[Foundation-l] Fwd: Elections: a new board for the future (revisited with no edit button)
effe iets anders
effeietsanders at gmail.com
Sun Jun 17 13:43:14 UTC 2007
lol, now i forgot to add the 2008 myself :D
* I am on the board since june 2004, as elected, till june <s>2007</s> 2008
2007/6/17, Florence Devouard <Anthere9 op yahoo.com>:
> <edit this page>
> Dear all,
> In the next few weeks, we will be holding the 4th elections to the board
> of Trustees of Wikimedia Foundation, to replace 3 board members.
> Since the creation of the Foundation in 2003, and its first elections in
> june 2004, a lot of things have changed with regards to board membership.
> Jimbo created the Foundation in 2003 with the help of two business
> partners. He could have set up an organization in which no community
> members would have been involved and where he would have kept for
> himself this role of benevolent dictator for the rest of his life. But
> this is not what he did. He voluntarily decided to involve the community
> in reserving two seats for members to be elected from within the community.
> I remember criticisms at that time, some editors saying that the board
> was stacked, that the two business partners would only do what Jimbo
> would tell them to do, and that we should have a majority of people from
> the community.
> Looking back in the past, I find these comments a bit amusing, and I am
> glad Jimbo made the decision he made. He acted prudently and I think he
> was right to do so. His two business partners, Tim and Michael, were
> deeply commited to our values and I have no memory of them suggesting
> anything that would have lead us on a dangerous path. Contrariwise to
> what the critics said, they were (are) pretty independantly minded and
> did not hesitate opposing Jimbo when they felt it was needed. Tim left
> us when he felt we were on the right path and it was time for someone
> else to replace him. Michael is pretty much thinking the same, and will
> be willing to be replaced as soon as he is sure we have someone with
> good accounting skills/financial background to replace him as treasurer.
> Last year, we updated the bylaws, to have them better reflect what we
> really are, what we want to be. Jimbo, member for life till the creation
> of the Foundation, is now a regular (well, special person, but regular
> member), with limited term. Jimbo actually wanted to candidate for a
> elected seat this month, but we suggested it was a bad idea since the
> turnover is already pretty high. The big lesson though, is that we are
> now all equals.
> Last fall, Tim, Michael, Jimbo, Erik and I, decided to change several
> parameters on the board membership, clarifying the length of terms, the
> appointed versus elected, the expansion of the board, giving more room
> for community representative, but also clarifying how we would appoint
> All these changes led to, I hope, a more functional board, and probably
> a happier board.
> With more seats to elect, we also have more room for diversity of skills
> and for diversity of countries and languages.
> Whilst we first elect people, please keep in mind skills as well. The
> ideal Board has a mix of different skills: it is composed of big picture
> thinkers and leaders, non-profit veterans with accounting or legal
> experience, fundraising experts, and public figures. It is culturally
> diverse, mirroring the diversity found in WMF's project communities. It
> takes the corporate governance of WMF seriously while inspiring staff to
> strive for ambitious, but realistic long term goals.
> Thank you for our official election committee members
> * Kizu Naoko (Aphaia)
> * Benjamin Mako Hill
> * Newyorkbrad
> * Philippe Beaudette
> * Jon Harald Søby
> * Tim Starling
> for the hard work they will provide.
> As a reminder, to ensure independancy, we try to avoid as much as
> possible, communication on election issues between the board and the
> commitee. Their contact on the board is Jan-Bart (non elected member).
> Our only involvement as I can remember it was to give our opinion on the
> voting system (opinion) and on the length of the statement allowed to
> candidates. The committee will not tell us any results before the end of
> the elections. The board as a whole will not give recommandations (but
> individual members are free of course to support or oppose specific
> During the last board meeting, the board discussed the future elections.
> Here is what was agreed:
> AGREED: Public statement to be made about what the expectations are of
> Board members
> AGREED: Election 07 still going to use approval voting
> AGREED: Resolution on election committee powers & responsibilitites to
> be drafted by Jan-Bart de Vreede
> AGREED: Workgroup to research election methods to be set up before the
> end of 2007
> You may find the public statement about the role of board members here:
> A later discussion regarding the resolution about the election committee
> showed undecision, so no resolution was drafted. But in case anyone
> tries to somehow imply that the election committee is not approved, that
> would be incorrect. Official committee is made of the 6 people listed
> above, and these guys have the power to make the elections happen :-)
> Last, please note the suggestion of a workgroup creation to research
> election methods for next time. If you are interested in joining such a
> group, or even better to steer this group, please speak up !
> A short reminder for I am sure not everyone remember this
> * Michael, Jimbo are on board since 2003
> * I am on the board since june 2004, as elected, till june 2007
> * Erik, Kat and Oscar (elected) are on board since fall 2006, till june 2007
> * Jan-Bart (appointed) is on board since december 2006
> * The board is made of 7 people (with the expectation to go to 9 later)
> * Jimbo, Michael and Jan-Bart terms end up in december 2007
> * my term end up in june 2008 (as appointed)
> * within the board, positions or chair, treasurer and secretary are for
> a term of one year. Next renewal in october 2007
> The current elections are for a term of 2 years, for three people.
> The next elections will be for a term of 2 years, for three people in
> june <bold>2008</bold>
> Let me finish in wishing good luck to anyone. There are currently 10
> (http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Board_elections/2007/Candidates/en) and
> I hope we'll see even more. Boldly, there are not enough women, and too
> many americans/europeans.
> Please use the next two weeks as an opportunity to discuss what you
> think would be best for the future of the Foundation on all the talk pages.
> I would love it if you selected a candidate not only on his/her good
> looks or good standing within the community, but also because you think
> s/he has the right mix of skills (most necessary right now, legal,
> accounting, fundraising, knowledge of non profit world). Also if you
> could choose people who conveys opinions which are fitting with yours. A
> right mix of energetic people (to make things move forward) and of more
> lymphatic people (to avoid they move forward too quickly and unwisely).
> And please choose someone who will be a pleasant fellow for other board
> members and staff to work with.
> I would like to also ask those who are interested in the job, but do not
> dare candidating because they believe they will never be able to win
> against Erik or Kat, to candidate nevertheless. Elections are a useful
> moment in that we have the opportunity to discuss together the future of
> the Foundation, for the strength of the democracy, we need candidates
> and provocative thinking (thanks Kate :-))
> The board can also identify people to possibly appoint, who we did not
> imagine would be interested in the job, and we can at least have an idea
> of the amount of support appointing them would have within the community.
> I guess that's it :-)
> </edit this page>
> /me done
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