Great work, Pete, all very interesting and useful. Thanks for dedicating your time to do this.
On Tue, Mar 8, 2016 at 11:29 PM, Pete Forsyth <petefors...@gmail.com> wrote: > As many of you are aware, it's always been difficult to navigate > information about the proceedings of the Board of Trustees: minutes, > agendas, specific resolutions, notes, and commentary are split across Meta > Wiki, WMF Wiki, various mailing lists, etc. > > So, I spent the last few days building a set of navigation templates on > Meta, tidying up page names, summarizing the Board's activities in recent > years, etc. I hope you will take a look at the before and after pages > on Meta. (There's still work to be done -- any help appreciated! Speaking > of which, thank you to MZMcBride and Rillke for helping get a useful gadget > up and running.) > > == The most useful part == > In addition to the navigation boxes (which I hope are helpful in themselves > to Trustees, staff, and any volunteers interested in governance issues), I > think perhaps the most useful pieces are the Annual Summary pages I put > together for 2014  and 2015. These aim to capture every resolution > passed in each year, separated according to those focused on Board > governance and more general votes. I have also included brief narratives > about issues that have been widely discussed (e.g., the absence of any > Advisory Board-related votes in 2015, and the implications of that). I have > tried to keep this very factual, to keep it short and useful for for > anybody interested in tracking the information. It could use additional > eyes, and probably additional links (to significant email messages, etc.) > > == Curious observations == > This is the deepest dive I've taken into Board proceedings, and as such, a > few interesting points struck me: > > * Yesterday, for the first time, minutes and resolutions from the two > December 2015 Board meetings were published. As far as I know there was no > announcement of this; I wonder if in these tumultuous times, this has > slipped through the cracks. As you will see, there are several significant > pieces of information in there, and three months is a long time to wait for > it. > > * December 2015: For the first time, we learn that Guy Kawasaki was > appointed to the Board Governance Committee (BGC). Ordinarily, a committee > appointment might not be of great interest; however, in this case, the > appointment came during the same meeting as the one where the BGC nominated > Arnnon Geshuri and Kelly Battles. If I'm not mistaken, those were the only > two candidates presented to the full board for a formal vote, meaning that > the members of the BGC had tremendous influence in appointing those two > seats. I think it would be worthwhile to hear from the Board whether or not > Guy had a role in deciding what candidates were presented to the Board. Was > this appointment fully forward-looking, or was it recognizing work that he > had already done with the BGC? Did Guy have a role in the formal decision > of who to present to the full Board? > > * December 2015: The resolution establishing the Endowment Fund, which was > announced in a press release in January, is now referred to on the WMF > Wiki. However, the text of the resolution has not been published. I suspect > this is a mere oversight and will be corrected shortly; but this is a > significant development, and it will be good to see what was actually > decided. > > * December 2015: As we knew, the Board approved the FDC's recommendation. > But the text in the Minutes and in the Resolution are interesting: (a) Many > staff and volunteers have praised the FDC's diligence in identifying the > WMF's performance in relation to the Annual Plan Grant standards. It would > be interesting to hear from the Board how it takes those comments, but > there is no mention of that in the Board resolution. (b) There are, > however, comments about the FDC's take on Wikimedia Germany's request for > restricted funds for Wikidata. I'm not as familiar with this issue, but it > appears there is a bit of a power struggle going on between the FDC, WMF, > and perhaps WMDE over this issue. This is something I hope we can all hear > more about, as it seems significant to the future of an important Wikimedia > project. > > * January 2016: (No big surprise) Kelly Battles has been added to the Audit > Committee, and Jaime Villagomez has been appointed Board Treasurer. > > * Going way back to August 2014, I noticed an interesting detail. Many who > follow the Board are aware that Alice Wiegand, who had previously been a > Chapters-nominated Trustee, lost her bid that year for a new nomination. > Frieda Brioschi was nominated in her place, and was appointed; Frieda had > previously been a Trustee some years before. And the Board immediately > appointed Alice anyway, succeeding Ana Toni, who resigned mid-term. Now, > for the part I had not noticed before: In the same meeting where she was > herself appointed, Frieda cast the sole dissenting vote for both of the > resolutions to reappoint Alice. (One to fill out the 2014 term, and another > for a new term starting in 2015.) This strikes me as highly significant: > Frieda surely knew that the vote would be successful, and that she would > then be faced with serving alongside a colleague who she had publicly > opposed. I do not know Frieda at all, but this strikes me as an action few > people would take unless there was a strong reason. I am curious what the > rift was between the two, and especially whether it is over an issue or > philosophical difference related to the Wikimedia movement. > > == Closing thoughts == > Overall, I hope these navigation templates, and especially the annual > summaries, can facilitate various parties in navigating complex > information, and help us all develop a better understanding of how the > Board has been supporting the Wikimedia vision. Perhaps there are further > improvements that I haven't thought of -- so of course I welcome others' > contributions to how the information is presented. > > Please let me know (on- or off-list) if you have any feedback for me. > Happy editing, > -Pete > [[User:Peteforsyth]] > > == Footnotes == >  Before the new templates: > > https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikimedia_Foundation_board_meetings&oldid=15413988#2016 >  Current version: > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_board_meetings#2016 >  > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_board_summary,_2014 >  > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_board_summary_2015 >  > > https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Press_releases/Wikipedia_celebrates_15_years_of_free_knowledge > _______________________________________________ > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines > New messages to: Wikimediaemail@example.com > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, > <mailto:wikimedia-l-requ...@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe> _______________________________________________ Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines New messages to: Wikimediafirstname.lastname@example.org Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:wikimedia-l-requ...@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>