2020-05-23 Board Meeting

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Logo Wikimedia Belgium

Board meeting 23 May 2020 via conference call (corona lockdown).

Agenda: (see table of contents)
Present: .Anja., Geert, Mike, Lionel

Some of us do not want to use Google Meet[edit]

The good news is that the Foundation operates as of May 2020 a Jitsi server https://meet.wmcloud.org. Anybody from the community can request a user account that permits to create a video meeting. To attend a session you do not need to have an account.

However, Jitsi did not work today, because the camera of Mike did not work, and Jitsi continued to complain that it did not have access to the camera, so we had to switch to a Google Meet session instead.

Actually, Jitsi does not scale well with more than 10 participants, because there seems to be a separate network connection to each of the participants (M:M at the client-side), while Google Meet multiplexes all signals into 1 single video stream, centrally managed, irrespective of the number of participants.

New official address required[edit]

The EU Policy group has a new official address (to be announced). We can no longer share the office (due to a landlord restriction). A postbox is not allowed in Belgium. So, Wikimedia Belgium needs a new official address.

Since we have no employees, we do not really need a permanent office yet. We only need an official physical address. This will limit the yearly cost. A small office would cost about 300 € per month. Last year we contributed 800 € for the year to the EU Policy group for sharing the office. If we only have the service for an address, the cost could possibly be below 1200 €.

BeCentral does not offer such a service.The chair has requested a price offer from Co.Station, another shared office space, also near the Central station in Brussels.

Mike asks if it is possible to have an official address at one of the board members’ homes? There are maybe 3 problems with that:

  1. We cannot change from region
  2. (The address of) the Board member needs to be more or less permanent in order to avoid frequent address changes
  3. Board members need some privacy.

Resources for the General assembly[edit]

Because we need a new address, we also need new statutes since the vzw-law has changed. The chair has prepared new statutes, and submitted them for legal validation. The validation of the new proposed statutes is pending; we are waiting for legal feedback from VSDC.

The general assembly is thus waiting for the new statutes to be technically approved; the general assembly could be done online via Google Meet. The government has extended the due date till September 2020, due to the corona-crisis.

New board elections[edit]

  • Lionel announced not to renew his function.
  • .Anja. wants to renew candidacy.
  • Mike is staying for a second year.
  • Geert is renewing his candidacy.

Additional board members are thus required. We would need 2 additional board members to have a bit more flexibility. Geert will send an e-mail to the members to request candidate board members, with an indication of roles and responsibilities.

Project Managers[edit]

We need as well more project managers. We have currently the following (unofficial) Project managers: Hilke, Bart, and Sam are performing edit-a-thons, training (via webinar) and (remote) campaigns (although they do not have an official function).

Antoine will assume giving training for new Wikipedians.

Contacting board members[edit]

There is an online video meeting to contact Geert, when he is online. Announced on the https://be.wikimedia.org and https://wikimedia.be home pages (scan or click on the QR-code). So then we can easily help anybody with questions about e.g. “Writing for Wikipedia”, or “Wikimedia Belgium”. Desktop or window sharing with Wikipedians that have a question about Wikipedia, or one of the other applications, is easy to solve a problem instantly. Recently the chair has assisted this way new Wikipedians to let them create and publish their first Wikipedia page.

Any board member is free to create a Google Meet URL for business purposes. Or could use the WMF Jitsi server for the same purpose.


  • Mois de la contribution 2020
  • Liège Bibliothèque Les Chiroux - Verviers (gender gap)
  • 4 events planned, 2 performed only (corona-crisis). Verviers and Luik want to do other events.
  • In September maybe a video conference session.
  • Wiki Club Brussels: via video conferencing (but few participants). Welcoming new editors, and personal online coaching.
  • Meer vrouw op straat. Flemish TV program about well-known women that do not yet have a street name. Paul Hermans has several articles, e.g. w:nl:/Miss Athléta
  • VRT => something similar as well in the future?
  • Promote the use of Wikimedia tools: QuickStatements, AC/DC, ISA Tool, ListeriaBot, 1lib1ref.
  • We propose to conduct the Wiki Loves Heritage photo contest from July-October. 4 months is sufficiently long; then we have November for the jury evaluation, and we can have the prize session in December, to not complicate the financial reporting towards the WMF.
  • Wikipedia Pages Wanting Photos (complementary with Wiki Loves Heritage) in July-August. Not about uploading pictures, but about using them.


We received for 2020 a budget of 16.500 € from the Foundation. But we believe we will have much less costs this year, due to the corona-crisis.

Koning Boudewijnstichting[edit]

Friends of Wikimedia Belgium Fund: we receive about 100 € per week => should at least be doubled, because we need to obtain more than 10.000 € per year.

Note that we can only use the funds for public social, cultural, heritage, or similar projects; not for administrative purposes.

How can we increase the fund receipts?

  • Sent a mailing to announce the Fund
  • (clear) Messages on the websites
  • Preformatted overschrijvingsformulieren (formulaire de virement prérempli :) )
  • Folder (white paper NL/FR) to distribute whenever we have a physical meeting
  • Official link to the WMBE payment platform for the Koning Boudewijn Foundation (KBS)
  • Companies can also have a fiscal certificate.
  • (Board) members to talk about this possibility

1 company (wrongly) transferred 50 € to our private account => The chair will contact them and ask to use the KBS account instead.

More info: Donation with tax certificate.

Communication tools[edit]

Websites, Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, Signal, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Instagram (?)

Webinars and Video conferencing - We have recorded multiple webinars about “Writing for Wikipedia”. This way anybody can watch the training again after the session.

Anne is following the mailing list.

Videoconference tools: Google Meet, Jitsi, (Zoom being used by WMF).

.Anja. proposes to use Twitch for training purposes, to attract a wider public?

Wikimedia Nederland[edit]

WMNL is organising virtual WikiZaterdag sessions with Jitsi. Comparable to the WMBE Wiki Club Brussels meetings.

Frans Grijzenhout stops after 8 years to be board member/chair, and is replaced by Jan Bart de Vreede. On 26 September they will organise their general assembly.

Wikimedia Foundation[edit]

No more physical activities (till when? => 15th september 2020? EOY? 2021?), see also m:COVID-19.

No (physical) Summit, no Hackathon, no Wikimania. The Hackathon was organised by video conferencing. Kind of OK, but much less efficient to meet the physical people. In separate sessions.

Replaced by virtual Conferences. But far less efficient: you can not have a video conference with more than 200 people; it is difficult to track all sessions being organised by all of the coordinators. Sometimes replaced by YouTube video streaming. Or by https://live.remo.co (another tool that was used at the 2020 Hackathon with a conference-like setup with floors, rooms, tables).

Rebranding process[edit]

Strategy 2030[edit]

Community initiatives[edit]