[At-Large] Public Board Meeting - the Update for Prague

Roberto Gaetano roberto_gaetano at hotmail.com
Mon May 7 20:58:53 UTC 2012

I have mixed feelings about this decision.On one hand, having spent 6 years on the Board, I have experienced how painful were the Thursday night preparations for the Friday Board meetings. Sometimes people were exhausted and some drafting was done without the full attention needed for details. I even remember decisions changed overnight (the one about holding the Seoul meeting after the Sydney meeting, for instance).However, as many have noted, the risk is that one more opportunity for dialogue with the community is gone. I don't know the details of the discussion that has taken place on the Board, and therefore whether this public Board meeting is being replaced by other events to take place duringthe week, but I hope so.I am looking forward to a public discussion in Prague about this subject. I also assume that feedback in Prague and immediately afterwards will be collected by the Board and used to make a long term decision. I also observe that most probably forthe Toronto meeting it will be inevitable to go back to the Friday session, because at the end of the Annual Meeting the new Directors have to take office, the Chairpersons have to be elected, the committees have to be populated. Unless I am missing something, this will mean that the last act in the Annual Public Meeting will be a Board meeting in which this business is managed.Being Prague close to my home, I will have the opportunity to attend the meeting and see what kind of interactions the Board will have with the community. If alternatives to the Friday session are developed, the Friday meeting will not be missed. If, on the other hand, this will result in a plain reduction of the communication in a plenary session, the community will make its voice heard loud and clear.About the reports from SOs and ACs. While on the Board I have argued often that those could be written beforehand and distributed, leaving the prime time at the plenary only for questions and answers on the reports. This must not necessarily take place after the public forum, and therefore Friday, but can also take place on Thursday before the public forum.Last but not least, I doubt that the cancellation of the Friday session will mean that the Board will leave one day earlier, we have often had committee meetings and other activities going on on Friday afternoon, the Chairperson and the CEO have their press conferences, and other odds and ends go on.Cheers,Roberto > From: bfausett at internet.law.pro
> Date: Thu, 3 May 2012 22:23:16 -0700
> To: at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org
> CC: na-discuss at atlarge-lists.icann.org
> Subject: Re: [At-Large] Public Board Meeting - the Update for Prague
> I am very troubled by the decision to remove the public meeting. As I see it, this presents several issues for the community:
> 1) The Board meeting typically closes a cycle of community discussion with a vote/resolution on some issue, and these end-of-meeting Board resolutions are important. The deadline of closing an issue at a public meeting also keeps the Board on track. Do they still intend to meet and close issues? This needs to happen. 
> 2) The public meetings became a bit of orchestrated theater over the years, but I still believe they served the purpose of showing the Board's professionalism in addressing and resolving difficult issues. Last June's meeting on New TLDs is the most recent example of this. Take a look at this picture from Singapore that ICANN features on its website: http://www.icann.org/en/about That's worth a thousand words. Note the people in the foreground using their camera phones to capture the moment. We're losing that. 
> 3) Closing the monthly meetings while leaving these end-of-session meetings open was something of a compromise reached between a prior Board and the ICANN community many years ago. I am concerned that the Board decided to change the status quo without any notice and comment.
> 4) As always, ICANN is under scrutiny with the IANA bid still to be resolved and issues of transparency at the forefront of some of those discussions. The way this was handled (was there a Board resolution? Chair's decision?) only makes the optics worse. I can't seem to find any background on how this decision was made, or why it was made.
>        Bret
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