Chat Transcript – July 21, 2018

briar_pipe
Hi everyone, and welcome to our Candidate Chat for 2019!

Today you’ll have the opportunity to observe all 3 Candidates: Kirsten Wright, Morgan Schroeder, and Rebecca Sentance.

My name is briar_pipe, and I’ll be hosting the candidate side today. On the audience/open_chat side, your host will be my fellow Elections Committee member disjointed.

disjointed, can you wave so everyone can see you?

disjointed
Hi everyone! I’m DJ, and I’ll be your open_chat moderator!

briar_pipe
Thanks, DJ! <3

A transcript of the candidate side of the chat will be posted publicly on our website. The open_chat transcript will not be posted there, but its transcripts will remain visible until after the election. During the chat, you may see candidates fix their typos; this is to make Elections Staff’s job easier later.

As the candidates discuss each question, audience members can notify disjointed that you have questions for the candidates – either follow-ups or new questions – by raising your hand like this:

o/ (for new questions), or

o// (for follow-ups to the current question)

disjointed will pass me the questions, and I will ask them during appropriate pauses in the conversation between the candidates.

disjointed and I welcome all questions, subject to the following restrictions:
– Specify who your question is for, or if it’s for all candidates.
– Refer to everyone in the room by their username in this conversation. Don’t use other names you may know them by.
– Please keep questions reasonable and polite (these are our expectations: http://elections.transformativeworks.org/elections-process-behavior-expectations/).
– Make sure your question is not a repeat of one already answered in the platforms (http://elections.transformativeworks.org/category/2018/2018-bios-and-platforms/) or the Q&A (http://elections.transformativeworks.org/category/2018/2018-qa/). If it’s a follow-up to one of those, please say so.

Ok, that’s it for the intro! We now welcome your questions for the candidates. 🙂

Our first question today is: What, if any, would be your moves to encourage enriching OTW projects with content from underrepresented languages and geographies?

Rebecca Sentance
This is a very interesting question! It covers quite a wide range of possibilities, so I’m going to try and touch on a few of them
“Content from underrepresented languages and geographies” in the OTW’s projects would encompass things like Fanlore pages and submissions to Transformative Works & Cultures (TWC), so I think one step would be to collaborate with those committees in devising a plan of action to reach out to, say, academics from underrepresented backgrounds and nationalities (for TWC) or fan communities from underrepresented parts of the world (for Fanlore) and encourage them to submit/document their experiences.

Kirsten Wright
The fact that our sites are primarily in English right now is a weak spot. The eventual mirroring of the archive in more languages would be a huge help to those who speak other languages. We know we have a hugely international userbase, and this is definitely something that will need to be done, eventually. I would also like to include Fanlore, here – recruiting more multilingual volunteers and editors would mean having a more diverse history and a more accessible site.

I’d also like to see Open Doors import more non-Western and English-based fandoms! I believe Open Doors works on suggestion basis, and so I would like to encourage more fans to submit their favorite non-English language archives and sites!

Rebecca Sentance
TWC publishes in English, and English is also the lingua franca of Fanlore (for the time being, it’s most practical for the wiki to be in English), so in both instances it would be a case of improving geographical/cultural diversity rather than linguistic diversity

Morgan Schroeder
That’s something I would definitely turn to a few of our committees for suggestions on, likely our Communications committee to start with but also our Translation committee. As I’ve said in my platform, my experience has been very AO3-centric so I would want to talk to committees like Fanlore, TWC, and Open Doors to find out what they’d need to do that kind of outreach for their own projects.

Kirsten Wright
Yes, I’d like to second that, Morgan.
Actually, Comms passes almost all of our communications to Translations before posting. Having more crossover between our two committees could be wildly beneficial, here. If we could get more multicultural voices and languages in before writing, we could become more inclusive overall.

Rebecca Sentance
And yes, I would also look to work with Comms and Translation to see if we can expand our social media presence to social networks that have a primarily non-English, non-Western userbase. Having a presence on Weibo, for example, has been a huge help in connecting with Chinese fandom, troubleshooting issues that people have with AO3, and so on

There’s a lot of potential there, so I’d be keen to explore the possibilities and find out what more we can do

briar_pipe
Thanks so much, everyone!

Our next question is: Hi, thank you to all the candidates first. How much does each of the candidates think we have in our financial reserves? How much do we need in reserve and how much do we need to be raising a year before financial issues are not the main sticking point in employing some staff. Which committees would you prioritise and for what reason.

[Please note that the candidates did not have financial reports directly in front of them during this chat, so the numbers listed below are not accurate. For accurate financial information, please check the financial reports on the following webpage: http://www.transformativeworks.org/reports_docs/ ]

Rebecca Sentance
I’ll try to tackle each of those in order 🙂
As far as I can tell from our last couple of budget updates (2019 and 2018) we publish the net transfers to and from our reserves, but not the figure for what we have in reserve. It would take me a long time to try and work out what our probable reserves are from the last several years of budget statements, and I wouldn’t want to estimate in case I get it wildly wrong xD But as a member of the Board I would work with the Finance committee to assess our reserves and the question of how much we want to set aside for potential paid staff salaries versus other probable expenses like servers and anything else we might need a buffer against.

Morgan Schroeder
I haven’t had time to dig through the budget spreadsheet properly so I would have to ask the Finance committee to know for sure how much we have in reserve. As far as employing staff, I think we need to be able to pull that out of our yearly donations rather than digging into reserves to be able to afford that, for best results.

Kirsten Wright
That is a really complicated question. I really don’t want to guess at how much we have in our reserves, honestly. I am looking at how much cash we have on hand, + how much we have budgeted for the year. Below is our 2019/2018 budget, and below that is the link for our 2017 audit.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1H8LzHav_ocfwpKBp25Y334Qw4ft769NtJT6Y2GIs_cU/edit#gid=2001661131
http://www.transformativeworks.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/OTW-Audited-Financial-Statements-2017.pdf

If we subtract our allotted budget from 2017’s cash on hand amount, we have $314,196, which is less than our budget for this year. Of course, like Rebecca said, the actual number of our reserves does not appear to be listed, so I could be wildly wrong!

However, if this number is correct, then we need to more than double our reserves.

This means that we need to diversify our income streams. Right now, we are totally reliant on donations from users. There are benefits to this, but it also means that we have a very small operating budget. Large donations and grants are something we absolutely need to be – and are – exploring.

I think we need to look at organizations of a comparable size and how much they make + spend a year. The complicating factor of course is our entirely online situation. I don’t know of any other nonprofit that is entirely online like we are, with no physical presence at all. But we do need to look at other nonprofits, their expenses, and how much they bring in and revenue sources. Part of our issue right now is that we have one revenue source: we are entirely dependent on user donations.

Morgan Schroeder
For how much we need to be raising a year, I’d want to talk to both our Finance and Legal committees to get a better idea of how much money we’d need to be raising before we could afford paid staff, but I don’t think that should come at the expense of everything else we need to pay for, including server costs.

Rebecca Sentance
I would also definitely consult with Finance and the relevant committees that we want to hire paid staff for about what amount we would need to raise in order to support paid staff, because salaries can vary greatly depending on the role. I would want to speak to each of the committees about their needs in order to decide which positions to prioritise hiring for, but I would look to shore up the roles where we need continual availability, beyond what a volunteer is able to accomplish in their free time, which require skills it’s difficult to recruit for, and which are currently “lynchpin” positions in the OTW that need redundancy and support

Kirsten Wright
I definitely agree with Morgan and Rebecca that we need to consult with legal and finance before coming to any firm decision. I think we can begin running the numbers for staff now, and doing preparations to see exactly what dollar amount we would need to feel comfortable before moving forward.

As far as which committees would get a paid staffer first, I think we need to talk to the committees and find out what their most essential tasks are. It’s highly likely the first paid staffer would need to be able to take on a variety of tasks from a variety of committees, and that would be complicated.

I want to point out another major sticking point for paid staff is also legal barriers. We aren’t sure yet what tax ramifications we would face, and how much we would be able to depend on volunteers once we begin to have paid staff.

Rebecca Sentance
I would agree with Kirsten’s point about diversifying our revenue streams, and I know that the Finance committee is already exploring possibilities like investments that will support our donation income.

Morgan Schroeder
As for prioritizing committees, I think we should look at paid positions for roles where we most need coverage and experienced staff, but it would really need to be a more formal discussion about where we would most need a paid position, and would likely depend on how many positions we could afford to hire for.

Rebecca Sentance
And yes, we also have to bear in mind other considerations like changes in the OTW structure that would enable paid staff to be taken on, and that would have a more intangible cost in terms of volunteer time and resources.

briar_pipe
We have a follow up for Kirsten. It says: I like what you’re saying about diversifying income streams; what would you propose we do to work towards getting those in place?

Anyone can answer if you have thoughts, though, as I know most of you have discussed this at some point.

Kirsten Wright
I one hundred percent believe we need to start looking at grants. I think this is something we’ve looked at in the past, and haven’t done yet, because of how intensive the grant process can be.

I also think that we need to look into large donations and bequeathments, both of which would be keeping with our history of being primarily donation based, but would mean larger amounts of income we could rely on.

Rebecca Sentance
When you say bequeathments, do you mean from someone’s estate for example?

Kirsten Wright
Yes, that is exactly what I mean.

(I want to clarify the numbers from my earlier answer: I was pulling the cash on hand number from the 2017 audit, and the budget from the 2019 projected budget, as I was reading them. I may have read them wrong, or pulled the number from the wrong section. I absolutely defer to finance in all things budgetary!)

Rebecca Sentance
I think the OTW has received a couple of bequeathments from people’s estates in the past, but the issue is that we don’t have a lot of control over that kind of thing as an organisation, so I feel like it would be hard to count on or budget for.

Kirsten Wright
At the moment, I definitely agree with you. But it’s something I definitely think that we should let people know is an option. Currently, it’s not something we are actively seeking, but I think we have room to change that.

Morgan Schroeder
I think both grants and low-risk investments are good things to look at, but I would definitely defer to the Finance committee as far as specifics go, as they’d have a better idea than me what we can and can’t do.

Rebecca Sentance
Yes, Morgan is echoing my thoughts here xD

Kirsten Wright
Seconding Morgan’s comment on low-risk investments.

I don’t want to forget development, though. They are the committee in charge of fundraising, and would be in charge of grants + donations.

Rebecca Sentance
I would also want to work closely with Development & Membership, since donations are their purview, and Strategic Planning who I know have incorporated exploring models for key staff positions into the latest visioning statement.

briar_pipe
While on the topic of money, we have a similar question from the other end: What would you like to see the OTW do if we were to have unlimited funds, from, say, a money tree?

Kirsten Wright
I would absolutely use this gorgeous money tree to pay our existing bills so that the money we have can go into more exciting projects that keep getting pushed off to deal with fires. (And of course base operations)

Morgan Schroeder
If it’s really unlimited then I’d love to do a whole lot of things! I’d probably start with new servers and a few key paid staff positions, and then drag all the committee chairs into a meeting to find out what they would need money for so I’d have a better idea of what to spend the rest of the money tree on, haha.

Kirsten Wright
That sounds like a really fun meeting honestly.

Morgan Schroeder
I’m sure it wouldn’t be hard to get everyone to show up to a meeting entitled “free money to every committee that shows up!” xD

Rebecca Sentance
Well, if the money tree can be harvested regularly, that would solve our paid staff revenue issue! 🙂 Seriously though, I think it would allow us to make some needed upgrades to our servers/hardware to ensure stability, and then we would be able to look at funding key paid staff positions and/or contractors who could support bigger projects like the internationalisation of AO3 and/or multimedia hosting.

And yes, I would very much enjoy the resulting “!!!!” meeting with chairs and other key folks so that we can decide on other priorities and expenditures 🙂

Morgan Schroeder
Oh, multimedia hosting, I knew I was missing one of the things I’d want to do with a money tree.

Rebecca Sentance
It would also probably shift our priorities in some interesting ways, since committees would have the freedom to think big about the kinds of tools and projects they’d like to explore without having to worry about the expense.

Kirsten Wright
I 100% agree with that last point, Rebecca. If we suddenly no longer had to worry about income, the resulting priority shift would mean we could suddenly accomplish projects previously only earmarked as “dream” or “one day”.

briar_pipe
The next question is a combination of two, because I suspect for some of y’all the answers overlap: “What do you expect to be the most difficult aspect of being a member of the Board for you?” and “If elected, what are you most looking forward to about joining Board?”

Rebecca Sentance
I’ve heard that there is a steep initial learning curve, because the Board obviously works with every single committee across the OTW and there will be plenty to learn about their processes, priorities and concerns. But I’m also looking forward to that, so yes, my answers to those two do overlap a bit. xD

But I think the most exciting thing to me is the prospect of working closely with all the extremely awesome people already on the Board. As cheesy as that sounds, I mean it wholeheartedly xD

Kirsten Wright
I’m seconding what Rebecca said: I am worried about the learning curve! But what I am looking forward to most is working more intimately with a group of people who are as passionate and involved in the OTW as I am.

I want to derail real quick and say this is also what I love most about my fellow candidates: everyone here today, including the viewers, love and appreciate the OTW and our projects, and as someone who shares that love, it makes me really happy.

Getting back on track though, I am both looking forward to and dreading getting more involved! There will be more opportunity to take on more responsibility and directly help an organization I really care about, but taking on more responsibility is really frightening, at the same time!

Morgan Schroeder
I’m definitely worried about everything I’ll have to learn, though I am equally excited to learn all the things. I’m super excited to get to work with all the committees and especially the other Board members, though!

briar_pipe
Great lead-in to our next question: Is there any particular part or aspect of the OTW that you’re not yet very familiar with and are looking forward to learning more about?

Morgan Schroeder
Like I’ve said in my platform, my experience so far has been very AO3-centric, so I am pumped to learn more about the other OTW projects!

Rebecca Sentance
That’s also a good question! I would have to say Legal and Finance, since as closely as I’ve tried to follow our advocacy and budget statements, I don’t think there’s a substitute for working closely with them behind the scenes and learning first-hand about what they do and what they need. Also DevMem, since again, I’m always extremely interested in our donation drives, but I’d love to learn more about their day-to-day workings as a committee and what goes into the drives.

Kirsten Wright
I am really excited to become more involved and learn more about the meat and potatoes of running the organization. I’ve worked in fundraising in the past, so working with DevMem is something I’d like to do more of, both to learn more about how they currently operate and what their needs are. I’d also like to learn more about finance! It’s something that’s super critical to our overall operation, and it’s very frequently overlooked. We tend not to think about where our money comes from or goes as long as the projects we care about keep functioning, but I would like to learn more about that. Finally, I would also like to learn more about Legal. Their work has done a lot to change fandom, and I would love to learn more about all they do.

briar_pipe
From someone who read your hard work \o/: In the Q&As, there was some talk of the OTW becoming more stable over time. Is there anything you think the board can do or has been doing to help with the whale problem, i.e. the fact that there are a number of lynchpin people without whom committees might have trouble functioning or having the knowledge to train new people?

Kirsten Wright
1) Raising awareness of the OTW as a whole. There are lots of people who love and cherish AO3 but aren’t aware of the OTW or our other projects. Helping make that connection could potentially increase the number of people volunteering.

2) Better vetting with our hiring processes, clarity on what is expected from volunteers. This is complicated, because I know we vet pretty closely already, but there are still people who just…vanish before they even finish the onboarding process, which is frustrating.

3) Clarity of roles! Making sure that each role has specific designated responsibilities that are clear and descriptive

4) Redundancy. Training multiple people in one task. Identifying who those lynchpin people are, and intentionally working with them to train someone else in their responsibilities, so that one of them can take a break, or if they have to retire, someone else will be available to take on those tasks.

Morgan Schroeder
I think we have to continue as we have been: recruiting people with the right skill sets when we can, and trying to get as much internal documentation down as possible. Maybe this is just the Documentation staffer in me, but I think it’s crucial that repeated processes get written down somewhere that other people can see them, so that if something happens, someone else can pick up the reins and have the instructions right there in front of them. Not even just for lynchpins necessarily, but for everyone who will eventually need to pass work onto someone else.

Kirsten Wright
Yes, that is what I meant with clarity of roles. Responsibilities should be denoted in a clear manner and documented so others can step in as needed.

Morgan Schroeder
I also agree with Kirsten, especially on raising awareness and redundancy.

Rebecca Sentance
Mmm, so I talked about making volunteer burnout one of the goals that I’d like to work towards during my time on the Board, and I think this issue relates quite closely to that one. I know the Board and Strategic Planning have been working together to improve committee documentation on training, position descriptions and expectations, key processes, etc. to help with redundancy and knowledge transfer, and so I would want to continue supporting that work. I would also look into recruitment specifically and whether committees are able to recruit enough candidates to support key roles, because recruitment is very time-consuming in terms of preparation, the actual process, and then training and retaining candidates, and even when committees know that they need to recruit, it isn’t always possible when they’re swamped with other concerns.

I touched on this in my platform, but I’d like to encourage knowledge-sharing between committees as much as possible on this front because, as a committee chair, I know I’ve learned huge amounts from talking to the chairs of other committees and learning how they’ve tackled similar issues in the past. The different committees in the OTW vary in how they’re structured, and sometimes it can be instructive to look at the different roles that are taken on in other committees and the workload that they handle, and see how that can transfer over to another committee. It’s ultimately something for chairs to decide if it works for them, but I would like to encourage that wherever possible.

Taking on more contractors and (eventually) paid staff will also help with this as and when we have room in the budget, but of course we want to look at solutions that will help in the medium term, so these are the things I’d consider.

briar_pipe
Thank you for the follow-up there! Our next question is: What would you say was the most important lesson(s) your committee experiences so far have taught you about interacting with other volunteers, and with fandom at large?

Rebecca Sentance
I like this question! It’s hard for me to pin down just one or two lessons, as I’ve been with the OTW for coming up on 4 years now, and I’ve learned so, so much from volunteering here. It’s hard to think back to what I was like and what I knew before I joined xD

Kirsten Wright
Compassion first. We don’t see everyone face to face, so it’s hard to read them. Coming to each person from a compassionate place means you are less likely to be misunderstood. Secondly, clarity! We communicate using text, only. We can’t rely on facial expressions or tone, so we need to be very, very clear in our language what we mean and what we are doing.

Rebecca Sentance
I was involved in various online and fandom projects before I joined the OTW, so in a way the lessons that I’ve learned from volunteering here are continuations of what I learned from those projects, namely that there is an amazing, interesting, diverse set of people to be found in fandom and that we can achieve amazing things just through putting in the time and having the passion. Also that not being in the same geographic location doesn’t need to be a barrier to achieving those things, though timezones can sometimes be fun to grapple with xD On a more micro level, I’ve learned about tools that can be used to navigate timezones and working collaboratively, and I’ve absolutely used those in my non-OTW and professional life.

Similar to what Kirsten said, being in the OTW also teaches you text-based diplomacy and how to navigate text-only interactions, which might be part of the reason that we have such a rich variety of emoji in our online chat space. xD

Morgan Schroeder
I agree, I’ve learned quite a lot from my experiences here! Clarity has definitely been one of the big ones, but I’ve also learned a lot about different communication styles and how to interact around timezones, haha.

Kirsten Wright
OMG, absolutely what Rebecca said: especially the bit about navigating time zones. I have four clocks on my phone now.

Rebecca Sentance
And I would definitely say that from a fandom-at-large perspective that my fandom world has opened up hugely since I began volunteering with the OTW. This is especially true for the moment when I started editing Fanlore, because it gave me a whole new perspective on my own fandom experiences and how they fit into wider fandom history. I’ve learned so, so much from reading and editing the wiki and also learning about people’s concerns and experiences from interacting with Fanlore over the years. I tend to wax lyrical about Fanlore and fandom history if given half the chance because it’s so amazing.

briar_pipe
Thanks, everyone! Our next question is related to some of your Q&A answers: What do you feel is the OTW’s role in fandom? And do you think that has changed?

Kirsten Wright
It’s definitely expanded since it’s inception! But I would like to refer you to my answer from the Q&A: http://elections.transformativeworks.org/kirsten-wright-2019-qa-group-2/#more-6873

Specifically, What are your thoughts on internet censorship and freedom of expression? Does the OTW have a role to play in that ongoing conversation? If yes, what role?

I think the best role for the OTW to play is the one it is already playing: providing a space online for fans to explore and create without fear that their work will be exploited or controlled by those outside of fandom.

To me, this includes our protection and preservation of the history of fanworks.

Morgan Schroeder
I think our role in fandom is what it always has been – support for fandom! We have the AO3 and Open Doors to help archive and store fanworks in a space online safe from commercialization or exploitation, we have Fanlore to document fandom, our Legal committee to defend fandom, etc.

Rebecca Sentance
I think that the OTW’s primary role in fandom is to preserve and advocate for fannish activity and fanworks in all their forms, and since its inception I don’t think that role has changed, though the fannish environment that the OTW interacts in is always changing. But we see history repeat itself a lot, for instance with the late 2018 purge of explicit content from Tumblr which echoed many similar fannish content purges in the past, such as Strikethrough and Boldthrough. Those helped in part to bring about (or hasten, since it was already being founded by that point) the founding of the OTW and the creation of AO3, and we’re frequently reminded of the reasons why the OTW exists as time goes on.

I think it’s actually more important than ever to stay true to our role and purpose as they were when the OTW was founded, and remember that as much as other things might change like fan platforms and social spaces, the OTW is still doing what it was founded to do, 10 years since it was created.

Kirsten Wright
I absolutely agree with that last bit!

briar_pipe
This is a follow-up to the previous question: As a gay guy in fandom, I’ve found AO3 a great place to find stories with people like me. But the vast majority of fandom spaces are dominated by straight people, those that use a lot of M/M pairings being mostly full of straight women. As a result, it’s strangely isolating, especially when I get unwelcome attention for my identity. It ends up feeling like one big circus where people like me are there to be used for ship fodder and gawked at, but not listened to or respected.

What do the candidates think about this, is it something they’ve considered? If so, do they think there’s anything they can do to help make OTW’s fandom spaces more welcoming to us, raise awareness, or help fandom minorities find each other in our own communities? Why or why not would that be something that they could help with, or a good idea in the first place?

Kirsten Wright
Well, first of all, recent data, like the 2019 Fansplaining shipping survey, has proven that fandom isn’t mostly het women: by and far the largest number of responders said they were pansexual or bisexual. https://public.tableau.com/profile/fansplaining#!/vizhome/TheFansplainingShippingSurveyResults/SurveyDemographicsGenderandSexuality

Unfortunately, fandom does mimic the world outside of fandom in one very sad way: people tend to bring in their prejudices, no matter what they are. This has always been a problem, and it is frustrating. Fortunately, fandom is also a good equalizer, and people of all voices, backgrounds, cultures and identities are able to create and post works! I believe by continuing with its mission to allow all content that falls within the terms of agreement, the OTW is helping people to not only find their voice, but become more aware of the voices of those not like them.

Morgan Schroeder
I think as far as helping fandom minorities find each other, the best bet is either our collections feature, especially if it’s used to bookmark fics, or finding another website such as dreamwidth or discord or reddit to make a community there and then share fanworks there. As a queer person in fandom, I know fandom is often not as safe a space as we may like it to be, but I do think as a community we can work towards being more inclusive and welcoming. I think the OTW does help with that, like Kirsten said, by introducing people to other voices in fandom.

Kirsten Wright
Seconding that, Morgan. I love the idea of curating collections. It’s a great way to find exactly the content you are looking for. I also love the idea of bringing back Dreamwidth communities.

Rebecca Sentance
Thanks to the question asker for sharing their experience <3 I’m sorry to hear that they’ve had some negative experiences in fandom due to their identity. I know that fandom can be a beautiful, inclusive and affirming space but not all fandom spaces are the same, and people’s personal experiences can vary wildly depending on their fandoms, where they interact, and so on. Tackling this specifically from an OTW and AO3 perspective, I’ve said before that I’m wary of casting the OTW in the role of the arbiter of fandom, and I stand by that – I don’t want to imply that our role is somehow to regulate or control fandom spaces. There will always be a limit to what the OTW can do there, because we can’t intervene in the behaviour of individual fans or fandoms. There is also the fact that it’s up to fans themselves whether and how much they share about their identity behind the keyboard: it could be everything, or it could be nothing at all. Some tools that AO3 has which could be useful in this regard are tags, since there are user-created tags that indicate the representation of certain types of characters in fanworks, and also I think tags that indicate the identity of the creator if they choose to share it, and those can be searched for and filtered on. I’m also going to piggyback on Morgan’s suggestion of collections for the reasons that they stated. :3 Beyond that, though, social networks tend to have more features that are geared towards what I think the question answer is looking for in terms of connecting with similar fans and sharing experiences with them.

Kirsten Wright
Rebecca, I love what you said about it being up to fans about how much they choose to share about their identity. I think that is an important thing to keep in mind.

Rebecca Sentance
🙂

briar_pipe
On to our last question question of the day, which our lovely Strategic Planning chairs have been patiently waiting to hear about: What role do you think Board plays in implementing the strategic plan, and what part do you see yourself having in that action?

Kirsten Wright
I believe the board’s role is to guide and act as a liaison. Our most important role is to listen, and to convey that which we hear. The OTW has tons of committees, and each one is critical to our overall goal. Therefore, our biggest and most important task is to be ears, listening to each committee.

(Thank you for your patience, Strategic Planning!)

Morgan Schroeder
I agree, I think our role is to help communicate between committees, so that’s what I see my role as far as the strategic plan goes.

Rebecca Sentance
My understanding of the relationship between Board and Strategic Planning is that Board is ultimately responsible for deciding on the big-picture goals for the OTW as a whole, and they work with Strategic Planning in the process of implementing those and documenting them. Strategic Planning is also the committee that meets with and listens to key stakeholders from across the OTW and takes their feedback into account, and they also follow up with individual committees on their progress with the goals that each committee has with regard to the Strategic Plan.

If elected I would be involved in the Board side of things, and I look forward to working with Strategic Planning on the OTW’s vision and roadmap for the coming years, and helping to devise what our aims should be, how we can best make these visible and accessible to the OTW, and how we can accommodate each committee’s goals, needs, and priorities in that

I know that Board also meets with committees individually on their goals, progress and concerns and, together with Strategic Planning, devises different ways to take on both volunteers’ and chairs’ feedback, and I’m looking forward to being involved with that as well!

briar_pipe
That’s all the questions we have for today! I think Kirsten has a closing remark she’d like to make.

Kirsten Wright
Yes! I want to thank everyone who came today and took the time to listen to us, and ask us questions. It was great to learn more about your concerns, and get more perspective on how people view the OTW. Have a great day!

Rebecca Sentance
Thanks, everyone! <3 briar_pipe
On that note, we’re long past the scheduled end time, so I’m going to bring this chat to a close. Thank you to our audience for being so supportive and for submitting questions! <3 Thank you also to our lovely candidates. Kirsten Wright
Thank you for hosting!

briar_pipe
Thanks to disjointed, for modding for the first time.

Morgan Schroeder
Thanks also to the Elections committee for hosting! <3

briar_pipe
Aw <3 We’ll have the transcript of this room up on the website within a few days. Have a great day, everyone!