[Foundation-l] board, babysitting, speaking engagements, etc.

Anthere anthere9 at yahoo.com
Sat Aug 12 23:59:09 UTC 2006

daniwo59 at aol.com wrote:
> This conversation had jumped back and forth from single-instance expenses  
> (eg. babysitting costs) to much larger issues such as speakers fees. With the  
> number of speaking requests pouring in to the Foundation (and they come in at 
> an  ever increasing rate), I want to suggest the following guidelines for board 
>  members and others giving talks about the Foundation. Much of this is based 
> on  my belief that it is possible to say no to speaker requests too. We are 
> big  enough to set the terms by which we offer to send speakers, and the 
> benefits of  participating in various conferences etc. should be weighed against the 
> real  needs and interests of the Foundation. My proposal is as follows.
> 1. Requests for speakers from the Foundation will be approved by a  
> subcommittee of the Communications Committee to be known as the "Speakers  
> Subcommittee.".

How will you define which requests made should make it to the 
subcommittee and which should not ?
For example, what if a speaker receive a personal invitation to talk. 
Should he turn the invitation to the committee, who will maybe assign 
someone else ? Is that viable ?
For example, what should be done with requests made on a specific 
project or on its mailing list. Or to requests made for example to a 
specific user who also happens to be a chapter member. Would he have to 
turn the invitation he got or the chapter got so that it is handled by 
the subcommmittee ?

> 2. The Speakers Subcommittee will determine whether and how fulfilling the  
> request furthers the goals of the Foundation. This will be called Speaker  
> Objectives.

Certainly, if the request was sent to a specific speaker, this speaker 
can participate to determine the Speaker Objectives.

> 3. The Speakers Subcommittee will then determine whether the Speaker  
> Objectives are equal or greater to the costs involved in sending a speaker to  the 
> event.
> 4. The Speaker Subcommittee will then determine which representative of the  
> WMF is best suited to deliver the talk, based on considerations of language,  
> geography, skills, conference needs, availability, etc.

Eh Danny.... Should not number 3 occur *after* number 4 ? Surely, you 
cannot estimate costs first and choose the person second.

Also, the speaker may choose to go and participate even if the costs are 
higher than the benefit for the Foundation, since the benefits may be 
higher for him (in which case, he will support part of the cost of course)

> 5. Basic costs for speakers will include 
>     a. transportation
>     b. per diem (hotel, food)
>     c. ancillary (babysitting, formal wear such as  renting a tux, other)
> 6. The Speaker Subcommittee will negotiate with the requesting organization  
> to ensure that they cover as much of these costs as possible. Should the event 
>  be deemed worthwhile, but the requesting organization is unable to cover 
> these  basic costs, the Speakers Committee will determine a budget for the 
> speaker to  participate.

Care should be given that cultural issues may get in the way. It is much 
more usual apparently to pay in certain countries than in some others.

> 7. The Speaker Subcommittee will also request an honorarium, to be paid to  
> the Foundation, for providing a speaker.
> 8. A calendar of speaking engagements and speakers will be maintained  in a 
> public space, such as wikimediafoundation.org. 
> 9. Only speakers approved and appointed by the Speakers Subcommittee will  be 
> entitled to speak on behalf of the Foundation in such public forums and to  
> make use of Foundation property such as logos, registered tm's, etc. in their  
> presentations.

So... are you saying that all these editors kindly and voluntarily going 
to present the project at local fairs or students gathering or groupwork 
libraries, usually very casually invited; and very unlikely approved by 
the Foundation.... will not be authorized to put a Wikipedia logo in 
their presentation in the future ???

> 10. Upon completing their speaking engagement, speakers will provide a  
> written report to the Speakers Subcommittee in which they describe whether and  how 
> the Speaker Objectives were met.
> 11. The written report will include a summary of the talk, major questions  
> asked, and a copy of handouts, PowerPoint presentations, etc. as  necessary.
> 12. These materials will be made easily available to other speakers so as  to 
> enhance their own presentations.

Should exclude all presentations where discretion is required.

> 13. Upon completing their speaking engagement, speakers will also  submit any 
> receipts for *approved* expenses.
> 14. Upon submission of receipts, the written report, and ancillary  
> materials--and only upon their submission--the speaker will be reimbursed for  any 
> out-of-pocket expenses.

Does that mean that all speakers will have to advance all expenses each 
time ?

> While this may seem bureaucratic to some, I believe that it is a common  
> sense approach to dealing with the growing influx of requests for speakers that  
> the Foundation is facing. It will help us to avoid what Mr. Merkey wisely 
> called  "poaching speaking engagements," and ensure that previous experiences as a  
> speaker are shared with others.

I am a bit perplex of how this will work out when chapters are concerned.

> Rather than dwell upon what happened in the past, let's move forward by  
> improving this initial proposal and submitting it to the Board for vote.
> Danny

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