The Affiliations Committee (AffCom) – the committee responsible for guiding volunteers in establishing Wikimedia chapters, thematic organizations, and user groups – is looking for new members!
The main role of the Affiliations Committee is to guide groups of volunteers that are interested in forming Wikimedia affiliates. We review applications from new groups, answer questions and provide advice about the different Wikimedia affiliation models and processes, review affiliate bylaws for compliance with requirements and best practices, and update the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees as well as advise them on issues connected to chapters, thematic organizations and Wikimedia user groups.
The committee consists of fourteen members, selected every twelve months for staggered two-year terms. Those joining the committee during the current process will serve a two-year term ending in December 2021.
AffCom continues to closely monitor the Wikimedia 2030 Strategy process that was initiated in 2016. While the affiliation models continue to be discussed as part of the broader strategy discussion, as no decisions have been made to change the current affiliation models yet, AffCom will continue to work in the same manner with regard to affiliate recognitions and intervention support for affiliates with issues of non-compliance in 2020. Specifically, AffCom will continue to process applications for user group and chapter/thematic organization creation, while we await the strategy next steps and begin to prepare for a smooth transition of the committee and affiliates ecosystem to any changing movement structures and systems in 2021.
Being a part of the Affiliations Committee requires communication with volunteers all over the world, negotiating skills, cultural sensitivity, and the ability to understand legal texts. We look for a healthy mix of different skill sets in our members.
Required and Recommended Skills for Affiliations Committee Members
Across all committee members there are additional relevant skills as well as requirements which help to support the committee and its sustainability which include both required and relevant general skills
- Fluency in English
- Availability of up to 5 hours per week, and the time to participate in a monthly one and two-hour voice/video meetings.
- Willingness to use one’s real name in committee activities (including contacts with current and potential affiliates) when appropriate.
- Strong track record of effective collaboration
- International orientation
- Skills in other languages are a major plus.
- Public Communications (English writing and speaking skills)
- Strong understanding of the structure and work of affiliates and the Wikimedia Foundation.
- Documentation practices
- Interviewing experience
- Knowledge of different legal systems and experience in community building and organizing are a plus
- Experience with, or in, an active affiliate is a major plus.
- Focusing on shared goals instead of disagreements
- Focusing on the conflict at hand and not past ones
- Ensuring each member of the team has a clearly defined role, which can help reduce disagreements over areas of responsibility
- Project and people management to coordinate different parties on a shared plan and seeing it through to completion.
- Ability to evaluate various solutions
- Ability to consider multiple interests and points of view
- Willingness to revisit unresolved issues
- The capacity to recognize and respond to important matters
- The ability to seek compromise and avoid punishing
- Ability to work and communicate with other languages and cultures.
Given the expectations for maintaining course in 2020 and preparing for potential 2021 transitions, it is important that we are also clear about two different skill sets critical to committee support at this time. The first skillset is oriented to understanding affiliate dynamics and organizational development patterns to successfully process affiliate applications for recognition; the other is oriented to conflict prevention and intervention support for affiliates in conflict.
Affiliate Recognitions Relevant Skills
- Willingness to process applications through a set, perhaps bureaucratic process.
- Attention to detail
- Monitoring & Strategic Development
- Readiness to participate in political discussions on the role and future of affiliates, models of affiliation, and similar topics.
- Organizational Awareness
- Understanding of and community building and organizational development
- Understanding of group dynamics
- Awareness of the affiliates ecosystem and models
Conflict Prevention & Intervention Relevant Skills
- Active listening
- Reading nonverbal cues
- Knowing when to interrupt and when to stay quiet
- Being culturally sensitive at the same time remaining clear and concise when explaining a concept or opinion
- Stress Management
- Ability to inject a dose of humor to dilute anger and frustration when needed
- Taking well-timed breaks that can bring calm in the midst of flared tempers
- Ability to manage stress while remaining alert and calm
- Emotional Intelligence
- Being emotionally aware,
- Ability to control emotions and behaviors,
- Ability to practice empathy,
- Don’t take anything personally,
- Being aware of and respectful of differences.
- Facilitation skills
- Meeting facilitation experience
- Peer or community mediation training
- Peer or community mediation experience
Do you have any of these skill sets and an interest to support movement affiliates?
We are looking for people who are excited by the challenge of empowering volunteers to get organized and form communities that further our mission around the world. In exchange, committee members selected will gain the experience of supporting their world-wide colleagues to develop their communities as well as personal development in guiding organizational development, facilitating affiliate partnerships, and professional communications.
As a reflection of our commitment to openness, transparency, and bilateral engagement with the Wikimedia community, the 2019 member selection process will include a public review and comment period. We invite you to share with us you applications, specifying your focus area you’re interested in. All applications received by the committee will be posted on Meta, and the community will be invited to provide comments and feedback about each candidate.
At the end of the public comment period, the applications will be voted on by the members of the committee who are not seeking re-election, taking into account comments put forward by the committee’s members, advisors, Wikimedia Foundation staff and board liaisons, and the community. A final decision will be made by mid-January 2020, with new members expected to join later that month.
How to apply
If you are interested in joining the committee, please post your application on the nomination page and send an email announcing your application to AffCom@lists.wikimedia.org by 10 January 2020. Your application must include the following information:
- Your full name and Wikimedia username
- A statement describing your relevant experience, skills, and motivation for joining the committee.
- Answers to the following questions:
- How do you think affiliates work best together to partner on effective projects and initiatives?
- What do you see as the role of affiliates in the Wikimedia movement in the next three years?
- What do you feel you will bring to the committee that makes you uniquely qualified?
- Which subcommittee are you most interested in serving on: Recognitions OR Conflict Prevention & Intervention?
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me and/or the committee as a whole. We are happy to chat or have a phone call with anyone about our work if this helps them decide to apply. Please distribute this call among your networks, and do apply if you are interested!
On behalf of the committee,