[At-Large] ICANN Board Nomination

Carlton Samuels carlton.samuels at gmail.com
Tue Sep 14 19:40:47 UTC 2010

Christian makes some good points of principle but we still have an issue to
face.  Given the need for diversity at the Board level, when is  volunteer
time too much?  And at what stage do we recognize that the diversity
objective - economic, social, origin, skillset, worth - is being undermined?

Maybe it is as a result of 'mission creep'. But the cold fact is that even
at this stage, a volunteer servicing the needs of ICANN runs the risk of
subverting their day job for ICANN's work.  At least for those of us with
day jobs!  And based on the threads I see leading to the Board, I should
think this issue is even more acute for them.  The preparation time alone is
enormous and growing.  At least if you would not wish to be the rubber stamp
on the Board!

Here's something else.  Thinking outside the box,, maybe this is
intentional.  Because no compensation would clear the way for only 'certain
others' to be available for Board duty.  There is, without question, a
significant group of 'stakeholders' who strongly believe that ICANN's
business is truly but some peoples business.   And their definition of
'peoples' leaves out a whole lot of us, especially those of us in the
periphery and on the edge of empire.

The baseline response then is to a) rein in the mission creep and prune back
 b) compensate members as a means to enable the diversity objective c) do
nothing and allow the environmental facts to disqualify Board membership.

It will all come out in the wash.

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

On Mon, Sep 13, 2010 at 2:57 PM, Christian de Larrinaga
<cdel at firsthand.net>wrote:

> Jacqueline
> 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
> Christian
> 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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