Minutes 2020-09-25

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Wikimedia UK Board Meeting, 22nd September 2020, 5:30-8pm, online

Minutes from the last meeting

Minutes of the last meeting were approved.

Chief Executive’s Report

Lucy talked through her report, highlighting several areas including the ScotWiki situation in the summer, which had been handled very well by the team, with input from a number of staff including Daria, Katie, Sara and Richard. The situation has since brought increased activity for Sara who is proactively supporting the wiki and the community

Lucy updated the Board regarding the Head of Communications and Development post. An offer of employment has been made via Prospectus, and we expect to hear whether this has been accepted within the next few days.  

Jane asked about the 20th Anniversary and Lucy outlined her current thinking for the year, which she is hoping the new senior management post will work on.

Lucy confirmed that everyone is still working from home, in line with current government advice. There was a question from the board about the impact on staff of longer term working from home and ongoing uncertainty, and Lucy responded that this is something being discussed at SMT and with the wider team.

Summary performance report

Daria presented highlights from her papers.

Marnie commented that she had attended a Zoom Editathon and found it interesting, especially that there were international participants. Marnie reminded the Board that about a quarter of our income comes in Gifts in Kind (GiK) from partnerships, so this is an important area of our work. Kelly asked how these gifts are calculated and Marnie explained our approach, which is in line with the charity SoFA.

Doug praised Celtic Knot as an example of best practice in terms of collaboration between chapters. Nick thanked Daria and her team for the work that had gone into making this such a success.

Lucy shared the very exciting news that the National Lottery Heritage Fund was about to launch a new open licensing policy, which requires grant recipients to release the outputs from their funding under an open license. Both Lucy and Kelly were members of the NLHF licensing advisory group (although Kelly was not there on behalf of Wikimedia UK).

Marnie asked about Wiki Loves Monuments and Daria explained that it was currently happening. There followed a brief discussion on the user tools available for potential WLM contributors.

GovCom minutes

Nick presented highlights from the minutes, as outlined below.

Board Membership

Nick reminded the board that he had to step down at the 2021 AGM and that we needed to consider succession planning for the Chair. We also need to increase participation in board sub committees. Many trustees are not engaged with subcommittees - they are invited to consider joining.

Lucy noted that as previously identified, it would be very useful to appoint/elect someone with legal skills.

It was noted that many trustees do participate in our advisory boards; however as formal board sub-committees ARC and GovCom are currently a priority for recruitment/participation.

Should we advertise broadly to co-opt into subcommittees? Approach to be discussed on Saturday at the away day.

Kelly asked if we had done a board skills audit? Lucy responded that we had, although that was a year ago and some needs have since been filled.

There was a discussion about the board wiki, which several trustees don’t have access to. Staff can’t help with this as nobody has access. There was a question about the extent to which a separate board wiki is needed. ACTION: Doug to discuss with Nick. Does Kelly have access to board wiki?

Away Day Agenda

Trustees confirmed that they are happy with the agenda that Lucy had shared. There was a question about how much pre-reading/prep there would be and Lucy responded that this was minimal; although board members are encouraged to read her email about the movement strategy recommendations and initiatives.

ARC Minutes

Jane presented highlights from the minutes.

Davina confirmed that Invitations to tender for audit would be sent out this week.

QFMR for Quarter 2 (Excel)

- (as below)

Q2 Financial Commentary

There are currently some underspends, which are substantially staff cost savings caused by delays in recruitment/appointment.

Cashflow projection

Davina explained this was used to monitor the balance on the Unity Bank accounts. The receipt of the second tranche of our grant from the Wikimedia Foundation, and the restricted grant of £120k, had boosted this.

Risks Register

Changes to risks have been mostly around downgrading risks

Potential action to have a more substantial conversation with the board on risks later in the year/early in 2021.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Lucy briefly presented her paper on equity, diversity and inclusion. In the broad discussion that followed, the following points were raised:

  • Equity, inclusion and diversity should be defined to show how we understand them as an organisation.
  • Diversity is the starting point but we really need to aim for equity and inclusion in terms of participation. We also need to consider this longitudinally - do underrepresented people who join the projects stay, or are they discouraged by inaccessibility or a lack of inclusivity?
  • What insight does the Foundation have on users globally, for example in terms of language, geography and gender?
  • We have to consider our sphere of influence, for example we have much more influence over lead volunteers than over the makeup of the wider editing body.
  • Neurodiversity needs to be taken into account, as Wikimedia content can be hard to access and engage with.
  • We need to consider the implications of UK’s history as a colonial power, and how this plays into and informs this work.
  • We need to unpack the language of decolonisation, and consider what Wikimedia UK’s role and responsibility is in regards to this - particularly in our work with cultural and educational partners.
  • Equity informs programmes but this can’t be separated from people and processes. We need to consider these issues holistically.
  • How will we know if we’re delivering change? How is our commitment to diversity and equity being manifested by our choices regarding resources and partnerships?
  • What resources are we willing to put behind this, e.g. budget for training, time set aside to reflect. It’s an essential process that the whole board needs to go through.

Consent items

Proposed changes to the bank mandates were unanimously approved. These were the addition of Rod Ward and Sangeet Bhullar to the mandates of all Wikimedia UK’s bank accounts. It was agreed at the June board meeting that Nick Poole would be added to the mandates and so all of these changes will now be enacted.



Date of next meeting

Monday 14th December, 5.30 - 8pm, online