[At-Large] Fwd: ATLASIII Participation

Evan Leibovitch evan at telly.org
Sat Jul 13 21:46:55 UTC 2019

As ICANN enters a period of austerity while it panics its way to re-opening
the gTLD floodgates, ALAC is at a crossroads. Ridiculed wherever it is not
written off for its navel-gazing and complete ineffectiveness at bringing
forth any useful input unique to end users, ALAC struggles for legitimacy
whether it knows it or not. No wonder ATLAS 3 was so poorly funded; ICANN
suspects that nothing useful (for its purposes) will come out of the
current direction of yet more process and more capacity building. They
think it's a waste of money so they give the minimum they can get away
with. Who can blame them?

ALAC had the chance to prove them wrong this time and to do something
different, to take the time necessary to have the mortally necessary debate
within ALAC of how it can be relevant to ICANN and revisit how to serve its
bylaw-stated mission. It needed to counter the awful external ALAC review
with a thoughtful internal one.

But no.

Based on the published objectives of ATLAS 3
we are in for more of the same:

   - Leadership Development: another way to say "capacity building",
   training that could be easily be done by webinars and/or the same CBT used
   to deliver "what is ICANN" that would be accessible by anyone, not just the
   60 attendees

   - Programming: what are the tasks? "Define and structure", "Develop
   meeting processes". And the outcomes of programming? Reports, video
   interviews, and "fully functional next generation leaders".

IOW, continued navel gazing that seems to be focused most on the succession
plans of existing leadership. Policy doesn't even get lip service, the word
isn't mentioned once.

Nothing in the objectives points to how ALAC can actually work better to
understand what end users need from ICANN and then to communicate those
needs to the greater community. So why not stop calling it a Summit and
call it what it is -- Leadership training? Probably because, presented that
way, it wouldn't have been funded. Let's just say it's unlikely there will
be an ATLAS 4 once ICANN sees how its money was spent this time.

- Evan
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