I should say first of all that I’m very humbled to have been nominated as staff representative. I started my journey with GV years ago (in 2007), and as a more formal part of the team in 2015, when I became the Latin America Community Manager. I believe I was the only one in the community so far, as there were not CMs in other regions (although I’m very sure there were/are people serving as such without the title).
These days, I'm also happy to be one of the Latin America editors.
Both positions have meant lots of calls and exchanges that have made my everyday GV work such a delightful and complex experience. A lot of those conversations stayed with me and helped me understand the incredibly dynamic way in which this community functions, and make me excited at the prospect of serving as a bridge inside the space of GV editors and staff members.
Feels like being a bridge inside the bridge.
I would also like to thank the lovely people that have written to me these days giving me their support after the nomination.
Now, after seeing the list of candidates, I should say I would not be too sad if I don’t end up being elected! Ha! But I guess I could say here that I will be very happy to assist the person who does.
If you think that, at the end, I could do a good job, I will do my best not to disappoint you. I’m not very good at campaigning or making promises. Sounding like a politician makes must people in this community cringe! But I can safely say that I would first of all be all ears to you all, in the most comprehensive and empathic way, whatever the matter.
I thought it would be a good idea to wrap this up by inviting you all to comment bellow on what you would expect from a staff representative. What are your expectations? What do you think a good representative would do?
A simple and original way to promote your candidacy. You come with subtlety and affection.
Good luck dear Laura!
Good luck, Laura. Waiting with interest to hear what the rest of the community feels a community rep’s role should be.
By definition I cannot know the specifics of the staff’s needs, but for the wider volunteer community, I would summarise my answer by “it’s the availability of the mind that is the most important”.
Making it widely known that we are not only available to talk to as reps, but indeed happy to be contacted by anyone in the community and to have the occasion to be of help.
Being patient and thougthful in all communications and willing to dig deeper, because whoever will be elected will have to face the linguistic and cultural diversity of our group.
And of course, being able to set aside our own opinions if they happen to be in the minority – reps are not here to communicate their own messages but, in a way, to be an efficient postman !
And, to echo your comment: I wish other elections campaigns could look like this, with the willingness to serve and the respect for other candidates :)
All the best!
Hi Laura – here is a question that I’m posing to all of the candidates, as a way to encourage discussion during the last couple of days of campaigning:
1.) If you are elected board member, what would be the most critical challenge facing Global Voices that you would make your top priority to help address over the next three years? And why do you feel like addressing this challenge is especially important for our community?
Hi, Gwënaelle and Eddie. Thanks a lot for you comments!
I completely agree with you, Gwënaelle, on the fact that the most important thing is to keep your ears open. Serving as bridge of communication and maintaining the dialogue starts there.
I like the image of the postman a lot, but I think I would think of this job as more of an active interpreter. Beyond leaving our own expectations and views aside, I think it’s important that the messages in question can have certain context, so both sides understand where that message comes from.
About your question, Eddie, I think the most important thing would be to put different parts of the communities in contact and encouraging them all to communicate more (both to the board and to one another).
There are groups and regions that function differently from others, and there are certain dynamics that could make some sides of the community a bit isolated. It’s not always easy to get responses when posting them in the community blog or in the GoogleGroups. Sometimes, unhappy members just don’t answer anymore, or leave without saying anything.
With all the changes we’ve been through, and the ones we’ll have to face, it will be important that people who want to remain part of GV feel included, listened to, and identified as much as possible with more “leading” groups.
As community manager I was surprised of certain members who had extremely valuable contributions and observations but wouldn’t share them unless they were asked directly. It’s not easy to participate in such a big community so full of beautiful, strong and complex personalities.
So, I believe the priority would be to build and work on these attachments and communications channels actively.
Thank you for your response, Laura.
Thanks so much for this beautiful introduction! Inspired by Eddie, I’m asking all the candidates a question too.
Do you have any thoughts on how Global Voices can scale the trust we’ve built internally in our community to larger audiences outside of our community, so we can make more of the world look like GV?
I don’t think there are any right or wrong answers to this question. In fact, I’m not sure I have answers myself (!), but would love to hear any thoughts that it inspires.
Good luck in the election! So many inspiring friends representing, it’s going to be a difficult choice for all of us.
Hi Sahar! Thanks a lot for the question… I spent a while thinking about it, and ended up writing a post: