Chat Transcript – July 23, 2021

[​​Note: All questions from members and candidate responses appear in the form they were submitted and represent only the views of the individual who wrote them. Questions and responses are not endorsed by the Organization for Transformative Works.]

Marion McGowan
Hi everyone, and welcome to our second candidate chat for 2021! Today you’ll have the opportunity to observe 2 candidates: Anna and Laure. My name is Marion, and I’ll be hosting the candidate side today. On the audience/open_chat side, your host will be my fellow Elections Committee member Emma.

Emma, can you wave so everyone can see you?

Emma
:wave:

Marion McGowan
Thanks, Emma!

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 Volunteers’ job easier later. As the candidates discuss each question, audience members can notify Emma 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)

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

Emma 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, as well as under 50 words (these are our expectations: https://elections.transformativeworks.org/elections-process-behavior-expectations/).
– Make sure your question is not a repeat of one already answered in the platforms (https://elections.transformativeworks.org/category/2021-en/2021-bios-and-platforms/) or the Q&A (https://elections.transformativeworks.org/category/2021-en/2021-qa/). If it’s a follow-up to one of those, please say so.

Emma
A momentary technical hiccup has occurred! I’ll present our first question: Can you tell us one thing about the OTW, in your perspective, that’s different from your experience at your day jobs and how that might affect your work as a board member?

Laure
Hi everyone! :wave: Thanks for the question 😀 I’d say one of the main differences for me is that there’s no financial relationship with the OTW, and not much hierarchy (which are linked). So I’m much more relaxed and motivated working in the context of the OTW than for a day job.

E. Anna Szegedi
:wave: My day job is a very typical 8-4 office job, and while we’ve been all working from home for the better part of the last year, we’ll be going back to the office… sometime 🙂 The time management of my OTW work and my day job is definitely the biggest difference between the two. However, there are aspects of OTW I prefer over my day job, one of them being the flexibility when it comes to time. Since I joined the OTW years ago, I am quite used to the dynamic of daytime=day job, evening/weekend=OTW, so I do not foresee much change there, should I be elected.

Laure
Flexibility is very useful, and we should get more of it in day jobs yes. :laughing:

Marion McGowan
Thank you both for your answers! (And thanks to Emma for stepping in when I was in technical difficulties.) Our next question is for both candidates: What would you say is one thing that fandom or volunteering with the OTW has taught you?

Laure
I’ve learned a lot, but one of the things I like having learnt from fandom is that whatever you enjoy, someone else out there enjoys it too. Write what you want, translate it, draw it, transform it back and again, there’s always someone who will have the same interests somewhere ^^

E. Anna Szegedi
I have learnt so much from my time in the OTW! Especially after I joined staff, I was introduced to excellent management tools that I ended up using in both my personal life and my day job. As for fandom, I met many of my really good friends in fandom spaces 🙂

Laure
:ee:

E. Anna Szegedi
I agree with Laure as well, I’m very happy that I am able to find people who share my interests :ee:

Laure
Yeees! But of course management tools, that’s good too XD

Marion McGowan
Thanks for your answers. And here’s our next question: What’s the most challenging thing for you about volunteering for the OTW and how do you manage it?

E. Anna Szegedi
When I first joined Translation as a volunteer manager, I found the extra responsibilities super tiring sometimes. However, as time passed and I gained experience in them, they became much easier, and I could also get them done quicker. \o/ I also learnt that taking a week or two off sometimes helps loads to avoid burnout (especially in period when my day job is very busy), and after that I can start back up again refreshed

Laure
Something very challenging at the beginning was being autonomous enough to work on tasks alone, and setting my own deadline. I’ve been getting better at it, with fluctuations. I’m much more suited to team work and firm deadlines. But it’s something I’m aware of and really working on improving!

Marion McGowan
Thank you both. Here’s our next question: What’s one part of the OTW that you’re looking forward to learning more about if elected to the Board?

Laure
I’ve already talked about it a bit, and it’s getting to know more about the other committees’ work! I’ve already had an overview from a Translation manager point of view, but getting a Board member perspective would be very interesting. I like getting the big picture of things!

E. Anna Szegedi
I agree with Laure, learning more about how other committees work is something I am very excited to learn about, since I’m currently only a member of Translation 🙂

Marion McGowan
Thank you both! Our next question is: I would like to see media in the future (e.g. images, sound and video). What do the candidates think are the main things holding us back and what could they do as board to help?

Laure
I would very much like it too! I think that as a Board member, what I could do would be to support the committees that are working on those topics, and see if it’s possible (and useful) to allocate budget there.

E. Anna Szegedi
There are multiple aspects we would need to consider, one of them being the money needed for more servers, since we would need more storage space for media files, and also the volunteers (or contractors) to manage said servers.

Again agreed with Laure, we would have to discuss the topic with the committees this development would affect the most, and ask their opinion about what they’d need to make this happen.

Marion McGowan
Thank you for your answers! Our next question is: You’ve both said that you’ve been with the OTW for awhile now, in your opinion, what is the OTW’s biggest threat to its sustainability and how do you plan to address it as future Board members?

Laure
I feel like I’m a very young member, being in the OTW since 2019 only :sweatsmile: I’m very lucky I have colleagues who’ve been in the OTW for a while and are always happy to share their experiences so we can all learn from each other (very :ee: :sunflower:, but true!) I think there are several things to watch out for to stay stable. As Anna said, ensuring we have enough servers and enough volunteers to take care of them is crucial.

Another point to take into account would be to train volunteers and chairs in the relevant skills we need in a consistent way, so we don’t lose knowledge over time.

E. Anna Szegedi
Since the OTW is run by volunteers, we do have to consider volunteer turnover and burnout as a possible threat. People’s lives change, some might get new jobs with less free time left for volunteering, others might burn out and leave because of that. There is also the question of funding; right now, we thankfully receive enough donations in our drives to fund us (and to provide enough that we can set money away for contingencies), but it is impossible to know how long this will be the case. Volunteer turnover will happen, no matter what we do, that’s a natural thing in both the OTW, and everyday jobs as well. However, we could try and find ways to mitigate burnout and ensure that our volunteers know that they are welcome to take breaks if they need them. As for the funding – this is a question I would consult on with Finance, as they are the most qualified to give advice on this.

Laure
Then (sorry it’s several threats and not one ^^”””) there’s also the legal aspect, that I’m really not an expert on. But we need to stay on top of legal fights and freedom of expression to continue to exist.

I agree with Anna too, I like her points as well XD

Marion McGowan
Thanks guys! We have a follow up on your answers to the question about hosting media: Which committees do you think would be most impacted by hosting media, and need additional support?

Laure
It sure is a multi-committee matter (as are… a lot of projects and missions really, but this particularly). I would need more info to know precisely how they would all come into play, and I’m sure I would get all I need from other Board members and volunteers. But the main committees that would be affected would be AD&T and Systems, so they’d really need to be on board (lol) with however things are thought out and set up.

E. Anna Szegedi
Considering the need for more servers, Systems would obviously be involved in this, as would Accessibility, Design & Technology (AD&T). Hosting new types of content would require a change of our Terms of Service, and that is a task for Legal. Support and Policy & Abuse would probably need support (pun intended), since their workload would definitely increase; basically, I believe that all of our committees would be affected by this change, some more than others of course.

Laure
Then the Policy & abuse, and support committees would sure see more work coming their way, so they’re to be taken into account too. And Translation \o/ Because we translate a lot of things.

Marion McGowan
Thanks so much. Our next question is for both candidates: Is there anything you’ve learned about the Board during the process of running that you didn’t expect?

Laure
First, I’ve learned that they like board puns 😀

E. Anna Szegedi
🙂

Well, I can’t really think of anything, I did read a lot about what Board work entails before I decided to run \o/ But Board members I reached out to with questions while researching answers for the Q&A were all very helpful :ee:

Laure
But yes seriously, I’ve been asking plenty of questions to current and former board members for a while, so I’ve learned a lot and I knew a few things before deciding to run. So maybe not unexpected, but a memorable thing I learned is that Board work is way more collaborative than I’d imagined. And I like that a lot XD

Marion McGowan
I never knew the Board like board puns. You learn something new everyday!

That’s all the questions we have for today!

Thank you to our audience for being so supportive and for submitting questions!

Thank you also to our lovely candidates.

And huge thanks to Emma for modding the open channel, and stepping in when I had technical difficulties

E. Anna Szegedi
Thank you for leading, Marion! :heart: And thank you to the mods and everyone who came to ask questions!

Laure
Thanks a lot everyone for the questions, and thanks to the Elections committee for organising everything! \o/

Marion McGowan
You’re both very welcome. We’ll have the transcript of this room up on the website within a few days. Have a great day, everyone!

Laure
Have a good one, see you! :wave:

E. Anna Szegedi
:wave: Bye everyone!

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