[At-Large] [ALAC] ELECTION CALL for ALAC Officers to serve from 22 October 2012 to ICANN AGM 2013

Evan Leibovitch evan at telly.org
Tue Sep 18 16:38:00 UTC 2012

On 18 September 2012 09:57, Carlos Vera Quintana <cveraq at gmail.com> wrote:

> +1 this is a very reasonable position. We have to have rotation and new
> faces all the time in all positions.

As someone standing for re-election, I have an obvious bias in the
discussion. However, even were I not, I would be intrigued -- and a little
unsettled -- by the concept of "change for the sake of change".

There are term limits for many positions within At-Large leadership -- I am
in my last of two terms as ALAC member -- and I am curious to know the
rationale behind "new faces all the time" in a manner that exceeds both the
intent and the practice of these reasonable limits.

This is now my sixth year within ICANN as a volunteer and I am only now
finding a comfort level with the many layers and complexities of working
within ICANN's policy development. That may just mean that I'm slow, but I
would suggest that ICANN possesses a level of internal complexity rivalling
that of a UN or government bureacuracy. It takes time just to learn.

Insisting on rapid rotation -- for the sake of rapid rotation -- ensures
that ALAC leadership will never have the depth necessary to deal with
issues that matter to Internet end-users. Our adversaries -- those who
dispense with the public interest because of financial gain -- have no such
limits. Indeed there are many within the domain industry who have been
involved with ICANN since its inception and are acutely aware of its inner
workings and how to manipulate them for gain. Given our reasonable levels
of term limits our people will never achieve the level of personal
entrenchment enjoyed by industry, but I would suggest that the rapid
rotation suggested by some here would be absolutely devastating to the
ability of ICANN At-Large to assert itself in the corridors of power.

If there are issues with the performance of individuals running for
re-election, general complaints about leadership or direction, or the
ascendency of people advocating fresh priorities or changes of strategy, by
all means let's bring them forward and engage in useful debate and an
informed election. I welcome such engagement. But I know that there are a
number of issues that I personally am involved with and consider
"unfinished business" -- unfinished because they just take so long to
process through ICANN. The others running for re-election have their own
priorities in this regard. I think it would be a shame -- and damaging to
the At-Large cause -- if many of these efforts are forced to pause while
being rebooted or re-learned simply because of an election based on theory
that looks good on paper but works poorly in the negotiations room.

Two years from now, because of term limits, I know for certain that I will
be off not only the executive but my ALAC position. I will welcome my
replacement. I fully understand and appreciate the need to share the load
and encourage new voices, both as a matter of outreach and keeping At-Large
constantly in touch. But I suggest that there is a balance to be struck
between continuity and refreshment, and that the balance currently in place
within ALAC is a good one. Going more narrowly than term limits to assert
change for its own sake does a disservice to incumbents and all of At-Large.

In most organizations of which I'm aware -- whether corporation, government
or NPO -- frequent changes of leadership does not indicate stability or

- Evan

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