[ALAC-Announce] Acceptance of Chair Nomination

Alan Greenberg alan.greenberg at mcgill.ca
Sat Aug 27 02:28:02 UTC 2016

Thank you for the nomination and thanks to all those who publicly or 
privately have sent messages of support.

It is extremely important that end-users have a real and strong voice 
in ICANN. Users are the ultimate reason that the Internet exists. It 
is end users who patronize online commerce sites, read (and write) 
the near infinite number of blogs, cause YouTube videos to go viral, 
communicate with friends, relatives and colleagues with e-mail and 
social media, and sadly, respond to spam and phishing attacks. The 
needs of these users must be considered in the development of 
Internet policy. The ALAC and At-Large serve as the advocates of end 
users and represent their best interests within ICANN.

I have been involved in user and usability issues for all of my 
career, and have now spent close to ten years working with At-Large. 
Working collaboratively with my ALAC and At-Large colleagues, we have 
transformed the ALAC and At-Large Community into a serious force 
within ICANN. However, there is more to do.

I am currently completing my 2nd year as ALAC Chair. My focus over 
the last 22 months has included the following critical areas:

    * ALS Effectiveness: We have been very successful at increasing 
the number of ALSes. Over the last two years, although we are still 
actively recruiting ALSes, much of our focus has changed from just 
outreach to outreach and engagement, with the intent of increasing 
ALS effectiveness, both in telling their communities about ICANN and 
where applicable, having them contribute to our policy activities. 
Capacity building and briefings on subjects of current importance 
(such as the IANA transition) are important parts of this, as are the 
regular monthly distributions of understandable information (in 
multiple languages) that we are currently discussing. I have no doubt 
that the ongoing At-Large Review will play an important part in this.
    * Policy Development: We now have more ALAC and RALO members and 
leaders actively involved in ICANN policy development and related 
ALAC activities. This needs to continue to grow. There are steep 
learning curves but it is encouraging that the number of At-Large 
members on cross community and GNSO working groups is growing, and 
increasingly, people are not just listening but contributing.
    * ALAC Chair Viability: As the ALAC transitioned from the 
original "Interim ALAC" to the current model with RALOs, the Chair 
position became substantially more than a full-time job. That 
effectively means that the only person who can meet the demands is 
someone who is retired and/or willing to put most of the rest of 
their life on hold. This is not a sustainable model. We have made 
improvements over the last two years, but there is more to do in 
reducing the Chair's involvement through process changes, 
transferring responsibility to ALT and ALAC Members and, as 
appropriate, to Staff.
    * The ALAC in ICANN: When I started in ICANN, the ALAC was to a 
large extent considered a joke (and not a good one) and a poor use of 
ICANN funds (or registry and registrar funds as they are ICANN main 
sources of income and those groups generally considered it "their" 
money instead of that of the registrants who actually provided it). 
Through the concerted efforts of past Chairs, others in the ALAC and 
At-Large and myself, that is no longer the case. If it was still a 
perception of some in the community, the recent CWG-Stewardship and 
CCWG-Accountability clearly showed that we were a force to be 
contended with. It will take constant work to ensure that we continue 
to live up to the reputation we now have as a critical and respected 
part of the ICANN ecosystem.

Good progress has been made on these fronts, and in a range of other 
areas, but not nearly as much as I had envisioned when I became 
Chair. This is largely due to the (unexpected) overwhelming workload 
associated with the IANA transition and accountability efforts that 
has occupied both the ALAC and me over the past two years.

All of these areas will require further efforts and if I am 
reappointed, they will be among my priorities. In addition, I am 
committed to working to ensure that ICANN understands the value of 
At-Large volunteers, arguably the only group within ICANN that has no 
self-interests (and along with it no external funding), and reduce 
the barriers to such continued participation.

I hope that the ALAC will find that I have served it well over during 
my first term and allow me to continue as Chair for another year.

I am available to discuss any of this further. You can contact me via 
e-mail at <mailto:alan.greenberg at mcgill.ca>alan.greenberg at mcgill.ca 
or to chat on Skype at alangreenberg-mtl.

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