[ALAC] Some thoughts on ALS Criteria & Expectations Taskforce

Holly Raiche h.raiche at internode.on.net
Sun Aug 9 21:03:55 UTC 2015


Thanks Maureen, Evan ad Alan

My first thought is to welcome the discussion - not only on what’s gone wrong but what we can and should do about it.

And I also agree with the concern that a 20 minute presence is not impact.

I hate to say it but the tiny bit of difference we can make comes from the hard slog - meeting after meeting in WGs where decisions are made.

And finally, and again, mentorship is a very positive thing we all should be doing and my congratulations to Glen - and a bit of shame on my face

Holly
On 10 Aug 2015, at 3:15 am, Maureen Hilyard <maureen.hilyard at gmail.com> wrote:

> Evan, what you are saying contradicts ICANN's stated commitment to the multistakeholder bottom-up approach. Volunteer contributions are ignored in favour of those in whom a heavy financial investment has been made to make decisions for the Board. Their presence at an ALAC meeting for 20 mins is hardly going to make any real impact on what they already propose to do. Except for the meetings we have with David Olive and Steve Crocker which I enjoy because I think there is a mutual respect for honesty, I always view those other sessions with the hierarchy as top-down tokenism. What really changes that is of importance to the ALAC?
> 
> I would also like to congratulate Glenn on his mentorship of his new ALS members at the GA. I think we were all doing this on a lesser scale but his was a more practical and coordinated introduction to the ICANN system for ALSes. Under the new meeting structures, regional leaders and the ALAC will be able to specifically prepare outreach /inreach /capacity building programmes for ALSes on a more regular basis, not just at GAs, but capturing local ALSes and others who may attend.  This review isnt just about OUR expectations of ALSes, our own responsibilities should also be clarified.
> 
> Maureen
> 
> On 9/08/2015 5:09 am, "Evan Leibovitch" <evan at telly.org> wrote:
> 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 identified.
> 
> Bringing ALS leaders to ICANN is a service to ICANN, not to the ALS leaders.
> 
> 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
> 
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