Chief Executive Report 2017-09-09

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Board Meeting September 2017 Chief Executive's Report


The key event affecting the charity since the last board meeting was the office move, which took place in August and went very smoothly, due to the hard work and efficiency of Davina and Nicola. We plan to hold informal drinks in the new office on Thursday 5th October from 5 to 7pm, which I hope a number of board members and other volunteers will be able to attend.

August also saw Wikimania 2017, in Montreal, attended by me, Daria and Doug on behalf of Wikimedia UK. John also attended the conference as a Wikimedian/volunteer, and has created several videos of the experience, and a number of other volunteers and partners from the UK attended included Jason Evans (Wikimedian in Residence at the National Library of Wales), Ewan McAndrew and Melissa Highton (WIR and Director of IT respectively at the University of Edinburgh), Martin Poulter (WIR at Oxford University) plus volunteers Andy Mabbett, Katie Chan and Deryck Chan, among others.

Programmes Report

The Quarterly Performance Report provides detailed qualitative analysis of the charity’s progress towards our strategic goals and metrics during the second quarter. We now have data from the first half of the year and this has been used to inform the draft Progress Report to the Foundation. Unfortunately both the Q2 report and the Progress Report were significantly delayed as the Wikimetrics tools that we use to calculate metrics were down for around a month over August. This has had a significant knock on effect on Daria’s workload in particular as she has been chasing the people responsible for these tools at the Foundation for a fix, and exploring other possible workarounds with Agnes. Our Grants Manager at the Foundation agreed to an extension to our Progress Report, due at the end of August, however as the tools are now back online we hope to submit this prior to the board meeting.

The metrics at the end of Q2 show a mixed, but mainly very positive picture, with highlights including:

  • 267,282 content pages have been created or improved, against a target of 80,000
  • There have been 194 leading volunteers, against our annual target of 145
  • 41% of leading volunteers during quarter 2 were women (our target is 33%)
  • Total audience and reach is just over 70,000, against an annual target of 54,145

Several metrics are looking under against our targets, including the number of newly registered users - now at 342 against an annual target of 1000 - and the number of images added to Wikimedia articles (at 437, less than a quarter of the 2000 target, although we are on target for media added to Commons).

Staff and Board Update

Our new Programme Evaluation Assistant, Agnes Bruszik, joined the team in June. Some of you may have met Agnes at the AGM, for which she took the minutes. Agnes has settled in well to the role and works on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays.

I’m pleased to report that Karla had a beautiful baby girl called Nina Lucia Marte-Goldstein on 18th June. Nina made a slightly early appearance which cut short the handover period with Agnes and meant Karla was at work on Friday and a new mother on Sunday, but she is enjoying parenthood so far!

A panel consisting of Carol, Davina and Josie interviewed four potential new finance specialist trustees in July, with each candidate having a short meeting with me beforehand. None of the candidates had quite the combination of skills and experience that we feel are necessary to become Chair of ARC, however we have invited Susan Williams to join ARC as a non board committee member.

Engaging with the global Wikimedia movement

As highlighted above, August saw Wikimania, which is a key event in the Wikimedia calendar and an important opportunity for staff, board and volunteers to engage with the international community and showcase our own projects and programmes. In addition to the conference programme, Daria, Doug and myself all attended meetings with our colleagues from other Chapters to discuss the movement strategy and various other issues/activities.

Work continued with the movement strategy process throughout the summer, including a discussion at the UK AGM with volunteers and members. 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. We had a great evening, and the notes from this discussion - including details of attendees - are on the strategy meta page here.

In September, Daria will be participating in the Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2017, which is focused on the Wikimedia projects in the countries of central and eastern Europe and is taking place in Warsaw. Whilst the UK is not part of this geographic area, Daria has been invited to attend because of her Polish background and also her very extensive experience of programme development and management within an established Chapter, which will be of considerable benefit to attendees.

I am planning to attend the Wikimedia Diversity Conference being held in Stockholm in November. The purpose of the conference is for Wikimedians to connect and discuss various aspects of diversity, and to explore how power, participation and privilege relates to the quality and relevance of free knowledge. I have been awarded a scholarship to attend covering conference participation, most meals and two nights’ accommodation, and am likely to be giving a presentation.

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

  • CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Medals
  • CILIP Annual Conference
  • Movement strategy dinner
  • Transform Foundation Webinar
  • Partnerships Advisory Board Meeting
  • EU Advocacy Associate interview panel
  • Meeting with Delphine to get feedback on Impact Report
  • Chapters TelCo
  • Wikimania
  • EDs meeting with Katherine Maher
  • Advocacy update meeting with FKEUAG group
  • Meeting with Foundation programmes staff
  • Meeting with members of the FDC