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    Highlights of the ICANNWatch Archive
    (June 1999 - March 2001)

    Membership Issues Working Paper: An interface for the At Large
    posted by tbyfield on Monday July 22 2002, @02:08AM

    alexander writes "Yet another Working Paper, but this time not from ICANN's Evolution and Reform Committee: Working Paper 1 on the At Large Advisory Committee. For those who got lost in the AL*C acronyms: ALAC is the organization whose creation the ICANN Board has voted to "consider" in Bucharest. So what is this about?"

    Now that the Blueprint is approved and endorsed, the users have to think about their place in the ICANN structure. There may of course be users who don't want a place in that structure and have good reasons for this. It's obviously up to the user and his/her organization to decide whether there is more good to be done inside or outside (or perhaps both). But if ICANN decides to implement the Blueprint document and if you want to have place for users to provide input and oversight, I believe you need an At Large interface.

    Instead of trying to get ICANN to build a huge one-size-fits-all organization, this Working Paper (obviously drawing upon the NAIS and ALSC work) proposes that new and existing user organizations from all five At Large region join forces in an At Large Council. This group is not under ICANN's supervision (neither directly nor financially), it uses the user organization's own capacities.

    The At Large Advisory Committee consequently becomes the interface between the user organizations and the ICANN structure. The members of the Committee are elected by the user organizations (see the WP1 for details). The ALAC sends delegates to the Nominating Committee, liaisons to the Board, fills seats in the GNSO Council -- both ALAC and user organizations help outreach efforts and work on ICANN issues. Again: The Working Paper itself has more details, so it's best to read that one first.

    I already sense some questions coming up in the discussion:
    Where is the guarantee that user interests will always prevail? That guarantee will be hard to get (and I'm certainly not the one who could give it). Instead, I propose a structure which can lead to strong, professional and well-organized user participation.

    Why shouldn't ICANN fund the whole At Large effort? If ICANN funds not only the ALAC (which it should, since it is part of the ICANN structure), but also completely funds the At Large Council, it's easy for ICANN to let things come to an end. Self-funding, even though it's not as easy, is also a way of self-control.

    Is this a ploy to kill icannatlarge.com? No. icannatlarge.com is a user organization which definitely should join the At Large Council. But I would become a bit nervous if the fate of the whole At Large effort rested on a single user organization!

    So I have to join an existing organization to have a say? No. If you believe that there is absolutely no user organization in the world which shares your ideals, you are free to create a new one. However, there is a lower limit for organizations of 25 members before that group can join the At Large Council (both for sustainability reasons and to guard against pseudo-organizations).

    Have you given up on direct online At Large elections? It's not me, it's the majority of the current ICANN Board which has decided not to pursue this avenue. But I think it would be a bad idea to just leave ICANN alone to do what it wants while waiting for the Board to change its mind! Users need to have a voice and meaningful ways of participating; that's why building structures is important.

    I'm really looking forward to comments and suggestions!

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  • NAIS
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  • Working Paper 1 on the At Large Advisory Committee
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    Working Paper: An interface for the At Large | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 2 comments | Search Discussion
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    Re: Working Paper: An interface for the At Large
    by ANNODOMINI2000 (AD2000DNO@SPAMYAHOO.CO.UK) on Wednesday July 24 2002, @11:15PM (#8088)
    User #3359 Info | http://www.ad2000d.co.uk/

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