Meeting talk:2012 AGM/Candidates/Nick Dowling

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Questions

Hi Nick thank you for posting a statment early, I have a couple questions

  1. Do you have any plans that would cause you to be unavailable for an extended period of time?
  2. with out naming/identifying the candidate, is there anyone that you would concerns about working with?


Thanks Gideon Gnangarra 19:53, 15 November 2012 (EST)

Thanks for your questions. In regards to 1) I'm hoping to travel overseas at some point next year, but probably not for more than 3-4 weeks. If this occurs (I'd rate the odds at about 50-50 given the difficulty of travelling while also studying) I'd be largely out of contact for that period. Otherwise, I should be available. 2) No; I have at least a degree of familiarity with most of the other candidates and am quite familiar with several of them (and have met John, Laura, Ross and Robert in person - and possibly one or two others as I'm not great with remembering names) and have found them to be pleasant people with a genuine interest in and commitment to the fields Wikimedia Australia covers. Nick-D 20:27, 15 November 2012 (EST)
thankyou for answering the questions Gnangarra 19:47, 16 November 2012 (EST)

Questions from Tony1

Nick, thanks for your candidature. Could you provide details of your administrative skills in terms of negotiation and relations with colleagues and other stakeholders? Do you have a knowledge of the WM movement, and have you engaged with its processes? Tony1 17:35, 16 November 2012 (EST)

Thanks for the questions Tony. In response:
  • (negotiations and relations with stakeholders) Through my work I have experience in advertising tenders for research projects, assessing responses, negotiating a contract with the winning party and then managing the resulting contract. I have also negotiated agreements with stakeholders, including a large international organisation, as well as the usual too-and-fro with other parts of the department I work for and other departments. This provides a good insight into the process of applying for grants (especially what the assessors will be looking for) and managing relationships with other institutions (including people you never meet face to face). A key factor I'm aware of is the need to build long-term relations with external stakeholders, and see beyond short-term disagreements.
  • (relations with colleagues) I've successfully worked as a member of various teams for nine years, including roles where we were under considerable pressure, and have managed staff for most of the last five years in middle management roles. I have received training in these fields. These roles have included experience in fields relevant to WMAU such as collaboratively developing documents, providing feedback within tight time frames and handling inter-personal disputes and 'difficult' people.
  • (knowledge of the Wikimedia movement) Yes, I've been involved in Wikipedia since 2005, and have followed the development of the Wikimedia movement through Wikipedia channels and the general media. Meeting up with people involved in Wikimedia UK in London last November was really eye opening, and I've since taken an interest in following that organisation's successes and the problems it's faced.
  • (engagement with the Wikimedia movement's processes; by which I'm assuming you mean the Wikimedia Foundation) Only occasionally; I've referred one or two matters to the Foundation in my role as a Wikipedia admin (and was pleased with the speedy and professional way they followed up on them) and have made a small number of comments in relation to the foundation's initiatives via discussions at meta (diffs). I also raised some concerns via Mdennis earlier this year about the foundation's failure to properly advertise a military history-related internship position it had established with a school at Harvard University, which she passed on to the relevant people - I wasn't pleased with the wishy-washy response to these concerns, however.
(Note that I'm not disclosing the name of the department I work for only as its entirely irrelevant; the work I do isn't at all secret and there are no conflicts of interest whatsoever). Nick-D 20:05, 16 November 2012 (EST)
  • Good answers, Nick. Interesting that your experience of the foundation is mixed. I think quite a few members might have similar feelings on that. Tony1 22:00, 16 November 2012 (EST)
    • I should note that my overall impression of the Foundation is positive, and they seem to be learning from their miss-steps (which are inevitable for a new organisation trying to implement new things). Nick-D 09:27, 17 November 2012 (EST)