2016-03-02 22:56 GMT-08:00 Chris Sherlock <chris.sherloc...@gmail.com>:

> Let’s have the Board meetings be recorded. If they cannot be recorded,
> then I’d like the WMF to improve their meeting minutes.

Jimmy made a couple of suggestions earlier [1], including to publish
all presentations given to the Board and to have a trusted community

To discuss which practices to adopt, it's worth first looking at the
existing Board manual, which is a remarkably detailed document that
goes into many of these issues including the exact process for minutes
publication, what types of information is captured in minutes, and so
on. [2]

When it comes to presentations, the manual primarily refers to
exceptions such as Legal presentations and documents "intended for

I would recommend clarifying the standards under which such decisions
are made, perhaps in the manual itself, and indeed publishing
presentations going forward. For instance, I think one can make
reasonable arguments either way when it comes to revenue related
presentations, but there should be a general approach.

Personally I would recommend transparency for those, as well, with
confidential business income and similar data being omitted if
necessary. "Competitive analysis" and the like is generally not the
kind of thing that WMF is good at doing secretly, and indeed many of
its risk analyses have been made public. Certainly all strategy
presentations should be public.

As for minutes, again, it seems to me a matter of first clarifying,
possibly in the Board manual, what level of detail is appropriate. It
seems to me that the Board is adhering to a relatively risk-averse,
conservative approach right now, whereas WMF staff (which make many
risky and potentially sensitive decisions on a day-to-day basis)
capture significantly more individual-level detail in quarterly review
minutes without apparent ill effect. I understand the concern about
"speaking freely", but I personally think this is overstated in many

The Board, being a governance body, _will_ often talk about sensitive
issues that cannot be captured in detail, such as personnel,
management and legal matters. But that doesn't mean it cannot adhere
to a greater level of detail in capturing strategy conversations, for


[1] https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2016-February/082719.html
[2] https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Board_Handbook

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