Return to At Large Study Forum - Message Thread - FAQ

Username: Wainer
Date/Time: Sun, December 3, 2000 at 10:19 PM GMT
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer V5.5 using Windows 95
Score: 5
Subject: Who is studying what?


Hallo everybody,

Some points here need clarification. Bracketed from the evidence available on the site. Some personal questions follow, below. > notes a quote form the introductory text, provided ex integro on the site, cut here for reasons of space, in no way altered. SC stands for Study Committee[Editing in square brackets].

__What is to be done__
>  A comprehensive study of the concept, structure and processes relating to an "At Large" membership for the Corporation.

>  that encourage the participation of organisations world-wide,

>  a "clean sheet" study: previous decisions and conclusions regarding an "At Large" membership will be informative but not determinative, and that the study will start with no preconceptions as to a preferred outcome.

__Why this Forum__

> The staff has not until now been able to produce a suggested template for the At Large study called for by Section 5. [They opted for] a solution to this problem that will enjoy broad consensus support throughout the Internet community.

> the Board should either establish the SC or, if persuaded by the public comments to adopt some different approach, take such other action as is appropriate to initiate the At Large study process required by Article II, Section 5 of the Bylaws.

__Scope of the study__

1.    Whether the ICANN Board should include "At Large" Directors;

2.    If so, how many such Directors there should be;

3.   How any such "At Large" Directors should be selected (choose one)
3.a     Selection by an "At Large" membership;
3.b    Appointment by the existing Board;
3.c    Selection or appointment by some other entity or entities;
3.d    Any combination of those options;

4.    If 3a, the processes and procedures by which that selection will take place;

5.    What the appropriate structure, role and functions of an "At Large" membership should be.


> Following the public comment period, [this forum, ending 27-12] but no later than January 15, 2001, the Board should either establish the SC or […] to adopt some different approach,

__Timeline of the study__

a. SC to report at the first ICANN meeting (Melbourne, Australia on March 10-13, 2001), on the schedule and process it thinks is necessary to accomplish its mission,

b. Results of the study presented to the Board no later than the second quarterly meeting of the Corporation in 2001;

c. the Board shall review the study,

c. propose for public comment whatever actions it deems appropriate as a result of the study,

d. on a schedule that would permit the Board to act no later than the Annual Meeting of the Corporation in 2001

e. action in this sense should be implemented on a schedule that will allow any new "At Large" Directors to be seated no later than the conclusion of the Annual Meeting of the Corporation in 2002, […] a ICANN Board decision that can be fully implemented, as required by the current bylaws, no later than the ICANN Annual Meeting in 2002.

__The solution should__

>  actually works mechanically,
>  generates broad consensus support for the solution as a
>  workable and appropriate mechanism for broad Internet community input into the ICANN consensus development process
>  the result must satisfy the legitimate desire of the broad Internet community to have meaningful input into ICANN processes and decisions.

__The study should be__

>   (and be perceived to be) open and inclusive
>  managed in a way that promotes the development of consensus, not a battle of competing designs;

__Composition of the Study Committee__

1. Research group separate from the ICANN Board.

2. The SC should be a relatively small group (perhaps 5-9 people),

3. SC representative of the Internet community as a whole.

4. One member of the SC should be a sitting ICANN Board member, bringing to the SC the history and experience of ICANN's efforts to deal with this issue.

5. The remaining members of the SC should, to the extent practical, reflect the breadth of relevant interests in the Internet community, including
5.1 non-commercial interests,
5.2 commercial interests,
5.3 public bodies (governments, treaty organisations or other multi-national organisations),
5.4 the technical community, and
5.5 the general user community.

6. One member who is expert in election issues generally.

7. SC should, again to the extent practical, also be geographically representative.

8. The Board solicit recommendations from the community for appropriate members of this Study Committee, and in particular for a Chair (or co-Chairs) whose reputation(s) will help to generate confidence in the objectivity of the effort.

9. An Executive Director who

9.1 would undertake the day-to-day staff work, under the direction of the Study Committee,
9.2 for purposes of funding and administration, should report to the ICANN CEO;
9.3 in all other respects, should report to the Study Committee Chair.

__ How the SC works__

10. The SC should find a consensus solution to this problem that will provide a mechanism for appropriate input by the general Internet community while also permitting effective and efficient management of ICANN and the achievement of its specific technical and administrative mission. [See questions reported above].

11. SC should provide a report on the consensus position in the community, if one has been generated, on each of these questions, along with a clear explanation of the rationale underlying that consensus.

12. SC should function as a true consensus development body, seeking input from all and attempting to facilitate the creation, from all of those participating, of a true consensus solution to this problem.

13. SC commissions or undertaking any studies or analyses it thinks appropriate or necessary,

14. SC should also facilitate and encourage broad participation by multiple other groups,

14.1   by encouraging them to undertake (at their own cost) their own analyses and submitting those to the SC for its use. Any independent studies that are undertaken should, to be most useful, document the process, input and nature and extent of support for any particular proposal.
14.2   by encouraging their participation in any public forums or other meetings that the Study Committee might sponsor. The SC should provide multiple mechanisms for input from the community, including bulletin boards, mailing lists, and perhaps (in its discretion) one or more public meetings.

15. The SC should seek to facilitate the transformation of the various inputs that it receives toward a recommendation that could receive broad support throughout the community.

16. The SC should seek to facilitate consensus in any other appropriate way, including the preparation and distribution of concept papers and the promulgation of specific questions and other inquiries to those participating in this effort.

17. Assuming it is able to identify a consensus, the Study Committee should report and document that consensus, and accept and evaluate any public comment on that preliminary report.

18. Following it the SC should report its findings to the ICANN Board, and simultaneously post that final report for public comment.

19. Following receipt of the SC's report, the ICANN Board should receive and evaluate any public comments on that report, and devote a minimum of one full day at one or more quarterly Board meetings to public discussion and debate on the report and its suggestions.

20. Following it, the ICANN Board should take such actions as it deems appropriate to recognise any community consensus that exists on this subject, and in particular to amend its bylaws and/or take any other steps necessary to provide an appropriate mechanism for input and involvement by the general Internet community in the ICANN consensus development process.


>  Multiple independent studies ---> funding requirements will be dispersed to some extent;

>  SC itself will still require significant resources.

>  There are no funds in the current ICANN budget for this purpose.

>  Internet community to make suggestions for how the SC's work be funded in the comment period recommended below.

>  SC is required to include in its Melbourne report a recommended budget (and suggestions for the source of any funds not at that time already committed) for the completion of its work from that point.


Here are some points for discussion, crucial for the meaning of this Forum (not to loose our time) and the proposed study (not to loose a meaningful representation of 'At large'):

1__  Is the outsourcing of the study a way to blind the process, or is it a genuine attempt to have an independent report? Does the lack of funding influence this choice, or is it an attempt to provide the major corporations (who have money to spend on a report) an assist (you play hockey, don't you)?

2__ Do you know anybody you would nominate for the Study Committee? If so, do it now, for this is one of the aims of this Forum! Study Committee is crucial for future representation of at Large. It filters (consensus, oh dear) proposals from, possibly corporate rather than plain users.

3__ What are the steps ICANN is taking autonomously in order to get the report done? Who will decide who is on the Study Committee?

4__ Was there any call for proposal on relevant, academic and organisational mailing list to get researchers involved in the evaluation process? Is there any real interest in the Academic and-or Internet community to compile a set of recommendations?

5__Is a work of this kind feasible in the short run? And without funding?

6__ Is it not a matter of political choice what kind of representational system to set up? Literature abounds on the topic of constitutional engineering (Sartori docet), but the main lesson there is an old one about aims and means… What are the aims of ICANN representation, is that open to negotiation? Apparently, from the text it is. Let's hope.

Does anyone want to work overtime, for a couple of weeks, and get out some ideas on the feasibility of this study? Or on a co-operation for sending someone worth to the SC? If so, feel free to contact me, it would be good fun, to hack a fair representation system :)

Wainer Lusoli