[EURO-Discuss] R: R: Proposal procedure active- non-active ALSes

Carlton Samuels carlton.samuels at gmail.com
Tue Aug 21 17:33:02 UTC 2012

A very interesting discussion indeed.  And thoughtful interventions by both

Generally speaking, I share Wolf's views. I think ICANN corporate
understands that even if only for the optics, the At-Large is central to
selling this idea of a bottom-up policy making endeavour.

But I'm not so confident that ICANN corporate's embrace of the
multi-stakeholder policy development process is linked to a correlated
understanding that this absolutely requires continued investment in the
At-Large ecosystem.

If we go by the history so far, the support has been grudgingly applied.
 More skin in the game, not less, is required from ICANN corporate here. We
know there are ICANN elements who are unanimous that they can have their
cake even as they cut their calories; meaning, get bottom-up,
multi-stakeholder involvement in policy development on the cheap.

For me the sad thing is if we follow this casting, the personal
contributions from those of us that are committed and actively engaged
shall always be undervalued.

- Carlton

Carlton A Samuels
Mobile: 876-818-1799
*Strategy, Planning, Governance, Assessment & Turnaround*

On Sat, Aug 18, 2012 at 12:11 PM, Wolf Ludwig
<wolf.ludwig at comunica-ch.net>wrote:

> Dear Roberto,
> thanks for this input what is much appreciated and I agree with you that
> this discussion has a strategic dimension for the whole ALS and regional
> model as well – not only at EURALO. And I would even go a step further:
> This reflection has relevance for the whole multi-stakeholder model as
> such. I inserted my comments and partly disagreements below under your
> remarks
> (RG) This discussion raises some interesting strategic issues.
> The question is not, IMHO, if ALSes are "active" or not in terms of doing
> activities that are for the benefit of the general internet user.
> The question is whether ALSes are fulfilling the purpose for which they
> were
> certified.
> (Wolf) I think both questions are relevant and need to be considered.
> Because they reflect different standpoints – what is also typical for us
> BTW --: A top-down and a bottom-up approach. Your arguments reflect the
> first, talk about expectations, fulfilling purposes, requirements and the
> like from the top or the ICANN org. perspective, while mine argue from a
> bottom line or civil society perspective (what stands for my political
> history). And I believe, both and even more perspectives are needed, if
> ICANN really cares about multi-stakeholderism!
> (RG) As per my disclaimer, I have no access to the statutory papers, but
> off my memory the ALAC, with RALOs and ALSes, has been created to provide
> input from the At-Large Internet Community to the ICANN policy development
> process. This is, IMHO, the litmus test against which we have to measure
> the effectiveness of the ALSes, RALOs, and ALAC as a whole.
> (Wolf) I agree that this was the idea, key feature and purpose “… to
> provide input from …”. But as we know, this didn’t properly work neither
> when ALAC members were hand or accidentally selected among some technical
> or academic or whatsoever experts. Plus the question of legitimacy or whom
> this people represented or were connected with? I knew ALAC members who
> just represented their expertise (mostly rather technical) but had no ties
> with current political debates or actors in their country or from the
> ground. The user POV was nothing but their individual POV. And I am not
> sure whether this former representation model passed the litmus test,
> perhaps in terms of a formal “effectiveness”? But ALAC members were often
> aloof or disconnected from / not part of communities.
> (RG) In a nutshell, different organizations can be extremely active and
> extremely useful for different purposes related to the internet users, but
> if they do not participate in the policy development process they fail,
> IMHO, to satisfy the requirements for being an ALS. Personally, I believe
> that this should be a discussion for the whole ALAC, not just for EURALO,
> so I am putting the Chairperson in copy.
> (Wolf) As this is more than a EURALO debate, I dared to copy other ExCom
> members in (Cheryl, Evan, Carton, Tijani) besides Beau Brendler, the NARALO
> Chair. I don’t agree with your observation or conclusion that “ALS do not
> participate in the policy development process … (or) fail to satisfy the
> requirements …”. First, this is a biased top-down perception neglecting
> various factors. And just imagine, if 170 ALSes (latest state) would
> regularly and actively participate in ICANN’s policy development process,
> At-Large and RALOs would proof to be completely under-staffed to manage and
> bundle all these inputs. Plus, the current consultation procedures and
> deadlines would be far too short … Don’t forget, we knew from the beginning
> that we have to deal with volunteer structures and not business
> constituencies which can do this in their day-to-day work.
> And in your assessment you forget about the representative element (like
> in other political systems) between ALSes – RALOs – ALAC. ALSes s/elect
> their regional representatives to ALAC (every two years) and they DO and
> NEED to “participate in the – regular – policy development process”. If
> not, they will get in trouble. And I can assure you, that EURLO’s ALAC
> members over the last years did their job – some of them with excellence!
> For our ALAC reps. it’s a MUST, for ALSes participation in the policy
> development process it’s a CAN or option depending on the particular issue.
> And besides our regular ALAC members, some more ALS reps. participate in
> our monthly calls (usually around 7 – 10 what is a respectable quorum)
> besides some individual members. Both are welcome, therefore I don’t like
> the artificial contradistinction ALSes versus ind. members.
> (RG) About the dark side of the moon, I do believe that the issue of the
> financial contribution to ALSes by ICANN is tightly related to the policy
> contribution to ICANN by ALSes. The GA example is telling, in this sense.
> All mentioned GAs took place in conjunction to events that, although
> important for the internet and its users, were not ICANN events. In
> particular the 2012 GA took place few days apart from an ICANN meeting in
> Europe.
> (Wolf) This is a key point of my reasoning, Roberto. And in this context
> let’s talk about the gaps between ICANN claims and realities. Because you
> cannot always refer to shortcomings on one side by neglecting those on the
> other side. From my perception I have seen that the implementation of the
> RALO and ALS model over the last five years had started with an applied
> handbrake. There was a lady in-charge in Brussels who did her best to treat
> RALOs and downwards as bothersome supplicants. You may remember how long we
> had to fight for the At-Large Summit in Mexico (2009) with discouraging
> support at the beginning. After that, things became progressively better
> and it was the first time when I felt some kind of honest commitment from
> the other side. And community participation improved considerably after
> Mexico (the encouragement and incentive factor).
> (RG) I have not followed things closely in the last couple of years, so
> there might be some very good reasons that I ignore, but seeing this from
> the outside, or possibly from the point of view of the ICANN Board or
> another ICANN Constituency, it raises eyebrows. I can hear the legitimate
> question on why ICANN should fund participation to the EURALO GA (when this
> translates to participation to the IGF or other non-ICANN event) to people
> who are not interested in participating to ICANN meetings? I might be
> wrong, but if the next EURALO GA falling in a year when the ICANN meeting
> is held in Europe (2014?) will be held at the ICANN meeting site, there
> should be no problem in funding participation to ALS representatives (or
> individuals, if they comply with the requirements) that are active
> participants to the ICANN policy development process. Maybe as a follow up
> to this discussion we can make a proposal for the Board. Sébastien, what do
> you think?
> (Wolf) When we talk about our Gas, let’s distinguish between causes and
> consequences: For the first two GAs (Paris 2008, Mexico 2009) we had a full
> house (around 90 per cent participation) – supported by ICANN at the time.
> In 2010 at the Brussels meeting, we had to organize a “Showcase” without
> members (and ICANN support) what became a farce and provoked much
> frustration among our members. We stolidly applied for F2F (supported) GAs
> the following years what was ignored (last time for Prague again) and it
> was ICANN’s lacking commitment – by neglecting its own “bottom-up” and
> “multi-stakeholder” claims – when we decided to organize our annual GAs
> offside or inline with another regional important policy event: EuroDIG. In
> a multi-stakeholder setup ICANN cannot always impose requirements on others
> but must learn to fulfil its own pretensions!
> We are still learning and trying to fulfil our mission and purpose but
> this is not a one-way road. We need to count on the other side as well and
> whether they are willing to fulfil their pretensions or promisesl Let me
> suggest another litmus test: Let’s bet when the next At-Large Summit will
> take place …
> Kind regards,
> Wolf
> Roberto Gaetano wrote Fri, 17 Aug 2012 23:21:
> >Disclaimer: I am travelling, and have erratic connection to the internet,
> I
> >cannot therefore guarantee prompt replies to the questions on the table,
> nor
> >to have all the reference papers handy
> >
> >(...)
> >
> >
> >-----Messaggio originale-----
> >Da: euro-discuss-bounces at atlarge-lists.icann.org
> >[mailto:euro-discuss-bounces at atlarge-lists.icann.org] Per conto di Wolf
> >Ludwig
> >Inviato: giovedì 16 agosto 2012 17:53
> >A: bruch at zedat.fu-berlin.de, Discussion for At-Large Europe
> >Cc: 'Sven Lueders (Humanistische Union)'
> >Oggetto: Re: [EURO-Discuss] R: Proposal procedure active- non-active ALSes
> >
> >Dear Christoph and all,
> >
> >thanks for this feedback! I think your description and assessment of
> >particular ALS circumstances is important to avoid misunderstandings or
> >misleading conclusions -- what I tried to explain at various Secretariats
> >meetings.
> >
> >The term "non-active" itself is misleading and even prejudiced in a
> context
> >of volunteer organizations. "In-active" in what sense? Purely in regard of
> >participation at current EURALO or ALAC discussions or in a broader sense?
> >And I insist, being active in a volunteers context is always a question of
> >particular capacities! And these - as we know - are always limited,
> besides
> >some exceptions.
> >
> >As I know from various exchanges and calls with members, many of our
> German
> >ALSes, as Christoph mentioned and just to give some more examples, are
> >extremely active on the ground and sometimes even on the national level.
> As
> >a common understanding, we expect that our members lobby and advocate for
> >"the interests of the common Internet user" ... But what does this mean
> in a
> >daily context?
> >
> >Have a look at the Website of Foebud (unfortunately in German only) and
> >their scope of activities (with very limited means), among others
> organizing
> >the annual Big Brother Award (what became a model for Austria and
> >Switzerland as well). And I often see Rena Tangens in the late evening
> news
> >or specialized programs:
> >http://www.foebud.org/
> >
> >Or Netzwerk Neue Medien (NNM), a lose network of highly active folks like
> >Markus Beckedahl conducting one of the most famous blogs in Germany:
> >http://netzpolitik.org/
> >
> >Or take FITUG (Lutz), FIfF, APTI in Romania and other good examples for a
> >long-term engagement and in the best sense of pursuing the "interest of
> >Internet users". Who dares to blame those people for "not actively"
> >participating in our monthly calls? Or current ALAC consultations on
> >multiple issues? I am rather pleased having such members doing the
> >day-to-day or dirty work on the ground!
> >
> >In this context, let's also talk about the other side of the coin (the
> dark
> >side of the moon) or the enabling environment for our member orgs.
> >Expectations towards our members are always cheap to have as long as we
> >forget about *incentives* we can offer - or not. When could we count on
> such
> >incentives or encouragements for our members from the ICANN side for the
> >last three years?
> >
> >We are supposed to conduct a GA every year as a key organizational
> >instrument to mobilize and include our members in EURALO policy
> development
> >- a key feature of any In-reach. Nice idea in fact! We conducted three GAs
> >in Vilnius (2010), Belgrade (2011) and Stockholm (2012). We assembled a
> >relevant portion of our members each time -- by joining us on their own
> >expenses what most of them couldn't afford! As we discussed in Stockholm
> >again - and I tend to revolve the prayer wheel -, community building,
> >pro-active member participation and involvement etc. doesn't work on a
> mere
> >virtual level and without regular F2F meetings (at least every two
> years). I
> >remember that Avri doesn't share this POV ;-)
> >
> >As Christoph pointed out and for all these reasons stressed above, I
> refuse
> >to use any inappropriate or insulting term like "in-active" in this
> context.
> >I agree, regarding some particular cases mentioned yesterday when members
> >never responded to anything from the beginning or more than two years, we
> >need to find a solution or decertification in the worst case. In the given
> >cases it becomes a question of our credibility: One the one hand, we are
> >interested to organize as many members as possible (one member per country
> >as a long-term goal), on the other hand we need to provide an appropriate
> >In-reach with our members.
> >
> >Kind regards,
> >Wolf
> >
> >
> >Christoph Bruch wrote Thu, 16 Aug 2012 09:51
> >>Dear All,
> >>
> >>Humanistische Union / German Civil Liberties Union is one of the
> >>"non-active ALSes".
> >>
> >>The fact that ALSes are not actively participating does not necessarily
> >>imply that they are not following the discussion at all.
> >>
> >>I assume that the participation of ALSes is greatly dependent on the
> >>engagement of individual members of these organizations.
> >>
> >>This engagement can vary considerably due to many factors.
> >>
> >>This should be tolerated as long as low activity levels do not create
> >>considerable negative influences for the whole ALO.
> >>
> >>The Problem of "non-active ALSes" should not be linked with the desire
> >>to possible enhance participation options for individuals.
> >>
> >>Regards,
> >>
> >>Christoph
> >>
> >>
> >>-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
> >>Von: euro-discuss-bounces at atlarge-lists.icann.org
> >>[mailto:euro-discuss-bounces at atlarge-lists.icann.org] Im Auftrag von
> >>Roberto Gaetano
> >>Gesendet: Freitag, 10. August 2012 03:14
> >>An: 'Discussion for At-Large Europe'
> >>Cc: 'Staff At Large'
> >>Betreff: [EURO-Discuss] R: Proposal procedure active- non-active ALSes
> >>
> >>+1, but with a further comment.
> >>Since the beginning of ALAC, and even before, the issue has been how to
> >>foster contribution to the policy-making process.
> >>The ALSes have been seen as a way to have discussions on the local
> >>level, and bring the issues to a regional level.
> >>My personal opinion is that it is extremely likely that, if ALSes are
> >>not engaged in the regional policy development process, most probably
> >>they are not even discussing the issues locally. If this is the case,
> >>they are completely useless for the ICANN policy development process,
> >>so there will be no harm in cutting the dead branches.
> >>On the other hand, there has been an extremely lively discussion, many
> >>years ago, about individual contributions to policy development. My
> >>recollection is that EURALO was going to open a process to allow
> >>individual membership, in a form to be discussed. Where are we with
> >>this process? My worry is that, while we give a formal status to
> >>possibly inactive structures, we put psychological barreers to
> >>participation from individuals who could potentially contribute.
> >>Yes, I understand that I do have a potential conflict of interest,
> >>being an individual not belonging to any ALS raising this point, but
> >>look at it from a different point of view: I am a fan of *the power of
> >>contribution* rather than *the power of voting* (some might remember my
> >>approach to the GNSO review). And, ALS or not ALS, you can't stop me
> >>from expressing my opinion anyway... ;>) R.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>-----Messaggio originale-----
> >>Da: euro-discuss-bounces at atlarge-lists.icann.org
> >>[mailto:euro-discuss-bounces at atlarge-lists.icann.org] Per conto di Avri
> >>Doria
> >>Inviato: giovedì 9 agosto 2012 11:42
> >>A: Discussion for At-Large Europe
> >>Cc: Staff At Large
> >>Oggetto: Re: [EURO-Discuss] Proposal procedure active- non-active ALSes
> >>
> >>+1
> >>
> >>On 9 Aug 2012, at 09:10, William Drake wrote:
> >>
> >>> Hi
> >>>
> >>> As a Euralo board member and NCUC/SG rep on the GNSO maybe I can
> amplify.
> >>We do a "check in" procedure annually in the first place because we
> >>have a fairly large membership of over 200 organizational and
> >>individual members and have competitive elections to positions, e.g.
> >>Council seats, NCSG and NCUC chairs, excom.  So it seems reasonable
> >>that the voting polity in a contested election should comprise only
> >>those able to must the energy to reply to an email and say yes I am
> >>still here and interested in participating.  I suppose secondarily it
> >>could be of some use when we're trying to work out a policy position,
> >>i.e. if someone weighs in on a list discussion with a strong view that
> >>affects the ability to get consensus, it may be worth determining if
> >>they're an active member or not.  Conversely, you don't have to hold up
> >>the consensus building process because you've not yet heard from
> phantoms.
> >>>
> >>> We debated what was the appropriate threshold of activity to be
> >>> classified
> >>as active.  As Mathieu notes, this is complicated as given peoples'
> >>availability and the natural tendency to pick and choose items you're
> >>willing to devote energy to based on interests and bandwidth at a given
> >>time.  So while in principle you could say that someone who has never
> >>participated in online discussions or shown up for a GA in a year
> >>should be deemed inactive, in practice this might be unfair.
> >>>
> >>> An annual check in mail prior to an election cycle is a pretty low
> >>> impact
> >>way of determining at least a baseline level of commitment.  If a
> >>member has really fallen off the map, this is a way to know.  And with
> >>number of members in Euralo, it wouldn't be difficult to execute.  And
> >>it could increase the credibility of claims to represent xyz actors.
> >>>
> >>> All in all, Rudi's suggestion seems sensible enough to me.
> >>>
> >>> Best,
> >>>
> >>> Bill
> >>>
> >>> On Aug 8, 2012, at 5:21 PM, Mathieu Paapst wrote:
> >>>
> >>>> Hi Rudi,
> >>>>
> >>>> I think you cannot assume that everyone participates on everything.
> >>>> For me it is also not clear how much activity is needed or desired.
> >>>> Do you want every ALS to participate in the monthly call or do you
> >>>> just want them to visit the yearly GA?
> >>>> And what will EURALO gain from putting ALSes on such a list other
> >>>> than making it easier to reach a quorum?
> >>>>
> >>>> I am not necessarily against this measure, however it does not feel
> >>>> right if the board is not involved in these kind of decisions.  Is
> >>>> there anything in our bylaws on this subject?
> >>>>
> >>>> Kind regards,
> >>>>
> >>>> Mathieu Paapst
> >>>> ISOC-NL
> >>>>
> >>>> Rudi Vansnick schreef:
> >>>>> Dear board members,
> >>>>>
> >>>>> As we see many ALSes in EURALO not being quite active, in a long
> >>>>> term
> >>not having responded to emails and other communications, we have to be
> >>honest and show respect for those having been active all along the road
> >>and as such allowing EURALO to still be recognized as part of the ALAC
> >>constituency. However, it is clear the number of ALSes is an important
> >>factor for ALAC to show interest and participation in the concept of
> >>the multi-stakeholder process of ICANN.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Therefor I propose we would act as does the NCUC by sending out an
> >>>>> email
> >>requesting a response within a certain delay. If no response is
> >>received within the given timeframe, the ALS would be put on an
> >"non-active" list.
> >>This would also allow us to have a correct quorum and election mechanism.
> >>This mechanism is a temporary procedure, not being voted on by the
> >>board, but as other decisions has also been taken without explicit
> >>approval of the board, I assume this one can also go through.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> I'm willing to work out the process of this proposal with timeframe
> >>>>> and
> >>procedural aspects in order to allow "non-active" ALSes getting back
> >>into the active list once they have shown enough interest in the work
> >>of EURALO and ALAC.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Just my eurocent idea
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Rudi Vansnick
> >>>>> EURALO board member
> >>>>>
> >>>>> _______________________________________________
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> >>>>>
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> >>>>>
> >>>>>
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> >>
> >
> >EuroDIG Secretariat
> >http://www.eurodig.org/
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> >Skype: Wolf-Ludwig
> >
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> >
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