[ALAC] Document for discussion during Friday's ALS Expectations session

Alan Greenberg alan.greenberg at mcgill.ca
Fri Nov 4 09:23:25 UTC 2016

Yrjö and Olivier and others,

If you read my suggestion as giving up on the 
original intent, then I obviously did not make it sufficiently clear.

What I am saying is that it is unrealistic to 
expect effective input from ALS members and ALSes 
unless we lay the groundwork and provide them 
with palatable, comprehensible input. And in my 
mind, it is critical to do that not only to the 
ALS representative, but to the wider ALS membership.

If we do that, Then over time we will have an 
increasing number (and hopefully large number) of 
ALS members who become active in our WGs and processes.

Along the way, we are also increasing awareness 
of ICANN and its issues, even among those who do 
not become "converts". Perhaps that makes us 
unpaid part of ICANN's communications team, but 
since I envisage ICANN staff being the prime 
source of our outgoing missives, I am not sure 
that is a strong argument. We may well need 
additional staff capacity to do this, and that 
will require a strong direction from the ALAC.

I completely agree that such things as 
understanding the competencies of ALSes and ALS 
members is critical (as opposed to just the 
competencies of the ALS representatives). You 
will note that I did mention that some ALSes with 
particular competencies might be treated differently.


At 03/11/2016 03:36 PM, Olivier MJ Crepin-Leblond wrote:
>Dear Alan,
>On 02/11/2016 19:58, Yrjö Länsipuro wrote:
> >
> > I wholeheartedly agree that  the  200+ strong ALS network could and
> > should be used more for disseminating information about ICANN in their
> > countries and regions.   This ties in nicely with what I have
> > understood to be Göran's focus on a more understandable grassroots
> > communication of ICANN's new narrative.
> >
> >
> > However, I would like to suggest that the original idea of having
> > ALS's to contribute to the At Large advice development process, in
> > spite of disappointments, would  be kept alive and not seen as a dead
> > end, to be replaced with the new communication/information
> > orientation.  I see the two as parallel and mutually reinforcing
> > efforts. As you say, the new role of ALS's may make them more
> > knowledgeable and help to fullfill the original target (ALS input into
> > the advice processes.)
> >
>I completely agree with Yrjö.
>As a RALO Chair, I object to becoming a mere unpaid part of ICANN's
>communication machine. If end users are to learn about ICANN's
>activities, it is because they need to be given the bylaw-mandated
>ability to bring their point of view into the ICANN processes. It is not
>because this is a hard task and because there are barriers, that we
>should give up. If we did, then we are literally giving up on the
>bottom-up multistakeholder model. We are ICANN's feet.
>Rather than giving up on ALS input, we need to implement all of the
>recommendations which our ALSes have proposed when they met in London in
>June 2014. The policy management process system; the mapping of
>competencies in ALSes; the capacity building; the tracking of ICANN
>stakeholder input balancing, etc. - all of these are unfinished
>projects. All of these require time and work. All of these are cutting
>edge, because nobody else is doing this in the world.
>We need to push the frontiers of what can be achieved in bottom-up,
>grassroots input.
>We need to work smarter, not harder (TM CLO).
>If a majority of ALAC representatives really believe that input from the
>grassroots is impossible, then may I suggest that we close down ALAC
>altogether and declare ICANN a failed experiment. ICANN version 1 was
>built on the promise that this was going to be a bottom-up organisation
>answering the needs of the Internet community at large. Version 2, after
>the failed 2001 elections, tried to introduce more stability but
>stripped ICANN of a vital end user influence. Version 2b brought
>At-Large back to the Board of Directors. Version 3, which you appear to
>propose, gives the green light to the Domain Industrial Complex to run
>the show unhindered and for the ALAC to become its willing propaganda
>dispensing puppet.
>I'd rather have a root canal than follow this path.
>Kindest regards,

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