[NA-Discuss] Reporting on Durban meeting

Evan Leibovitch evan at telly.org
Thu Jul 25 21:52:01 UTC 2013

> Having covered far more ICANN meetings than is healthy, here are some
> useful pointers for producing information:
> [...]
> Hope that's helpful. Good luck with the cold.

Considering that Dharma was a one-time replacement and isn't planning to
undertake the task again, this advice is ... just a tad late.

But even so, we're not funded to meander the halls or "cover" ICANN
meetings by collecting gossip. We're not there to observe; we're there to
engage and affect change.

Most At-Large people have specific roles and places to be through much of
ICANN week. Key people of ours are already doing double (or triple) duty in
roles as liaisons, leaders and members of At-Large and GNSO working groups
(or the EWG or ATRT2). And, for benefit of those not intrepid enough to
look at the meeting schedule, ALAC-specific activities demand attendance at
policy and engagement sessions all of Sunday, most of Tuesday, and the half
of Thursday not taken up by the Public Forum. Monday and Wednesday are the
"mingling" days -- though much of Monday is taken up with ceremonies and
lectures masquerading as workshops, while Wednesdays are full of working
groups and round-tables.

It's no wonder that many in At-Large want Friday back on the ICANN
schedule, so things aren't so tightly packed.

Before Durban some complained that we didn't have many accomplishments to
talk about. The reports to date indicate, IMO, quite a few of them in
Durban. We did what we were there to do... meet amongst ourselves, along
with others who would inform us and work with us to advance our goals
(including the Board, GAC, ATRT, SSAC and almost all senior staff), then
determine the issues and stances we believed of concern to end users as
well as strategy for their advocacy.

Meanwhile, Glenn was a recording whirlwind, capturing more of the meeting
in sound and video than we have ever been used to.

As for not taking it all too seriously, no worries there. By definition,
At-Large members tend not to depend upon ICANN activity for our careers or
livelihood so we can be -- and often are -- more irreverent than those more
heavily invested. (Or maybe you didn't see the Vuvuzela in the public

On the other hand ... it may just be my imagination but I believe At-Large
people on the average to be amongst ICANN's lighter drinkers, which means
we generally miss the juiciest drunken bar chatter. And because we're
nobody's potential customer, we tend not to be invited to the A-list
parties. (Or maybe that's just me.) Oh well, we survive nonetheless, and
have no problem managing to find other sources of amusement. On one of the
A-list party nights I found myself at the 9th Avenue Bistro -- one of
Durban's best restaurants -- with exceptionally good conversational company
(and none of us even had wine with dinner).

Anyway, thanks for the tips. Hopefully they won't be completely forgotten
by the time they might be useful again. Frankly, between what Dharma and
Glenn and I reported -- added to what others have offered in other regions
-- I think we've captured the At-Large PoV of ICANN 47 fairly well.

- Evan

More information about the NA-Discuss mailing list