[ALAC] Fwd: ICANN News Alert -- ICANN Consolidated Meetings Strategy Proposal

William Drake william.drake at uzh.ch
Thu Oct 4 14:57:21 UTC 2012

Hi Evan 

On Oct 4, 2012, at 4:33 PM, Evan Leibovitch wrote:

> *Appear to the public to be globally engaged:*  As a public relations
> tactic the current roadshow presents an image of a globally active ICANN.
> Yet the reality is that ICANN meetings are, by and large, the same
> rich-world group of vested interests and lawyers following ICANN around
> wherever it goes. And the results of all these years of travel are ICANN
> policies that still act as if the global south doesn't exist. So maybe the
> issue here is that nobody's being fooled anymore, so perhaps ICANN should
> drop its pretences.

Strongly agree on the problem, but not the solution.  How about pressing to get serious on moving from pretense to reality?  ALAC and NCSG have long expressed shared concerns here without managing to take joint action...
> *Engage the local community:  *I guess I just don't see it. A handful of
> local NGOs and governments attend shows who otherwise wouldn't participate,
> but the reality is that this effect is far more claimed than realized. How
> many ALSs have joined as a direct result of an organization attending a
> local ICANN meeting? Shock exposure of the local community to ICANN
> meetings dominated by experienced, aggressive players and full of technical
> jargon is not what I'd consider an optimal form of outreach. If ICANN would
> budget for preparatory meetings to engage communities in advance, this
> might be worthwhile. But this is not happening. So what we have is an
> expensive charade.

Strongly agree on the problem, but I wouldn't go quite as far as to conclude it's a charade.  But we need to have a serious global outreach effort that is driven by the community with support from staff, rather than the reverse.
> *Expose ICANN participants to diverse needs and sensitivities*: Nice
> intent, no proof that there's anything to this outside of delegates getting
> a taste of local food (and whatever culture they can glean from the Gala).
> And maybe some local comments injected into the Public Forum (which, like
> most other comments at the forum, are for the speakers' benefit and not the
> audience's).

Might require closer cooperation with hosts to design some useful program elements.  In the meanwhile, Verisign's having a hockey outing, and I nominate you to lead us all to the poutine dispensary of your choosing.

> *Be less expensive to attend* Nope. For every person who saves money by
> going to Durban or Cartagena, a hundred more are paying double or triple
> what it would cost to go to a global hub city. In terms of the sheer
> practicality, it might actually be less expensive to have an AFRALO general
> assembly in Paris than in the region (ditto for LACRALO and Miami) – but
> that's the fault of the travel industry, not ICANN.

But maybe the people paying double can afford it more than those saving money?  The costs are unfortunate but most regulars apparently can manage, so spreading it around in developing countries remains worth doing.  We simply need to leverage it better.  I will never forget (and have probably mentioned in two many places) attending the board public engagement meeting that JJ organized in Nairobi and seeing 2-3 Africans and fifty of us usual suspects around the table.  Let's follow in the footsteps of George Costanza and do the opposite.
> *Allow hosts to show off their Internet savvy*: I'd say that pool is pretty
> well exhausted. ICANN now struggles just to find hosts willing to bear the
> costs of the Gala. Nobody needs ICANN anymore for publicity; indeed, given
> the noise in WCIT and elsewhere, it seems that ICANN may be actively
> shunned by some of the very places where it *should* be for the purposes
> listed above (Moscow, for instance).
> Anyway... this is just food for thought as we determine a response.

Maybe after Beijing we could go in search of other great firewallers…. Tehran beckons…:-)


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