[At-Large] Community input .... has not been taken into account.

Christopher Wilkinson cw at christopherwilkinson.eu
Sat Jun 16 17:59:57 UTC 2012

+1	c.f. :


Submission of 13 August 2010, reposted 13 June 2012


>> Dakar, ICANN Board meeting
>>>> MIKE SILBER:   Thank you, Chair.  I intend to vote against this
>> motion and I would like to read my reasons.
>> Some people might think from previous votes that this is a principle
>> objection to new gTLD program.  On the contrary, it's because I
>> believe in the new gTLD program as a logical extension from the
>> creation of ICANN, and more importantly in the bottom-up
>> multistakeholder model that I intend to vote in this way.
>> There are three primary reasons for my vote.  The first, the current
>> communications plan ignores the board resolution of March 2010 in
>> Nairobi and specifically community input.  The Nairobi resolution
>> states, and I will just read the relevant part, "ICANN will work with
>> the SOs and ACs to leverage the," or I believe that's a typo and it
>> should be "their networks and design the timeline around the actual
>> launch."
>> Public comment on the communications plan, both formal and informal  
>> as
>> well as GAC guidance, all called for the use and inclusion of the
>> community and the regional inclusiveness of the communications plan.
>> This has not occurred, and instead, a top-down English dominated
>> program has resulted with a single figurehead representing the
>> entirety of the massive amount of community work on the program.
>> None of the community, and for that matter, the board's input appears
>> to have been taken into account.
>> The second reason, the current budget request is in my view an  
>> attempt
>> to rescue a communications plan which has been badly designed and
>> executed.  Despite repeated and ongoing assurances of the readiness  
>> of
>> the organization with regards communications, up to Singapore and
>> beyond it, few of the plan's objectives in the current plan appear to
>> have been made.
>> The current budget of approximately $805,000 has seen the development
>> of a new gTLD microsite and related materials and the attendance
>> primarily of the CEO at events around the world.  These have included
>> ICANN-hosted events as well as attendance at various technology  
>> events
>> and, with a few notable exceptions, these have taken place in
>> developed countries.
>> Outreach in Africa is claimed as comprising three events:  the IGF
>> Nairobi, this meeting, and attendance at Highway Africa in
>> Grahamstown, South Africa, not Cape Town, an event that ICANN has
>> attended consistently for many years.  All three events are budgeted
>> for elsewhere within the ICANN budget.
>> It accordingly appears that not a single extra cent has been spent on
>> outreach to Africa.
>> This is in spite of a budget item of $500,000 of than 805,000 for
>> outreach in the five regions, which one would expect would be
>> apportioned equally or at least fairly across the five regions.  I
>> have been advised that this may be a budget reference from a version
>> prior to the proposed reversion; however, this does not detract from
>> the fact if there had been no spend on regional outreach in Africa  
>> and
>> no plan to do so as currently appears, there would be at least  
>> 100,000
>> U.S. dollars or more available to be spent on consultants.
>> Furthermore, outreach involving the appearance of one or more North
>> Americans standing on a podium undermines the involvement of this
>> volunteer community on these issues, and a bottom-up process which  
>> may
>> have seen more direct engagement if it had been trusted to assist  
>> with
>> communications in the same way it had been trusted to actually  
>> develop
>> the policy that this grand world tour is now trying to promote.
>> The third reason, the current neglect of African countries developing
>> in Africa in particular will be perpetuated even with the additional
>> budget.  The consultants that the additional budget will pay, Burson
>> Marsteller, as well as the advertising agencies that they will
>> subcontract, most likely the same agency which in turn owns Burson
>> Marsteller, will have -- or have a significant reputation and have
>> been touted as ideal to provide worldwide coverage.
>> In fact, the list of offices and affiliates on their Web site is
>> impressive, particularly coverage in Africa, until one digs a little
>> deeper and finds out that there are two offices in Africa, one in
>> Cairo covering Egypt and one in Johannesburg covering South Africa as
>> well as the entire African continent.
>> I am a proud South African but doubt I could do a better job of
>> engaging the media and the community in Morocco, Mozambique or Malawi
>> as a local could.
>> A broken new gTLD communications plan.
>> [ Applause ]
>>>> STEVE CROCKER:   Thank you very much, Mike.
>> As you can tell from the audience reaction, as I know you know from
>> our discussions, we have had long debates and taken all of this quite
>> seriously.
>> END

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