Thanks SJ for setting out the problem, re your second point, simplifying
electoral processes:

One very easy simplification of the governance process is to take the
skillset issue out of the community elections for the WMF board. The board
already has a number of "independent" members, and one reason for having
them is to add skills and experience that haven't emerged in the elections
from the community. We should go back to that principle. If the board
decides it needs a member who is an expert on horology, campanology or  the
making of stroopwaffels, and it doesn't have such a member, then recruit an
independent member who fills that gap. As for diversity of community
members, you can always create a separate constituency for a particular
election. For example, in this year we want to make sure that the board has
its first member from sub saharan Africa, so we are reserving one seat for
someone from that part of the world. You can still set some basics, for
legal and insurance reasons candidates will need to be legally adult, not
currently in jail etc. But otherwise the election result should be up to
the community.


> ------------------------------
> Message: 2
> Date: Wed, 18 May 2022 16:44:08 -0400
> From: Samuel Klein <>
> Subject: [Wikimedia-l] Simplifying governance processes
> To: Wikimedia Mailing List <>
> Message-ID:
>         <
> Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
>         boundary="000000000000cc355205df4f53c9"
> Dear Board (and all),
> The growing complexity of governance efforts is defeating us. Process creep
> <> is an
> existential threat for projects like ours – it is self-perpetuating if not
> actively curtailed, as it filters out people who dislike excess process.
> There's a reason 'bureaucrats' and 'stewards' have unglamorous titles.
> Global governance in particular seems to be suffering from this now. Let's
> try to scale it back!  Recent developments, all at least somewhat
> confusing:
> *Global Council*: A three-stage vote for the drafting committee.  After 6
> months of work in private, we know the charter will cover governance,
> resourcing, & community
> <>.  A ratifiable
> charter by 2023 should include Council scope, then *another* group may
> draft an election process. Council elections would start mid-2024.
> *Conduct*: Two years from first draft to realization. Custom review &
> revision process for policy, set to change ~once a year. Enforcement by
> *another* group (U4C), not yet defined, with an idea about annual elections
> for it [starting in 2023?].
> *WMF Board*: A *four*-stage election, with a new complex nomination
> template. Nominees evaluated by *another* elected 9-person Analysis
> Committee, followed by a two-stage vote.
> Months of process, 16 staff facilitators.
> Something has to give. We don't have time for all of these to be different,
> complex affairs.
> And this complexity feels self-imposed, like trying to push spaghetti
> through a straw.
> ~ ~ ~
> Four short proposals for your consideration:
> 1. Focus discussions on the decisions we need to resolve, not on process.
> We need a foundation Board & global Council for specific practical reasons.
> What challenges do they need to resolve this year?  What major issues +
> nuances are at play?
> 2. Make elections simple, flexible, consistent.
> Build tools and frameworks that *conserve* rather than soak up community
> time.  Make longer processes capture proportionately detailed results.
> Empower a standing election committee.
> 3. Highlight ways people can engage with governance + prioritization,
> regionally + globally, beyond winning elections to procedural bodies.
> *Support* organizers + facilitators rather than *hiring* them out of their
> communities to facilitate on behalf of a central org.
> 4. Delegate more.  Delegate to community.  Delegate *design* and
> *implementation*.
> Our communities excel at self-organization, and rebel against arbitrary
> mandates. Avoid language or policies that remove agency or
> exaggerate staff-community division.
> 𝒲♡,  SJ

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