[Foundation-l] chapter board seats (was: Greg Kohs and Peter Damian)

Ilario Valdelli valdelli at gmail.com
Thu Oct 21 09:09:24 UTC 2010

On Wed, Oct 20, 2010 at 11:52 PM, phoebe ayers <phoebe.wiki at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Three board positions (30% of the board) are elected by the community at
>> large. They are the only members of the board who have a direct
>> responsibility to the community, and there is no method for the community to
>> revoke their representation.
>> Two board members (20% of the board) are elected by a tiny number of
>> representatives of chapters (the chapter representative election process is
>> very opaque). I can't find any numbers that confirm exactly how many people
>> belong to chapters, and whether or not all of their members would otherwise
>> meet the definition of "community member", but it is widely acknowledged
>> that only a small percentage of Wikimedians (i.e., those who would meet the
>> definition of "community member") are members of chapters.  I have a hard
>> time understanding why people think chapters are representative of the
>> community.  They're representative of people who like to join chapters.
>> Risker/Anne
> changing the subject line because I think we've ranged pretty far away
> from the original subject of moderation....
> As the person who was selected via this process I feel the need to jump in :)
> I agree that the chapter selection process is not very transparent, or
> very clear (to the people inside as well as the people outside!) and
> could have been improved. However, this time around was also only the
> second time chapters have selected seats (by contrast, last year was
> our 6th community election) ... so I hope that we will continue to
> improve on that front and the next selection process, year after next,
> will be better. That's something we all want to see.

The question has not an answer.

The chapters select the board members internally and the selection
must be *transparent* for the chapters and not for the communities. In
few word it must be transparent for Wikimedians and not for

The document which describe the process is available to all persons
instead and it has been approved by the WMF board, it's sufficient in
my opinion to assure a transparency to any external person.

To have a feeling how the process of selection is transparent for the
Wikimedians, it's very simple because it sufficient to ask to be
member of a chapter (the membership is not linked with the citizenship
or with the language or at least it is what happens in a large number
of chapters).

If the process is not transparent in a chapter, the problem is
connected with the chapter and not with the process. All board members
of local chapters are informed and they must inform internally the
other members.

I don't understand the question of transparency because in these terms
also the WMF board meetings could not be judged transparent (it's an
example but there are a lot of other internal processes in WMF which
are not open to external participation but it's normal).

Please... the selection of chapter board seat it's not a "reality
show". There is a moderator who assure that the process follows the
agreement with the foundation and that it's "democratic" for all

Second point: The board members are selected by a tiny number of
representatives. I don't agree.

How we calculate the "importance" of this small community? Counting
members? Counting the number of edits for each member? Counting how
many surnames they have?

The question is analyzed in a simple way here, but it's a more complex
in the reality.

The "universe" Wikipedia is formed by different bodies and every
bodies focus their interests in different matters.

The chapters probably are more interested in the fundraising, in the
relation with media and so on. In their decision they analyze these
parameters and in my opinion the selection of chapters bring a
richness in the WMF board because they give an opportunity for good
candidates who could not have a chance in the community selection
process because they may be unpopular but experienced.

In this division of the process of selection I can only see a
diversification of different point of views which can assure an
heterogeneity in the WMF board.

For a board who accepts a big challenge, this can be a big improvement.


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