent the
 letter announcing it to wikimedia-l, and here we are.

 I hope this gives some insight. I may have missed something in the above
 summary and other trustees may have a different take, too.

 -- phoebe

 * again, this is just my perspective, not a board statement.
 ___


Thanks, Phoebe, for this background and the dramatically improved clarity.
It sounds like the AffCom and FDC interpreted the consultation a little bit

Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-11 Thread Delphine Ménard
Le 12 févr. 2014 00:10, Nathan nawr...@gmail.com a écrit :


 For me in these debates about funding, which often present the staff on
one
 side pushing to reduce the relative power and centrality of chapters on
one
 side and chapter representatives pushing the opposite way on the other
 side, there is always a little mystery about the role and interests of the
 people commenting.

 While some posters point out that they speak in a personal capacity, few
 offer a disclosure about their personal interests in the funding debate...
 but I would find it both enlightening and interesting if those expressing
 opinions about budgets would disclose whether they receive a salary or
 other financial benefit (including travel, conference fees, etc.) from the
 WMF.

 I would like to know, without further research, if someone arguing that
 chapters should get more money is dependent on a salary drawn from that
 pool of money. Since the list archives form a public record and not all
 list subscribers know everyone else, it would be very helpful if posters
 considered including this kind of a disclosure in posts where it may be
 meaningful.

Well, it's actually pretty straightforward. For members of the Board of
Trustees, FDC and AffCom, as well as Board members of all Chapters. All of
us are volunteers. We do not get any salary from Chapters or Foundation. In
short, we do the work we do here for free.

In our capacity as members, and in order to allow us to fulfill our
duties towards the organisations/committees that we are part of and thus
towards the Wikimedia movement, we do get some or all of our travel
expenses and/or attendance fees for Wikimedia conferences reimbursed out of
movement funds (chapters or foundation budgets) insofar as our presence
in an official capacity is deemed useful.

Hope this clarifies the strange notion you seem to be putting forward of
anyone of those of us *speaking in a personal capacity* having any kind of
financial benefit.

Best,

Delphine
(Speaking in her capacity as Delphine, you know, the not-a-fish)
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-11 Thread Mark

On 2/11/14, 9:18 PM, Samuel Klein wrote:

The WMF also wants to let all groups have easier access to trademarks
and funds.  This is what user groups were designed to allow, with
minimal overhead.  These two ideas were combined into be a user group
for two years.



This part I do think is a good idea. There are many models of how 
individuals and groups participate and organize themselves within the 
global Wikimedia movement besides the umbrella Wikimedia Foundation, and 
imo the previous organizational/funding focus overlooked those who 
didn't fit one specific model: national Chapters, i.e. organizations 
seeking to represent Wikimedia-movement activities in a general sense, 
within the territory of one nation-state, and usually in a fairly 
official manner (paid staff, boards of directors, political 
visibility, etc.). I like that initiatives such as the 
individual-engagement grants, user-group recognition, etc. are opening 
up more avenues for Wikimedian organizations, organized along different 
lines, to find a more recognized (and funded) role in the movement.


-Mark


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-11 Thread Nathan
On Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 6:55 PM, Delphine Ménard notafi...@gmail.comwrote:

 Le 12 févr. 2014 00:10, Nathan nawr...@gmail.com a écrit :


 Well, it's actually pretty straightforward. For members of the Board of
 Trustees, FDC and AffCom, as well as Board members of all Chapters. All of
 us are volunteers. We do not get any salary from Chapters or Foundation. In
 short, we do the work we do here for free.

 In our capacity as members, and in order to allow us to fulfill our
 duties towards the organisations/committees that we are part of and thus
 towards the Wikimedia movement, we do get some or all of our travel
 expenses and/or attendance fees for Wikimedia conferences reimbursed out of
 movement funds (chapters or foundation budgets) insofar as our presence
 in an official capacity is deemed useful.

 Hope this clarifies the strange notion you seem to be putting forward of
 anyone of those of us *speaking in a personal capacity* having any kind of
 financial benefit.

 Best,

 Delphine
 (Speaking in her capacity as Delphine, you know, the not-a-fish)


Perhaps you misunderstood what I was wondering about, which is probably my
fault as I was trying to avoid giving any specific examples. But without at
all attempting to disparage her or suggest that her intentions are anything
but sincere, let's take the example of Nicole Ebbers. She of course
discloses in her e-mail signature that she is an employee of WMDE, so its
clear (though not stated in the form of a disclosure) that her income
depends, in part, on WMF funding. It's typical in professional
circumstances, at least in my business, to disclose personal conflicts when
discussing virtually any topic where the audience would not naturally
assume that a conflict exists.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-11 Thread Nathan
On Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 10:20 PM, Nathan nawr...@gmail.com wrote:


 Perhaps you misunderstood what I was wondering about, which is probably my
 fault as I was trying to avoid giving any specific examples. But without at
 all attempting to disparage her or suggest that her intentions are anything
 but sincere, let's take the example of Nicole Ebbers. She of course
 discloses in her e-mail signature that she is an employee of WMDE, so its
 clear (though not stated in the form of a disclosure) that her income
 depends, in part, on WMF funding. It's typical in professional
 circumstances, at least in my business, to disclose personal conflicts when
 discussing virtually any topic where the audience would not naturally
 assume that a conflict exists.


Oops, excuse me, I meant Ebber. Sorry for the error!
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-11 Thread Delphine Ménard
Le 12 févr. 2014 04:20, Nathan nawr...@gmail.com a écrit :

 On Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 6:55 PM, Delphine Ménard notafi...@gmail.com
wrote:

  Le 12 févr. 2014 00:10, Nathan nawr...@gmail.com a écrit :
 
 
  Well, it's actually pretty straightforward. For members of the Board of
  Trustees, FDC and AffCom, as well as Board members of all Chapters. All
of
  us are volunteers. We do not get any salary from Chapters or
Foundation. In
  short, we do the work we do here for free.
 
  In our capacity as members, and in order to allow us to fulfill our
  duties towards the organisations/committees that we are part of and thus
  towards the Wikimedia movement, we do get some or all of our travel
  expenses and/or attendance fees for Wikimedia conferences reimbursed
out of
  movement funds (chapters or foundation budgets) insofar as our
presence
  in an official capacity is deemed useful.
 
  Hope this clarifies the strange notion you seem to be putting forward of
  anyone of those of us *speaking in a personal capacity* having any kind
of
  financial benefit.
 
  Best,
 
  Delphine
  (Speaking in her capacity as Delphine, you know, the not-a-fish)
 
 
 Perhaps you misunderstood what I was wondering about, which is probably my
 fault as I was trying to avoid giving any specific examples. But without
at
 all attempting to disparage her or suggest that her intentions are
anything
 but sincere, let's take the example of Nicole Ebbers. She of course
 discloses in her e-mail signature that she is an employee of WMDE, so its
 clear (though not stated in the form of a disclosure) that her income
 depends, in part, on WMF funding. It's typical in professional
 circumstances, at least in my business, to disclose personal conflicts
when
 discussing virtually any topic where the audience would not naturally
 assume that a conflict exists.

Ah I see. So I suppose, following your line of thought, that any and all of
the wikimedia staff (all organisations included) involved in any part of
the fundraising should attach some kind of disclaimer about how they
benefit from the work they're paid to do? Since, after all, they're
working to raise money that *will* pay their salary.

This might prove an interesting thing to implement.

Delphine
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-10 Thread rupert THURNER
pheobe, concerning your motion to vote saying:
   wikimedia foundation grows, the affiliated organisations do not grow
   the affiliated organisations are recommended to seek other funding
(which the foundation did try and did not succeed very well)
i am disappointed personally by you. you as a person, you as an american,
and you as a board member of the foundation. especially about your
inability to grasp international cultural differences in terms of funding,
fundraising.

because trust is mentioned: the FAQ and the minutes are written by a
lawyer now, who has maximum 300 wikipedia edits as his lifetime
achievement.  and for sure, the decision making process is also impressive
nowadays: first somebody decides, then it is consulted with a couple of
people (affcom, FDC), and the feedback is used only use it to phrase the
FAQ about the decision. sometimes i think you people are from outer space ;)

rupert.



On Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 6:33 AM, phoebe ayers phoebe.w...@gmail.com wrote:

 Hi all,

 I want to draw your attention to two Wikimedia Board of Trustees decisions
 that were recently published, regarding funds allocated to the FDC/Annual
 plan grant process and Board approval of chapter/thematic organization
 status. In a nutshell, the Board decided to allocate approximately the same
 amount of funding to the FDC for the next two years. The Board also decided
 that new organizations should first form as a user group and have two years
 of programmatic experience before being approved as a legally incorporated
 entity (either a chapter or thematic organization).

 The decisions are published in the meeting minutes here:
 https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Minutes/2013-11-24#Movement_roles

 There is also a FAQ on Meta:
 https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Movement_roles_FAQ

 You will notice these decisions are published in the minutes for the
 November meeting. We originally took these decisions at that meeting;
 however as the FAQ explains it took us some time to talk to community
 groups, clarify our wording and write the FAQ.

 Hopefully the FAQ will answer many of your questions about these decisions;
 however, if there are other questions please do ask them, here or on the
 meta talk page. Thank you!

 for the Board,
 Phoebe
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-10 Thread MZMcBride
phoebe ayers wrote:
The decisions are published in the meeting minutes here:
https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Minutes/2013-11-24#Movement_roles

There is also a FAQ on Meta:
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Movement_roles_FAQ

Thanks for putting this together. I made a few tweaks to the FAQ; it could
still use more love (additional links, formatting cleanup, killing
abbreviations, etc.).

After reading through the FAQ, this part remains unclear to me:

---
We expect to be capping the allocation for FDC Annual Plan funding at
approximately its current amount, for the years 2014-15 and 2015-16.
---

What is the current amount? (Is that a known figure?)

And to be clear, does this Board decision include a cap on the Wikimedia
Foundation's operating budget or is that considered a separate pool of
money? I believe the total budget right now is somewhere around $45
million, but the Funds Dissemination Committee is only one piece of that
pie, right? Or does all money flow through the FDC now?

I think clarifying these two points in the FAQ might be helpful.

MZMcBride



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-10 Thread Oliver Keyes
On Mon, Feb 10, 2014 at 10:30 PM, rupert THURNER
rupert.thur...@gmail.comwrote:

 pheobe, concerning your motion to vote saying:
wikimedia foundation grows, the affiliated organisations do not grow
the affiliated organisations are recommended to seek other funding
 (which the foundation did try and did not succeed very well)
 i am disappointed personally by you. you as a person, you as an american,
 and you as a board member of the foundation. especially about your
 inability to grasp international cultural differences in terms of funding,
 fundraising.


I'm totally flummoxed by why you're disappointed given that I can't
actually find the quote you're attributing to Phoebe in either the minutes
or the FAQ, but you might want to try being less hyperbolic.


 because trust is mentioned: the FAQ and the minutes are written by a
 lawyer now, who has maximum 300 wikipedia edits as his lifetime
 achievement.  and for sure, the decision making process is also impressive
 nowadays: first somebody decides, then it is consulted with a couple of
 people (affcom, FDC), and the feedback is used only use it to phrase the
 FAQ about the decision. sometimes i think you people are from outer space
 ;)


Have you seen the detailed, word-for-word minutes from the meeting? If not,
exactly how do you come to this evaluation of how the board reached this
particular decision? I note that Phoebe came to the board at one point
*as*a representative of the chapters - entities in the wider movement
who are
directly affected by this change. If you're suggesting that the POV of the
wider movement didn't come into the decision, I'm disappointed in /you/ as
an applier of Occam's razor; I consider it exceedingly improbable that
Phoebe, of all people, would've relied on feedback only...to phrase the
FAQ.

Calm down and discuss it like a reasonable person...and, perhaps, try to
avoid personal attacks, even with a wink at the end. People who base their
pronoun display on the conventions in a made-up language probably shouldn't
throw 'you people are from outer space' stones ;p.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-10 Thread MZMcBride
rupert THURNER wrote:
i am disappointed personally by you. you as a person, you as an american,
and you as a board member of the foundation.

What about Phoebe as a woman? Or Phoebe as a librarian? Or as a
brassratgirl? Horrors.

Your unnecessary hyperbole aside, I see Phoebe's role as a Wikimedia
Foundation Board of Trustees member as being a guardian and protector of
the interests of the Wikimedia Foundation. Those interests may or may not
align with those of Wikimedia or its chapters. It would help if you could
extract portions of https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Movement_roles_FAQ
and make specific and substantive criticisms of pieces you disagree with.

Broadly, if you or anyone else is having difficulty doing
Wikimedia-related work (specifically securing funding), please feel free
to bring it up on this mailing list. There are a number of ways to receive
money from the Wikimedia Foundation, Wikimedia, or other non-profits,
depending on the type of project you're working on and your needs.

because trust is mentioned: the FAQ and the minutes are written by a
lawyer now, who has maximum 300 wikipedia edits as his lifetime
achievement.

Sorry, but this seems to be nothing more than scurrilous stupidity. Say
what you will about lawyers, but this particular lawyer has over 600 edits
to the English Wikipedia and has (in conjunction with his bot) over
175,000 edits to the English Wikisource.

Play nice, Rupert.

MZMcBride



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-10 Thread Oliver Keyes
I think there needs to a basic rule of if you can get Max and I to
disagree with you for the same reasons, you're probably in the wrong ;p


On Mon, Feb 10, 2014 at 11:20 PM, MZMcBride z...@mzmcbride.com wrote:

 rupert THURNER wrote:
 i am disappointed personally by you. you as a person, you as an american,
 and you as a board member of the foundation.

 What about Phoebe as a woman? Or Phoebe as a librarian? Or as a
 brassratgirl? Horrors.

 Your unnecessary hyperbole aside, I see Phoebe's role as a Wikimedia
 Foundation Board of Trustees member as being a guardian and protector of
 the interests of the Wikimedia Foundation. Those interests may or may not
 align with those of Wikimedia or its chapters. It would help if you could
 extract portions of https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Movement_roles_FAQ
 and make specific and substantive criticisms of pieces you disagree with.

 Broadly, if you or anyone else is having difficulty doing
 Wikimedia-related work (specifically securing funding), please feel free
 to bring it up on this mailing list. There are a number of ways to receive
 money from the Wikimedia Foundation, Wikimedia, or other non-profits,
 depending on the type of project you're working on and your needs.

 because trust is mentioned: the FAQ and the minutes are written by a
 lawyer now, who has maximum 300 wikipedia edits as his lifetime
 achievement.

 Sorry, but this seems to be nothing more than scurrilous stupidity. Say
 what you will about lawyers, but this particular lawyer has over 600 edits
 to the English Wikipedia and has (in conjunction with his bot) over
 175,000 edits to the English Wikisource.

 Play nice, Rupert.

 MZMcBride



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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-10 Thread Frédéric Schütz
On 11/02/14 06:33, phoebe ayers wrote:

 I want to draw your attention to two Wikimedia Board of Trustees decisions
 that were recently published, regarding funds allocated to the FDC/Annual
 plan grant process and Board approval of chapter/thematic organization
 status. In a nutshell, the Board decided to allocate approximately the same
 amount of funding to the FDC for the next two years.

Some chapters have asked to consider the possibility for multi-year
funding, in order to make planning easier. The WMF indicated that it was
something difficult to do since the funding of the whole movement is
planned on an annual basis. Does it mean that this argument is now moot ?

 The Board also decided
 that new organizations should first form as a user group and have two years
 of programmatic experience before being approved as a legally incorporated
 entity (either a chapter or thematic organization).

My first reaction to this: why is the WMF board pretending to be more
and more a board overseeing the whole community ? I can understand
concerns about new groups legally incorporating before they need to or
are ready to, but this remains up to the groups to decide -- and one
thing about which there is no doubt is that they will know better than
the WMF board if they need to be incorporated and when (if only because
they know they local legal landscape much better than the WMF does).

It is indeed up to the WMF to decide the conditions a group must have
achieved before being recognized as a chapter or thematic organization.
However, this is an assessment at a given point in time. How the group
actually got there should have no influence on the result.

I see that the WMF ED suggested the change, and that it was not endorsed
by the Affcom (which is interesting in itself). But why doesn't the
community have a chance to comment on how it should organize itself ?

So if you had asked the Swiss chapter, for example, we would have
mentioned that a user group would be close to useless in our country.
That would basically be a group of people having meetings in a
restaurant once in a while, but it just does not exist as a group: it
can not get access to grants (it can not even have a bank account, so
any money received would be received by a single member in his own name
-- making the user group useless), can not be granted trademark usage.
This is why creating an association in Switzerland is an extremely light
process: take 2 people, get them to write one page of bylaws and voilà,
the association is incorporated and it can open a bank account. So long
for becoming a chapter or thematic organization involves much more
corporate overhead.

Maybe the board's reasoning makes sense in the US, I don't know (I will
not pretend that I know how people in other country should operate). It
does not makes sense in Switzerland, and likely nor in other countries.
But alas, this does not seem to be taken into account by the board when
it takes decision.

Frédéric

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Board decisions on movement funding and approval issues

2014-02-10 Thread phoebe ayers
On Mon, Feb 10, 2014 at 10:30 PM, rupert THURNER
rupert.thur...@gmail.comwrote:

 pheobe, concerning your motion to vote saying:
wikimedia foundation grows, the affiliated organisations do not grow
the affiliated organisations are recommended to seek other funding
 (which the foundation did try and did not succeed very well)
 i am disappointed personally by you. you as a person, you as an american,
 and you as a board member of the foundation. especially about your
 inability to grasp international cultural differences in terms of funding,
 fundraising.


I'm sorry you're disappointed in me.



 because trust is mentioned: the FAQ and the minutes are written by a
 lawyer now, who has maximum 300 wikipedia edits as his lifetime
 achievement. https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l



Just so it's clear -- Stephen *posted* the FAQ and minutes for us -- he
helps out the board by posting documents and taking minutes during the
meeting -- but the decisions, and the FAQ, were written by members of the
board in what I can promise was a highly collaborative process :)

That said, I find it strange that you would accuse him of anything. Not
that it matters, but in his free time he's been volunteering with Wikipedia
events, coding and editing for years. Regardless, though, he was just doing
his job here -- as requested *by the board*, and specifically by me  -- so
please lay off the criticism of him. I have nothing but respect for our
ultra-hard-working LCA team.

-- phoebe

-- phoebe
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