Tanya Lokot is a Ukrainian-born, Ireland-based GV-er who researches digital rights, activism and internet governance. A former journalist, she has been part of GV since 2013, first as a volunteer contributor, and then as contributing editor for RuNet Echo (until 2016). She has also contributed to other GV projects, such as Advox and GV-Ex. She is a member of the GV Community Council. Tanya speaks Ukrainian, Russian, English and French (badly). Her interests beyond GV and the internet include poetry, breadmaking, perfumes and cities.
All candidates in the 2020 board elections have been asked to answer the set of questions listed below. Feel free to ask Tanya additional questions in the comments area below this post!
What appeals to you most about the prospect of serving on the GV board?
The GV community has been my home for the past seven years, and I have engaged with multiple facets of the GV networked structure. I've been a volunteer contributor, worked in editorial roles, and collaborated on several GV special projects. I am also a member of the GV Community Council. In recent years, I haven't been as active in the community, though it remains a huge part of my life, and I would like to give back to my fellow GV-ers and to devote some of my time to representing their voices and interests in the GV Board. I think it is a great opportunity to serve the community and I'd like to think my experience with GV would make me an able candidate.
What talents, skills, connections, and expertise can you offer Global Voices in your role as board representative?
In many ways, I represent a typical GV-er: I'm multilingual, I've lived in many different countries around the world, and my professional background is a mix of journalism, academia and non-profit work. I think this prepares me well for representing the voices of GV's vibrant and diverse membership in the Board. I am a confident public speaker and am able to listen attentively, synthesise information and manage teams to generate ideas. These skills should serve me well as a Volunteers’ Representative. My networks extend into media, civil society and academia and stretch across national borders, and I hope to use these connections to inform my participation in the GV Board, the decisions it makes about GV's development, and the support it offers to volunteer contributors.
As you look ahead to the next three years, what, in your opinion, should be GV’s overarching priorities as an organization?
It's been fascinating to see the community-guided transformation of GV in the past two years. I was part of the first iteration of the Community Council process, and it informs my views on GV's priorities. I see these as: a) continuing to value and support the volunteer contributors and finding new ways of making their work for GV meaningful; b) exploring funding opportunities in the changing global climate and finding innovative ways of supporting the core GV mission, the work of the newsroom, and any new initiatives and collaborations under the GV banner.
What aspect of GV’s work interests you the most?
I've spent the longest time doing editorial and newsroom work for GV, and this remains an important component of GV's everyday existence and impact. But I have long believed that there is also huge research and analytical potential in the GV community (as evidenced by projects like NewsFrames), so I would like to explore this further and to see how volunteer members can launch, participate and benefit from research initiatives in the GV network.
What would you like to get out of this board service experience, both professionally and personally?
I think the Board experience is not only an opportunity to serve the community, but also a chance to learn from others in the board and in GV about how to navigate the management and strategic decision-making of a networked marvel such as GV. I think this knowledge and experience will be invaluable for all GV Community representatives on the Board, as we can use these beyond GV to inform our approach to building other communities and organisations in the GV spirit – making the world a better place in the process.
How will you fit board service into your personal and other professional work commitments?
I currently work in academia so my work schedule is structured, but also quite flexible in terms of managing my own time and efforts. I have managed part-time editorial GV work, and, later, GV Community Council participation, quite ably, and my past experience has meant I am comfortable working across timezones and in virtual environments. In addition, my own research centers on digital rights, activism and internet governance, so it is imperative that I participate in the life and work of organisations such as GV and retain connections to the global network of GV-ers. Also, I can't imagine my life without GV (a sentiment I think many of us share), so serving on the Board would fit into my other commitments quite organically.
What methods would you use to engage and listen to the community in order to represent them effectively at board level?
I would make myself available to community members through the usual GV channels, such as email, Slack, and other means. I anticipate working with the other Community Representatives on the Board to instigate regular opportunities for the community to engage with us and to bring their concerns and ideas to us so that we could bring them to the Board. I also expect that my ongoing participation in the GV Community Council would provide opportunities for sharing and gathering community views on key GV matters, so I would use that to inform my Board service as well.