AGM Minutes 2020

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Comment These minutes are in draft. They have not yet been formally approved, and they may not accurately reflect the discussions and decisions from the meeting.

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of Wikimedia UK, held on 18th July 2020 at Wikimedia UK office, Europoint, 5-11 Lavington Street, London. Members viewed the proceedings online.

Welcome, and introduction to the AGM (Chair)

Nick Poole welcomed everyone to the meeting and gave an overview of proceedings. He confirmed that votes had been received prior to the meeting via our proxy voting system, and that the election was quorate.

Approval of 2019 AGM minutes

All members present had access to the draft minutes of the 2019 AGM, as notified by email. The minutes were approved as an accurate record of happenings by the members present.

Board report (Chair)

NP gave the Chair’s Report. In it, he noted his thanks to Josie Fraser for her role as Chair from July 2017 to March 2020, and the steps she took strategically. He also noted thanks for Kate West and Jordan Landes, both of whom had made an excellent contribution to the board. We continue to benefit from a fantastic board which seeks to ensure excellent governance, good administration of the charity’s affairs, and support for Lucy and the staff team. We’re addressing four extremely important strategies; diversity, information literacy, changing policy and practice, and increasing our visibility and capacity. The last aim is really important in how we continue to support the volunteer community, and in relation to that NP noted that we saw some very positive results from the volunteer community survey. He also noted that it was great to see more Train the Trainers work this year, increasing our impact and reach. A highlight for NP was Wikimedia UK’s work in addressing the gender gap, illustrated by the video made by John Lubbock. One of the things NP would like to champion is WMUK’s international role, as he believes it’s really important to strengthen our position as the UK chapter during the big changes going on in the global movement.

Finance report (Treasurer)

Marnie Woodward gave the Treasurer’s report. She noted the positive outcome of the 2019/2020 financial year, with a slightly higher income than in previous years and a surplus of £10k at the year end. She noted our thanks both to the the Wikimedia Foundation for our Annual Plan Grant (which represents about half of our income) and to our individual supporters. MW also highlighted the importance of Gifts in Kind, which is a very good indicator of the spread of our work. MW noted that the board is aware of the importance of reserves as a buffer, and added that we’re very fortunate to be within our stated policy of holding between three and six months of operating costs in the form of free reserves. She also noted that whilst our office closed and all staff started working from home during COVID, we had not had to draw on the government’s furlough scheme. During the first few months of the crisis, the board had looked at a range of possible scenarios, presented by the executive, and agreed a working budget for 2020/21 based on the medium-case (most likely) scenario. She also noted that despite the pandemic, we are using technology to keep our programmes running across the UK.

Activity report (Chief Executive)

Lucy Crompton-Reid gave the Chief Executive’s Report. She said how proud and privileged she felt to be part of such a talented staff team, and also thanked our trustees, volunteers, partners and supporters. She noted that whilst it’s difficult to talk about our programmes in any comprehensive way in a short talk, she wanted to share a few highlights. These include our minority languages work, particularly the Celtic Knot conference and other activities. She mentioned the Dumfries Stonecarving project as an excellent example of our work with local heritage and volunteers. She highlighted the huge increase in students taking part in our courses during 2019/20, reflecting our focus on digital literacy. She also noted that our student surveys show the impact of this work in terms of self-reported digital literacy skills. LCR went on to talk about the impact of Wikimedians in Residence in terms of education, including Andy Mabbet at Coventry University (launched in 2019), Ewan McAndrew at University of Edinburgh and Jason Evans, the National Wikimedian for Wales. LCR moved on to talk about our work to change policy and practice at an institutional, sectoral and public policy level. She felt that it was important to note the importance of our advocacy role during 2020, although this doesn’t strictly relate to the last financial year that.

LCR shared some key metrics from the past year including:

  • Volunteers contributed an estimated 24,225 hours to our programmes
  • There were 1,007 newly registered editors
  • There were 1.2 billion views of Wikipedia articles featuring content released with support from Wikimedia UK.

In a brief staff update, LCR noted that Richard Nevell had returned from his sabbatical at English Heritage, Karla Marte had gone on maternity leave, and John Lubbock had left his post at the end of the year. She also mentioned that we would be hiring two new positions this year. She gave her thanks to the staff team for the way they’ve adapted to the new way of working, which has resulted in lots of fantastic events and collaborations. While some events in the early weeks of the pandemic were cancelled or postponed, as an organisation we have shown our flexibility and resilience by adapting quickly and reimagining the way we work.

LCR noted that the Wikimedia movement as a whole has been hugely important in ensuring that the public had access to accurate, up to date, and well resourced information about the pandemic; and that open knowledge is clearly more critical than ever. Finally, she acknowledged everyone’s contribution to the projects over the past year, whether as a supporter, member, volunteer, resident or trustee.

There were no questions from members on the reports.

Announcement of results of resolutions and Board election (Teller)

The teller announced the results of the elections and resolutions.

As there were as many candidates for board positions as there were places, members were asked to support or oppose candidates rather than our usual single non-transferable vote system that is used for a competitive election. All three candidates were voted in, with two existing trustees standing for reelection; Nick Poole and Doug Taylor, and one new trustee elected; Kelly Foster.

All resolutions were passed, including the two special resolutions proposed by the board.

Close of formal business

NP thanked WMUK for an excellent AGM, and all the members and other stakeholders for attending.

The meeting was declared closed.