Chief Executive Report 2016-12-10

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Board Meeting December 2016 Chief Executive's Report

Overview[edit | edit source]

Autumn has been a busy period for the whole charity, with increased output in terms of programmes including new initiatives and partnerships around the country, and understaffing in finance and operations during what is always an active period. It has also been exceptionally busy for me personally with the development and submission of our funding proposal to the Wikimedia Foundation; the creation, recruitment and induction of the new Membership, Fundraising and Operations Assistant post; the development and delivery of our partnership project with BBC 100 Women; advocacy work around the proposed EU copyright reforms; applications to trusts and foundations; the development of our individual giving plan; and budget planning.

Programmes Report and Update[edit | edit source]

Daria has worked closely with Karla and other members of the team to continue to improve our recording of key metrics. The Quarterly Performance Report circulated with these board papers demonstrates sustained progress towards our targets, most of which have now been achieved or are on track to be achieved by the end of the year. For this quarter’s performance report we have added a ‘total’ column for the year to date to make it easier to read and understand, and have indicated whether or not the target has been achieved within this column. Highlights of the quantitative indicators at this point in the financial year include:

  • The number of individuals involved so far this year is 2989, compared to last year’s total of 1856 and a target of 2000.
  • Whilst our progress against the lead volunteers metric still represents an opportunity for improvement, in quarter 3 we engaged with 63, roughly equivalent to our total for the first half of the year.
  • At 12,880, we have achieved three times our target for total volunteer hours.
  • We have dramatically exceeded many of our content targets, with 440,040 articles improved or created against a target of 10,000. Whilst a significant proportion of these are down to Wikidata work, we have also added a high number of articles to Wikipedia through our partnerships programme and editor competitions.
  • We are on target to achieve our advocacy targets in terms of consultations that we have responded to, and evidence taken into consideration in order to effect policy change at an institutional or public policy level.

The key area for development in terms of the metrics is the proportion of volunteer hours that can be attributed to women, which is hovering around the 20% mark compared to a target of 38%. Interestingly however, we are on target to achieve our target for the proportion of lead volunteers who are women.

Highlights of our qualitative outcomes for the quarter include:

  • A new Wikimedian in Residence partnership with Cornwall’s Hypatia Trust
  • The launch of the second phase of the Bodleian Libraries residency
  • The growing reach and impact of the University of Edinburgh residency
  • Very significant content metrics generated through partnerships in Wales
  • Representation at a range of conferences and events
  • Increased print and broadcast media coverage
  • Our participation in a Ministerial Roundtable on copyright reform

Staff and Board Update[edit | edit source]

In October, I finalised the job description for the new full-time post of Membership, Fundraising and Operations Assistant, with input from the Senior Management Team and Kate West. I arranged for the post to be advertised in The Guardian and Charity Jobs as well as a number of free jobs websites, receiving 25 applications in total.

Davina and I interviewed five shortlisted candidates in early November with the successful candidate, Nicola Furness, joining the team on Monday 28th November. Nicola has a background in publishing, working both here and in Australia, and also spent a year working as a director-level PA in Sainsbury's Head Office. She is currently working for the Money Advice Trust as a Learning Administrator and brings strong organisational and administrative skills to the role, with some experience in membership, communications and operations.

As agreed at the last board meeting, we are appointing a part time Finance Assistant to take on the financial aspects of the previous Office Manager’s role and to free up Karla’s time to focus 100% on programmes. After a few false starts on the agency’s side, a temporary Finance Assistant joined us in November and has been supporting Davina with the quarterly management accounts and other tasks. It’s likely that this appointment will come to an end by Christmas and we will be recruiting for the permanent staff member early in the new year; however we have decided to make this a two day a week role rather than three days.

Earlier this year I suggested that Daria apply for a scholarship to attend OpenCon 2016: Empowering the Next Generation to Advance Open Access, Open Education and Open Data. I’m delighted to say that this application was successful and Daria travelled to Washington DC for the event in mid November, which I’m sure she will be happy to give a short oral report on at the board meeting. As previously reported Daria has been working with a coach this autumn, and whilst the budget can’t support more sessions this year she and I are exploring how to maximise the benefit of this development opportunity.

Alastair McCapra, former trustee, current member of ARC and Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute for Public Relations (CIPR), has very kindly arranged for Wikimedia UK staff to access free places on CIPR training events and courses. This is a fantastic opportunity and represents a significant Gift in Kind (although we are unlikely to recognise this in the accounts as it does not replace planned expenditure).

As part of her induction to the charity Lorna Campbell visited the office in October and met the staff team, had lunch with Senior Management and visited the Wellcome Library for an editathon event and a meeting with Dr Alice White, Wikimedian in Residence.

External Relations and Advocacy[edit | edit source]

In October I gave a presentation on the gender gap at the open source convention OSCON 2016 and also spoke on diversity and equality in the Wikimedia Projects at MozFest. I attended the Museums and Tech conference as a participant, where several Wikimedia UK partnerships and collaborations were featured including the National Library of Wales and the York Museums Trust.

I have submitted a proposal to give a presentation responding to the the theme of ‘open as inclusive’ at OER17: The Politics of Open, which Josie is co-chairing and which is being held in London. In November I also submitted a proposal to contribute to the forthcoming book Feminism and Museums: Intervention, Disruption and Change, to be published by MuseumsEtc, and I have just heard that my submission has been accepted. The deadline to write my chapter is 20th February 2017 however I will mainly do this in my own time.

Following our discussions at the last board meeting and further planning with other European Chapters, Wikimedia UK has committed 6000 Euros towards the Free Knowledge Advocacy Group. There is likely to be a major planning meeting for this area of work in early 2017 in Brussels, led by EU Policy Director Dimi Dimitrov, which I am planning to attend on behalf of the Chapter.

In September I convened another meeting of the Advocacy Working Group, where one of the key items for discussion was the EU’s proposals for copyright reform. In October I attended a Ministerial Roundtable with Baroness Neville-Rolfe at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) about these proposals, and will be submitting evidence to the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) consultation in December.

I have continued to establish relationships with key organisations within the open movement, in part through participation in the Roundtable and at MozFest. We recently supported a social media thunderclap about the proposed EU copyright reforms organised by Open Media and Creative Commons; and I have been approached for comment on the Neighbouring Right by the Head of Public Policy at the Guardian.

Engaging with the global Wikimedia and open movement[edit | edit source]

The team is increasingly engaging with the open movement at an international as well as a national level. As well as her attendance at the Washington DC conference, Daria also travelled to Berlin in November for a partnership workshop with other Wikimedia colleagues organised and facilitated by the German chapter. Daria and/or one of her colleagues from the Programmes Team will also be attending a Wikimedia GLAM Co-ordinators meeting to be held at UNESCO in Paris in March next year.

My participation in MozFest - alongside Stuart Prior and John Lubbock - enabled me to reconnect with volunteers from Wikimedia UK, staff from other Chapters and WMF Executive Director Katherine Maher. It was also a great opportunity to meet with other people from the open movement and the wider technology sector.

I continue to participate in regular calls with the other Wikimedia Executive Directors and in January am going to Lausanne in Switzerland for a two day face to face meeting, focused on movement strategy, learning and exchange of good practice. Nicole Ebber, Head of International Affairs at Wikimedia Deutschland, has also asked me for a monthly phone call which is starting in December.

In October I collated feedback on the proposed process for the development of a new long term movement strategy, which Katherine Maher apparently found very helpful. I am now in email correspondence with Suzie Nussel, who is working with Katherine on the strategy, to explore some of the issues raised by the Wikimedia UK board and community and to ensure that the EDs session in Lausanne is as helpful and focused as possible.

On the recommendation of our former Open Space Co-ordinator Bekka Khan, I have been asked to join the advisory board for a global research project to reach consensus on how success towards the movement’s goal to develop ‘the sum of all human knowledge’ should be evaluated. The project is led by researcher Heather Ford who is currently applying for British Academy funding to support the project, with other advisory board members including Dario Taraborelli (Head of Research at the Wikimedia Foundation), Mark Graham (Oxford Internet Institute) and Achal Prabhala (WMF Advisory Board).

Key meetings and events attended[edit | edit source]

  • Regular TELCO meetings with other Executive Directors
  • Evaluation Panel meeting to explore draft FDC proposal
  • Planning meeting with education volunteers
  • Advocacy working group meeting
  • Skype calls with Juliet Barbara, Director of Communications at WMF
  • Meetings with Lorna Campbell, new trustee, on her visit to the WMUK office
  • Weekly planning meetings with the BBC
  • Meeting with Victor Stepien, Wikipedian in Residence at the Wiener Library
  • Meeting with Chris Keating regarding individual giving
  • NPC Ignites Conference
  • Planning meeting with Nancy Bell and Caroline Peach about the NHSF partnership
  • OSCON 2016
  • Museums and Tech Conference
  • Ministerial Roundtable at the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
  • Meeting with Kate West about membership
  • Meeting with Helen Milner, Chief Executive at the Tinder Foundation
  • MozFest 2016
  • Hosted visit from Wikimedia Deutschland staff
  • Meeting with Simon Nelson, Chief Executive of FutureLearn
  • GovCom meeting
  • ARC meeting
  • BBC 100 Women interviews and events at Broadcasting House