[At-Large] ICANN Board Nomination

Christian de Larrinaga cdel at firsthand.net
Mon Sep 13 19:57:13 UTC 2010


The point I am trying to make is that ICANN board membership is not supposed to be the DAY Job. If it has got to the point that for the work to be doable then it has to become the day job then this changes a fundamental precondition for what ICANN board membership was designed to involve. The implication being that you can't just go and start paying the board without looking at the impact this will have on the broader design of ICANN. i.e., this could get messy. 

On the issue of Trust or trust.  

It is amazing how fast people wish to submarine into a semantic discussion rather than one of substance. The issue is not how ICANN is structurally shoehorned into one particular jurisdiction's world view. It is about whether the public out there in the whole wide world believe ICANN is trustworthy to co-ordinate between the managers of the unique Internet resources entrusted to it (co-ordinate not manage and especially not govern please note!). 

The term trust is meant in this broader perhaps political than legal sense. The board has a role in protecting this trust. A very large part of that job is to rein in the tendency for mission creep very evident today. 

I might also add that there is considerable precedence for unpaid board members in the Internet sphere. Most Internet organisations have volunteer unpaid boards made up from professionals or similarly skilled.  The origin of ICANN is from this tradition which is still widespread. 

So lies another niggle I have with the idea of paying the ICANN board. It further removes ICANN at least culturally from the rest of the Internet sphere of activities of which it is supposed to be just a part. I am not against people being paid but I am concerned enough by the idea of rubber stamping a salary culture at ICANN board level to raise some questions. 

best regards


P.S., You are correct. I was describing a redefinition of how a Supporting Organisation interfaces with ICANN to show one (speculative and not entirely happy) way that might keep board members paid at arms length of the ICANN purse strings bolstering the public sense of trust in their good auspices.  I was not describing the SO situation as of today nor suggesting this is a practical measure as things are now. i.e., it is going to be very hard to pay board members and find a way to balance the public benefit part of their remit which I think is necessary for long term stability. 

On 13 Sep 2010, at 11:51, Jacqueline Morris wrote:

> I don't think they are. "Supporting Organisation" in ICANN parlance means
> something very different from what I think you assume here. The Board
> members are NOT required to be "paid professionals"  - at least in this
> field. They can be professionals in other areas with an interest and
> expertise in ICANN issues, but that doesn't have to be their primary career.
> They are not designed to be financially supported by the SOs, NomCom and
> Advisory Committees who nominate them.
> They are not "trustees" either - the 2 are different, carry different
> obligations and so on.
> Jacqueline
> On Fri, Sep 10, 2010 at 6:49 AM, Christian de Larrinaga
> <cdel at firsthand.net>wrote:
>> Christian
>> P.S., ICANN board members are supposed to be paid professionals selected by
>> supporting organisations. The operative word here is "support". They should
>> support (sponsor) the trustees they select even if they vote as independents
>> they still have the placement.
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