[At-Large] R: [EURO-Discuss] [APAC-Discuss] VOTE RESULTS: 2014 At-Large Board Director (Seat #15) Selection Process

Karl Auerbach karl at cavebear.com
Tue Apr 1 17:53:19 UTC 2014

On 04/01/2014 10:19 AM, Roberto Gaetano wrote:

>...I now, years later, argue that to fight for more
> Directors on the Board is a battle of the past, that has little
> meaning looking at the evolution of the organizazion and at a full
> realization of the multi-stakeholder model.

My own point of view is rather the opposite.

(My view is buttressed by my own experience of being one of the very few
people ever elected by the public to the ICANN board of directors.)

Yes, a director is obligated to work for the benefit of the organization
(which is largely measured in the case of ICANN, legally a
"public-benefit corporation", by the degree of benefit to the public.

However, no person is entirely divorced from the context and
pre-existing knowledge or values.  (A good director recognizes this and
tries to be aware of, and consider, all points of view and all competing
values.)  Nevertheless, the soil from which a director grows will,
nevertheless, color his/her views and actions.

Consequently, it is extremely important that the public, for whose
benefit ICANN exists, select those it feels will do the best job of
making the organization responsive to the public interest.

ICANN's nominating committee - a misnomer because it actually selects
rather than merely nominates - is a vehicle that works against the
public interest.  History and experience teach us that people who do
exceptional things are very often people who cause strong reactions in
others.  A nominating committee system is a system that winnows out
those who have generated objections and elevates those who have
generally caused the least offense - which means that those who might do
the best job or changing the organization are typically those least able
to get through a nominating committee.  This is, of course, a
generalization - but over the years those generalizations dominate and
set the course.

If ICANN is really and truly an organization that benefits the community
of internet users then it stands to reason that the community of
internet users should be able to chose those who will be in charge of,
and responsible for, that organization.

And if ICANN is something else - a body that for the benefit of bodies
other than, or in addition to, the public, then ICANN should drop the
pretense and legal status of being a "public benefit corporation."

Personally I see that ICANN works only part time to benefit the
community of internet users.  ICANN certainly puts more time and effort
into benefiting trademark protection interests than it does to assure
that the upper tiers of the domain name system actually turn DNS query
packets from internet users into DNS response packets back to those
users.  If the public - by which I mean the community of internet users
- were to get to chose a dominant number of the seats on the board of
directors I would expect that ICANN's emphasis would change.


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