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[Wikimedia-l] Personal Update
Hi Everyone,
>
> I have an exciting personal update to share with all of you. Today, I am
> joining Quora as Chief Financial Officer. I have shared more information on
> my Quora personal blog[1].
>
> Once I decided to accept this role, I shared the news with Christophe as
> chair of the Board and Katherine as ED, both in the interest of full
> disclosure and to flag any potential conflicts of interest. Stephen LaPorte
> and Michelle Paulson, as interim Secretary of the Board and Foundation’s
> General Counsel, reviewed the new position and concluded there are no
> existing conflicts. After reviewing the bylaws, we’re confident we can
> properly manage any that may arise.
>
> As some of you may know, Jimmy Wales has a small investment in Quora. I
> was not personally aware of this during this process. As I learned of it
> during the conflict of interest review, I wanted to share that information
> and clarify there was no connection.
>
> I’m very excited about this next chapter in my professional life. I
> sincerely look forward to the opportunity to learn more about another
> passionate community, while continuing my commitment to serve Wikimedia as
> a Foundation Trustee over the years ahead. This service has been a true
> honor, thank you for support.
>
> Best,
> Kelly Battles
> *Member, Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees*
>
> 1. https://kellybattles.quora.com/Joining-Quora-as-CFO
>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Personal Update [ In reply to ]
Congratulations on your new role, Kelly.
Warmly,
/a

On Tue, Nov 1, 2016 at 1:24 PM, Kelly Battles <kbattles@wikimedia.org>
wrote:

> Hi Everyone,
> >
> > I have an exciting personal update to share with all of you. Today, I am
> > joining Quora as Chief Financial Officer. I have shared more information
> on
> > my Quora personal blog[1].
> >
> > Once I decided to accept this role, I shared the news with Christophe as
> > chair of the Board and Katherine as ED, both in the interest of full
> > disclosure and to flag any potential conflicts of interest. Stephen
> LaPorte
> > and Michelle Paulson, as interim Secretary of the Board and Foundation’s
> > General Counsel, reviewed the new position and concluded there are no
> > existing conflicts. After reviewing the bylaws, we’re confident we can
> > properly manage any that may arise.
> >
> > As some of you may know, Jimmy Wales has a small investment in Quora. I
> > was not personally aware of this during this process. As I learned of it
> > during the conflict of interest review, I wanted to share that
> information
> > and clarify there was no connection.
> >
> > I’m very excited about this next chapter in my professional life. I
> > sincerely look forward to the opportunity to learn more about another
> > passionate community, while continuing my commitment to serve Wikimedia
> as
> > a Foundation Trustee over the years ahead. This service has been a true
> > honor, thank you for support.
> >
> > Best,
> > Kelly Battles
> > *Member, Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees*
> >
> > 1. https://kellybattles.quora.com/Joining-Quora-as-CFO
> >
> >
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>




--
Anna Stillwell
Director of Culture
Wikimedia Foundation
415.806.1536
*www.wikimediafoundation.org <http://www.wikimediafoundation.org>*
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Personal Update [ In reply to ]
Welcome, Kelly, and thanks for the information!

Warm regards,
Scott

On Tue, Nov 1, 2016 at 1:28 PM, Anna Stillwell <astillwell@wikimedia.org>
wrote:

> Congratulations on your new role, Kelly.
> Warmly,
> /a
>
> On Tue, Nov 1, 2016 at 1:24 PM, Kelly Battles <kbattles@wikimedia.org>
> wrote:
>
> > Hi Everyone,
> > >
> > > I have an exciting personal update to share with all of you. Today, I
> am
> > > joining Quora as Chief Financial Officer. I have shared more
> information
> > on
> > > my Quora personal blog[1].
> > >
> > > Once I decided to accept this role, I shared the news with Christophe
> as
> > > chair of the Board and Katherine as ED, both in the interest of full
> > > disclosure and to flag any potential conflicts of interest. Stephen
> > LaPorte
> > > and Michelle Paulson, as interim Secretary of the Board and
> Foundation’s
> > > General Counsel, reviewed the new position and concluded there are no
> > > existing conflicts. After reviewing the bylaws, we’re confident we can
> > > properly manage any that may arise.
> > >
> > > As some of you may know, Jimmy Wales has a small investment in Quora. I
> > > was not personally aware of this during this process. As I learned of
> it
> > > during the conflict of interest review, I wanted to share that
> > information
> > > and clarify there was no connection.
> > >
> > > I’m very excited about this next chapter in my professional life. I
> > > sincerely look forward to the opportunity to learn more about another
> > > passionate community, while continuing my commitment to serve Wikimedia
> > as
> > > a Foundation Trustee over the years ahead. This service has been a true
> > > honor, thank you for support.
> > >
> > > Best,
> > > Kelly Battles
> > > *Member, Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees*
> > >
> > > 1. https://kellybattles.quora.com/Joining-Quora-as-CFO
> > >
> > >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
>
>
>
>
> --
> Anna Stillwell
> Director of Culture
> Wikimedia Foundation
> 415.806.1536
> *www.wikimediafoundation.org <http://www.wikimediafoundation.org>*
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
>



--

- Scott MacLeod - Founder & President

- http://worlduniversityandschool.org

- 415 480 4577

- PO Box 442, (86 Ridgecrest Road), Canyon, CA 94516

- World University and School - like Wikipedia with best STEM-centric
OpenCourseWare - incorporated as a nonprofit university and school in
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Personal Update [ In reply to ]
Hi Kelly,

You have left the hard tech world to join the world of collaboration and
co-creation. First as a volunteer board member of the Wikimedia Foundation,
and today as salaried employee of Quora, a site that co-creates answers to
questions. Quite some active Wikimedians are also active on Quora.

What I know about you is that you want to give the development of a new
strategic multi year plan for Wikimedia a push. I wonder in which ways
Wikimedia and Quora can reinforce each other. Some day you will give me
answer.

For now, thanks for the disclosure, and good luck in your new job!

Warm regards,

Ad

On Tue, Nov 1, 2016 at 9:24 PM, Kelly Battles <kbattles@wikimedia.org>
wrote:

> Hi Everyone,
> >
> > I have an exciting personal update to share with all of you. Today, I am
> > joining Quora as Chief Financial Officer. I have shared more information
> on
> > my Quora personal blog[1].
> >
> > Once I decided to accept this role, I shared the news with Christophe as
> > chair of the Board and Katherine as ED, both in the interest of full
> > disclosure and to flag any potential conflicts of interest. Stephen
> LaPorte
> > and Michelle Paulson, as interim Secretary of the Board and Foundation’s
> > General Counsel, reviewed the new position and concluded there are no
> > existing conflicts. After reviewing the bylaws, we’re confident we can
> > properly manage any that may arise.
> >
> > As some of you may know, Jimmy Wales has a small investment in Quora. I
> > was not personally aware of this during this process. As I learned of it
> > during the conflict of interest review, I wanted to share that
> information
> > and clarify there was no connection.
> >
> > I’m very excited about this next chapter in my professional life. I
> > sincerely look forward to the opportunity to learn more about another
> > passionate community, while continuing my commitment to serve Wikimedia
> as
> > a Foundation Trustee over the years ahead. This service has been a true
> > honor, thank you for support.
> >
> > Best,
> > Kelly Battles
> > *Member, Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees*
> >
> > 1. https://kellybattles.quora.com/Joining-Quora-as-CFO
> >
> >
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Personal Update [ In reply to ]
Congratulations, Ms. Battles!

I recommend updating your biographical sketch on this page to reflect this,
so that the information is available to future readers not currently
subscribed to this mailing list:
https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Board_of_Trustees

A.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Personal Update [ In reply to ]
Yeah, there just might be a few of us around here who participate on
Wikipedia and Quora both. Not that I'd know anyone like that. :)

Congratulations on the new position.

Todd

On Tue, Nov 1, 2016 at 7:46 PM, Asaf Bartov <abartov@wikimedia.org> wrote:

> Congratulations, Ms. Battles!
>
> I recommend updating your biographical sketch on this page to reflect this,
> so that the information is available to future readers not currently
> subscribed to this mailing list:
> https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Board_of_Trustees
>
> A.
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Personal Update [ In reply to ]
Errrh,

Welcome to Quora!

More seriously I was thinking of putting together a submission for Montreal
along the lines of "Cultural Learnings of Quora for Make Benefit Glorious
Website of Wikipedia." Any one who wants to get involved in that please
contact me off list.

WSC

On 2 November 2016 at 12:00, <wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org>
wrote:

> Send Wikimedia-l mailing list submissions to
>
>
> 1. Re: Personal Update (Asaf Bartov)
> 2. Re: Personal Update (Todd Allen)
> --------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Message: 1
> Date: Wed, 02 Nov 2016 01:46:24 +0000
> From: Asaf Bartov <abartov@wikimedia.org>
> To: Wikimedia Mailing List <wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org>
> Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Personal Update
> Message-ID:
> <CAAmrcweiP8BWNaQiLEVTk7_uoogz5_2VApE-uamtzbDXMYeyGg@
> mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
>
> Congratulations, Ms. Battles!
>
> I recommend updating your biographical sketch on this page to reflect this,
> so that the information is available to future readers not currently
> subscribed to this mailing list:
> https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Board_of_Trustees
>
> A.
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 2
> Date: Tue, 1 Nov 2016 20:00:22 -0600
> From: Todd Allen <toddmallen@gmail.com>
> To: Wikimedia Mailing List <wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org>
> Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Personal Update
> Message-ID:
> <CAGToUqyh9OMYaR7as2+CE+YOd+DuiOizD+AFHTzpWdDRCfOAFw@mail.
> gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
>
> Yeah, there just might be a few of us around here who participate on
> Wikipedia and Quora both. Not that I'd know anyone like that. :)
>
> Congratulations on the new position.
>
> Todd
>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Personal Update [ In reply to ]
Congratuations to Kelly Battles on her new job at Quora. I believe I'm
correct in saying that this is a company whose business is to make a profit
by pursuing its "mission is to share and grow the world’s knowledge".
Surely that means that in general the more and better the Wikimedia
projects pursue their mission, the more they will undercut Quora's
business? In particular, would not the Knowledge Engine, at least as
originally conceived, be very much in direct competition with Quora's
question-and-answer model? It seems to me that Kelly's duty to her new
employer is likely to come very clearly into conflict with her duty to the
Foundation, and while it is posible that this can be managed, will it not
seriously diminish her ability to work with the Board on the strategic
thinking they are just about to start? I hestiate to suggest that Kelly's
best course of action is to step down from the Board but I do believe it
needs serious consideration by herself and her fellow Trustees -- it is not
clear whether it is better for the Board to have another vacancy, or a
Trustee who is unable to engage in the strategy-setting which is so bady
needed. Indeed, with two vacancies already, and no clear indication of
when or how they will be filled, I suggest that the Board is in a rather
awkward position now.

"Rogol"
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Personal Update [ In reply to ]
The mere potential that a conflict of interest may arise in the future is
not necessarily a reason to resign from the board. This is why we have
legal counsel such as Stephen and Michelle to determine whether such
conflicts are serious enough to be inappropriate. We should all be
satisfied with their opinions that this situation is fine in light of their
reputation, experience, and credentials; I know I am.

Minor conflicts of interest sometimes arise. That is normal, and as Kelly
said, such conflicts can be managed. For example, when it happens, the
relevant party can do things like recusing themselves from that discussion
and stepping out of the room until the discussion is complete. This is
standard procedure adopted by boards of other organisations, and also in
parts of our movement such as the Arbitration Committees or Funds
Dissemination Committee.

Additionally, I am disturbed by the recent trend of seemingly all threads
involving members of the Board of Trustees inevitably having someone asking
a trustee to resign. I hope this absurdity does not continue.

Dan

On 2 November 2016 at 22:34, Rogol Domedonfors <domedonfors@gmail.com>
wrote:

> Congratuations to Kelly Battles on her new job at Quora. I believe I'm
> correct in saying that this is a company whose business is to make a profit
> by pursuing its "mission is to share and grow the world’s knowledge".
> Surely that means that in general the more and better the Wikimedia
> projects pursue their mission, the more they will undercut Quora's
> business? In particular, would not the Knowledge Engine, at least as
> originally conceived, be very much in direct competition with Quora's
> question-and-answer model? It seems to me that Kelly's duty to her new
> employer is likely to come very clearly into conflict with her duty to the
> Foundation, and while it is posible that this can be managed, will it not
> seriously diminish her ability to work with the Board on the strategic
> thinking they are just about to start? I hestiate to suggest that Kelly's
> best course of action is to step down from the Board but I do believe it
> needs serious consideration by herself and her fellow Trustees -- it is not
> clear whether it is better for the Board to have another vacancy, or a
> Trustee who is unable to engage in the strategy-setting which is so bady
> needed. Indeed, with two vacancies already, and no clear indication of
> when or how they will be filled, I suggest that the Board is in a rather
> awkward position now.
>
> "Rogol"
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
>



--
Dan Garry
Lead Product Manager, Discovery
Wikimedia Foundation
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Personal Update [ In reply to ]
Dan, I disagree. Three points:

1. Rogol explicitly said they *hesitate* to suggest that anybody resign;
nobody on this list has asked her to resign. Best not to exaggerate.

2. It is true that there is a higher level of scrutiny of the board than
there has been in the past. We should not forget that in the last year, the
board or its members:
* Ousted a community-selected member, for reasons generally regarded as
frivolous and insufficient;
* Defamed that same person following his ouster
* Appointed a new member with insufficient vetting, who subsequently had to
resign under pressure
* Lost another community-selected member, who cited reasons he had been
explicitly aware of during his candidacy
* Appointed a member to a community-selected seat who had not, in fact,
been selected by the community (I don't think this was actually a bad move
given the circumstances, but it's worth noting nonetheless)
* Lost an executive director (amid scandal) it had hailed as a perfect
"unicorn" just two years ago

It therefore stands to reason that people will be more critical than usual
of the board's activities. I would argue this is healthy. The board has a
great deal of work to do in regaining the trust it has lost as an
institution. (I'll note that I published some suggestions about actions the
board could take; I have seen no indication that the board even read this
op-ed, much less considered implementing its suggestions.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2016-03-16/Op-ed
)

3. On the specifics mentioned here: Without suggesting that Ms. Battles or
anybody has done anything wrong, it is indeed prudent, as Rogol suggests,
to consider whether this might constitute a COI that directly impedes
important work on Wikimedia's behalf. I'm personally not as worried about
it as Rogol; I take it as a good sign that she has proactively announced it
here, and I trust it will be noted in a more visible location as well. I am
not sure that her area of specialization (finance) is something that would
really suffer from this particular COI. But as important as legal vetting
may be, it remains important that somebody pay attention to the fit of
board members with the general mission of the organization -- and I
wouldn't expect WMF staff lawyers to fill that role. Ordinarily, I think it
would be the board's role to pay attention to that -- but for the reasons
stated above, I think it's worthwhile if others in the movement pay
attention too.

-Pete
[[User:Peteforsyth]]

On Wed, Nov 2, 2016 at 3:48 PM, Dan Garry <dgarry@wikimedia.org> wrote:

> The mere potential that a conflict of interest may arise in the future is
> not necessarily a reason to resign from the board. This is why we have
> legal counsel such as Stephen and Michelle to determine whether such
> conflicts are serious enough to be inappropriate. We should all be
> satisfied with their opinions that this situation is fine in light of their
> reputation, experience, and credentials; I know I am.
>
> Minor conflicts of interest sometimes arise. That is normal, and as Kelly
> said, such conflicts can be managed. For example, when it happens, the
> relevant party can do things like recusing themselves from that discussion
> and stepping out of the room until the discussion is complete. This is
> standard procedure adopted by boards of other organisations, and also in
> parts of our movement such as the Arbitration Committees or Funds
> Dissemination Committee.
>
> Additionally, I am disturbed by the recent trend of seemingly all threads
> involving members of the Board of Trustees inevitably having someone asking
> a trustee to resign. I hope this absurdity does not continue.
>
> Dan
>
> On 2 November 2016 at 22:34, Rogol Domedonfors <domedonfors@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > Congratuations to Kelly Battles on her new job at Quora. I believe I'm
> > correct in saying that this is a company whose business is to make a
> profit
> > by pursuing its "mission is to share and grow the world’s knowledge".
> > Surely that means that in general the more and better the Wikimedia
> > projects pursue their mission, the more they will undercut Quora's
> > business? In particular, would not the Knowledge Engine, at least as
> > originally conceived, be very much in direct competition with Quora's
> > question-and-answer model? It seems to me that Kelly's duty to her new
> > employer is likely to come very clearly into conflict with her duty to
> the
> > Foundation, and while it is posible that this can be managed, will it not
> > seriously diminish her ability to work with the Board on the strategic
> > thinking they are just about to start? I hestiate to suggest that
> Kelly's
> > best course of action is to step down from the Board but I do believe it
> > needs serious consideration by herself and her fellow Trustees -- it is
> not
> > clear whether it is better for the Board to have another vacancy, or a
> > Trustee who is unable to engage in the strategy-setting which is so bady
> > needed. Indeed, with two vacancies already, and no clear indication of
> > when or how they will be filled, I suggest that the Board is in a rather
> > awkward position now.
> >
> > "Rogol"
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
>
>
>
> --
> Dan Garry
> Lead Product Manager, Discovery
> Wikimedia Foundation
> _______________________________________________
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> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Personal Update [ In reply to ]
In case my blanket "I disagree" left doubt, let me state very clearly --
I'm not seeking anybody's resignation here. (Just reread Dan's message and
realized it's possible the beginning of my response could be read that way,
though I think I'm pretty clear further down.)
-Pete

On Wed, Nov 2, 2016 at 4:32 PM, Pete Forsyth <peteforsyth@gmail.com> wrote:

> Dan, I disagree. Three points:
>
> 1. Rogol explicitly said they *hesitate* to suggest that anybody resign;
> nobody on this list has asked her to resign. Best not to exaggerate.
>
> 2. It is true that there is a higher level of scrutiny of the board than
> there has been in the past. We should not forget that in the last year, the
> board or its members:
> * Ousted a community-selected member, for reasons generally regarded as
> frivolous and insufficient;
> * Defamed that same person following his ouster
> * Appointed a new member with insufficient vetting, who subsequently had
> to resign under pressure
> * Lost another community-selected member, who cited reasons he had been
> explicitly aware of during his candidacy
> * Appointed a member to a community-selected seat who had not, in fact,
> been selected by the community (I don't think this was actually a bad move
> given the circumstances, but it's worth noting nonetheless)
> * Lost an executive director (amid scandal) it had hailed as a perfect
> "unicorn" just two years ago
>
> It therefore stands to reason that people will be more critical than usual
> of the board's activities. I would argue this is healthy. The board has a
> great deal of work to do in regaining the trust it has lost as an
> institution. (I'll note that I published some suggestions about actions the
> board could take; I have seen no indication that the board even read this
> op-ed, much less considered implementing its suggestions.
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/
> 2016-03-16/Op-ed )
>
> 3. On the specifics mentioned here: Without suggesting that Ms. Battles or
> anybody has done anything wrong, it is indeed prudent, as Rogol suggests,
> to consider whether this might constitute a COI that directly impedes
> important work on Wikimedia's behalf. I'm personally not as worried about
> it as Rogol; I take it as a good sign that she has proactively announced it
> here, and I trust it will be noted in a more visible location as well. I am
> not sure that her area of specialization (finance) is something that would
> really suffer from this particular COI. But as important as legal vetting
> may be, it remains important that somebody pay attention to the fit of
> board members with the general mission of the organization -- and I
> wouldn't expect WMF staff lawyers to fill that role. Ordinarily, I think it
> would be the board's role to pay attention to that -- but for the reasons
> stated above, I think it's worthwhile if others in the movement pay
> attention too.
>
> -Pete
> [[User:Peteforsyth]]
>
> On Wed, Nov 2, 2016 at 3:48 PM, Dan Garry <dgarry@wikimedia.org> wrote:
>
>> The mere potential that a conflict of interest may arise in the future is
>> not necessarily a reason to resign from the board. This is why we have
>> legal counsel such as Stephen and Michelle to determine whether such
>> conflicts are serious enough to be inappropriate. We should all be
>> satisfied with their opinions that this situation is fine in light of
>> their
>> reputation, experience, and credentials; I know I am.
>>
>> Minor conflicts of interest sometimes arise. That is normal, and as Kelly
>> said, such conflicts can be managed. For example, when it happens, the
>> relevant party can do things like recusing themselves from that discussion
>> and stepping out of the room until the discussion is complete. This is
>> standard procedure adopted by boards of other organisations, and also in
>> parts of our movement such as the Arbitration Committees or Funds
>> Dissemination Committee.
>>
>> Additionally, I am disturbed by the recent trend of seemingly all threads
>> involving members of the Board of Trustees inevitably having someone
>> asking
>> a trustee to resign. I hope this absurdity does not continue.
>>
>> Dan
>>
>> On 2 November 2016 at 22:34, Rogol Domedonfors <domedonfors@gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>
>> > Congratuations to Kelly Battles on her new job at Quora. I believe I'm
>> > correct in saying that this is a company whose business is to make a
>> profit
>> > by pursuing its "mission is to share and grow the world’s knowledge".
>> > Surely that means that in general the more and better the Wikimedia
>> > projects pursue their mission, the more they will undercut Quora's
>> > business? In particular, would not the Knowledge Engine, at least as
>> > originally conceived, be very much in direct competition with Quora's
>> > question-and-answer model? It seems to me that Kelly's duty to her new
>> > employer is likely to come very clearly into conflict with her duty to
>> the
>> > Foundation, and while it is posible that this can be managed, will it
>> not
>> > seriously diminish her ability to work with the Board on the strategic
>> > thinking they are just about to start? I hestiate to suggest that
>> Kelly's
>> > best course of action is to step down from the Board but I do believe it
>> > needs serious consideration by herself and her fellow Trustees -- it is
>> not
>> > clear whether it is better for the Board to have another vacancy, or a
>> > Trustee who is unable to engage in the strategy-setting which is so bady
>> > needed. Indeed, with two vacancies already, and no clear indication of
>> > when or how they will be filled, I suggest that the Board is in a rather
>> > awkward position now.
>> >
>> > "Rogol"
>> > _______________________________________________
>> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
>> > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
>> > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
>> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
>> > <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
>> >
>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> Dan Garry
>> Lead Product Manager, Discovery
>> Wikimedia Foundation
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wik
>> i/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
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>>
>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Personal Update [ In reply to ]
Hi everyone,

On the process, Kelly notified Katherine and myself about the possibility
of conflict shortly after receiving an offer from Quora, in accordance with
the Foundation's Conflict of Interest Policy.[1] Kelly wanted to make sure
the issue was transparently disclosed to the full Board and the Wikimedia
community, and if there were any conflicts, address them directly. She was
very explicit about handling this in any way that was best for Wikimedia.

Kelly then met with Michelle and Stephen. They reviewed the Foundation’s
conflict of interest rules in depth, and worked with her to develop a plan
to manage the potential for a conflict. As you know, our mission is to
empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop
educational content under a free license[2] or in the public domain, and to
disseminate it effectively and globally.

We would in fact encourage people to see the benefit in our Trustees having
relevant expertise to our mission and operations. In addition to her
financial expertise, Kelly now brings the perspective of another
organization’s experiences supporting a large, dynamic community of
volunteers who create and share knowledge. These volunteers - some of whom
are also Wikimedians - are also passionate about the way their platform,
product, organization, and community supports them. There are many ways the
Foundation, and by extension, the movement, could benefit from learning
from Quora’s successes and challenges.

Kelly proactively disclosed the issue to the Board officers, the full
Board, and the Wikimedia community. Her professional experience as a CFO
means that she is conscientious about conflict rules, and ready to do what
is best for the Wikimedia movement. The Board of Trustees is fortunate to
have her volunteer service, and we are confident that we can address any
issues that may arise.

Now, on a more personal level, I’m really sad to witness the tone of
certain emails in this thread. The Board learned its lessons, and you have
here a factual proof about our commitment to be open with you all.

Criticism and concerns are, of course, to be voiced, but in a proper
manner. With the events we all went through in the past few months,
suggesting a Board member should resign and at the same time saying the
process was properly followed, is not ok.

If there’s one thing we should have learned is that it is when we respect,
listen, and pay attention to each other, we can achieve more.

I do understand and respect the current higher level of scrutiny on Board
actions, but respect is never optional.

Best,

Christophe

[1] https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Conflict_of_interest_policy
The Foundation's Conflict of Interest Policy ensures that Board members
disclose their possible conflicts to the rest of the Board, and recuse
themselves from discussions as appropriate. When Board members raise a
potential conflict of interest, we talk with them about their legal duties
(which you can read about in the Wikimedia Foundation Board Handbook) and
our policies on Conflicts of Interest and Pledge of Personal Commitment.
Additionally, we keep an up-to-date questionnaire on potential conflicts,
which is also updated on an annual basis with all Board members and
reviewed by the General Counsel. The Foundation has recently reviewed our
conflict of interest procedures against other comparable non-profit
organizations, and I'm confident that our system appropriately thorough and
rigorous.


[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_content



Christophe HENNER
Chair of the board of trustees
chenner@wikimedia.org
+33650664739

twitter *@schiste* skype *christophe_henner*



On Thu, Nov 3, 2016 at 12:38 AM, Pete Forsyth <peteforsyth@gmail.com> wrote:

> In case my blanket "I disagree" left doubt, let me state very clearly --
> I'm not seeking anybody's resignation here. (Just reread Dan's message and
> realized it's possible the beginning of my response could be read that way,
> though I think I'm pretty clear further down.)
> -Pete
>
> On Wed, Nov 2, 2016 at 4:32 PM, Pete Forsyth <peteforsyth@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > Dan, I disagree. Three points:
> >
> > 1. Rogol explicitly said they *hesitate* to suggest that anybody resign;
> > nobody on this list has asked her to resign. Best not to exaggerate.
> >
> > 2. It is true that there is a higher level of scrutiny of the board than
> > there has been in the past. We should not forget that in the last year,
> the
> > board or its members:
> > * Ousted a community-selected member, for reasons generally regarded as
> > frivolous and insufficient;
> > * Defamed that same person following his ouster
> > * Appointed a new member with insufficient vetting, who subsequently had
> > to resign under pressure
> > * Lost another community-selected member, who cited reasons he had been
> > explicitly aware of during his candidacy
> > * Appointed a member to a community-selected seat who had not, in fact,
> > been selected by the community (I don't think this was actually a bad
> move
> > given the circumstances, but it's worth noting nonetheless)
> > * Lost an executive director (amid scandal) it had hailed as a perfect
> > "unicorn" just two years ago
> >
> > It therefore stands to reason that people will be more critical than
> usual
> > of the board's activities. I would argue this is healthy. The board has a
> > great deal of work to do in regaining the trust it has lost as an
> > institution. (I'll note that I published some suggestions about actions
> the
> > board could take; I have seen no indication that the board even read this
> > op-ed, much less considered implementing its suggestions.
> > https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/
> > 2016-03-16/Op-ed )
> >
> > 3. On the specifics mentioned here: Without suggesting that Ms. Battles
> or
> > anybody has done anything wrong, it is indeed prudent, as Rogol suggests,
> > to consider whether this might constitute a COI that directly impedes
> > important work on Wikimedia's behalf. I'm personally not as worried about
> > it as Rogol; I take it as a good sign that she has proactively announced
> it
> > here, and I trust it will be noted in a more visible location as well. I
> am
> > not sure that her area of specialization (finance) is something that
> would
> > really suffer from this particular COI. But as important as legal vetting
> > may be, it remains important that somebody pay attention to the fit of
> > board members with the general mission of the organization -- and I
> > wouldn't expect WMF staff lawyers to fill that role. Ordinarily, I think
> it
> > would be the board's role to pay attention to that -- but for the reasons
> > stated above, I think it's worthwhile if others in the movement pay
> > attention too.
> >
> > -Pete
> > [[User:Peteforsyth]]
> >
> > On Wed, Nov 2, 2016 at 3:48 PM, Dan Garry <dgarry@wikimedia.org> wrote:
> >
> >> The mere potential that a conflict of interest may arise in the future
> is
> >> not necessarily a reason to resign from the board. This is why we have
> >> legal counsel such as Stephen and Michelle to determine whether such
> >> conflicts are serious enough to be inappropriate. We should all be
> >> satisfied with their opinions that this situation is fine in light of
> >> their
> >> reputation, experience, and credentials; I know I am.
> >>
> >> Minor conflicts of interest sometimes arise. That is normal, and as
> Kelly
> >> said, such conflicts can be managed. For example, when it happens, the
> >> relevant party can do things like recusing themselves from that
> discussion
> >> and stepping out of the room until the discussion is complete. This is
> >> standard procedure adopted by boards of other organisations, and also in
> >> parts of our movement such as the Arbitration Committees or Funds
> >> Dissemination Committee.
> >>
> >> Additionally, I am disturbed by the recent trend of seemingly all
> threads
> >> involving members of the Board of Trustees inevitably having someone
> >> asking
> >> a trustee to resign. I hope this absurdity does not continue.
> >>
> >> Dan
> >>
> >> On 2 November 2016 at 22:34, Rogol Domedonfors <domedonfors@gmail.com>
> >> wrote:
> >>
> >> > Congratuations to Kelly Battles on her new job at Quora. I believe
> I'm
> >> > correct in saying that this is a company whose business is to make a
> >> profit
> >> > by pursuing its "mission is to share and grow the world’s knowledge".
> >> > Surely that means that in general the more and better the Wikimedia
> >> > projects pursue their mission, the more they will undercut Quora's
> >> > business? In particular, would not the Knowledge Engine, at least as
> >> > originally conceived, be very much in direct competition with Quora's
> >> > question-and-answer model? It seems to me that Kelly's duty to her
> new
> >> > employer is likely to come very clearly into conflict with her duty to
> >> the
> >> > Foundation, and while it is posible that this can be managed, will it
> >> not
> >> > seriously diminish her ability to work with the Board on the strategic
> >> > thinking they are just about to start? I hestiate to suggest that
> >> Kelly's
> >> > best course of action is to step down from the Board but I do believe
> it
> >> > needs serious consideration by herself and her fellow Trustees -- it
> is
> >> not
> >> > clear whether it is better for the Board to have another vacancy, or a
> >> > Trustee who is unable to engage in the strategy-setting which is so
> bady
> >> > needed. Indeed, with two vacancies already, and no clear indication
> of
> >> > when or how they will be filled, I suggest that the Board is in a
> rather
> >> > awkward position now.
> >> >
> >> > "Rogol"
> >> > _______________________________________________
> >> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> >> > wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> >> > New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> >> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
> ,
> >> > <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
> >> >
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> --
> >> Dan Garry
> >> Lead Product Manager, Discovery
> >> Wikimedia Foundation
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wik
> >> i/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> >> New messages to: Wikimedia-l@lists.wikimedia.org
> >> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> >> <mailto:wikimedia-l-request@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>
> >>
> >
> >
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Personal Update [ In reply to ]
Christophe writes "suggesting a Board member should resign and at the same
time saying the process was properly followed, is not ok". I am not sure
exactly what he means to convey by this, but I am not aware that anyone
posting to this thread has said anything that can be described in this
way.

In the unlikely event that he thinks this is what I myself was saying, I
suggest he read my comment again (at least one other contributor has had no
difficulty in understanding it). The point of it was that the process of
managing Kelly's conflict of interest will deprive the Board of a source of
advice which is undesirable when the Board already has two vacancies and no
clearly expressed plans to fill them. It appears that he disagrees, which
is, of course, OK.

If Christophe believes that any postings in this thread have expressed
criticisms or concerns in a manner which he regards as improper, he should
say clearly what he objects to and why he objects to it. Merely issuing
general instructions to the generality of list members to treat the Board
in general with greater respect is likely to prove counter-productive.

"Rogol"
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Personal Update [ In reply to ]
Kelly: Wonderful news; congratulations, and thanks for the update.
Christophe, thank you for that thoughtful addendum.

Rogol:

> The point of [my comment] was that the process of managing

Kelly's conflict of interest will deprive the Board of a source of advice
>

I don't see why this should deprive the Board of her advice in the
slightest.
(It's also not how boards usually work when members are involved with other
organizations / companies / communities in the same space.)

She will have to recuse herself from decisions (not discussion or advising)
where there might be a conflict between WMF and Quora – Just as Jimmy has
long recused himself from decisions where there might be one between WMF
and Wikia. But the number of such decisions will probably be tiny and not
central to governance.

When it comes to strategy in particular, there is almost no current overlap
between the organizations' main projects. Wikimedia communities have
largely restricted their focus to the << 0.1% of global knowledge that is
notable, verifiable, neutral, and {PD, CC-BY, CC-SA}, boiled that knowledge
down to a single coherent overview per topic/work/datum/term/place. Quora
is dominated by current events, pop culture, trending and future businesses
and ideas; by repeated variations and explanations of a theme, by
hypotheticals and subjective (if community-polished) opinion; and its
material is close to CC-ND, or no-reuse. If there is significant overlap
between Quora's and Wikimedia's scope or discovery services in the next
decade, I will be surprised.

Sam.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Personal Update [ In reply to ]
Sam, Thanks you for your views. Referring to the possible conflicts
between Wikimedia and Quora, you say that "there is almost no current
overlap between the organizations' main projects". Whether or not this is
true right now, it is entirely possible that it may not be true in future,
and I gave an example that you did not address (Knowledge Engine). The WMF
is "dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of
free multilingual, educational content, and to providing the full content
of these wiki-based projects to the public free of charge", committed to "a
world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all
knowledge" Quora's business is to "share and grow the world’s knowledge".
It is not at all obvious to me that these can never be in conflict, indeed
they seem quite remarkably similar, with the signficant exception of the
profit element. Is there some demarcation agreement that we have not been
told about?

"Rogol"
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Personal Update [ In reply to ]
Fortunately the Board isn't required to consider whether hypothetically in
future some other organisation's interests might conflict with the
Foundation's: only whether in practice they do.

(By the way, I am not surprised people read your original email as calling
for Kelly to resign - it was the bit where you said the board should
"seriously consider" it and listed all the reasons in favour of her
leaving. Generally it doesn't help persuade people if you carefully word
your emails to heavily hint that you want a particular thing, but then
dispute that you ever wanted it :) )

On Fri, Nov 4, 2016 at 7:25 PM, Rogol Domedonfors <domedonfors@gmail.com>
wrote:

> Sam, Thanks you for your views. Referring to the possible conflicts
> between Wikimedia and Quora, you say that "there is almost no current
> overlap between the organizations' main projects". Whether or not this is
> true right now, it is entirely possible that it may not be true in future,
> and I gave an example that you did not address (Knowledge Engine). The WMF
> is "dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of
> free multilingual, educational content, and to providing the full content
> of these wiki-based projects to the public free of charge", committed to "a
> world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all
> knowledge" Quora's business is to "share and grow the world’s knowledge".
> It is not at all obvious to me that these can never be in conflict, indeed
> they seem quite remarkably similar, with the signficant exception of the
> profit element. Is there some demarcation agreement that we have not been
> told about?
>
> "Rogol"
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Personal Update [ In reply to ]
Chris Keating wrote: "Fortunately the Board isn't required to consider
whether hypothetically infuture some other organisation's interests might
conflict with the Foundation's: only whether in practice they do." This is
not correct: one of the functions of the Board is to assess the risks to
the WMF and this necessarily involves assessing whether certain situations
might arise in the future that have not arisen now. This is normal
practice, and it is why the WMF has a risk register which is reviewed
regularly by the Audit Committee (see
https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Audit_Committee/2015-03-16 and
discussion at
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Board_noticeboard/Archives/2016#Risk_Assessment_Document_update
– it would have been helpful to this discussion if that document had been
made available to the community as proposed).

This was not a case of a hypothetical future event which did not need to be
considered, but a risk that needed to be assesd: indeed, as we have been
clearly told, it was assessed by WMF staff, and their decision was that the
risk could be managed. My point was that the Board should consider whether
the processes required to manage the risk would diminish the effectiveness
of the trustee concerned to an unacceptable degree: "I do believe it needs
serious consideration by herself and her fellow Trustees" is what I wrote.

It appears that the WMF are taking a narrow view of conflict of interest in
terms of financial interest and the fiduciary duty of the Trustees. That
is their position, and they are entitled to hold it, although it is not a
view I have worked with often in my own experience. I believe the Board
could and should consider the wider needs to obtain the best possible range
of strategic advice and input, epsecially as we move into yet another
strategic review: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Strategy/2016-2017

"Rogol"
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Personal Update [ In reply to ]
> I believe the Board could and should consider the wider needs to obtain
the best possible range of strategic advice and input, epsecially as we
move into yet another
strategic review

That strikes me as a difficult statement to disagree with, though also
difficult to actually achieve if you take the very expansive definition of
conflict of interest that you suggest.

Chris





On Sun, Nov 6, 2016 at 7:52 AM, Rogol Domedonfors <domedonfors@gmail.com>
wrote:

> Chris Keating wrote: "Fortunately the Board isn't required to consider
> whether hypothetically infuture some other organisation's interests might
> conflict with the Foundation's: only whether in practice they do." This is
> not correct: one of the functions of the Board is to assess the risks to
> the WMF and this necessarily involves assessing whether certain situations
> might arise in the future that have not arisen now. This is normal
> practice, and it is why the WMF has a risk register which is reviewed
> regularly by the Audit Committee (see
> https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Audit_Committee/2015-03-16 and
> discussion at
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_
> Board_noticeboard/Archives/2016#Risk_Assessment_Document_update
> – it would have been helpful to this discussion if that document had been
> made available to the community as proposed).
>
> This was not a case of a hypothetical future event which did not need to be
> considered, but a risk that needed to be assesd: indeed, as we have been
> clearly told, it was assessed by WMF staff, and their decision was that the
> risk could be managed. My point was that the Board should consider whether
> the processes required to manage the risk would diminish the effectiveness
> of the trustee concerned to an unacceptable degree: "I do believe it needs
> serious consideration by herself and her fellow Trustees" is what I wrote.
>
> It appears that the WMF are taking a narrow view of conflict of interest in
> terms of financial interest and the fiduciary duty of the Trustees. That
> is their position, and they are entitled to hold it, although it is not a
> view I have worked with often in my own experience. I believe the Board
> could and should consider the wider needs to obtain the best possible range
> of strategic advice and input, epsecially as we move into yet another
> strategic review: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Strategy/2016-2017
>
> "Rogol"
> _______________________________________________
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