Meetings/2011 election: Ballot Instructions

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This message contains the following information pertaining to the election of Directors of Wiki UK Limited (Wikimedia UK):

Statement of Persons Nominated[edit | edit source]

At the close of nominations, the following individuals stood validly nominated for election as Directors of Wiki UK Limited:

Roger Bamkin
John Byrne
Thomas Dalton UPDATE: Withdrawn 9th April
Chris Keating
Michael Peel
Martin Poulter
Andrew Turvey
Ashley Van Haeften
Steve Virgin

Electoral Procedure[edit | edit source]

The Directors are elected under the approval voting system - for each candidate, you should write "YES" or "NO" by his name on the ballot paper.

Candidates will be ranked by the number of "YES" votes they receive. A ballot paper on which the space by a candidate's name is left blank shall be treated as though it were a "NO" vote.

The top three candidates will be elected as directors irrespective of the number of "YES" votes they receive. In addition, a maximum of four further candidates may be elected, provided that they receive a majority of "YES" votes.

A Resolution will be put to the AGM to appoint as directors the candidates elected by this election.

All candidates are over 18; therefore, the provisions made in the Election Rules for candidates under 18 do not apply.

To vote, please email the completed ballot paper below to before 23:59 BST (22:59 UTC) on Friday 15th April 2011. Alternatively, ballot papers will be available at the AGM, and members present will be entitled to supersede any electronic vote they may have cast in advance of the meeting with a paper vote cast at the meeting.

Questions to Candidates[edit | edit source]

Any questions Members may wish to ask candidates before they cast their vote can be recorded on the Wikimedia UK wiki:

Candidate Statements[edit | edit source]

Each candidate's date of birth, occupation, former names and UK company directorships in the last five years is kept on file and will be made public only if they are elected.

Roger Bamkin[edit | edit source]

My name is Roger Bamkin and I'm an admin on en:Wikipedia (also active on Commons, Simple and Wikisource). Historically I was a leading member of WPSchools and WPDerbyshire. I continue to assist in running the "Did You Know" project and I have written hundreds of articles, but more importantly I have nominated for DYK over a hundred articles by other editors . In real life I trained as a mechanical engineer, systems analyst and teacher and I have been a senior IT manager controlling staff and budgets of millions. I have also been a partner in a minor software company and chaired I.T. standard committees for the UK. I have written academic papers on RDBMSs, e-commerce, AI and co-written (and sold) pantomime scripts.

My interest in Wikipedia deepened last year when I saw an opportunity to have a free VIP visit to the British Museum via a group called "Wikimedia UK". I became a leading player in the British Museum collaboration with Wikimedia and as a consequence I was invited to give a talk at last years GLAMWIKI conference on the "History of the World in 100 articles" describing the work we did. I was inspired to see if this British Museum idea could be cloned at smaller museums. That event will take place on April 9th in Derby. Creating this event has brought me into contact with other leading Wikimedia players and has resulted in be asked to talk about the novel work using QR Codes in Bristol recently.

At Wikimedia's 10th anniversary celebrations it was obvious that the stakes have changed. Peter Mandelson was there - jokes about Wikipedia are just uninforned bar talk when we have 400 milion users. Every student in the country is using Wikipedia to help their education - whether they are allowed to or not. Oxford University is recognising Wikipedia's qualities. However the German Wikipedia has 20 employees and last year Wikimedia UK had less than one.

Richard Dawkins recently noted that if he had the original idea for Wikipedia he would have known that it was not going to work. He was pleased to see that he was wrong. Wikipedia is an amazing success which grows in terms of both quality and quantity, but the challenges of being a more mature institution await. Educational and cultural institutions are realising that wikimedia projects are where many people do their initial research. They may go on to look further or use one of wikipedi's references. Either way, these organisations need to re-engage with a research process that does include wikimedia projects. They will need help and we need theirs.

Wikimedia and its UK chapter face a major challenge in the next few years. Its mission deserves our help.

John Byrne[edit | edit source]

On Wikipedia I am User:Johnbod, with 87,000 odd edits on English Wikipedia, few of them automated, made since 2006. I write mostly on art history, with some history, and a good number of articles are listed on my user page at . I also add and categorize images on Commons. I have been a major contributor to seven featured articles, mostly collaborations, and 164 DYKs. Two of the FAs were connected with the British Museum GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) project last year: which I pretty much did myself, and , which was a large group effort. I also gave a talk at the Wikipedia GLAM conference at the British Museum in November, and took part in the British Library event in January, which was partly responsible for leading me to spend much of my recent editing trying to improve our coverage of Islamic art.

Outside Wikipedia I am a 55 year old qualified (ICSA) Company Secretary, who has worked mostly in reference publishing; I was Company Secretary of the Marshall Cavendish Group, and a Trustee of its Pension Fund. Much of my time was spent dealing with new subsidiaries in Central and Eastern Europe, several of which experienced the kind of explosive growth in activity that Wikimedia UK will now be experiencing. I am very used to dealing with outside advisors of various kinds. I am currently essentially unemployed, which gives me plenty of time to devote to Wikipedia and the chapter. I am married with four children and live just outside London.

Wikimedia UK faces a period of great change, putting the funds that are now available to good use. We will be transitioning to a registered charity with employees, and the function of the Board will change to a much more supervisory one than at present. If we follow the pattern of the German chapter this very rapid growth will continue for some years. I have experience of the special challenges of organizations that are growing rapidly, and a broad range of experience of management issues.

As a Wikipedian I am mainly a content writer, and am very conscious of the problems we face maintaining and expanding our base of editors. I believe there are many ways the chapter can help here, and this should be our main focus for new activities. Last year’s GLAM initiatives were a very good start here, which have been widely copied by other chapters. I believe there are other kinds of organizations and groups we should be trying to address, and am especially keen to reach older potential editors. We also need to expand chapter membership and involvement, while accepting that many very active UK Wikipedians prefer only to engage online. I have met the current board and already knew most of those potential candidates who came to the “Board interest” meeting in February, and I believe I can work well as a member of the new board.

Thomas Dalton UPDATE: Withdrawn 9th April
[edit | edit source]

Chris Keating[edit | edit source]

I have been involved with Wikimedia projects since 2004 when I made my first edits to en.wikipedia as User:The Land. Since then I've become an administrator on en.wp and have made written or significantly contributed to four featured articles; I've also contributed to Commons and Wikisource.

My real-world background is in the voluntary sector. I have experience of fundraising, building volunteer networks and campaigning in voluntary organisations both large and small. A particular priority for me is to improve Wikimedia UK's internal communications. Non-profit organisations tend to stand or fall by their ability to inspire and reach out to their supporters, and I believe this is an area where we have a great deal to do. While my skills are available whether I'm on the Board or not, I think it's important that there are people on the Board who are engaged with this work.

A large part of Wikimedia UK's role is to support the community by making connections. The outgoing Board can be very proud that Britain leads the world in collaboration in the cultural sector. I was one of many Wikipedians to be inspired by the British Museum project last summer, and at time of writing I am working to set up a partnership with the National Maritime Museum. It is clearly important that we capitalise on the growing recognition by the cultural sector, by universities and academics that the Wikimedia movement is worth engaging with.

I also believe my background will be helpful as the new Board implements the plan to recruit more staff this coming year and make the Chapter a more professional organisation. It will not necessarily be easy for the Board to manage this transition, but done well (as it can be) it offers us the chance to achieve far more.

Please vote for me...

Michael Peel[edit | edit source]

I have been involved with WMUK since it was rebooted in 2008, serving first as Membership Secretary and then as Chair, and most recently as Secretary. My involvement has included organising events (most recently the Cancer Research UK Workshop; others include the [[Editathon, British Library]] and Britain Loves Wikipedia); talking to the media; responding to email queries (until our office manager, Charles, took over this role); talking with partner organisations; and much more. I have represented the chapter at the Chapters Meeting three times (in 2009, 2010 and 2011), as well as attending other Wikimedia meetings (e.g. the Multimedia Usability meeting in November 2009, and Wikimania in 2010), and I've also represented the chapter at non-Wikimedia-focused meetings.

I have been active on Wikipedia for over 6 years (my first edit was in March 2005), during which time I've made around 16,000 edits (although my edit rate has dropped off considerably since being involved with Wikimedia UK). I'm also active on the Commons, where I have made over 5,000 edits and uploaded over 1,600 images of my own creation. I have also made over 3,000 edits on Wikisource. In real life, I'm employed as a postdoctoral researcher at the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics (part of the University of Manchester).

This last year has seen fantastic progress for the chapter. We've organised a series of successful in-person events, a particular highlight being the GLAM-WIKI conference at the British Museum (organised by Liam Wyatt, supervised by myself). The chapter has participated in a very successful fundraiser, which brought in over half a million pounds to the Wikimedia movement. And much more.

In order to grow our activity to match our budget, we urgently need to professionalise the chapter over the coming year - primarily by hiring full-time employees - in order to scale up the activities and become an effective organisation. The planning process has been started by the current board, with 4-5 positions planned over the coming year, and represents a major transition period for the organisation. I would like to provide continuity during this process, as well as continuing to provide input and oversight to make sure that the chapter continues along the same approaches of transparency and responsibility as it has thus far, and also involves as many volunteers as possible in all of its activities. Simultaneously, I believe that the chapter should continue organising events (both by board members and ordinary members) to the best of its ability in the interim period, as well as provide funding for Wikimedia volunteers as necessary for them to pursue their activities both on- and off-line.

Please don't hesitate to ask me any questions you might have (on my talk page, or anywhere else you see me around).

Martin Poulter[edit | edit source]

I am dedicating an increasing amount of time and effort to promoting Wikimedia's culture and goals by engaging with the wider world. I would like to be able to do this in an official capacity.

I work 80% part-time in a national teaching support project based at the University of Bristol, which involves educating academics about Creative Commons and the wiki approach. Some of my job involves being part of a close-knit team, and I am involved in bidding for funds, hiring staff, forming external partnerships and promoting the project around the country. I frequently bridge between "techies" and "non-techies", explaining their work to each other.

As User:MartinPoulter, I have just over 5000 edits on English Wikipedia, mainly improving articles related to real and fake psychology. My background includes a Philosophy and Psychology degree from Oxford University and a PhD in the Philosophy of Science from the University of Bristol, where for six years I was also a teaching assistant. Apart from Wikimedia, my other "mission" in life is promoting critical thnking. This involves frequent public speaking: a list of talks can be found via my personal site, . Over the years I have had more than thirty appearances in press, radio or TV.

My recent outreach work in support of Wikimedia UK includes co- organising the Bristol Wiki Academy, negotiating towards a content partnership (details of which are not public at the time of writing), supporting Steve Virgin at meetings with local partner organisations, training new users at the Cancer Research UK Workshop organised by Mike Peel (and contributing to the press release), speaking about Wikimedia UK within the University, putting the World Service in contact with Rod Ward for an interview about wikipedian academics, and an interview in the Times that was brought about by Gemma Griffiths.

I hope and expect to see Wikimedia UK rapidly raise its profile and effectiveness. The board and wider community have done impressive work so far working with the GLAM sector, with other national bodies and with local outreach in different areas. This is only a start. There are many potential partner organisations and individuals who can benefit from working with us to improve the encyclopedia and other projects. We still have to overcome misconceptions about - and consequent hostility to - Wikipedia. We have to get Wikimedia UK and its goals more widely known in their own right. My experience with events so far is that once we get a chance to give people our message, we can win them over. Getting to that point is the difficult bit, and requires a larger team talking to a wider range of partners.

I am happy to answer questions about this nomination, preferably via my English Wikipedia talk page.

Andrew Turvey[edit | edit source]

I have been on the board of WIkimedia UK for three terms now and would like to run for a fourth so that the new board has continuity.

As Chair and Company Secretary, I have worked hard this last year, as have the other board members, to fulfill our plans. My particular contributions have included: - the board interest day, which I hope will lead to the largest influx of new directors since we started three years ago - changing the way the board operates, with fewer meetings overall, but more in person meetings and more decision making by email - progressing our charity application - establishing the legal arrangements that allowed us to participate in the fundraiser - completing our first set of accounts, which will soon be joined by the second! - recruiting our first member of staff, our pro-bono Head of PR and developing plans to recruit more staff

Not everything has been plain sailing, and I haven't managed to do as much as I would have liked. It hasn't been easy to fit everything in alongside work and family commitments. In particular: - we weren't able to manage board members' workload as well as we should, and lost another board member this year as a result - the board hasn't always been pushing in the same direction, working together with a single vision - our relationship with the Foundation has suffered some knocks - not as much progress as we had hoped has been made with our charity application or the recruitment of staff - we didn't acheive the plans we set out in our budget at the start or the year - and, of course, our reputation was affected by our late accounts

Much of this is being addressed by the board, particularly through professionalising the chapter. I hope the new board will focus on these issues and, if I'm re-elected, they will certainly be a priority for me. However, there are also lots of positive opportunities coming up for the chapter:

- we have a developing track record and pipeline of events with museums and the "GLAM" sector - the promising "Campus Ambassador" programme - a healthy budget of £200,000 to support activities - a much more positive media commentary on us in recent months - an ambitious programme of staff recruitment - a new split of responsibilities between an executive committee and the full board

I am looking forward to doing what I can, if re-elected, to contribute to all of this.

Ashley Van Haeften[edit | edit source]

I am a heavy contributor to GLAM collaborations and as an 'ambassador' I am acting as a default point of contact for our the relationships with the British Library and British Museum and have recently started contact with the Wellcome Trust and English Heritage. At an international level our expectations for how such collaborations is maturing and I sit on the GLAM steering committee to keep an eye on (and a hand in) how our common understanding develops. I am concious of the importance of other UK projects that have recently been receiving less attention - Wiki Loves Monuments, non-English outreach and the new editor experience - finding ways of WMUK staying focussed on the strategic level and new ways of delegating project execution will be critical to ramping up all these activities in parallel.

I believe there are three key challenges for WMUK over the coming year: - achieving charity status - maximizing the engagement with museums and archives that has successfully generated high levels of interest and goodwill - delivering large and uniquely UK focussed projects to improve engagement and diversity of content

My professional background is as a management and organizational specialist which fits well with the prospect of the next 12 months being a time of continued rapid growth and tricky change for the UK chapter.

Steve Virgin[edit | edit source]

I am standing because I would relish the chance to help finish the job the last two Boards have begun and see achieving Charitable Status, building a network of successful outreach projects and helping to move the Chapter's communications with the media onto the front foot. The transformation to a professionally-led Chapter over the next 12 months requires careful management on the part of the Board, not only in terms of recruitment (with at least four new full time roles likely to be appointed & a new office opened) but also in terms of the new full-time team getting up to speed in their roles. This will mean 2011-2012 is a ‘transitional Board’ and that is why I think I have a role to play in ensuring a smooth and successful transition.

Achievements during the last 12 months:

I have organised these events on behalf of the Board:

The Annual Fund Raising Summit – 3 days in May 2010 – held in Bristol Sponsored by HP Labs, Bristol City Council & The Watershed – the meeting facilitated fund raising discussions for the winter 2010 fund raiser between six national chapters and the Wikimedia Foundation over 3 days.

Wikipedia’s 10th Birthday celebrations – sponsored by HP Labs, University of Bristol, Bristol Festival of Ideas & Bristol City Council Jimmy Wales spoke at a 700-strong event at the University of Bristol (6’ version produced by BBC) Jimmy Wales spoke at the Bristol Cathedral School (locally produced version)

Jimmy Wales’ talk led to several hundred news stories on the event being available on Google News the next morning. There were 3000 people watching the University of Bristol event live online & the live stream shot by BBC Anchor Project, local Wikipedians & Bristol City Council has had around 25,000 hits since the event.

More recently – in conjunction with local Bristol-based Wikipedian trainers we held a successful Wikipedia Academy

And today’s AGM

I have built a successful relationship with the BBC & hope to take this national. The BBC has now donated something to Wikimedia UK under a Public Domain licence for the first time ever (its record of Jimmy Wales’ talk at Bristol University). Having a precedent for a donation to WMUK will make it easier to persuade the BBC to share more content. I am a regular speaker at events on behalf of Wikimedia UK – some national (CIPR & Kaizo) and some regional (University of Gloucester, BRRISM, Bristol City Council & IGNITE).

Finally, there are advanced on-going discussions with possible global content partners in the environmental sector. I also have strong interest from local Universities & schools in working alongside us on the Campus Ambassador program and on a range of other outreach initiatives. I would like to help finish the job of ‘professionalising the Chapter’ and see next year’s Board able to concentrate on the strategic bigger picture rather than operational details – which have held us back a little over the last two years.

Ballot Paper[edit | edit source]

If you wish to cast your vote before the AGM, please send the following ballot paper to before 23:59 BST on Friday 15th April 2011.


Membership number:

Ballot Paper

Write "YES" or "NO" beside name of each candidate.

Roger Bamkin [ ]
John Byrne [ ]
Thomas Dalton [ ]
Chris Keating [ ]
Michael Peel [ ]
Martin Poulter [ ]
Andrew Turvey [ ]
Ashley Van Haeften [ ]
Steve Virgin [ ]

As ever, any questions about the elections should be directed to

James Farrar
Teller, Wikimedia UK