[ALAC] At-Large and ICANN72

Maureen Hilyard maureen.hilyard at gmail.com
Mon Oct 11 17:49:29 UTC 2021

Hi Olivier and all

Well that sounds like that was an interesting meeting, and great to see
that what At-Large is doing is being seen as impacting to some level of
importance on other areas of ICANN.

*ICANN decided that the meeting was going to be over three weeks.* The
ICANN community is now experiencing its sixth virtual meeting, and half of
the community live outside of the European and the US time zones. Not
surprisingly, ICANN statistics have shown that the attendance by the other
half of the world has not been great. For At-Large, I wanted to look at how
we could use the ICANN meeting time more effectively to get more attendance
and participation among those members who have not or could not attend even
our own sessions at ICANN meetings. Naturally, we would welcome
participants from other communities to join into our sessions and hope that
they do not feel disadvantaged by our making use of what is considered to
still be within the ICANN meeting timeframe.

The week in between Prep Week and the ICANN meeting, despite whatever
purpose ICANN originally intended, was created as the At-Large Week for the
convenience of our community members whom we are encouraging to attend *our*
sessions at least.  It has given us an opportunity to experiment and do
something different that considers our community of volunteers first, and
to look at how it might impact their participation and attendance. Because
they are real volunteers, many cannot sustain the timeframe of a full-on
ICANN meeting even over four days.

Because of my lone timezone, I myself have found that trying to stay awake
across a block of nearly 10 hours in the middle of the night to attend
irregular sessions has been very difficult, and more so when I have also
had to work during my daylight hours. It has taken me at least a couple of
weeks to get back to some sort of normality after a meeting.

The At-Large week schedule is being held during what is our normal At-Large
meeting times and at a more manageable load of two sessions a day.  Our
sessions do not conflict with other ICANN community sessions as they
normally do when we participate in an ICANN meeting. At-Large involvement
in the ICANN meeting this time is minimal and enables our members to attend
other community sessions and to learn about what is of interest to the rest
of the ICANN community.  Our social media working group will be doing its
best to ensure that other ICANNN communities are informed of our sessions
as well as those of other communities that might be of interest to At-Large.

I find it interesting that at a time when ICANN itself is asking the wider
community how they think future meetings will be held, that some ICANNers
are persisting that other communities must fit their expectations.
Fortunately, we have been given an opportunity to consider what best meets
the needs of our community first. There were no objections made when it was
first raised at the SOAC meeting nor during our own planning sessions.
However, if we find at the end of the ICANN meeting that it had no real
effect then so be it. Back to the drawing board.

I hope that helps.

On Tue, Oct 12, 2021 at 4:16 AM Olivier MJ Crépin-Leblond <ocl at gih.com>

> Dear Maureen,
> I am just off a call with UK ICANN Stakeholders, a sort of an ICANN
> Read-Out with selected UK based ICANN participants, and I shared the
> At-Large Activities, both during the ICANN week, but also in the so-called
> "At-Large Week".
> Whilst there were congratulatory remarks all about for the At-Large to
> convene such interesting sessions, two comments, from Susan Payne and Chris
> Disspain questioned the organising of the "At-Large Week". Susan, in
> particular, explained that the ICANN72 organising committee debated at
> length how long the ICANN meetign should be, whether it should be a short
> meeting or a longer one and the consensus that was reached across SO/AC/SG
> was to have a shorter ICANN week that was 4 days in length.
> I explained that for the At-Large Community, 4 days were impractical as it
> had to conduct its own business whilst offering its community the ability
> to attend plenaries, official meetings of the Board, public forum etc. So
> the At-Large week was primarily organised for At-Large participants but
> open to everyone, as in many At-Large meetings. This did not quite satisfy
> Susan nor Chris: both said that the topics and line-ups of these meetings
> were very interesting, yet they were not on the public meeting schedule and
> it would be interesting if they were, so as for many more participants to
> be able to attend them. Chris in particular mentioned that if members of
> the ICANN Board were attending these meetings, they should be part of the
> overall ICANN Schedule. But of course, that cannot happen since this is not
> technically part of the ICANN meeting.
> So I didn't know what to say. How are the At-Large Week meetings going to
> be advertised? Are the At-Large happy to have anyone attend? How do you
> respond to those who say that the At-Large has effectively created, in its
> policy sessions, more potential plenary ICANN sessions outside the ICANN
> plenary session schedule, as it has invited guests from across SOs/ACs/SGs
> etc?
> Kindest regards,
> Olivier
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