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Board of Trustees activity report - May-June 2011

 

 

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phoebe.wiki at gmail

Aug 3, 2011, 10:29 PM

Post #1 of 8 (634 views)
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Board of Trustees activity report - May-June 2011

Dear all,
The Board has been working on a report of our activities; please find the
first report, covering May and June of this year, below. This is a short
summary, meant to help share our work with the community and movement, and
help make Board work and trustee activities more accessible & transparent.
This first report took some time to put together, but we hope to post future
reports on a regular schedule. Please let me know if you have any feedback
or suggestions.
-- Phoebe

-----------------------

*Board of Trustees -- activity report May-June 2011
Resolutions and votes*

*Controversial content*

* Controversial content resolution -- this resolution was passed in May
after a year-long process of discussion and research. It reaffirms the
Board's position on censorship, calls for continued community involvement in
image review and asks for the creation of a personal image filter feature
which would allow readers to not choose whether to view certain classes of
images.

* Images of identifiable people resolution -- this resolution was passed
in May along with the controversial content resolution. It lays out the
Board position on image subject consent, specifying that evidence of consent
should be obtained and documented from the subject of the media for images
and videos of living, identifiable persons in private situations that are
hosted on Wikimedia projects.

*New chapters
*
* Wikimedia Canada and Wikimedia Chile were recognized. Both are recently
incorporated.

*New advisors and observers*

* Advisory board additions -- Jessamyn West and Veronique Kessler were
nominated for the advisory board by trustees and approved by Board vote.
Jessamyn is a U.S.-based librarian and blogger who is also a community
manager of Metafilter, a global online community; and Veronique is the WMF's
outgoing Chief Financial Officer.

* Board Visitors -- passed in May, this resolution lays out parameters
and criteria for inviting visitors to Board meetings, and defines that
approved Board visitors may be invited to one meeting a year for most agenda
items. Visitors will not have voting rights or email list access.

* Visitor appointment -- the first visitor to be invited was Doron Weber
from the Sloan Foundation, invited in June for the coming year.

*Strategy and planning*

* Annual plan approval -- The Board unaminously approved the WMF's annual
plan for 2011-2012. The plan is developed by the executive director with
input from the Board and senior staff, and lays out WMF's budgeting, hiring
and programmatic plans for the year. A draft of the plan was shared with the
Board in May, and the final document was reviewed in June, with review led
by Stu as the board Treasurer.
*
Other Board work*

* The Board Governance Committee (Matt, Jan-Bart and Ting) contracted
with a consultant and scheduled the 2011 trustee evaluation process. They
also kicked off the officer election process by calling for candidates and
candidate statements. Elections will be held in Haifa.

* The Audit committee, led by Stu, wrapped up its work for its 2010-2011
year. During the year, the committee held three meetings in August, October,
and March. It covered the basics, reviewing the audit plan, audit results,
and the Foundation's annual IRS filing, as well as helping improve the FAQs
and other public disclosures of the Foundation's financial position. The
primary non-routine issue this year involved the transparency and financial
control implications of certain chapters directly receiving donor funds, and
the committee contributed some energetic editing to support the new
consolidated movement-wide reports page on meta. The Committee also weighed
the alternatives for independent auditors over the upcoming year and decided
to re-engage KPMG and expand KPMG's role somewhat to provide further
guidance and assistance around fundraising models. Finally, Stu sent out a
call for volunteers for the 2011-2012 fiscal year.

* As Board Treasurer, Stu held a few meetings with Sue and her staff to
review the annual plan and then provided a recommendation that the Board
approve the plan.

* Stu was also active in the interviewing process for the Foundation's
new Chief of Finance and Administration.

* Movement roles work to define the relative roles of Wikimedia entities
continued on Meta, including Sam, Bishakha, and Arne, producing a set of
draft recommendations to the Board and to movement groups.

* In May-June 2011 the Board met twice online to review the annual plan.

* The Board's next in-person meeting is scheduled for Wikimania in Haifa,
Israel.

* Meeting agendas and details are shared at m:Board meetings.

*Trustee outreach and other activities*

* In May, Kat visited the WMF offices, to meet with Foundation lawyer
Geoff Brigham and to help develop a summary of WMF legal practices. This has
been posted for comment.

* In June, Ting attended an event organized by Wikimedians in Almaty,
Kazakhstan and spoke to an audience of students. The local Wikimedia group
has freed an entire 16-volume Kazakh-language encyclopedia by getting the
publisher to agree to a free license and release the digital files, with the
goal of adding the content to the Kazakh Wikipedia. They have received a
grant to work on this project, and are also interested in becoming a
chapter.

* June 14, Sam attended a meeting of the Digital Public Library of
America (DPLA) project, which is bringing together several major research
and public libraries as well as library organizations to develop a common
framework for shared digital library collections in the U.S.

* ALA: in June, Phoebe, along with Sue and staff members Frank
Schulenberg and Annie Lin, attended the American Libraries Association (ALA)
annual conference, the largest library conference in the world, in New
Orleans, USA. Sue gave the keynote address, Frank and Annie staffed a booth
promoting the campus ambassador project, and Phoebe participated on a panel
called "The Wikipedia Effect: How Wikipedia Has Changed the Way the World
Finds and Evaluates Information" (also on the panel: Paul Kobasa,
editor-in-chief of the World Book encyclopedia).

* In May, Bishakha visited Bangalore and met with the India chapter's
Executive Committee members and attended Bangalore meetup 33. On May 14, she
attended Pune meetup 13 and met with prospective Campus Ambassadors in Pune.
In June, Bishakha attended the daylong 4th Malayalam wikimeet in Kannur,
Kerala. Highlights: the release of the first Malayalam WikiSource CD, a
visually impaired man's demo of using text to speech software on Wikipedia,
and meeting the youngest Malayalam contributor, a 7-year-old who shot and
uploaded 14 images of food to Wikimedia commons. National program consultant
Hisham Mundol was also present at all these meetups.

* Jimmy was as usual traveling the world for meetings, speeches, and
press work. He was scheduled to speak at a conference of Nobel Prize winners
in Morocco in early May, but the conference was cancelled due to the
terrorist attack. In mid-May he went to Germany at the request of Wikimedia
Deutschland to film a video in support of the UNESCO initiative, as well as
a fund raising video. At the eG-8 meeting in Paris, he was invited to a
private lunch with President Sarkozy at the Élysée Palace. Other attendees
included Rupert Murdoch (News Corporation), Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. (New York
Times), Eric Schmidt (Google), and others; copyright enforcement was high on
the agenda, and Jimmy spoke about the importance of free culture and
community sharing. Other meetings took place in London, Washington DC,
Moscow, Zermatt (Switzerland), and Israel (met with Shimon Peres).
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z at mzmcbride

Aug 3, 2011, 10:42 PM

Post #2 of 8 (617 views)
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Re: Board of Trustees activity report - May-June 2011 [In reply to]

phoebe ayers wrote:
> The Board has been working on a report of our activities; please find the
> first report, covering May and June of this year, below. This is a short
> summary, meant to help share our work with the community and movement, and
> help make Board work and trustee activities more accessible & transparent.
> This first report took some time to put together, but we hope to post future
> reports on a regular schedule. Please let me know if you have any feedback
> or suggestions.

Looks pretty good. Thanks for putting this together. :-)

I think posting the reports (or links to the reports) on Meta-Wiki or
wikimediafoundation.org would be good. There is already some infrastructure
in place, e.g., <http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Reports>.

There's also the blog to consider: <http://blog.wikimedia.org/>. It's a
matter of weighing how much "the outside" would care about Board internals,
though, I suppose.

A wiki page or blog post might also make adding links easier. For example,
"In May, Kat visited the WMF offices, to meet with Foundation lawyer
Geoff Brigham and to help develop a summary of WMF legal practices. This has
been posted for comment." could include a link to the page on Meta-Wiki.

These are minor issues that can be tweaked going forward. Definitely a step
in the right direction, toward accessibility and transparency.

MZMcBride



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phoebe.wiki at gmail

Aug 4, 2011, 1:19 AM

Post #3 of 8 (612 views)
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Re: Board of Trustees activity report - May-June 2011 [In reply to]

On Thu, Aug 4, 2011 at 8:42 AM, MZMcBride <z [at] mzmcbride> wrote:

> phoebe ayers wrote:
> > The Board has been working on a report of our activities; please find the
> > first report, covering May and June of this year, below. This is a short
> > summary, meant to help share our work with the community and movement,
> and
> > help make Board work and trustee activities more accessible &
> transparent.
> > This first report took some time to put together, but we hope to post
> future
> > reports on a regular schedule. Please let me know if you have any
> feedback
> > or suggestions.
>
> Looks pretty good. Thanks for putting this together. :-)
>
> I think posting the reports (or links to the reports) on Meta-Wiki or
> wikimediafoundation.org would be good. There is already some
> infrastructure
> in place, e.g., <http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Reports>.
>
> There's also the blog to consider: <http://blog.wikimedia.org/>. It's a
> matter of weighing how much "the outside" would care about Board internals,
> though, I suppose.
>
> A wiki page or blog post might also make adding links easier. For example,
> "In May, Kat visited the WMF offices, to meet with Foundation lawyer
> Geoff Brigham and to help develop a summary of WMF legal practices. This
> has
> been posted for comment." could include a link to the page on Meta-Wiki.
>
> These are minor issues that can be tweaked going forward. Definitely a step
> in the right direction, toward accessibility and transparency.
>
> MZMcBride
>
>
Thanks! All good suggestions. I'll get after it when I'm not at Wikimania
with a dying computer :)

cheers,
Phoebe
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phoebe.wiki at gmail

Aug 4, 2011, 6:22 AM

Post #4 of 8 (611 views)
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Re: Board of Trustees activity report - May-June 2011 [In reply to]

On Thu, Aug 4, 2011 at 11:19 AM, phoebe ayers <phoebe.wiki [at] gmail> wrote:

>
>
> On Thu, Aug 4, 2011 at 8:42 AM, MZMcBride <z [at] mzmcbride> wrote:
>
>> phoebe ayers wrote:
>> > The Board has been working on a report of our activities; please find
>> the
>> > first report, covering May and June of this year, below. This is a short
>> > summary, meant to help share our work with the community and movement,
>> and
>> > help make Board work and trustee activities more accessible &
>> transparent.
>> > This first report took some time to put together, but we hope to post
>> future
>> > reports on a regular schedule. Please let me know if you have any
>> feedback
>> > or suggestions.
>>
>> Looks pretty good. Thanks for putting this together. :-)
>>
>> I think posting the reports (or links to the reports) on Meta-Wiki or
>> wikimediafoundation.org would be good. There is already some
>> infrastructure
>> in place, e.g., <http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Reports>.
>
>
Meta link:
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Board_Report,_May-June_2011

-- phoebe
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putevod at mccme

Aug 6, 2011, 2:09 AM

Post #5 of 8 (599 views)
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Re: Board of Trustees activity report - May-June 2011 [In reply to]

> Meta link:
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Board_Report,_May-June_2011
>
> -- phoebe

Thanks for the link, Phoebe. Since none of the meta pages linked to this
page, I created

http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Board_Reports

which I hope will be updated on a regular basis by adding new reports.

Cheers
Yaroslav

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nemowiki at gmail

Aug 23, 2011, 12:16 PM

Post #6 of 8 (567 views)
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Re: Board of Trustees activity report - May-June 2011 [In reply to]

phoebe ayers, 04/08/2011 07:29:
> The Board has been working on a report of our activities; please find the
> first report, covering May and June of this year, below. This is a short
> summary, meant to help share our work with the community and movement, and
> help make Board work and trustee activities more accessible& transparent.

Thank you!
For the next reports, you might consider to define the scope of the
report better. For instance, it's probably not suitable for
blog.wikimedia.org because it's not for the general public, but this
means that you can worry less about some things which are difficult to
explain.
As far as I understand, it's meant to cover the activities of all board
members and represent the board as a whole: this is going to be very
hard work! But another consequence is that it will contain only
"official board positions", as opposed to e.g. the point of view of the
3 or 3+2 community members. This is up to you, but then I don't
understand the purpose of the first half of the report (before "Other
Board work"): as it is, it might be just a duplicate of the resolutions
and minutes on the wiki; not more informative, nor significantly
shorter, nor providing different insights. In other words, you could
consider to drop that part reducing your work and the community could
just learn to read the resolutions (which are few and short) and minutes
(which are not so long after all) on the wiki. For those who don't know,
there are also feeds for them (as for any wiki page, hence quite raw,
but still serving the purpose).
http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolutions
http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Meetings
http://wikimediafoundation.org/w/index.php?title=Resolutions&feed=atom&action=history
http://wikimediafoundation.org/w/index.php?title=Meetings&feed=atom&action=history

Nemo

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phoebe.wiki at gmail

Aug 24, 2011, 9:39 AM

Post #7 of 8 (563 views)
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Re: Board of Trustees activity report - May-June 2011 [In reply to]

On Tue, Aug 23, 2011 at 12:16 PM, Federico Leva (Nemo)
<nemowiki [at] gmail>wrote:

> phoebe ayers, 04/08/2011 07:29:
> > The Board has been working on a report of our activities; please find the
> > first report, covering May and June of this year, below. This is a short
> > summary, meant to help share our work with the community and movement,
> and
> > help make Board work and trustee activities more accessible&
> transparent.
>
> Thank you!
> For the next reports, you might consider to define the scope of the
> report better. For instance, it's probably not suitable for
> blog.wikimedia.org because it's not for the general public, but this
> means that you can worry less about some things which are difficult to
> explain.
> As far as I understand, it's meant to cover the activities of all board
> members and represent the board as a whole: this is going to be very
> hard work! But another consequence is that it will contain only
> "official board positions", as opposed to e.g. the point of view of the
> 3 or 3+2 community members. This is up to you, but then I don't
> understand the purpose of the first half of the report (before "Other
> Board work"): as it is, it might be just a duplicate of the resolutions
> and minutes on the wiki; not more informative, nor significantly
> shorter, nor providing different insights. In other words, you could
> consider to drop that part reducing your work and the community could
> just learn to read the resolutions (which are few and short) and minutes
> (which are not so long after all) on the wiki. For those who don't know,
> there are also feeds for them (as for any wiki page, hence quite raw,
> but still serving the purpose).
> http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolutions
> http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Meetings
>
> http://wikimediafoundation.org/w/index.php?title=Resolutions&feed=atom&action=history
>
> http://wikimediafoundation.org/w/index.php?title=Meetings&feed=atom&action=history
>
> Nemo
>
> Thanks Nemo!
It is true that the first part of the report is a duplication of the
resolutions & meeting minutes that we publish. My assumption here was that
not everyone keeps up with all of the board resolutions etc :) It is also
nice to have a single record of everything we did in a given time period; I
was mainly trying to be complete. Of course those who are already familiar
with all of this should feel free to skip over this section. (But if there's
a way to make it more useful, that would be great -- and if others think it
should be dropped as well let me know!)

I'm not sure why you say this is not for the general public. I would not
mind if the general public read it -- there's nothing confidential. The only
reason to not disseminate it as-is on the blog is that it is kind of dry and
not especially well written :)

My hope here is that the reports would be: a) a way for our wider community
(i.e. people who don't follow the wmfwiki) to know what the board is up to;
b) a way for everyone, internally and externally, to see some of the other
work the board does that is not well known -- for instance the board
governance committee stuff; c) highlight some of the awesome work our
trustees do on their own out in the world with communities and outreach.
(And maybe some of these activities will turn into more interesting blog
posts!)

I imagine that the people potentially interested in this might be
Wikimedians, internal folks of all types, and even external people like our
partners. Part of my motivation is to answer the question "what does the
board do???" which seems to come up at every board election :)

At any rate I will be working on July-August this weekend and then I expect
it will take a couple of weeks for the board members to get all of their
submissions in and review the report. And then I hope to refine the schedule
so we can get it out sooner. So please do keep the comments coming and let
me know what needs to be changed.

best,
phoebe
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nemowiki at gmail

Aug 24, 2011, 1:28 PM

Post #8 of 8 (568 views)
Permalink
Re: Board of Trustees activity report - May-June 2011 [In reply to]

phoebe ayers, 24/08/2011 18:39:
> Thanks Nemo!
> It is true that the first part of the report is a duplication of the
> resolutions& meeting minutes that we publish. My assumption here was that
> not everyone keeps up with all of the board resolutions etc :) It is also
> nice to have a single record of everything we did in a given time period; I
> was mainly trying to be complete. Of course those who are already familiar
> with all of this should feel free to skip over this section. (But if there's
> a way to make it more useful, that would be great -- and if others think it
> should be dropped as well let me know!)

Good to know, now that you clarified this I know that I can avoid
reading everything twice to spot the small differences :-p It can indeed
be useful to put everything together and if it's not too much work for
you, good for us. :-)

> I'm not sure why you say this is not for the general public. I would not
> mind if the general public read it -- there's nothing confidential. The only
> reason to not disseminate it as-is on the blog is that it is kind of dry and
> not especially well written :)

Yes, that's just it, you can write it with less effort if it's not meant
for the blog.

> My hope here is that the reports would be: a) a way for our wider community
> (i.e. people who don't follow the wmfwiki) to know what the board is up to;
> b) a way for everyone, internally and externally, to see some of the other
> work the board does that is not well known -- for instance the board
> governance committee stuff; c) highlight some of the awesome work our
> trustees do on their own out in the world with communities and outreach.
> (And maybe some of these activities will turn into more interesting blog
> posts!)
>
> I imagine that the people potentially interested in this might be
> Wikimedians, internal folks of all types, and even external people like our
> partners. Part of my motivation is to answer the question "what does the
> board do???" which seems to come up at every board election :)
>
> At any rate I will be working on July-August this weekend and then I expect
> it will take a couple of weeks for the board members to get all of their
> submissions in and review the report. And then I hope to refine the schedule
> so we can get it out sooner. So please do keep the comments coming and let
> me know what needs to be changed.

Great!
Thank you,
Nemo

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