[At-Large] RES: Coping with active participation in At-Large during COVID-19

sylvia at prontocl.com.br sylvia at prontocl.com.br
Sat May 9 13:25:25 UTC 2020


Totally agree with Humberto is saying

Sylvia Herlein





De: At-Large <at-large-bounces at atlarge-lists.icann.org> Em nome de Humberto Carrasco
Enviada em: sexta-feira, 8 de maio de 2020 15:46
Para: Maureen Hilyard <maureen.hilyard at gmail.com>
Cc: At-Large Worldwide <at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org>
Assunto: Re: [At-Large] Coping with active participation in At-Large during COVID-19


Dear Maureen,


I regret to hear what Daniel is suffering. Hopefully soon there may be a solution for his case. There is not much I can do from Chile, except sending to him my best wishes so that he can soon find a solution to his case.

On the other hand, there are many volunteers who have lost their jobs, not only in developing countries. I understand that it is not ICANN's duty to save the world, but I think at least ICANN could contribute with some subsidy for volunteers' internet connection, since ICANN is not spending money on face-to-face meetings. Today we are facing difficult times and the conditions of participation in ICANN meetings are also difficult. There are volunteers who fortunately keep their jobs or have the resources to face this pandemic in better conditions. I believe we should even suspend the requirement for metrics during this pandemic. I understand that we must continue working, but we also must show solidarity with our colleagues who are suffering the consequences of the COVID19 pandemic.





Humberto Carrasco Blanc
Profesor Derecho Económico - Comercial UCN 
LLM Queen Mary University of London
PhD University of Edinburgh




El 08-05-2020, a las 13:49, Maureen Hilyard <maureen.hilyard at gmail.com <mailto:maureen.hilyard at gmail.com> > escribió:


Dear Leon


Here is the discussion that arose out of the request from the ALAC meeting. I am so grateful that the community restricted their comments to those that were most thoughtful and considerate of ICANN's situation while also taking into account some of the hardship issues experienced by our volunteers at this time.  I forward all the emails received on the topic (I had one instance where the email was on another topic and once revealed, the sender asked for it to be removed).


One case which only very recently came to my attention was Daniel Nanghaka who was in the US attending an AMEX Leadership course in Washington DC when the flights out of US were grounded and he could not return to Uganda. He has been staying with friends in Massachusetts but living very frugally on his limited resources. Even though he has tried, his contacts with the Uganda Embassy in Washington DC have not been responded to (as of yesterday) and neither has AMEX been of any real assistance to his plight. I have suggested that he persist and if possible return to Washington DC to get his government's support directly. Fortunately he is still within scope of his current visa, but who knows how long will he have to remain in a foreign country without any resources? Daniel hadn't raised his situation with us because his reason for being there was not directly related to ICANN, except that he is worried that he may not be able to participate in his meetings because internet connection is expensive and it is draining what little resources he has at the moment, even to take his own O&E meetings. This is an extreme case but a real live situation for one of our leadership team. 


The cost of internet and the loss of jobs especially for those in developing countries will make ICANN's work of less priority, especially when they have to worry more about how to feed and care for their families in situations where the pandemic is still rabid, and it is the impoverished areas that are being hardest hit. While I know that ICANN cannot save the world, it saddens me to know what some of our hardest-working volunteers are experiencing in their real worlds... and yet at the same time there is still a flow of even more meetings than before, even within At-Large, with an expectation of more volunteer input into issues that ICANN has to resolve. All I can say is that the longer this situation exists, the greater the chance of those voices that we have been working really hard to encourage to join our discussions, will disappear and our multistakeholder model will be truly lost. But what can ICANN do and what more can we do as volunteers who are already stretched within our own bubbles just to keep ourselves safe? This is our dilemma.






Forwarded Conversation
Subject: Coping with active participation in At-Large during COVID-19


From: Maureen Hilyard <maureen.hilyard at gmail.com <mailto:maureen.hilyard at gmail.com> >
Date: Thu, Apr 30, 2020 at 9:58 AM
To: At-Large Worldwide <at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org <mailto:at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org> >


Dear At-Large Community


In all our recent ICANN meetings, the Board and the senior staff have been very mindful of the difficulties that are being experienced by the volunteer community of At-Large during this pandemic and its impact on their ability to participate as regularly as they used to.


During his intervention in the ALAC meeting on  28 April, the At-Large appointed Board member, Leon Sanchez, raised his ongoing concerns and asked the 70+ participants at the meeting how ICANN might be able to help volunteers to continue with their active involvement in the work of At-Large and contributing to the bigger picture work of ICANN.


Because he has requested practical and constructive suggestions about how ICANN may be able to assist, I am putting this message out to those who also already attend online meetings and actively participate and engage, even under really trying personal circumstances. I am willing to pass on your suggestions to Leon, who will in turn take these to the Board for their consideration. 


Please respond only to this thread before 7 May, so that the full account can be passed on to Leon.  I look forward to your thoughtful contributions to this matter. 




ALAC Chair


From: Glenn McKnight <mcknight.glenn at gmail.com <mailto:mcknight.glenn at gmail.com> >
Date: Thu, Apr 30, 2020 at 10:22 AM
To: Maureen Hilyard <maureen.hilyard at gmail.com <mailto:maureen.hilyard at gmail.com> >
Cc: At-Large Worldwide <at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org <mailto:at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org> >


Thanks  Maureen 

As  you know this is an issue I brought up in the ALT PLUS call a week before the ZOOM call this week  with Leon, at that time I interfaced with Leon on the dire straits that some people are facing during this pandemic situation and that many folks are unwilling to step forward and publicly  come to the table with a "cap in their hands"  


We are facing a 4% drop in the world economy and this means a depression much worse than the Great Depression.   Also this Covid-19 may see a serious second and third wave resulting in many more deaths and economic disruption.  ( shades of the 1918 pandemic that killed 100 million) 


I would surmise that  we have in the ATLARGE community that many folks are unemployed or underemployed and facing tough times and seriously compounded in countries that don't have any safety net to protect them and help them over the difficult times.  Since charity starts at home I suggest ICANN  dig into its pockets as  ISOC and Mozilla and many others and come up with a financial assistance to those that could really appreciate the support.   I suggest that  the  stipend for the ICANN Meetings to be paid to the ATLARGE members which will cover their internet costs and food costs as they fully participate with the remote meetings.    In the cases where people don't want or need this financial support they can simple not apply for the stipend and the financial costs would be reduced.  It should be confidential and an optional application process. 


In a recent survey of Atlarge members we found a large number of African and small island states with very poor internet access and very high costs for their access to the Internet.  This produces a digital divide that needs to be recognized and if not addressed  we may loose more members from the community.  As recommendations to join more online meetings and join ICANN LEARN webinars its an assumption that  we all have fair and equal access  and this inequality is enhanced with more reliance on remote participation 


Glenn McKnight

ICANN NOMCOM 2019-2021

mcknight.glenn at gmail.com <mailto:mcknight.glenn at gmail.com> 

Curator for  Internet Governance Hub Blog

www.internetgovernancehub.blog <http://www.internetgovernancehub.blog/>  


IEEE Toronto SIGHT Chair 

glenn.mcknight at ieee.org <mailto:glenn.mcknight at ieee.org> 
skype  gmcknight
twitter @Inkmedia

289-830 6259



From: Remmy Nweke <remmyn at gmail.com <mailto:remmyn at gmail.com> >
Date: Thu, Apr 30, 2020 at 11:20 AM
To: Maureen Hilyard <maureen.hilyard at gmail.com <mailto:maureen.hilyard at gmail.com> >
Cc: At-Large Worldwide <at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org <mailto:at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org> >


Thanks Maureen,

This is very thoughtful both of ICANN, ALAC and Leon.


For me, the best possible way to encourage participation should have been:


1. To have data palliative, but it looks cumbersome from ICANN end down to the local service providers.


2. An alternative is to have an aggregated sum approved for e.g. 4 months = USD600; to be given to participants to cushion their data effect paid directly to them (both mobile device and laptop). Thereby easing off at ICANN end and also encouraging participant to optimise the resource to their most essential needs including more data, because some may have purchased data ahead, say two months in a row.


I hope this helps.



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From: <carlosraul at gutierrez.se <mailto:carlosraul at gutierrez.se> >
Date: Thu, Apr 30, 2020 at 11:44 AM
To: Maureen Hilyard <maureen.hilyard at gmail.com <mailto:maureen.hilyard at gmail.com> >
Cc: At-Large Worldwide <at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org <mailto:at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org> >


Thank you Maureen and Léon !


1. We in LACRALO have already adapted our meeting hours to avoid conflicts with working hours as far as possible. Thanks to our Brazilian and Uruguayan friends that's stay up late, the westerners in Mexico in Costa Rica have meeting only after 4pm or so. 


1. Can't we do choose two convenient blocks of time over the day so that's global meetings only happen outside of sleeping hours?

2. Can we start using those blocks of time ASAP

3. Can we keep those Blocks for the Kuala Lumpur virtual meeting instead of the local time there?

4. If all of the above is not possible: can we spread the Kuala Lumpur meeting into 2-3 power weekend meetings online?


Seriously, if we are going to spend the next few months on virtual meetings, it makes no sense to use the planning frameworks and time blocks of Face to Face meetings. 


Thanks! Carlos Raúl Gutiérrez


From: Vanda Scartezini <vanda at scartezini.org <mailto:vanda at scartezini.org> >
Date: Thu, Apr 30, 2020 at 12:06 PM
To: Glenn McKnight <mcknight.glenn at gmail.com <mailto:mcknight.glenn at gmail.com> >, Maureen Hilyard <maureen.hilyard at gmail.com <mailto:maureen.hilyard at gmail.com> >


Dear  Glenn  and Maureen


These thoughts are really relevant when we can see in developing region several medium class persons are struggled to feed their families without work. 

Here, as developing country,  the government is performing a quite complex operation,  providing a 120 – 240 ( widows with children)  correspondent USD to 56 millions  ( ¼ of our population) of persons and had open up a 26 million of a special bank account to those not having one  in the public bank, and will pay such amount during 3 months or even longer depend upon the winter ( even mild one here) season. The amount  represents what  we call basic basket with food and cleaner and hygienic items for one month of a family of 4. The basic mobile are reduced  and energy are sponsored  for  those families.

Helping people to attend our meetings on line in places where they need to spend too much special nowadays  paying internet or even 3G for a volunteer activity,  does not see  will break ICANN’s finances and certainly will help a lot to keep these relevant community with us.

Thanks for these relevant proposal that I do believe really help the engagement of our community.

We can also help to state who,  in our regions, is really in need of help. Some even to feed their families.

Kisses and take care 


Vanda Scartezini

Polo Consultores Associados

Av. Paulista 1159, cj 1004

01311-200- Sao Paulo, SP, Brazil

Land Line: +55 11 3266.6253

Mobile: + 55 11 98181.1464 

Sorry for any typos. 





From: Glenn McKnight <mcknight.glenn at gmail.com <mailto:mcknight.glenn at gmail.com> >
Date: Sat, May 2, 2020 at 4:28 AM
To: Maureen Hilyard <maureen.hilyard at gmail.com <mailto:maureen.hilyard at gmail.com> >
Cc: At-Large Worldwide <at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org <mailto:at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org> >




Here is the draft response from NARALO . Note we are still  working out the logistics of the ideas  and its not final .  I am sharing it for inspiration purpose. 

The  bold and italic comments are excerpts from ICANN's comments direct from the ICANN page




Supporting the Work of Our Global Community over the Next Few Months: Leveraging Remote Participation


Link to document 

 <https://www.icann.org/news/blog/supporting-the-work-of-our-global-community-over-the-next-few-months-leveraging-remote-participation> https://www.icann.org/news/blog/supporting-the-work-of-our-global-community-over-the-next-few-months-leveraging-remote-participation



*	All ICANN Face to Face meetings on hold to Sept 2020



*	The Pandemic will likely be worse in the fall according to the CDC comments and likely it will be into 2021. (1)  and resulting in no  Face to Face meetings during that year 


Item One:  Remote Participation

ICANN has always embraced remote participation. It is what makes our work accessible to a global community and enables us to get the work done between meetings. COVID-19 has made remote engagement even more crucial, and a very real and practical alternative



This is a practical solution to keep the community engaged but the devil is in the details.  We have a serious digital divide which impacts the ATLARGE community.  Since ICANN has  Multistakeholderism baked into its DNA it is critical to provide communities with the tools to properly engage.   In Canada, especially in the far- north, in the US  tribal lands, as well as in rural areas(2), among students(3)  and in poor urban communities(4) there is a serious digital divide that makes it next to impossible to participate fully in the meetings. In fact, if there are few participants in such areas, it is not because they don’t want to participate. They simply cannot participate unless their internet accessibility issues are addressed. Although ICANN cannot be responsible for all digital divide issues, it must recognize that these exist and perhaps look for alternative ways to deal with these -- create support groups, reach out locally with low tech methods, build partnerships with national, regional, and local organizations, etc.. 


Item Two;  Leverage Participation Tools

It is more important than ever that we leverage our remote participation tools to continue effectively engaging and supporting our community in the work that needs to be done; at the very least, over the next four months.



It is not just a matter of online tools ie. Zoom,  Adobe, Bluejean etc or accessibility issues, but about the bandwidth required by any or all of them. Moreover, many within At Large have uneven connectivity speeds and others are burdened with very high Internet costs and extremely slow speeds. This combined with the loss of income by many of the participants due to COVID-19  making it harder for them to pay for the extra data needed to participate in the At Large or other ICANN related calls. 


 Item  Three   Online Courses/ Webinars

We are working with the community to ensure that high-priority topics for this period are being addressed and are creating new opportunities and training for our stakeholders within At Large to participate. As such, we are looking at facilitating these efforts and adding a variety of additional activities to build capacity, to attract new participants, and to educate, and engage these new participants. These activities will include informative webinars, ICANN Learn modules, lectures, and ICANN Public Meeting readouts.


However, this strategy of engagement is only possible where high-speed Internet access is available and the end-user has the funds to pay for the extra service.  We would be interested in learning about any surveys that ICANN LEARN staff have done on connectivity challenges of end-users.  A recent informal ATLARGE survey, although having only twenty responses, shows that participants in developing countries have limited bandwidth especially in many parts of Africa and small island states combined with high Internet costs.  


General View 

In the short run, the participation in the first virtual meeting (Cancun) while having very high participation, should be looked at as a novelty, this will not be the new norm. We do expect that participation in future meetings will drop until the economy gets back on track. Participants do not have the available income to spend on the access needed to actively participate in online meetings. We are at a serious risk of losing valuable volunteers. At Large participants are volunteers and unlike other constituencies, they do this outside their paid jobs and often take a vacation to attend ICANN Meetings.


 Our community unlike the other the government or business community do not have the luxury of sponsorship to carry on their volunteerism.  Our community has had to dig into their own pockets to pay to participate. If the economy does not pick up we can see a substantial loss of participants from locations we cannot afford to lose.  We propose that ICANN recognize the value of these participants and create a special connectivity fund. The process and procedure could be worked out in a simple application and approval process. 


*	Provide the stipend to all elected ATLARGE community members 

*	Provide an opportunity to ALS members to receive an Internet Connectivity voucher to offset their high Internet costs so they can participate.

*	ICANN LEARN should conduct a true connectivity survey of all users. 

*	Improve upon the end-user survey at the end of all ICANN Public webinars to get feedback on participation and connectivity experiences ie. latency, quality etc 



Under development


1.	https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-data/forecasting-us.html 

2.	60% of farmers in the US report very poor Broadband speeds https://api.unitedsoybean.org/uploads/documents/58546-1-ruralbroadband-whitepages-final.pdf?utm_medium=email <https://api.unitedsoybean.org/uploads/documents/58546-1-ruralbroadband-whitepages-final.pdf?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Newsletters&utm_source=sendgrid> &utm_campaign=Newsletters&utm_source=sendgrid

3.	Students and digital divide https://internetgovernancehub.blog/2020/04/10/when-school-is-online-the-digital-divide-grows-greater/

4.	Poor and Digital Divide

5.	Broadband  Infographic 


Glenn McKnight

ICANN NOMCOM 2019-2021

mcknight.glenn at gmail.com <mailto:mcknight.glenn at gmail.com> 

Curator for  Internet Governance Hub Blog

www.internetgovernancehub.blog <http://www.internetgovernancehub.blog/>  


IEEE Toronto SIGHT Chair 

glenn.mcknight at ieee.org <mailto:glenn.mcknight at ieee.org> 
skype  gmcknight
twitter @Inkmedia

289-830 6259



On Thu, Apr 30, 2020 at 3:59 PM Maureen Hilyard <maureen.hilyard at gmail.com <mailto:maureen.hilyard at gmail.com> > wrote:


From: Judith Hellerstein <judith at jhellerstein.com <mailto:judith at jhellerstein.com> >
Date: Sat, May 2, 2020 at 3:10 PM
To: Glenn McKnight <mcknight.glenn at gmail.com <mailto:mcknight.glenn at gmail.com> >
Cc: Maureen Hilyard <maureen.hilyard at gmail.com <mailto:maureen.hilyard at gmail.com> >


Hi Glenn,

I have more to add but did not get a chance on Friday to put in but will do so tomorrow




Sent from my iPad 

judith at jhellerstein.com <mailto:judith at jhellerstein.com>  

Skype ID:JudithHellerstein

On May 2, 2020, at 10:29 AM, Glenn McKnight <mcknight.glenn at gmail.com <mailto:mcknight.glenn at gmail.com> > wrote:

From: Olivier Kouami <olivierkouami at gmail.com <mailto:olivierkouami at gmail.com> >
Date: Mon, May 4, 2020 at 12:49 PM
To: Glenn McKnight <mcknight.glenn at gmail.com <mailto:mcknight.glenn at gmail.com> >
Cc: Maureen Hilyard <maureen.hilyard at gmail.com <mailto:maureen.hilyard at gmail.com> >, At Large <at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org <mailto:at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org> >


Hi all.

Greetings everyone from Sénégal.

+1 @Glen who raised issues that i'm personaly facing in this sad pandemic moment.

I Also approve the concrete proposals of Remmy.

Most ALSes are certainly on these needs too.

Much appreciate if ICANN could make as proposed.

Warm regards



From: Barrack Otieno <otieno.barrack at gmail.com <mailto:otieno.barrack at gmail.com> >
Date: Mon, May 4, 2020 at 6:02 PM
To: Maureen Hilyard <maureen.hilyard at gmail.com <mailto:maureen.hilyard at gmail.com> >
Cc: At-Large Worldwide <at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org <mailto:at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org> >


Hi Maureen,


My humble and personal take to this is that similar to the fellowship program, we could consider support to community members who dedicate significant time and resources to ICANN's mission by contributing to the work of various supporting organizations and Advisory Commitees and the overall mission of ICANN. It is true engaging in SO/AC work costs valuable time for those whose day job may not necessarily be around the DNS ecosystem.  Significant resources are incurred to get online and to have the right tools that can enable meaningful participation and contribution to ICANN's work. I welcome the idea of reimbursing some of the costs incurred on connectivity or any other aspect as may be determined through a suitable process considering the continuous nature of the work we are doing.


Best Regards



Barrack O. Otieno
Skype: barrack.otieno
PGP ID: 0x2611D86A


From: LUKE KAPCHANGA <wanjalaluke1 at gmail.com <mailto:wanjalaluke1 at gmail.com> >
Date: Tue, May 5, 2020 at 6:41 AM
To: Maureen Hilyard <maureen.hilyard at gmail.com <mailto:maureen.hilyard at gmail.com> >


Thanks Maureen ,
Glenn has captured what some of go through, if not worse. I am based in rural areas of Kenya. To attend online meetings   I depend at times on cyber cafes, which are not very reliable, yet the best option. The COVID 19, has worsened the situation. The proposal to assist us from developing countries is welcome.


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