WikiConference UK 2013/Elections/Statements

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AGM: Elections (Candidate statements · Candidate questions)Resolutions
Miscellaneous: 2013 Annual Report · UK Wikimedian of the Year 2013 · Delegate list

This page contains the statements of the candidates for the board of Wikimedia UK. Please submit questions for the candidates on the WikiConference UK 2013/Elections/Questions.

Statements

Each candidate's date of birth, former names and other private information is kept on file and will be publicly available only if they are elected.

Christopher John Allen

Occupation
  • Accountant
Names of any other UK companies which candidate has been director of in the last five years
  • South Downs Saffron Ltd
  • CJ A+Financials Ltd

Statement

Let me first introduce myself. My name is Christopher Allen, 52, accountant for the last 26 years or so dealing with corporate accountancy & taxation, company formation, Companies House matters and a little offshore company and charity accounts work/filing at the Charities Commission, all as a one man band.

I was very impressed by the ability to obtain charity status and the resultant significant increase in income for the chapter and feel that this must be carefully managed to best advantage of the aims of these ideals which I believe are very close to those present at the birth of the internet. I would be honoured to be a part of this. I believe that the mechanisms that have given rise to this increase in funds should be sought with great endeavour as this “federation” of interconnected chapters may well be the basis for our future world, with the existing money driven one struggling.

Particular attention needs to be placed upon the main successful methods of obtaining donations (Paypal) and to exploit this to the full. On the expenditure end (charitable activities) I have noted the non participation in the fundraiser and expect this will release considerable funds for use in UK initiated activities and possible media promotions.

Unfortunately, I cannot say that I have contributed any articles or served the chapter previously in any capacity but I do believe in getting things done that make a real difference so hope you can forgive me and provide me with the opportunity to serve.

I always believe that everything is simply a series of problems that need to be solved and I always prefer an unorthodox means of doing this.

Ade Arogundade

Occupation
  • Director
Names of any other UK companies which candidate has been director of in the last five years
  • Corporate Concepts (UK) Limited

Statement

I am a practical hands-on accountant, finance manager and business adviser. I have worked predominantly in the charity sector as a manager for several years with responsibilities for finance, trading (i.e. charity shops, insurance and energy services), HR and facilities, management information system and business management including company secretarial roles.

I have the experience of serving as a director and trustee of a charity/company limited by guarantee. I have also served as a school governor as well as leading a national community group based in London.

I am interested in joining the board of trustees of Wikimedia UK so that I may have the opportunity to actively participate in the good work of the charity and thus be part of its success story in the future.

My background is in accounting. I am currently a director of Corporate Concepts (UK) Limited – an accounting and business management consultancy firm.

Saad Choudri

Occupation
  • Solicitor
Names of any other UK companies which candidate has been director of in the last five years
  • Legend Express Limited
  • 5C Properties Limited
  • Wikimedia UK

Statement

I am standing for election to the Board of Wikimedia UK. I am currently a co-opted trustee and have served since September 2012.

I have enjoyed being a trustee seeing the charity develop and meeting many of the community. Professionally I am a qualified solicitor specialising in digital media and content distribution. Due to my professional experience this has meant that I have been able to take the lead in several key issues including: (i) the transfer of QRpedia to the charity; (ii) delivery of Wikimania 2014; and (iii) the drafting and implementation of the first Wikipedian-in-Residence agreements.

The free dissemination of knowledge to the world is a matter close to my heart and Wikimedia is the pioneering leader of the cause.

After the events of this year I trust that I have been able to bring some stability to the board through my experience and skills. Further, I am currently involved in getting the foundations of Wikimania 2014 in place that will hopefully enable the event team and Wikimedia UK to deliver the biggest and best Wikimania the community has seen. There are fantastic initiatives on the horizon and I hope to be able to carry on supporting these as a trustee of the chapter.

I believe I have demonstrated my full commitment to the Wikimedia UK community, my fellow trustees and to the staff and would like the opportunity to continue this.

I look forward to answering any questions you might have.

Greyham Dawes

Occupation
  • Chartered Accountant
Names of any other UK companies which candidate has been director of in the last five years
  • I am a non-executive director and a charity trustee at the British School of Osteopathy and founding director of a very small charity, Charity Administration, Resourcing & Accountability.

Statement

Having served on the Board as a co-opted specialist for just four months, I am keen to continue helping Wikimedia UK with the huge administrative strides it is having to take in adjusting to life as a registered charity at a time of rapid growth in staffing and project terms. My co-option coincided with John Byrne’s resignation as Hon. Treasurer, so I was asked to step into his shoes in order to build further on the achievements he and his colleagues can look back on in bringing the company to this point. We are having to upgrade all aspects of our governance in order to be ‘fit for purpose’ as a high profile charity. This includes meeting our regulatory compliance obligations, overhauling our internal management systems and procedures and developing our vital relationship with volunteers. My specialist knowledge of Charity Commission policy and practice in all aspects of regulatory compliance and public accountability, drawing on my years in the nineties as the Commission’s Accountancy Policy Adviser, enable me to provide useful input for the Board’s policies, strategies, systems and procedures, also to the Board’s two new Committees on Governance and on Audit and Risk.

For the completion of our new 5-year strategy as the basis for our Business Plans and annual Budgets to cope with the expansion of activities that we envisage in the coming years, my input can help us to see how best to further our public benefit charitable purpose of facilitating the highest quality of freely accessible knowledge for all, not only within the family of Chapters of the Wikimedia Foundation’s worldwide network, but especially in liaison with the Foundation itself and in harmony with the dedicated volunteers among our company membership and the wider UK Wiki Community.

I look forward to helping further if elected.

Vasileios Kospanos

Occupation
  • I work at Access Group and market to the NFP sector specifically.
Names of any other UK companies which candidate has been director of in the last five years
  • None

Statement

My name is Vasileios Kospanos and I've been looking at Trustee opportunities in the past few months. I came across the Wikimedia UK role on the LinkedIn group “Young Charity Trustees” through current Trustee, Chris Keating, and after my research on the charity – I am “hooked”! I am now a member of Wikimedia UK and cannot wait to meet everybody in Lincoln this June.

In terms of my experience and what I would bring to the Board table, I have been working in the third sector for almost 4 years and recently moved to the Software industry but still work specifically with charities, not-for-profit organisations and membership bodies.

My job roles have been focusing on marketing, communications, service delivery, events and social media, however my skills also extend to PR and IT, plus my hobby and biggest passion is fundraising.

With regards to authoring, I have been blogging about web and online marketing to help newlyqualified counsellors and psychotherapists , however the majority of my blog posts can be found on UK Fundraising (www.fundraising.co.uk), a couple on Spring Giving (http://www.springgiving.org.uk/) and once at the Guardian Voluntary Sector Network (charity finance topic).

I wish to advocate about free and open knowledge and due to the nature of my day job, I network frequently with Charity people and commercial suppliers working with charities at Institute of Fundraising events, Charity Finance Group monthly meetings, and the newly formed CIM charity marketing group.

If you vote for me, I will give my 200% to advocate Wikimedia’s UK mission and be vigilant when it comes to governance and legislative issues for the charity.

Michael N Maggs

Occupation
  • Retired patent attorney
Names of any other UK companies which candidate has been director of in the last five years
  • None (my previous role was 'partner' rather than 'company director’)

Statement

In March 2013 I took early retirement from my professional career of 30 years as a patent attorney, with the intention - amongst other things - of finding more time to contribute to the non-profit community, and doing more photography.

Professional experience

My background is in physics and in law, and I have degrees in both those subjects.

I have 22 years corporate governance experience as a partner at Kilburn & Strode LLP, a London IP law firm, with joint responsibility for a staff of around 130. My specialization was computer and software-related IP. I am very comfortable working in a board-level environment.

As a patent attorney, I have wide experience of legal drafting, requiring the ability to write clear and logical English while covering both complex legal and technical issues.

I have worked with a wide variety of individuals over the years, including foreign and local lawyers; academia - from university professors to students; corporate - from CEO to neophyte programmer; and private individuals.

My other roles included supervision and project management of the firm’s IT and systems development, and member of the Disciplinary Board of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) responsible for disciplinary matters within the profession.

Wiki experience

I have been editing as MichaelMaggs since 2004, mainly on Commons. My main area of focus has been writing and developing Commons policy and guidelines, including Project Scope, Photographs of Identifiable People, Image Casebook, When to use the PD-Art tag and many more. I also help out with copyright issues and deletion requests.

I was a bureaucrat and OTRS volunteer until 2009 when I had to back off due to pressure of work. Recently I have been reinstated as a Commons admin, become involved in GLAM work, and have been attempting to kick-start the UK’s participation in WLM.

Alastair Sasaki McCapra

Occupation
  • Chief Executive of a professional membership organisation, the Landscape Institute
Names of any other UK companies which candidate has been director of in the last five years
  • None current or previous. Currently a trustee (Honorary Treasurer) of Landscape Architecture Europe, a Netherlands not-for-profit organisation.
  • Previously trustee of Birkbeck College, London (1996-2000).

Statement

I want to be a Wikimedia trustee because I believe that our future civilisation will depend on open information and on the culture of sharing knowledge which enables and sustains it. I have mostly worked for organisations with a strong culture of restricting information to their own members and I don’t believe that approach has much life left. I have been an avid user of Wikipedia since it was founded, and have made a small number of edits. The wiki model has informed my work at the Landscape Institute, and for the last year we have been running our most important initiative as an Open Project. I would like to make a contribution to advancing this approach by supporting Wikimedia as the lead national body.

What I have to offer is experience of charity trusteeship, and specifically of the details of charity finance and governance. I sit on the Finance Committee of the Construction Industry Council and edited a 2012 publication on charity reserves. In my day job I also deal with constitutional changes and ensure that elections are held properly and fairly. I have worked for membership bodies for the last thirteen years and am used to the particular issues which face small voluntary organisations. I ask lots of questions.

Wikimedia UK needs structures and policies which are fit for purpose, but I would aim to ensure that the organisation focuses as much as possible on its mission and does not become bogged down in questions about its internal structures. I would like to see Wikimedia UK operate as effectively as possible to spread the culture of knowledge-sharing through different partner organisations. I have a particular interest in galleries, museums, libraries and archives and would be keen to support a continued strong focus in this sector.

Geri McLeary

Occupation
  • Contractor
Names of any other UK companies which candidate has been director of in the last five years
  • Northpoint Management Company Limited
  • Renegade Business Support Limited

Statement

I believe in life-long learning and that everyone has a responsibility to put something positive back into their community. The rise of internet and internet enabled mobile phones means that most people have the potential to interact with the world and we have the ability to help develop people who up until recently may not have been able to access uncontrolled social media. Wikimedia's objectives chime with my beliefs and has an important role to fulfil in improving access to data and public institutions.

As a Wikimedia Trustee I would add a combination of three things to its operations:

  • first, being a chartered engineer and a former senior manager in government I deal in facts and understand political imperatives and empathize with its social objectives of many of its stakeholder institutions; and as a result I know how to communicate, negotiate with and influence them effectively;
  • second, my work experience is very broad ranging from street sweeping to the acquisition of supercomputers. This provides me with a robust and objective intellectual platform when addressing issues, dealing with new challenges and when business planning; and
  • third, I'm a team player who has worked at board level for many years as an executive/non-executive director in several organisations, who understands the importance of effective governance in high-performing enterprises and who would seek to ensure that the most appropriate governance arrangements are in place within Wikimedia to benefit its members and stakeholders.

Wikimedia is already a good organisation that wants to be a great organisation. However, its a relatively new enterprise and is still developing its five to ten year corporate vision. As a someone who is new to the organisation but who has developed strategic visions and successful billion pound business cases I believe that I can support its Executive Team to become great by providing guidance and challenging the organization to do better.

Joseph Seddon

Occupation
  • Fundraising Consultant
Names of any other UK companies which candidate has been director of in the last five years
  • Wikimedia UK (as Wiki UK Ltd)

Statement

Wikimedia UK faces numerous challenges internally as the organisation grows and matures to become a fully fledged professional organisation. We have seen huge increases in staffing and we must ensure this growth is done effectively and sensibly. It is important however to not judge the success of the chapter by the number of staff but by the success of our programs. Our GLAM initiative is simply fantastic and one of the best in the movement but there are areas we need to grow and build, particularly the areas of technology and education.

I have been a part of the Wikimedia movement for roughly 6 years. I've been involved in dispute resolution, a little content writing but above all the UK chapter has always been the most important part of my participation. As a previous director in the chapter I was heavily involved in the early outreach the chapter did with the GLAM sector and over the chapters 2010 fundraiser, raising over £650,000. Since my departure from the UK board in 2011, I have been working remotely for the Wikimedia Foundation as a Production Coordinator and Translation Coordinator. I have continued to support the chapter wherever I can at events or providing advice to the board where possible.

It is the role of the board to provide effective strategic planning as well as oversight. The chapter has had a difficult year and it has often been frustrating to be unable to assist in any kind of official capacity. It is this desire to be able to provide good guidance and direction on the board and to staff that has motivated me to submit my candidacy to become a trustee of the charity.