[ALAC-ExCom] Fwd: ICANN Volunteer engagement and Travel Support issues

Olivier MJ Crepin-Leblond ocl at gih.com
Thu Jan 3 16:44:10 UTC 2013

Dear Carlton,

Thank you but I can't take the credit for this: I have to thank Alan and
Evan for their work in producing the excellent draft. I only tweaked it.

Kindest regards,


On 03/01/2013 17:13, Carlton Samuels wrote:
> Excellent!  You said all that could be said .......agreeably.
> - Carlton
> ==============================
> Carlton A Samuels
> Mobile: 876-818-1799
> /Strategy, Planning, Governance, Assessment & Turnaround/
> =============================
> On Thu, Jan 3, 2013 at 10:51 AM, Olivier MJ Crepin-Leblond
> <ocl at gih.com <mailto:ocl at gih.com>> wrote:
>     FYI
>     -------- Original Message --------
>     Subject:        ICANN Volunteer engagement and Travel Support issues
>     Date:   Thu, 03 Jan 2013 15:30:46 +0100
>     From:   Olivier MJ Crepin-Leblond <ocl at gih.com <mailto:ocl at gih.com>>
>     To:     Sally Costerton <sally.costerton at icann.org
>     <mailto:sally.costerton at icann.org>>
>     CC:     Steve Antonoff <steve.antonoff at icann.org
>     <mailto:steve.antonoff at icann.org>>, Sébastien Bachollet
>     <sebastien at bachollet.com <mailto:sebastien at bachollet.com>>,
>     Olivier MJ Crepin-Leblond <ocl at gih.com <mailto:ocl at gih.com>>,
>     ICANN AtLarge Staff <staff at atlarge.icann.org
>     <mailto:staff at atlarge.icann.org>>
>     Ref: /AL/ALAC/CO/0113/1
>     To: Sally Costerton - Senior Advisor to the President - Global
>     Stakeholder Engagement
>     CC: Steve Antonoff - Director of Human Resources
>     CC: Sébastien Bachollet
>     CC: At-Large Staff
>     Dear Sally,
>     I am writing about an ongoing issue of concern to ALAC, and in
>     particular a current instance where we could benefit from your
>     guidance and help.
>     The overall issue is travel support for ALAC and At-Large. This is
>     an issue that has been the subject of unending discussion and
>     negotiation, but regrettably, we keep on having to do battle on
>     the same issues time and again. At-Large is the only ICANN
>     stakeholder that, with very few exceptions, has no ability to fund
>     our involvement and particularly our travel without support from
>     ICANN. Almost none of our active participants are employed by the
>     domain name industry and very few even by Internet-related
>     organizations. We all give generously of our time, and often at a
>     non-trivial loss of other income, in the interest of ICANN. But
>     actual out-of-pocket expenses are generally beyond our capabilities.
>     Over the years, we have worked hard to convince ICANN management
>     of this, and to a large extent, we have succeeded. We have not
>     recently been threatened with reduction of funding for travel to
>     ICANN meetings, and have even recently been funded for travel to
>     the IGF meeting in Baku. For this we are grateful.
>     However, there are still regular occurrences where we feel that
>     our needs are not being met.
>     We are finding that the rules for travel to Beijing are proving
>     problematic for some of our participants, and although the savings
>     to ICANN from these rules are minimal, the annoyance factor is
>     sufficiently high that some travellers are considering not
>     participating.
>     For several years, the ALAC Executive Committee (ExCom) has met
>     after the end of the "formal" ICANN week. When the ICANN Board met
>     on Friday morning, the ExCom met on Friday afternoon. The meeting
>     used to end at 16:00 and our members who had started their week on
>     the previous Sunday morning or earlier
>     were allowed to leave on Saturday morning.
>     In Toronto, with no formal ICANN meetings scheduled for Friday,
>     the ExCom met on Friday morning. Some attendees were given
>     Saturday departures, but most were told they must leave on Friday,
>     regardless of the schedule for reasonably departing flights. I for
>     one ended up paying for my own Friday hotel to allow a less-rushed
>     departure.
>     In Beijing, we are all being told that a Friday departure is
>     mandatory.
>     There is a provision by which we might ask for an "exception"
>     which may or may not be accepted. The ExCom, which is arguably
>     composed of the most dedicated At-Large contributors, and
>     certainly those who put in the most time and effort, finds this
>     process unacceptable. To have to effectively ask to be allowed a
>     reasonable departure after a LONG week of work is just not right,
>     especially mindful of the vast cultural diversity of our delegates.
>     Case by case exceptions have needed to be requested by ExCom
>     members. In some cultures, such requests are seen as irritating
>     but understood. In others, there comes a real shame with asking
>     for such extension when the possibility of rejection is real.
>     ICANN staff members are often given the privilege of leaving the
>     day after their work completes, or at least being allowed to keep
>     their hotel rooms until their actual hotel departure, if later in
>     the day (and not having to vacate them early in the morning prior
>     to their first meeting). Clearly some flexibility is shown. Unpaid
>     At-Large volunteers currently do not receive this same courtesy.
>     Moreover, in the past when GNSO Council members were allowed to
>     stay for the Friday sessions (a right often not given to ALAC),
>     they always were allowed a Saturday departure.
>     Related to this is a recurrent problem of volunteers arriving in
>     the evening or at night after a trip half way around the world in
>     Economy Class, often getting to the hotel near or after midnight,
>     and being expected to appear (presumably rested and ready to work)
>     early the following morning. Again, ICANN sees the benefits of
>     having its employees be well rested before starting a grueling
>     ICANN week, but often volunteers are not afforded the same courtesy.
>     Our At-Large volunteers are a dedicated group, working untold
>     hours at home and then spending 10+ hours a day in meetings for
>     5-6 days. There are no doubt some people who are looking for every
>     loop-hole where they can get ICANN to fund their vacation. If
>     staff feel that this applies to any At-Large people, I am freely
>     available to work with them to ensure that this does not happen.
>     Having to ask for special treatment does not replace being treated
>     with respect as a professional. There is a strong feeling of
>     resentment towards not being given just a modicum of flexibility
>     regarding travel schedules and several members have therefore
>     informed me that they will be unwilling to travel to the next
>     ICANN meeting if this type of penny-pinching (yes, that is the
>     term used) continues to occur.
>     Summarising: please be so kind to consider a return to the rules
>     to show flexibility for incoming members to have the discretion to
>     allow for arrival on the Friday rather than the Saturday before
>     their 10 hour day on Sunday at the beginning of the ICANN meeting
>     week and for At-Large to travel the day after their last day of
>     work at the end of the ICANN meeting week.
>     I look forward to your follow-up on the matter.
>     Best regards,
>     Olivier MJ Crépin-Leblond
>     ALAC Chair
>     _______________________________________________
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>     ALAC-ExCom at atlarge-lists.icann.org
>     <mailto:ALAC-ExCom at atlarge-lists.icann.org>
>     https://atlarge-lists.icann.org/mailman/listinfo/alac-excom

Olivier MJ Crépin-Leblond, PhD

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