[At-Large] Sorry, long message
roberto_gaetano at hotmail.com
Mon Oct 22 15:49:42 UTC 2012
Previously mistakenly sent to the ALAC working list.
I am not sure whether it is appropriate to send this email to these lists,
but please feel free to use the delete key.
I have been following the recent events, including the Toronto meeting, from
Now that I have a little more time, I would like to become more active, and
I am trying to figure out which is the best way.
The question is basically where can I provide an added value, and what are
the topics that are more interesting to me (there is no point in taking
commitments to do things that I feel unimportant or uninteresting, as the
logical consequence would be to drop the commitment eventually).
My main problem with ICANN is that, as I also told the new CEO in Prague,
the stakeholder model is not fully operational. There are stakeholder groups
that are less influential in the policy making process for a number of
reasons. Although I agree on the fact that ICANN should not become a
parliament, where each component of the internet community has to be exactly
represented according to some metrics, nevertheless we must aim at having
all voices heard and at having the decision making process to take into
account all those voices.
My "natural" constituency is the AtLarge: I have no direct commercial
interest nor specific contractual or technical role in the internet
community, so ALAC fully represents my profile. My choice is therefore to
become active in ALAC, and specifically within my local community, the
EURALO. I have no affiliation with any ALS, but EURALO accepts individual
The areas in which I would like to concentrate the always insufficient time
and effort are described below (not necessarily in priority order).
. Outreach and participation
We all know that outreach is important for every stakeholder group, but it
is even more important for ALAC. Our community is sparse, composed of
individuals and organizations that have a "mild" interest in ICANN, in the
sense that their daily life is not perceived as being affected by internet
policy decisions, because either their income does not depend from the
internet, or because their problems related to the internet are more
depending on issues outside the scope of ICANN (for instance, basic
connectivity is more important than the introduction of new gTLDs). However,
we are aware that the active part of ALAC has the consistency of a rounding
error compared to the potential AtLarge community: people who have never
heard of ALAC or that have no interest in joining vastly outnumber the
volounteers that are active in ALAC. Under these circumstances, the growth
of ALAC and the increase in active participation in policy development is of
the paramount importance for our recognition. An incredible amount of work
has been done on this topic, with excellent results, but I do believe we
have to do more to further increase the number and variety of stakeholder
represented by us.
Therefore, I would like to participate in the outreach sub-committee.
. Alliances and synergies
We have established, thanks to the current and previous leadership and hard
work by the volounteers, excellent relationships with large parts of the
internet community. I remember in the early days of ALAC the way other ICANN
constituencies were suspiciously looking at us, and often considered us
unable to provide added value to ICANN (and even in more recent days, when I
was on the Board, it has been very difficult to convince some fellow
Directors that ALAC deserved the recognition of a full Board seat).
However, even in this case, I believe we need to do more.
One of the areas where I can help is the ccTLD community. I have always said
that there are huge similarities between the ALAC and the ccTLD community:
for instance, we both must "think globally" when we develop policy
positions, but must at the same time "act locally" because our membership is
deeply rooted in the local community. Incidentally, we share this same
structural feature with the GAC: they also have a strong "local"
When I was at ALAC/EURALO, I tried to liaise with CENTR: I participated to
CENTR meetings, presenting ALAC and the potential synergies with the ccTLDs.
I did not achieve immediate results, the close connections we have today are
the effect of the good work of the people following me. Nevertheless, I
think that the plant has grown also because I have participated to plant the
seed, and that I can provide further contribution in this direction.
I am not posing a candidature for the succession of Cheryl, once she will
move to a different task, but I believe I can be of some help in liaising
with the ccTLD community.
. Internet governance
Although this item is abundantly covered by the excellent people we have,
who are very active in the different internet governance fora, I believe
that my past experience with international organizations could be helpful. I
will not have the resources (time and finance) to attend meetings, but I can
read documents and exchange opinions by email.
. ALAC recognition
This is another sticky point. You have witnessed my rant on the issue of the
collection of input on policy and its processing by the Board. This is a key
issue: the community will have no incentive to provide volounteer work if
the result is not affecting the Board's decisions, but on the other hand
failure from the community to provide input on policy will give an excellent
excuse to the "ALAC-skeptical" party on the Board for dismissing our
contribution and role.
There is no easy solution: produce input on policy issues, and follow up,
demanding justification on Board decisions that might look as not having
taken contributions into account.
In summary, this is what I would like to contribute on. Of course, with the
constraints of the limited time I have and the very limited budget I have
for participation to events. And of course provided that the points I list
are considered strategic priorities.
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