Hey Ben,

That is exactly what we have in mind. That is way during Wikimania I sent
an email about the board priorities for the on-going year (board
improvement, ED support, movement strategy).

Doing so doesn't mean we're ignoring anything that doesn't fall into one of
this priorities, but that those are the priorities we want to tackle
heavily this year. And of course, we will report on them.

If you want, you can keep an eye on the board governance committee meta
pages. Natalia is doing a really great work documenting our work there.

As for the strategy process it will be an inclusive and open one :)

Happy to discuss those matters!

Christophe



On Wed, Aug 3, 2016 at 5:10 AM, Ben Creasy <b...@bencreasy.com> wrote:

> Thanks Christophe! I reviewed some of the earlier emails responding to the
> June minutes and realized that Pine actually touched on this same topic
> just a bit ago and as I recall Katherine gave a great overview of her
> approach, so my apologies in bringing it up again so soon. No need to
> respond to this email.
>
> With that said, I hope that when the initial framework is released it will
> have a bit more information on the motivation and background research that
> went into it than the April 2016 Governance recommendations...
>
> If you're coming up with an important overhaul like this and an explicit
> goal is to be transparent with the community, it could be worthwhile to
> start the process with transparency by being explicit in answering
> questions like "who did you talk to", "what did you read and think was
> compelling", "what are you unsure about", "is there any empirical
> evidence", etc. Maybe the answer to some questions (like empirical
> research) is "we don't know and we don't think it's worth the time", but
> I'd be interested in hearing that explicitly rather than implicitly. The
> WMF is unique: the closest I can think of is the Mozilla Foundation (which
> I doubt has great governance) and maybe the Khan Academy (an amazing leader
> like Sal Khan makes careful governance less necessary). GNOME and KDE have
> tiny budgets with almost no employees, so their boards have little
> influence on the software. Environmental nonprofits can be fairly large and
> complex, altho the small ones end up as contractors for foundations (e.g.,
> SEACC, one of the nonprofits I was involved with). Museums are relatively
> simple. Schools and hospitals are the ones that come to mind which grapple
> with commonly grapple difficult management decisions on the scale of WMF.
> Also, elected boards (even partially) are quite uncommon; Sierra Club is a
> notable elected board, but with 15 members it can't be very effective at
> all.
>
> Also, if you want to be transparent and not over scope, it may be worth
> forecasting categories of how the board expects to allocate its limited
> time and then retrospectively reporting on how it actually spent its time
> to the community. I see that the Governance recommendation includes a plan
> is to have solid annual agenda, and perhaps that will basically address the
> issue of the board putting too much on its plate. However, when I read
> "Avoid letting minority perspectives disproportionately take up the
> Foundation and the Board's attention" it actually kind of bothered me. How
> do we know know if something is a minority perspective? Instead of
> "minority perspectives", it should be about "minor issues". The problem in
> the last year or two was more about the board (apparently) ignoring
> perspectives than it was about the board giving them undue attention. My
> personal experience and recollection from the book I recommended
> earlier, *Governance
> as Leadership*, is that it not uncommon for boards to end up spending a lot
> of time on housekeeping small items (e.g., bylaws tweaks), which could be
> relatively minor.
>
> On Mon, Aug 1, 2016 at 10:41 PM, Christophe Henner <chen...@wikimedia.org>
> wrote:
>
> > Hi,
> >
> > I love to write long emails, but four in a row would too much.
> >
> > As said before we are taking up our leadership role.
> >
> > The strategy process *is* a black box right now. We (Katherine mostly)
> have
> > been working on the process for a few weeks.
> > We will share soon I hope, the first part of that process.
> >
> > I would just ask you a little time, it has only been a month that
> Katherine
> > and I have been in our current positions. Even if works was started
> before
> > that, decisions to move forward with a movement strategy is only a month
> > old.
> >
> > And as said before, this year we are focusing on building the foundations
> > we need to get Wikimedia Foundation in a better place. So, basicly, we
> > won't go down to the feature level and focus on th global level :)
> >
> > Happy to talk on that topic :)
> >
> > Le 2 août 2016 7:19 AM, "Joseph Seddon" <jsed...@wikimedia.org> a écrit
> :
> >
> > > Hey Pine,
> > >
> > > The Wikimedia Endowment is specifically set up to
> > >
> > > *"act as a permanent safekeeping fund to generate income to support the
> > > operations and activities of the Wikimedia projects in perpetuity".
> [1]*
> > >
> > > The Endowment acts as the online projects safety net. It will be
> > > independent of the Wikimedia Foundation board and importantly It's not
> > > there to support the WMF in perpetuity, it's the Wikimedia projects.
> Even
> > > if the WMF is likely to be the main benefactor from the fund; should,
> in
> > > the eyes of the Endowment Advisory Board, the WMF be no longer a fit
> and
> > > appropriate body to support the Wikimedia projects (as a result of
> legal,
> > > fiduciary or other issues), it has the ability to provide fund to an
> > > alternative organisation to fulfill that work.
> > >
> > > Regards
> > >
> > > Seddon
> > >
> > > [1]
> > >
> >
> https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolution:Establishment_of_Endowment
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > > * WMF remains a single point of failure in the Wikimedia network of
> > > > affiliates. I am hoping that mitigating the community and affiliate
> > > > dependencies on WMF will be addressed in the strategic plan, so that
> if
> > > we
> > > > have another mess like we had prior to Katherine, the affiliates and
> > > > community will have a plan that can be executed that ensures the
> > > viability
> > > > of the Wikimedia sites and affiliates without WMF. WMF can fail in
> many
> > > > ways; besides governance meltdowns, lawsuits and hostile political
> > > > environments are also risks. The sites and affiliates need to endure
> > even
> > > > if WMF weakens, loses its way, or dissolves. I hope that we never
> again
> > > > have a repeat of last year and that WMF is healthy in the future, but
> > it
> > > > would be prudent to have a strategty for the affiliates and community
> > to
> > > > continue whether or not WMF is with us.
> > > >
> > > > Thanks again for your post.
> > > >
> > > > Regards,
> > > >
> > > > Pine
> > > > _______________________________________________
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> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > --
> > > Seddon
> > >
> > > *Advancement Associate (Community Engagement)*
> > > *Wikimedia Foundation*
> > > _______________________________________________
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>
>
>
> --
> Ben Creasy
> http://bencreasy.com <http://bencreasy.com?t=email>
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