[NA-Discuss] Reporting on Durban meeting

Thompson, Darlene DThompson1 at GOV.NU.CA
Thu Jul 25 21:53:49 UTC 2013


You make some interesting points, however, Dharma was not there as a reporter.  She was there as a representative of At-Large from NARALO.  That means that she had no choice but to spend large blocks of her time in At-Large meetings.  At-Large paid for her to be there and that is the expectation.  If you wish to send a special reporter to a meeting, then you would have to do that on your own dime.

However, many of your points about how to dissect what is important and what is not is very useful.



Darlene A. Thompson
CAP Administrator
N-CAP/Department of Education
P.O. Box 1000, Station 910
Iqaluit, NU  X0A 0H0
Phone:  (867) 975-5631
Fax:  (867) 975-5610
dthompson at gov.nu.ca
From: na-discuss-bounces at atlarge-lists.icann.org [na-discuss-bounces at atlarge-lists.icann.org] on behalf of Kieren McCarthy [kierenmccarthy at gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, July 25, 2013 1:48 PM
To: na-discuss at atlarge-lists.icann.org
Subject: Re: [NA-Discuss] Reporting on Durban meeting


Having covered far more ICANN meetings than is healthy, here are some
useful pointers for producing information:

* 90 percent of the conference is jaw-jaw. It feels important at the time
but on reflection you will discover that the vast majority of the
discussions had - the back-and-forth, the debates, the disputes, the little
controversies, the forced apologies - is little more than theatre. All of
it will be forgotten by the following week and none of it has any useful

* The hard part is knowing when and where the important conversation is
happening or will happen. Half the time you can discover this by following
Twitter - a sudden flurry of people talking about a particular session.
Usually you can catch it by talking to people at lunch or in the bar in the
evening. Likewise, if you miss something, don't worry - if it is important,
everyone will be talking about it. The more people you ask, the most you
can pick out what is really important against what people are currently
wound up about.

* Never spend too long in one room. Even if you are there as a specific
representative, you will better serve everyone by spending time not in that
room. People spend an inordinate amount of time in their rooms either
discussing what other people in other rooms think, or building up a huge
body of understanding among themselves that is then blown out the water
when everyone else goes a different direction.

* Catch people during breaks and just ask them what is on their mind.
They'll tell you, and you'll get a very quick sense of what is going on
across the meeting.

* Don't take notes during the meeting. You will end up with books and books
of material that will never see the light of day. Instead, look for
patterns. Jot down issues that seem to either create disagreement or build
an excited sense of movement. Then, when there is a break, separate
yourself for 5-10 minutes and write up a summary of what you think just
happened, with highlights and noting who said something that stuck in your
mind. If, on reflection, nothing really stands out, then write "Nothing
much" and leave it at that.

When you start to get to the end of the week, you then have a really short
and simple guide to the week and all the time you would have wasted in
meetings making notes will have freed you up to think about what is
actually important. If you need specific quotes (and you rarely do tbh),
then there is always the audio or the transcript. If you remember who
spoke, search for their name in the transcript. If you really want to hear
how they said it, go back and forth between the audio and transcript until
you find the relevant part.

* Don't go straight from a meeting to a social occasion. This happens far
too frequently at ICANN meetings, mostly because people wrongly believe
that a solution will arrive if you just talk it out for a bit longer. When
you hit that point where everyone is fatigued - and it's not hard to spot -
then just leave and get some fresh air. Seriously. You will miss nothing.
Then give yourself 30 mins in a quiet area (your hotel room is often the
best bet) and write down your thoughts for that day. If you put it off -
especially if you kid yourself that you'll write it up when you're on the
plane, or when you're back home - then you'll find it is much harder and
takes much longer.

* Keep it brief. It is very easy to get pulled into long conversations
happening in front of you in real time - we are, after all, human beings
and that is how we have communicated for millions of years. But it is
unbelievably boring to read long versions of a conversation. We just don't
care when we're not in the room. Accept that and write as briefly as
possible. Everyone will thank you for it.

* Be light-hearted. There is a tendency for everyone to take themselves far
too seriously during an ICANN meeting. It's an atmosphere that starts
feeding off itself and by the end of the week everyone is either in a
frenzy or completely exhausted. If you let yourself made the odd joke or
quip, or you find the light-hearted part of the day and highlight it, it
will make the information much less oppressive and far more palatable. Just
remember: literally nothing has ever happened at an ICANN meeting that
hasn't be undone if people think about it later and decide they don't like

Hope that's helpful. Good luck with the cold.


On Mon, Jul 22, 2013 at 10:50 AM, Dharma Dailey <dharma.dailey at gmail.com>wrote:

> Hi Kieren,
> I haven't forgotten your suggestion before the meeting for communicating
> back to the NARALO about the meeting.  I heartily agree that for those of
> us who can't regularly attend meetings, it's super helpful to get a birds
> eye view analysis from our reps on the ground. IMO, that's low hanging
> fruit on the engagement continuum. Before attending, I imagined that I
> might send communications on the fly, but the way the schedule is
> constructed doesn't lend itself to reflection and synthesis. For example,
> on Sunday we were in meetings for 13 + hours straight.  So, I quickly
> abandoned the idea of trying to report on the fly.  However, I did leave
> with 31 pages of typed notes which I will wheedle down to one woman's guess
> at what will be of most interest to you and the rest of NARALO.  One
> consequence of the travel and conference schedule was that I came back with
> a wicked cold. So, it may take me a few days to report back.
> Best Regards,
> Dharma Dailey
> On Jul 22, 2013, at 12:15 PM, "Garth Bruen" <gbruen at knujon.com> wrote:
> > Kieren,
> >
> > Thanks for the comment. Our elections are critical and getting them
> right is
> > even more important.
> >
> > As far as reporting goes I would like to draw your attention to this
> > document: http://www.knujon.com/icann_compliance_2012.pdf which shows
> that
> > ICANN's internal compliance function is essentially non-functional
> > regardless of recently published data by ICANN. This was a follow up to a
> > report sent directly to the CEO
> > (
> http://www.icann.org/en/news/correspondence/bruen-to-chehade-22apr13-en.pdf
> > ) which has not been responded to.
> >
> > ICANN is failing the public At-Large and won't discuss these core
> concerns,
> > has been completely silent on them. I think you can help by raising your
> > voice to ask about them as well from within our community.
> >
> > There is a very long report log here:
> >
> https://community.icann.org/display/atlarge/At-Large+Durban+Meeting+Reports+
> > Workspace which is being constantly updated by At-Large representatives,
> > even remote ones. Working groups regularly give reports on our monthly
> > calls. We'd love to have you come on and give your perspective, let me
> know.
> >
> > So, it's not really a question of reporting from At-Large, it's more of a
> > question of why we have to leave our families and travel thousands of
> miles
> > just to be ignored by ICANN. It's really not that much fun. If the
> problems
> > could be solved and questions answered, we wouldn't have to go at all.
> >
> > -Garth
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: na-discuss-bounces at atlarge-lists.icann.org
> > [mailto:na-discuss-bounces at atlarge-lists.icann.org] On Behalf Of Kieren
> > McCarthy
> > Sent: Sunday, July 21, 2013 11:09 PM
> > To: na-discuss at atlarge-lists.icann.org
> > Subject: Re: [NA-Discuss] VOTE RESULTS: 2013 NARALO Secretary Selection
> >
> > I wish as much time, energy and effort had gone into informing us about
> the
> > meeting you were paid as our representatives to attend last week in
> Durban
> > as has been out into bickering about voting procedures.
> >
> >
> > Kieren
> >
> >
> > [from mobile device]
> >
> > On Jul 21, 2013, at 7:19 PM, Alan Greenberg <alan.greenberg at mcgill.ca>
> > wrote:
> >
> >> Tom,
> >>
> >> I presume that by "incumbent" you mean people in office such as the ALAC
> > members or ALAC Chair (usually it is used referring to the person who is
> in
> > office but is in a contested election).
> >>
> >> I guess our experiences are different. Certainly someone who is part of
> a
> > current organization is familiar with the others who may be in a
> contested
> > election. But KNOW is definitely not the same as TRUST and not
> infrequently
> > KNOW is synonymous with wanting someone new. (And I am not implying
> anything
> > about the people in the current election).
> >>
> >> Alan
> >>
> >> At 21/07/2013 02:34 PM, toml at communisphere.com wrote:
> >>> Alan,
> >>>
> >>> What I am trying to say is that incumbents will better know and trust a
> > known player. Amopholy (sp?), might describe the human response that
> Option
> > 4 draws upon. There are both good and bad associated with this. Random is
> > life.
> >>>
> >>> Best,
> >>>
> >>> T9m Lowenhaupt
> >>
> >> ------
> >> NA-Discuss mailing list
> >> NA-Discuss at atlarge-lists.icann.org
> >> https://atlarge-lists.icann.org/mailman/listinfo/na-discuss
> >>
> >> Visit the NARALO online at http://www.naralo.org
> >> ------
> > ------
> > NA-Discuss mailing list
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> >
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> >
> > ------
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> >
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> > ------
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