[ALAC] Some thoughts on ALS Criteria & Expectations Taskforce

Evan Leibovitch evan at telly.org
Sun Aug 9 15:08:29 UTC 2015

On 9 August 2015 at 03:21, Alan Greenberg <alan.greenberg at mcgill.ca> wrote:


> Although ALAC Members and RALO Leaders may well fall into all categories,
> those tahat fall into category 3 on a regular basis should be dealt with
> directly, and the others we have little choice but to accept. At least for
> their first term.

​I stand by my point. Over the years I have been aware of leadership that,
despite widespread awareness of minimal participation, continue to be
re-elected because of other factors.

​How much time do we spend collecting data for report cards and pondering
how to punish, time that could be better spent on the massive task of
making ICANN accessible to the global public? Not only do we lose
person-hours directly from non-productive leadership, we ​doubly lose by
churning so much volunteer energy (from the "workers") identifying and
designing punishments for them. Futile punishments.

> Of deeper concern and the ones I focused on when answering were those for
> whom we support as ALS representatives.

​So far that support has been limited attendance at Summits, either global
or regional. ​
(​And those events tend to be heavily surrounded by surveys, reports,
attendance sheets, mandatory debriefs and other measures.​)

​Otherwise, how do we support ALS reps? They get to vote for their RALO and
ALAC reps, they are subscribed to mailing lists and -- very, very
occasionally -- explicitly solicited for their informed opinions on
specific At-Large policy directions. (And by policy directions I don't mean
the recurring knee-jerk reactions to whatever is on this week's public
comment calendar.)

If you're going to respond that ALS-leadership participation in Summits
constitutes "support" to ALSs, you fall into the trap that Carlton so well

*Bringing ALS leaders to ICANN is a service to ICANN, not to the ALS

The "perk" of travel is more than offset by the treatment of At-Large
volunteers as a cost centre, and ICANN's unwillingness to make its working
accessible in plain language once they arrive to participate.

for better or worse, we either need to make the ALS/RALO structure work, or
> reduce its visibility and cost. As it is, it is both expensive (not
> necessarily in money, but in time and focus) and opens us up to strong (and
> at times valid) criticism
​This fear of criticism has forever been a source of ​self-censorship,
timidity and eventually the non-factor that ALAC has actually played in
ICANN policy decisions. We need look no further than ICANN's treatment of
the PIC issue, over which ALAC made as much noise and attention as it
possibly could, to witness how little was actually achieved in changing
ICANN's direction.

So... how much does anyone else fear OUR criticism?

​This fear also prevents us from true big-picture thinking of how to bet
serve our mandate. Before we agonize over how to tinker with the org chart,
let's be clear of the objectives.​ The radical measures that would be
necessary to truly re-envision the ALS/RALO scheme, to make ICANN more
receptive to the need of end-users, appears beyond scope of the review.
(Arguably, it's also a decade too late, so much damage has already been
done, I truly question whether the damage is reversible.)

It doesn't help that the reviewers tend to be clueless and/or biased in
favour of serving ICANN's need to keep us marginalized.

​"If we rock the ​boat too hard we will lose <something>" .... the specific
<something> has changed over the years, but this internalized fear of
criticism has become a constant, a core cause of ALAC's self-imposed
ceiling of influence.

- Evan
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://atlarge-lists.icann.org/pipermail/alac/attachments/20150809/93690c12/attachment.html>

More information about the ALAC mailing list