Chief Executive Report 2018-06-14

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The Chief's Executive's Report for June 2018 was delivered by Sandy Balfour, as Lucy Crompton-Reid was on maternity leave.


First I would like to say how much I am enjoying being here. Wikimedia is an extraordinary thing and I am glad to be part of it. I also want to thank trustees and staff for making it easy for me to take over from Lucy. It’s been a pleasure.


Daria reports on programme activities and achievements; there is no need for me to repeat it here. Apart from orientation, much of my time in the last 8 weeks has been taken up with reporting:

The Impact Report to the Foundation for the year to 31 January 2018 was filed on 28 March. You have heard much of this before, but highlights included

  • New Editors 1094 (target 1000)
  • Active participants 6252 (target 4000)
  • Articles improved 408,947 (target 90,000)
  • Volunteer hours 17,900 (target 16,000)
  • Commons images re-used 32% of 27,207 (target 10%)
  • Total audience reach 85,601 people (target 54,145)
  • Percentage of volunteers learning new skills 81% (target 75%)
  • The Foundation has not yet responded.
  • Organisational matters
  • The Annual Report and Accounts have been drafted and approved by ARC, subject to some small changes to be agreed with the auditors.

A draft of the Strategic Report is included with the papers. This is the document that will be made available to members prior to the AGM. It includes key financial information and an assessment of risk at year end, but is intended to be for the widest audience.


The GDPR deadline (25 May) came and went. Our response is covered in the ARC minutes and elsewhere. We revised and published a new Data Protection Policy and wrote to over 8,500 supporters and members to alert them to the new policy. We invited people to unsubscribe and told them how to request data or to ask that it be deleted. We - like many organisations - had a muted response. 533 emails were invalid and will be removed from Civi. 233 people unsubscribed from the list. 15 people have requested to know what data we hold on them. 1 person requested for their personal information to be removed.

There is much still to be done and over the coming weeks we will address three priorities:

  • To complete an upgrade of our data management system to include a new module which is GDPR compliant.
  • To begin a process of purging data that we should not hold
  • To create and implement a process for adding new personal data to our records, and for regular review and cleansing of our data records.

We have created an email address ( for all queries relating to personal data.

Programmes Report

The Quarterly Performance Report provides qualitative analysis of the charity’s progress towards our strategic goals and metrics during the first quarter.

There are a number of events coming up. I highlight

  • By the time of the board meeting we will have held an editathon on 12 June with the Mayor of London; roughly 70 girls from London schools will be involved at the event. It is being held at Bloomberg's
  • The Celtic Knot conference begins on 5 July Aberystwyth
  • The AGM is on 14 July at the Natural History Museum

Staff, Board and Movement Update

The recruitment process for new board members with specialist financial skills was very successful. We were pleased that Jane Carlin and Marnie Woodward accepted our invitation to join the board and to take on the roles of Chair of ARC and Treasurer respectively. The process and the appointees are discussed elsewhere in the agenda.

Formal welcomes to Hannah Evans, Programme Coordinator, who joined the staff on 1 March and Sara Thomas, who started as Scotland Programme Co-ordinator on 16th April.

Davina Johnson’s extended leave began on 13 April. She has been ably replaced by Rich Matthews, who is working 3 days per week.

On 8th August we welcome Karla Marte back from maternity leave. Her role and job description will change slightly and she will be working 3 days per week (down from full time). Her replacement, Agnes Bruszik, completes her contract. I am grateful to Agnes for her excellent work.

On 11 June Daria, Robin, me and the Wales User Group will meet to discuss our mutual interests and to agree working practices that further the movement’s aims. I shall report verbally to the meeting.

External Relations and Advocacy

We made submissions via the Foundation in response to a consultation UNESCO is running on Open Education Resources.

We have maintained a wide presence across various media. Some highlights include: Blogposts on Medical Articles in Welsh, How should journalists use Wikipedia, 1Lib1Ref, Celtic Knot, Structured data on Commons, and Welsh Wicipedia reaching 100,000 articles. In March Bradford Science and Media Museum published videos of John Lubbock’s Fake News talk. In April our American Chopper meme achieved 239,000 views on Facebook and a further 24,000 views on Twitter and the Welsh Wikipedia milestone was covered by TechDragons and

The BBC is planning a 30 minute radio documentary on ‘how a volunteer community can create and accurate encyclopedia’. We have worked closely with the Foundation to recommend suitable interviewees and hope the programme will give its audience a good understanding on ‘how Wikipedia works’. Production has not yet commenced.

Daria and I will be attending an event at the House of Lords on 11 July looking at how schools can teach controversial subjects.

Engaging with the global Wikimedia movement

Josie, Michael, Doug (via WikiMed), Daria and Stuart attended the Wikimedia Conference in Berlin from 19 - 22 April. Josie will report back separately on this.

Daria is participating in the global community of Executive Directors of Wikimedia chapters. This includes a two day meeting in Vienna in late June. ED involvement also includes participating in the ongoing movement strategy process.

Josie, Kate and Daria will be at Wikimania in Cape Town in mid July.

Katherine Maher wrote an op-ed piece which appeared in Wired UK this month.

Jimmy Wales will be present at the London Mayor Editathon on 12 June.

Sandy Balfour

June 2018