Q4: What key qualifications and experience would you bring to the role in terms of the leadership, management and strategic planning of a large organisation such as WMF?

What key qualifications and experience would you bring to the role in terms of the leadership, management and strategic planning of a large organisation such as WMF?

This is one of the Affiliate questions selected for the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees election 2022. Only candidates can post their replies here. You can read these answers on Meta.

  • While I have no experience working for a large organisation in a leadership position, I have been managing a small team of 5-10 for about eight years as part of my job.

In terms of leadership, management and strategic planning of a large organization such as WMF, I would work with wikimedians to guide and help them in how to organize and prioritize works related to Wikimedia projects. This will be useful in the decision making to accomplish tasks training to achieve the organization’s mission. In order to accomplish the goals of Wikimedia projects, it is important to realize what are the resources needed, and how to use the resources in hand for reaching the purpose.

  • My experience serving on the BoT, and as Vice Chair of the Board, which included:
    ** Initiating and being the founding Chair of the Community Affairs Committee
    ** Founding member and later Acting Chair of the Product & Technology committee
    ** Member of key committees: Governance, Executive, Brand, Audit, Special Projects and Transition
    ** Liaison to AffCom and MCDC
  • Deep understanding of the Movement and its variety of stakeholders
  • Strong governance experience (within and outside the movement)
  • Having a strategic, high-level perspective, coupled with being details-oriented and understanding how operations work
  • Communicating at eye-level with different audiences and stakeholders
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Listening to contributors, assisting them and ensuring good collaboration with the foundation

Reply by Mike Peel (Mike Peel)

I have over 15 years of experience with the Wikimedia movement, both through on-wiki contributions across multiple projects, and off-wiki involvement with several Wikimedia affiliates and grants committees. I have served in leadership roles within Wikimedia organisations like Wikimedia UK and committees like the Funds Dissemination Committee, particularly Secretary roles due to my attention to detail, and I have reviewed many annual plans against the movement strategy. Off-wiki, I am involved in large astronomy collaborations with many diverse stakeholders across many countries (e.g., Japan, Brasil, Spain, etc.).

I have been an educator for over 20 years, serving in many leadership and strategic planning roles. The most important lesson I have learned from my experience is to be a good listener. I understand that it is impossible for one person to make much impact; that the most important and lasting work is done as a member of team; and that one needs to know when to step up to a task and when to delegate responsibly. On strategic planning initiatives, I have learned that it’s important to attempt to divest yourself of your own personal goals or wishes and to focus on longer-term goals and the best interests of the larger organization.

I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Foreign Languages and Literatures (German and French) and I’m currently pursuing a Masters degree in Project Management. My professional career is focused on Program & Project Management, Community Management, Teaching and Translation, language activism. I am the founder of Smarter Languages Hub- a language services company, an Alumnus of Cherie Blair Foundation Women in Business Mentorship Program. In 2018, I was appointed the Ambassador, The Next Economy Nigeria Program funded by the Netherlands Ministry Of Foreign Affairs while also serving as a Mentor for the Zimba Women in Business Mentorship Program, Uganda. And a language activist under the Rising Voices platform. In the Wikiverse, I am a founding member of the Igbo Wikimedians User Group and have been a Project Coordinator for the AfroCuration project by the Moleskine Found. All these experiences have further built my skills in leadership, management, strategic planning, public speaking, mentorship and also being a life-long learner which I believe makes me a perfect BoT candidate.

I have served as a mentor, facilitated multiple programs and provided technical support for multiple communities and organisations within Africa for Wikimedian communities and Non-wikimedian communities. I have grown from working for a Wikimedia affiliate to becoming a stakeholder for the Wikimedia affiliate. I have contributed to the implementation of policies and strategies for multiple organisations and companies across the globe specifically non-governmental organisations, telecommunication companies and outsourcing companies.

I bring a unique set of qualifications to be on the WMF board through my technical experience in the movement and given my past experience as WMF staff. In my candidate statement, I explained that a significant amount of the WMF’s work is developing and maintaining technical features, yet the board lacks real experience with Wikimedia’s unique technical requirements. I am a leader in the technical community, having worked on bots, Toolforge tools, MediaWiki, and server operations/infrastructure. I’m able to set reasonable technical goals and roadmaps, with a history of launching successful projects.
Unfortunately the board has failed to meet its previous commitments to staff (e.g. having an ombudsperson), I would bring a clear understanding of why those commitments and needs must be addressed. There is still a lot of follow-up to do from the Lila-era crises that the board has yet to address, my staff perspective would help the board in ensuring that we don’t repeat our mistakes.

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I’ve just finish a PdD thesis talking about an anthropological and prospective analyze of the Wikimedia Movement. Recherche:Imagine un monde — Wikiversité

Strategic, quant/finance, risk background
Almost 18 years of Wikimedia experience; memory how the growth rate, standards and values were evolving, and why early principles (distributed organisation, empowerment, neutrality outside - contextuality inside, boldness in experimenting) made us successful
Understanding Wikimedia ecosystem: editor, vice-chair/chair of Wikimedia Poland for 10 years, assisting with the CEE Hub, member of the FDC assessing international affiliates
Memory of the strategy: Resource Allocation Working Group, currently MCDC
Vast mid-size challenger experience: coming from a mid-size town, mid-size language community and mid-size chapter in a fairly middle-income country, highly engaged and exploring innovative, low-cost high-impact solutions

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