[NA-Discuss] Whither Outreach? (was Re: MAILCARD Feedback)

Carlton Samuels carlton.samuels at gmail.com
Wed Jan 18 10:07:20 UTC 2017

I could endorse everything said in the final paragraph but would change the
phrase 'say something of value ' to 'effect something of value'.

These things of value top of mind are the meta issues, some of which you

Effecting something of value within this new value framework will
necessarily demand change to the sense of our At-large self, change in the
operational model of the At-large and a new compact within ICANN.


On Jan 17, 2017 9:48 PM, "Evan Leibovitch" <evan at telly.org> wrote:

> On 17 January 2017 at 16:53, gbruen at knujon.com <gbruen at knujon.com> wrote:
>> When Glenn and I looked at this a while ago we tried to focus on
>> populations getting the LEAST representation
>> ​.
> From my estimation,that would be Texans.
> Population 28 million, zero ALSs.
>> I wish we could focus on getting them engaged and not deciding which
>> imaginary line th
>> ​​
>> ey're across.
> Turning wish to deed is possible -- and highly desirable -- but difficult.
> All the outreach and fellowships in the ICANN world are pointless if
> there's no coherent plan for how to engage this diversity once it's here.
> Maybe that planning should have been done BEFORE the outreach?
> It's my experience -- and we've already seen this with many of the first
> ALSs who have dropped out, gone dormant or stayed on the sidelines -- is
> that we're not very good at honestly explaining the context (and the
> limits) of what all these new voices will be able to affect once here. Many
> who are enticed by the promise of "have a say in how the Internet is run"
> are highly disappointed when they get here and see how small a corner of
> Internet governance is overseen by ICANN. What is different between this
> corner and others (ie, accessibility, censorship, net neutrality) is that
> this is where the money hangs out, this is the financially exploitable part
> of global Internet Governance that attracts the whores, speculators, cheats
> and investors. So it is ICANN that can pay for meetings and outreach
> projects that the IGF and ISOC couldn't dream of, even though the latter
> groups' remits are far more expansive and relevant to the public interest.
> Instead, we beckon this broad and wise coalition -- in theory, to advise
> on whether the world needs a thousand new top-level domains, or whether we
> must force domain owners to open sales to all domain resellers, or whether
> international organizations should be allowed to take domains using their
> acronyms off the open market. Or other things like that. And that's in the
> few good moments when we're not navel-gazing.
> Heck, we're nowhere near the deeper (and more critical) meta issues within
> ICANN, such as the balance between privacy and accountability (that is,
> should domain owners be able to hide their identity? Even if their domains
> are the source of fraud or hate or trolls?)
> These issues REQUIRE our thought and our input, and should be defining our
> collective role here. That's what the ICANN bylaws say we're here to do.
> And yet here we are, talking about mailcards, slogans, rules and procedures
> ... as well as how many new under-represented groups we can bring in so
> they too can talk about mailcards, slogans, rules and procedures. It's
> embarrassing, or at least it should be.
> Garth, this much is objectively measurable -- as NARALO's sheer numbers of
> ALSs have gone up, its leadership in At-Large policy analysis has
> plummeted. When I read in the At-Large Review about the intent to reboot
> (or even eliminate) the RALO/ALS model because of its lack of policy
> effectiveness, I felt the authors were staring right at NARALO for their
> rationale. (That said, most other RALOs are not much better.)
> Outreach is not enough, in fact at this point I would argue it's a harmful
> distraction. All that diversity of voice needs to be planned-for, enabled
> and encouraged to say something of value within ICANN, else the effort to
> bring it together is wasted.
> - Evan
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