Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2019-06-30/Op-Ed

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2019 Wikimedia Affiliate Selected Board Seats Election Results: Wikimedia community organizations elect two members for the Wikimedia Foundation board of trustees
Wikimedia Conference 2013 portrait 031.JPG
Nataliia Tymkiv, user:antanana in English or Ukrainian
Shani Evenstein with Wikipedia Logo.jpg
Shani Evenstein, user:Esh77 in English or Hebrew

The election for the 2019 Affiliate Selected Board Seats to the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees has ended. The result is that Nataliia Tymkiv and Shani Evenstein are each selected for a 3-year term on the board. Nataliia is appointed to her second term in this seat, while Shani is replacing outgoing board member Christophe Henner who was elected in 2016. Although this instance of the election is over, the Wikimedia governance process continues, and everyone is invited to participate!

Why this matters

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Among other responsibilities, these elected officials will guide the investment of Wikimedia community funds through the Wikimedia Foundation Annual Plan, such as shown here for 2018-19.

The Signpost previously described the significance of this year's election in February and April articles. The two selected candidates will serve as two of the ten members of the Wikimedia Foundation board of trustees. In this role they will oversee the activities of Katherine Maher, director of the Wikimedia Foundation, and vote to approve or return the proposed Wikimedia Foundation US$100 million annual budget each year. Board members accomplish this through regular communication with each other including an in-person meeting and public presentation at the international Wikimania conference. For further details, anyone feeling curious should write to a former board member, interview them, and publish in The Signpost.

Have conversations about the results

The easiest way that anyone can constructively respond to these election results is by discussing them online with others. Discussion on the election's own talk page is best the record there is public, permanent, and easy for future election facilitators to find. Anyone who is a stakeholder in the well being of Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects can share their reactions, hopes, and even criticisms. Many experienced Wikimedia editors, regular financial donors, institutional partners, and Wikimedia readers are unaware of the Wikimedia political process and its ambition for global community participation in governance. The Wikimedia community is proud to host this, "the most important election on the Internet" as called by organizers, to offer a practical and accessible communication channel into the people conducting the highest management of the Wikimedia community's resources.

New standard of transparency for Wikimedia elections

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For the first time all ballots are public based on wiki values and past demand.

As part of the wrap-up of this election, the facilitators have published all the ballots revealing how everyone voted, the notes of their meetings, the code of the algorithm which tabulated voting results, and debrief reflecting on this year's election to use as guidance for future elections. Consider joining in the curation of media about this election by reviewing these publications, suggesting and supporting changes for future elections, and asking whatever questions come to mind about the process or outcome. The documented procedure of this election is likely to be the starting part for planning future elections. Because documentation creates a precedent, any community members who review this election during wrap-up will be making for better future elections. Anyone can edit any part of Wikimedia projects, including the rules of the election process. Anyone may create outreach materials to encourage broad community participation in Wikimedia governance, reflect on the ballots and algorithm, and describe their feelings on seeing this collection of media.

Confirmation pending

The selected candidates are not yet on the board of the Wikimedia Foundation. The present board of the Wikimedia Foundation will consider the results and discussion, then tentatively confirm the selected board members. The selected candidates will join the Wikimania 2019 conference in Stockholm in August, where the board of the Wikimedia Foundation will confirm them as new board members. The result seems settled but until confirmation there is a period of scrutiny where anyone can examine the ballots and contest the election results.

Thanks

The Signpost encourages readers to thank and acknowledge the following

  • all candidates, for boldly standing to the personal scrutiny of the election
  • Wikimedia community patriots and volunteers who, a generation ago, established this democratic process and the Wikimedia community empowerment which it represents
  • the 140 voting delegates, each of whom represented a Wikimedia affiliate organization in casting the vote on behalf of the membership in that community
  • the membership of those Wikimedia affiliate organizations who deliberated the candidate selection and served their obligation to vote
  • the many Wikimedia community electioneers who got out the vote encouraging everyone to participate in the election
  • the people who, right now, are organizing community discussions and petitions to submit to the current and future Wikimedia Foundation boards in an effort to enact movement-wide change through policy and community mandate
  • the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees for continued recognition and respect of the will of the Wikimedia community as the highest and most competent authority for guiding the Wikimedia Foundation as the steward of the assets for the Wikimedia Movement
  • the election facilitators, for 3 months of weekly video chats which have notes published online in the open