Chief Executive Report 2017-06-15

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Board Meeting June 2017 Chief Executive's Report


The first quarter of the year was a particularly busy period for the Chapter. At a personal level, participation in external events and conferences featured highly in March and April, with the Wikimedia Conference in Berlin (which Daria, Michael and myself attended on behalf of Wikimedia UK), OER17 (attended by me, Daria and Richard Nevell as well as a number of our Wikimedians in Residence, our trustee Lorna Campbell plus of course Josie Fraser) and the EU Advocacy meeting in Brussels.

Programmes Report

The comprehensive Quarterly Performance Report provided as part of the board papers provides detailed quantitative and qualitative analysis of the charity’s progress towards our strategic goals and metrics in the first quarter of the year.

Please note that the quantitative indicators have been revised slightly for 2017/18, with the principal change being that we are no longer using global metrics. These have been replaced by three shared grant metrics (GM 1 - 3) and two grant metrics defined by Wikimedia UK (GM 4 - 5).

During the first quarter of the year we have continued our successful momentum with some key metrics, as follows:

  • Total participants were 1735, nearly half our annual target of 4000
  • There were 279 newly registered editors, of an overall target of 1000
  • 49,591 content pages were created or improved, over half our 2017 target of 80,000
  • Estimated number of volunteer hours was 5,459, against a total target of 16,000

Staff and Board Update

Our new Finance Assistant, Richard Matthews, has been confirmed in post and is working on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. We have also appointed (subject to references) a part time Programme Evaluation Assistant to cover Karla’s maternity leave, Agnes Bruszik. Agnes has a very strong background in project management and evaluation, and will be joining the team on 16th June, working three days a week (usually Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays).

We are currently advertising for a trustee with specialist financial expertise to join the board later this year with a view to becoming the new Chair of ARC. The deadline for expressions of interest in 22nd June and we have taken out specialist paid advertising through Prospectus, as well as free advertising on trustee recruitment sites.

The appointment of a new Chair of the board of trustees for Wikimedia UK is on the agenda later in this board meeting.

External Relations and Advocacy

I was very pleased to give one of the keynote speeches at the Open Education Resources Conference in April, which Josie co-chaired. Martin Poulter storified the Twitter activity during my speech and two illustrators produced images inspired by my speech which have been widely shared online. Following the speech I was invited to give a similar talk in Mexico by Guadalajara University, although I declined the offer and instead introduced the university to Wikimedia colleagues in Mexico and Argentina.

Robin and National Library of Wales resident Jason Evans gave a talk at CILIP Cymru’s conference in May, and I will be speaking at the CILIP conference in Manchester in July. I’ve also just discovered that my proposal for this November’s DCDC conference has been accepted. Discovering Collections, Discovering Communities is a collaborative conference series between The National Archives and Research Libraries UK which brings together the archive, library, museum and academic sectors; and my presentation will be on engaging new audiences through open knowledge.

In April I attended the annual Wikimedia public policy and advocacy meeting (known as the ‘Big Fat Brussels meeting’) organised by Dimi Dimitrov, the EU Policy Director whose post is part-funded by Wikimedia UK. The notes from this very useful and positive meeting have just been posted on wiki so I will share these separately by email with my own reflections for what this means for the UK.

Engaging with the global Wikimedia movement

We have continued to engage with the movement strategy process, the second cycle of which comes to an end on 12th June. The third and final cycle will run from mid June to mid July - somewhat later than initially scheduled - so will now encompass our AGM. This will therefore be a good opportunity for us to have a community-wide discussion about the emerging movement strategy with staff, board members, members, editors and others. I successfully applied to the Foundation for a small grant (of $1165) to support a salon-style dinner for partners and other stakeholders in July to discuss the movement strategy.

Key external meetings and events attended (since the last board meeting)

  • Wikimedia Foundation Annual UK Fundraiser at the ICA
  • Meetings with visitors from Wikimedia Brazil
  • Wikimedia Conference
  • EDs meeting in person and online
  • Meeting with Foundation programmes staff
  • OER17
  • Big Fat Brussels meeting
  • Meeting with Jane Finnis at DCMS
  • Charity Governance Awards Reception
  • Byline Festival