[At-Large] ATLAS II & the civil society sector @ ICANN [was: VOTE RESULTS: 2014 At-Large Board Director]

William Drake wjdrake at gmail.com
Sat Apr 5 08:50:37 UTC 2014


We have two separate conversations going under the same header so I propose splitting this one off.

On Apr 4, 2014, at 6:29 PM, sandra hoferichter <info at hoferichter.eu> wrote:

> Now that we have a concrete task ahead (IANA transition), we have to bring this definition alive, more than ever before. The role of CS was and is widely discussed, but it is still not 100% clear how this role will look like in practice.  The kick start meeting in Singapore without CS on stage was not the best start, but once can consider this a cosmetic issue. However in the near future CS should be very clear on how we think to contribute to the global process. We should work out a concrete action plan (ALAC, NCUC, NCSG, ...) otherwise I fear we are not heard.

I think Sandra’s point can be generalized.  On a lot of issues of relevance to civil society advocates of public interest / user concerns, one could argue we are both underrepresented at the table and losing on outcomes on a fairly systematic basis.  Processes and outcomes are being shaped by more influential groups in the community (representing their own legitimate interests), while the substantial civil society presence is fragmented and somewhat preoccupied with tending it’s respective silos rather than collaborating to put forward viable alternatives with the sort of cross-comm support that’s not easy to dismiss.  Absent effective checking and balancing influence and compromise solutions, it’s easy to end up with an externally trumpeted MS model that that in reality doesn’t reflect a balance between all views.
> Von: at-large-bounces at atlarge-lists.icann.org [mailto:at-large-bounces at atlarge-lists.icann.org] Im Auftrag von Wolf Ludwig
> Gesendet: Freitag, 4. April 2014 17:44
> Hi Bill, Evan and all,
> I agree with you that improved collaboration between ALAC, NCUC, NCSG and "the broader CS community" or "how user-oriented groups are institutionally siloed and whether some sort of pan-ICANN coordination could be feasible?" would be an important issue for the ATALS II agenda. As we defined some priority areas and subjects in Singapore and will ask the Subject matter experts (SME) for some sub-topics on each, this issue would perfectly fit into / under point 3 and/or 5.
> 1. The future of multistakeholderism – Adam Peake 
> 2. The globalization of ICANN – Rinaliah Abdul Rahim / Roberto Gaetano 
> 3. Global Internet: The User Perspective – Jean-Jacques Subrenat 
> 4. ICANN Transparency and Accountability – Avri Doria / Hong Xue
> 5. At-Large Community Engagement in ICANN – Olivier Crépin-Leblond / Mike O’Connor

Ok.  One also could argue that what we are talking about goes direct to heart of point 1, e.g. what’s the  future of multistakeholderism if some stakeholders are always more equal than others with respect to organization, access, support, and outcomes.  It also goes to the meaning of globalization, especially with respect to the engagement of the world beyond WEOG, where civil society participants tend to outweigh business participants at meetings.  And it equally speaks to transparency and accountability, e.g. to whom, and what is needed to ensure this is broad-based.  So the question seems pretty “meta” and relevant across the agenda.


> William Drake wrote  Fri, 4 Apr 2014 10:55:
>> Hi Evan
>> I agree with your point re: a common agenda of specific policy issues being key to past successful dialogues. And we could indeed try to focus that way again if one wants. But actually I was responding to Wolfgang’s broader point about how user-oriented groups are institutionally siloed and whether some sort of pan-ICANN coordination could be feasible.  Of course, that At Large is not only noncommercial users and is declaredly not a civil society network per se presents some complications there, but it still could be an element, if not the singular focus, of an agenda for a joint session.
>> Best
>> Bill
>> On Apr 4, 2014, at 9:52 AM, Evan Leibovitch <evan at telly.org> wrote:
>>> On 4 April 2014 02:40, William Drake <wjdrake at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> We’ve had liaisons, joint meetings, and periodic informal discussions
>>>> about 'the broader CS community' for some time, but the latter bit has not
>>>> really progressed much.
>>> In my personal experience, things go well when there is a specific common
>>> agenda. Consider that the CCWG on Internet Governance -- an initiative
>>> sprung out of the ALAC/NCSG meeting in Buenos Aires and co-chaired by
>>> Olivier and Rafik -- collected enough steam community-wide to be cited as a
>>> reason for the dissolution of the Board Special Committees.
>>> I'd certainly call that a win. So we know it's doable.
>>> I find other areas of collaboration possible as ALAC starts exploring
>>> privacy issues more (the Singapore workshop we held on TOR was surprisingly
>>> well attended and may likely be repeated). OTOH, I might hope that NCSG --
>>> at least some bits of it -- might find common ground with, for instance,
>>> the intense At-Large dissatisfaction with the utility and enforceability of
>>> Public Interest Commitments as they exist now in the new gTLD program.
>>> Wouldn’t this be a worthy topic for some drill down discussion in the
>>>> context of
>>>> https://community.icann.org/display/atlarge/ATLAS+II+Draft+Agenda ?  It
>>>> would be of particular interest to those of us with feet on both sides of
>>>> the lines, but I’d think it’d also be of wider interest as well.
>>> Wolf is involved with identifying Subject Matter Experts for the various
>>> thematic sessions being done as part of the ATLAS program. Have a talk with
>>> him; there's room for this.
>>> - Evan
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>> ***********************************************
>> William J. Drake
>> International Fellow & Lecturer
>> Media Change & Innovation Division, IPMZ
>> University of Zurich, Switzerland
>> Chair, Noncommercial Users Constituency, 
>> ICANN, www.ncuc.org
>> william.drake at uzh.ch (direct), wjdrake at gmail.com (lists),
>> www.williamdrake.org
>> ***********************************************

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