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Board meetings Minutes from 2015-05-08 Questions?

Wikimedia Foundation Board minutes

May 8, 2015

  • Location: San Francisco and web conference (Google Hangout)
  • Board of Trustees present: Jan-Bart de Vreede (Chair), Patricio Lorente (Vice-Chair), Phoebe Ayers, Frieda Brioschi, Guy Kawasaki, Sam Klein, María Sefidari, Jimmy Wales, Stu West, and Alice Wiegand.
  • Non-Board members present for most of the meeting: Lila Tretikov (Executive Director), Geoff Brigham (Secretary and General Counsel), Damon Sicore (Vice President of Engineering), Luis Villa (Senior Director of Community Engagement), Lisa Seitz-Gruwell (Chief Advancement Officer), Kourosh Karimkhany (Vice President of Strategic Partnerships), Katherine Maher (Chief Communications Officer), Terry Gilbey (Interim Chief Operating Officer), Kim Gilbey (Strategy Coordinator), Stephen LaPorte (Legal Counsel), Trish Silber (Retreat Facilitator).

Jan-Bart called to order a regular meeting of the Board of Trustees at 9:07 AM PST. Lila, Geoff, and Stephen were present in San Francisco, and Jan-Bart, Patricio, Phoebe, Guy, Jimmy, Stu, Alice, and Trish joined remotely via web conference. Stephen called roll and confirmed that a quorum was present and able to simultaneously hear the meeting. Sam, María, and Frieda joined during the course of the meeting. Jan-Bart welcomed everyone to the meeting, and reviewed the agenda for the morning.


The Board unanimously approved two resolutions to update the "deputy director" title:

  • Updated Delegations of Financial and Spending Authority
  • Updated Brokerage Account Authorizations

The Board reviewed and approved the April minutes.

Operational Updates

At this point, Damon, Luis, Lisa, Kourosh, Katherine, Terry, and Kim joined the meeting.

Terry presented an overview of the Wikimedia Foundation's operations and goal-setting process. The process connects the Wikimedia Foundation's quarterly goals to the specific objectives in departments and groups. Terry described how the Wikimedia Foundation's goals are set, evaluated, and reported to executives. There are two phases to set and evaluate goals, and then the goals are reported externally for each department.

The Board discussed how they would like to see the Wikimedia Foundation report on goals and progress to the Board. Board members asked questions about how the Wikimedia Foundation allows staff to respond nimbly to new challenges, and how the Wikimedia Foundation can summarize the performance in each department. Board members discussed areas where the Wikimedia Foundation can focus on improvements.

Strategy discussion

Kim introduced some questions related to the Wikimedia Foundation's strategy process. The Board welcomed Kourosh and Luis, who are new members on the C-level team at the Wikimedia Foundation. At previous meetings, the Board had discussed opening a dialogue with senior staff about strategy questions. This portion of the meeting was not intended to reach specific decisions, but rather provide an open dialogue between senior staff and the Board about new ideas for potential consideration.

The first question that the Board discussed was the role of active community involvement from the Wikimedia Foundation. Board members discussed community questions, including how to address problems of uncivil behavior, how Wikimedia opens topics for community consultation how to get more advice from the community, and how to provide new spaces for innovation and experimentation.

The second question was around partnerships and how others use content from Wikimedia projects. Board members discussed how to build productive relationships with content reusers.

Damon, Luis, Lisa, Kourosh, Katherine, Terry, and Kim were excused at the end of this topic.

Movement partners

Alice provided a quick update following the discussion of movement partners at the previous Board meeting. Alice spoke with the Wikimedia Foundation staff about the need for an open and nimble process for movement partnerships.

Executive Session

The Board excused Lila, Geoff, Stephen, and Trish from the meeting, and the Board held a confidential executive session.

The meeting concluded at approximately 1:00PM.