I am writing to share some good news! After two years of brainstorming and
planning, our instructional website in Arabic is out! This is yet another
step for Wikimedia Israel in developing instructional tools.
We’re thrilled to introduce Wiki Warsha ويكي ورشة <http://wikiwarsha.org/>!
Wikiwarsha.org <http://wikiwarsha.org/> is a multimedia instructional
website designed to introduce Wikipedia to Arabic readers, to invite new
editors to write and edit content on Arabic Wikipedia, to assist teachers
in school activities, and instructors in editing workshops.
Warsha is the Arabic word for ‘workshop’, the website includes short
instructional films, texts and images and is divided into 13 informative
and instructional lessons:
Wikipedia homepage structure
About Wikipedia articles
Sign in to a registered account
Create a userpage
Create a new article
Edit an article
Formatting the article
Request edits approval on Arabic Wikipedia
Adding internal and external links
In addition to those lessons, the website contains informative sections
about copyright issues, FAQs, good article criteria, and talk pages, all in
order to facilitate understanding how Wikipedia communities function.
For further details and info:
Bekriah Mawasi [[user: bks-WMIL]]
I would like to share with you some updates on Wikimedia Foundation Board
governance, concerning board composition, annual planning, and more.
The past few weeks and months have been difficult for many of us as
COVID-19 changes our schedules and lives, but we are being really true to
the vision of “the world in which every single human being can freely share
in the sum of all knowledge”—on the whole the visits to Wikimedia projects
have increased by more than 30% over the past month. It is impressive that
the volunteer communities continue to produce the information that informs
everyone through graphs and data seen by millions and careful synthesis of
the medical and administrative facts. Wikimedia volunteers’ work is present
in top stories on the novel coronavirus. We volunteers do this despite the
need to tend to home chores, take care of kids and the elderly, probably
feeling depressed or fearing for our jobs, economy, health and the lives of
relatives and friends all over the world.
In these circumstances, it may seem odd to be hearing about board
governance updates, but those are still important, for the long-term
thriving of our movement. I joined the Board because I wanted to explore
ways of improving understanding between the Foundation and the communities,
and to help the trustees provide what was needed to our communities. No
Board will ever do this perfectly, and I know, as do we all, that there
have been occasions in the long years of the movement on which the Board
had not supported the Foundation and communities in the ways we all hoped
and needed. We as Board members want to play our part in building a
Wikimedia that will sustain our mission far into the future. Please forgive
the length of this message—it is a lot of things to share in one letter.
== Designing a better Board for Wikimedia ==
One of the most significant initiatives the Board worked on collectively
over the last year was to run an official Board governance review. In large
part this review was a response to direct requests for clarification from
the community over several years. I will explain a few of the
recommendations that came from this review, and the changes we are making
based on these recommendations.
In early 2019, the Foundation Board Chair and Executive Director
commissioned Board Veritas (named Taylor Strategic Partnerships at the
time) to review how the Board might more effectively support the goals of
the Wikimedia Foundation and the Wikimedia movement. Board Veritas was
chosen because of their expertise in the governance of U.S. nonprofits with
global operations and internationally diverse boards, as well as their
background in developing strategic comparisons with other not-for-profit
The resulting recommendations  centered on increasing the Board’s
effectiveness in fulfilling its governance responsibilities, including
improving the process for selecting Board members; developing greater
clarity around Board roles, responsibilities and accountabilities; better
leveraging the talents and skills of trustees in service to the
Foundation’s mission and strategic goals; improving trust and interactions
between the Board, the ED/CEO, and staff; and strengthening strategy and
The Board began taking steps to respond to the recommendations right away,
at a special meeting in July 2019 . At that meeting, we lengthened the
terms of Board officer and committee chair positions from one year to three
years, and we tasked the Board Governance Committee with the preparation of
proposals for how to implement additional changes.
We will have more to share in the near future when the Board will be
engaging broadly on the outcomes, but the first big planned change is
expanding the number of seats on the Board, from 10 to 16. This includes
increasing the current number of seats sourced from the wider Wikimedia
community (including affiliates) by three, for a total of eight
community-sourced seats. The majority of the Board and I feel that this
overall growth is necessary for us to increase our capacity to meet the
governance needs of the Foundation—and better reflect the growing and
diverse communities we serve with the increased number of voices from
== Community-selected Board seats ==
The voting process to select nominees for three Community-selected Board
seats was intended to open candidate submissions soon. In normal
circumstances this selection process occurs every three years and would run
this month. However, we feel that the widespread global impact from the
ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting strain on resources make it
unwise and unreasonable to continue the voting process on its planned
The selection process requires extensive effort from community members (to
read proposals, ask questions, be engaged and informed, and of course
vote); candidates (to write statements and engage with community
questions); the Elections Committee (to run the process, including
responding to questions and engaging across languages); Foundation staff
(to support the Elections Committee in running the process and coordinating
the work across all stakeholders); and the Board (to make high-level
decisions and follow the process, also across languages). Given the public
health crisis and the many extraordinary demands on every person’s time and
attention, we believe we can not expect or require the level of sustained
effort and engagement needed to hold a successful trustee selection.
We do not want to delay the trustee selection process any longer than we
have to, and we will continue to evaluate whether it is appropriate to
proceed based on the best information available to us. It takes time to
plan and run the selection, so once the postponed process can resume we
will still need to work out the best timing for it. It does not currently
seem likely that the process will resume before August 2020, but we are
committed to completing it before the end of June 2021.
In order to ensure sustained community representation on the Board, we are
extending the terms of the three community-selected trustees currently
occupying those seats (María, Dariusz, and James) for up to a year until we
are all ready to run the postponed process. I would like to thank them for
their service to our communities and dedication to our shared mission.
Note: The selection process is mandated by the Bylaws to happen every three
years according to a schedule and process set by the Board of Trustees. The
process last occurred in 2017, so if we determine that it is best to
postpone the process past 2020, this will require a modification of the
Bylaws. The necessary modification of the Bylaws will be part of
forthcoming recommendations as we learn more about when we can all dedicate
the necessary time to the selection process.
== Wikimedia Foundation Annual Plan timeline ==
The Wikimedia Foundation Annual Plan would normally be completed in April
and posted for your feedback in May. This year, the Board has provisionally
approved an extended and revised timeline for annual planning in order for
us to remain sensitive to global economic conditions and revenue
We are also adjusting the timelines and expectations for our affiliates
during this time. Our affiliates and user groups hold a lot of in-person
events and are transitioning some of their work online and having to
postpone or cancel some events entirely. We are all having to rethink the
next year and recognize that the adjustment is going to take time. This
pandemic is a changing situation and will affect parts of the globe
differently over time. We need to remain flexible during this time of
There will be future updates on annual plan progress from the Foundation,
but we wanted to let you know as soon as we could that the usual timelines
== Board meeting minutes & resolutions ==
Some of you have asked for minutes and resolutions from our recent
meetings, as we are behind in publishing these notes. I apologize that we
fell behind in this; once we were behind, it became harder to catch up, and
we have only now been able to read and approve them all. The minutes were
posted and you will find them on the Wikimedia Foundation Governance Wiki
. I shall update on this thread when they are all up.
Voting online to approve the minutes is not always possible, so we are
approving them during our meetings. The timeline of the expected publishing
of the minutes was too ambitious, and this would need to change. Amanda
Keton, our General Counsel and Secretary of the Board, will see to adopting
the practices needed and having support in place to help us review more
== To recap ==
* In early 2019, the Foundation Board Chair and Executive Director hired
Board Veritas to conduct a Board Governance Review, and we are sharing the
resulting recommendations .
* We are planning to expand the number of seats on the Board, from 10 to
16. This includes increasing the current number of seats sourced from the
wider Wikimedia community (including affiliates) by three, for a total of
eight community-sourced seats. This change will require changing the
Bylaws, especially regarding the selection pathway for the additional
seats. We plan to present the Board’s vision and hold a community
discussion as part of the process for the Bylaws change.
* We are postponing the trustee selection process by up to a year because
of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic by up to a year, the resulting strain on
resources, and the added burden to our communities. And we shall be
modifying the Bylaws to allow for this revised timeline in the selection
process, if needed.
* We are approving an extended timeline for the Wikimedia Foundation Annual
* And we are posting the remaining backlog of trustee meeting minutes and
resolutions. After they are all up, I shall update on this thread.
As these are a lot of topics to talk about, please post your
thoughts/comments on the talk page of my message on Meta:
. It would be easier to have a structured discussion there, rather than
dozens of emails in this thread. Depending on interest and our shared
situation we might hold a video “town hall” to discuss more details of some
of these plans with you all.
Also we are currently working on an update to our 2016 statement on
community culture in order to reinforce our commitment to safety on our
projects. We look forward to sharing it with you in May.
Please take care of yourselves.
antanana / Nataliia Tymkiv
NOTICE: You may have received this message outside of your normal working
hours/days, as I usually can work more as a volunteer during weekend. You
should not feel obligated to answer it during your days off. Thank you in
There are some new updates and opportunities to engage with the Brand
project. Thank you to Lodewijk for bringing some attention to a few of
these opportunities. We were actively drafting this update for this group
when your email went out.
As Zack indicated in September, we have been regularly discussing with
the members of the brand network (which people can still join ) ideas
around an evolved brand system with "Wikipedia" as a center point. To
assist in this evolution of the movement brand, we chose to partner with
Snøhetta, an internationally renowned design firm known for working on
complex and multi-stakeholder projects like the modern Library of
Alexandria (Bibliotheca Alexandrina) and the 9/11 Memorial in New York
City. Snøhetta has been tasked with figuring out precisely what this
improved brand system will look like. They will release a proposed naming
convention for movement-wide feedback in April, and a proposed design for
movement-wide feedback in May.  The result of this process will be a new
branding system that will be opt-in for affiliates.
In order to have enough knowledge and context to arrive at these proposals,
Snøhetta is reviewing feedback from the many points at which it has already
been given, and has created a process with built-in community involvement. The
process thus far has included workshops in Norway, India and online with 97
volunteers from the brand network (movement affiliates, volunteers,
foundation staff, and board members) reflecting 41 nations. At the
workshops, community participants were asked to break into small groups to
answer the question "Who are we?". Through these workshops, groups
developed rich concepts* that they think best represent who we are as a
Now, we would like to invite you to review the 23 concepts that came out of
the community workshops by “liking” and providing feedback on the one(s)
you think best represent the Wikimedia movement. You can click on any
concept to see an expanded explanation and photos of the actual concepts
built or selected by workshop participants.
Approximate time to complete this exercise is around 10-15 min.
Feel free to leave feedback directly on Snøhetta’s website, on the project
talk page on Meta , or on the Brand Network , which will also be
available on Meta starting next month.
Snøhetta will use the feedback from the concepts to develop one single
concept to act as a tool that will help guide the proposals around naming
(expected for April) and around design (expected around May). They are
scheduled to begin reviewing feedback on Tuesday, 17 March, but can
continue taking feedback for a few more days if there is interest.
We also invite you to share what free knowledge means to you in Snøhetta's
open exercise. Please take a moment and share your thoughts in any of the
Finally, we want to acknowledge that we have feedback, from various points
in this process so far, from several communities and in several areas of
the wikis, including Meta. We understand that some people believe that we
don’t need this project. Our shared vision is for every single human being
to freely share in the sum of all knowledge -- and that means billions of
people. There are many people and cultures we still need to reach and
include. We will need a strong well known brand to achieve the goals the
movement has set for itself and we have a lot of work to do to get us there.
Want to learn more? Check out the project hub at brandingwikipedia.org and
the project page on Meta . Participate in discussions on the project
talk page, or by joining the Brand Network . Also feel free to drop us a
note at brandproject(a)wikimedia.org if you have questions.
(from the movement brand identity project team)
* What is a concept?
A tool making the complex more understandable.
Concepts make complex subjects more understandable. They manage to
consolidate vast amounts of facts, data and details into a singular
definition in its context. By creating concepts we allow ourselves to
acknowledge the complexity yet dare to step away from differences and look
for similarities that binds it all together.
*Essie Zar* (she/her)
Wikimedia Foundation <https://wikimediafoundation.org/>
This topic has been in the back of my mind for awhile. Occasionally it
comes up in conversations, and it has been discussed as part of the
2030 strategy process (see
I have a few early thoughts that I'd like to share.
I think that a global code of conduct, and a way to enforce it, could
be good in some limited but important circumstances:
(1) Where the governance of a Wikimedia project or another WMF conduct
review organization has allegedly been compromised so extensively that
removal of all of its administrators, functionaries, and/or other
authorities should be considered for the purpose of providing a
relatively "clean start" for reforming the affected domain's
governance, or a domain is allegedly becoming so anarchic that
peacekeeping from outsiders is necessary to restore order.
In none of these cases am I suggesting that outsiders should attempt
to get involved in content disputes or allegations of misconduct by a
small proportion of a site's administrators or functionaries.
By default, a global code of conduct committee should assume good
faith regarding local consensus and/or the actions of a local
arbitration committee, if they exist, and a global code of conduct
committee should by default assume that any local consensus decisions
and the decisions of a local arbitration committee are legitimate.
These default positions may be changed if there is significant
evidence suggesting that there should be a review of the situation by
(2) Where a steward, global sysop, Meta administrator, or other person
in a similarly "meta" online position has allegedly misused their
position, and other options have been exhausted or would involve
publicly revealing evidence for which there is a very strong reason
(3) Where the current Ombudsman Commission (see
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Ombudsman_commission) has found fault
with actions that are under its authority to review and recommends
that individuals be sanctioned.
(4) In the circumstances where, presently, WMF asserts a global ban.
I would oppose the use of a global code of conduct or a global code of
conduct committee for:
(1) disputes which focus on one or a relatively small number of
individuals. A global code of conduct committee could easily be
overwhelmed by the number of cases, and I think that local
administrators and functionaries who have good knowledge of a
project's policies, guidelines, and language(s) are best placed to
address these disputes.
(2) content disputes.
(3) functioning as a thin layer of cover for WMF-driven actions or
acting as an extension of WMF.
(4) silencing debates or unwelcome opinions for the purpose of making
people feel safe. The Internet is not a safe place, and no amount of
heavy policing will effectively guarantee safety on a large scale.
Also, heavy policing can have the effects of stifling uncomfortable
debates and providing cover for incompetence and corruption. This is
not to say that we should accept people trying to bully newcomers or
publish political propaganda on content pages, but I think that these
issues are best resolved locally and the norms for them are best
created locally. In some cases, problems with content may be resolved
as a secondary effect of resolving problems with conduct.
( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pine )
On Mon, Apr 27, 2020 at 4:41 PM Yair Rand <yyairrand(a)gmail.com> wrote:
> Neutral Point of View is a fundamental founding principle. Per the policy,
> NPOV "is non-negotiable, and the principles upon which it is based cannot
> be superseded by other policies or guidelines, nor by editor consensus." It
> may not be violated, period.
Are you suggesting that the Foundation may not take any political
positions at all?
> The Wikimedia Foundation's mission still stands. It does not include
> promoting a higher minimum wage, nor public advocacy for environmentalism.
I doubt that more than 20% of the long-term project editor base share
that opinion. Can you point to even a single instance other than your
own dozen or two complaints to this list of anyone opposed to the
WMF's Sustainability Initiative. The only comments about it ever say
that it should be doing more (I agree: we should be flexing our muscle
with the datacenter operators to ask them to buy renewable power,
perhaps in return for the visibility of a joint press release or
acknowledgment on a high-traffic page, or both.)
And again, I doubt even 5% of the long term editor base is opposed to
campaign finance reform, which was the only only issue championed by
the Earth Day Live sponsors, and I doubt less than 10% thinks that
both issues support the Mission to "engage and empower" free content
contributors. Similarly for living wage standards, which support the
ability of editors to fund their living so they don't, for example,
need to take two jobs and thereby lack time to edit. I am sure you can
see the connection, but for whatever reason you simply choose not to.
I repeat my request for the Foundation to survey the editor base to
put an end to this disruptive bickering.
On behalf of the Board of Wikimedia Nederland, I would like to inform you
of some changes in the board.
As of April 16, Frans Grijzenhout, chairman, and Marike van Roon, board
member for cultural cooperation and partnerships, stepped down from the
board after years of dedicated service. The board elected Jan Bart de
Vreede as its new chair.
Frans was elected to the board of Wikimedia Nederland in 2012 and became
chair in 2014. The contribution he has made over the past eight years can
only be described as impressive. He played a crucial role in building the
office and developing a wide programme of activities in support of free
knowledge. Frans was also active internationally: he was a driving force
behind the development of governance training for new board members, and
the regular meetings of chapter chairs. Over the past years, many Wikimedians
have met him at Wikimania or the Wikimedia Summit. Wikimedia Nederland is
very grateful that Frans is willing to continue to share his experience and
expertise as an advisor to the board.
Marike van Roon joined the board in 2015. As an art historian and curator -
and an active Wikipedia editor - she made a major contribution to the
development of the GLAM program of Wikimedia Nederland. Like no other she
was able to make connections between the Wikimedia projects and the digital
heritage strategies of Dutch institutions, thanks to her experience and
networks in the museum and library sector.
The intention had been that members of Wikimedia Nederland and the wider
Dutch wiki-community would say goodbye to Frans and Marike in an
appropriate way, and thank them for their dedicated service, during the
General Assembly planned for April 18. Because of the measures to combat
the spread of COVID-19 this was not possible - but we hope to make up for
it at the General Assembly this autumn.
At its meeting on April 16, the board of Wikimedia Nederland elected Jan
Bart de Vreede as the new chair. New board members will be elected at the
General Assembly in September.
With warm regards,
Directeur/Executive Director Wikimedia Nederland
3511 LH Utrecht
We are in the final stage of finalizing the Movement Strategy recommendations.
We planned to publish the recommendations in April. However, the work
to finalize them has taken longer than anticipated. This will be the
final version of the Movement Strategy recommendations (yay!), and
therefore there have been many in-depth discussions about the final
changes. We also wanted to make sure that, in light of the global
health crisis, everyone who is contributing is able to do so at their
The publication date has therefore shifted to mid-May. The group [1,
2] that is finalizing the recommendations has been working hard, and
the document and all appendices are almost complete. They have
reviewed and integrated feedback from the Movement and also refined
many of the ideas in the document. A key focus has been to make the
language clearer and make the ideas in the recommendations more
explicit. The text has also been copy edited for clarity, and will be
translated and then published on Meta. Along with the recommendations,
we will publish a change log so that you can follow the evolution of
the final version.
The group of people who have been doing this work have done so with
enormous care and commitment, and they have gone beyond what was
originally asked of them. I want to say a heartfelt thank you to all
of them for all the work that they have done and to all of you for
providing us with rich input to be able to finalize the work.
Stay tuned for the announcement of the final recommendations in May!
Leiterin Internationale Beziehungen
Program Manager Wikimedia 2030 Movement Strategy
Wikimedia Deutschland e. V. | Tempelhofer Ufer 23-24 | 10963 Berlin
Tel. (030) 219 158 26-0
Unsere Vision ist eine Welt, in der alle Menschen am Wissen der
Menschheit teilhaben, es nutzen und mehren können. Helfen Sie uns
Wikimedia Deutschland — Gesellschaft zur Förderung Freien Wissens e.
V. Eingetragen im Vereinsregister des Amtsgerichts
Berlin-Charlottenburg unter der Nummer 23855 B. Als gemeinnützig
anerkannt durch das Finanzamt für Körperschaften I Berlin,
I wanted to share some updates from movement strategy with you. We are
currently integrating feedback into the recommendations and finalizing
them. However, due to the impact of COVID-19, we have adjusted our work
plan and timeline  a little.
== Updates to the movement strategy timeline ==
The COVID-19 pandemic is having an enormous effect on people and their
day-to-day lives, and I want to give the core team, strategy liaisons, and
integrators and writers ample space to adjust to this and take some time
for themselves if needed. This means we have slowed down the pace of our
work and now aim to publish the final recommendations in April.
Discussions about implementation will start at the virtual Wikimedia Summit
, which will be held online in May (dates are to be confirmed). This
will be the first in a series of virtual events that move from engaging
with the recommendations and transitioning into implementation. We will, of
course, share further updates about this as soon as possible.
== Status update on the recommendations: integrating feedback ==
Over the past few weeks, a team of Wikimedians  has been working to
integrate feedback received from the Movement, the Wikimedia Foundation
Board of Trustees, and former working group members who have been reviewing
the content . They have used this to make the ideas and the language
more concise and clear; identify overlaps in content and combine ideas
where applicable; as well as address areas of debate. A lot of rich input
was received from across the Movement, and this has helped improve the
recommendations further. We are grateful for all the feedback. We are
almost there and excited to share the final recommendations with you in
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me.
Stay safe and healthy,
Leiterin Internationale Beziehungen
Program Manager Wikimedia 2030 Movement Strategy
Wikimedia Deutschland e. V. | Tempelhofer Ufer 23-24 | 10963 Berlin
Tel. (030) 219 158 26-0
Unsere Vision ist eine Welt, in der alle Menschen am Wissen der Menschheit
teilhaben, es nutzen und mehren können. Helfen Sie uns dabei!
Wikimedia Deutschland — Gesellschaft zur Förderung Freien Wissens e. V.
Eingetragen im Vereinsregister des Amtsgerichts Berlin-Charlottenburg unter
der Nummer 23855 B. Als gemeinnützig anerkannt durch das Finanzamt für
Körperschaften I Berlin, Steuernummer 27/029/42207.