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Review of the ALAC Review

  • To: <alac-review@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Review of the ALAC Review
  • From: "Olivier MJ Crepin-Leblond" <ocl@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 16 Apr 2009 10:18:13 +0200

Noticing how few comments were received online in this last round of online 
comment period, I wanted to take the opportunity to comment on the review 
process itself. For this purpose, I'll be wearing my customary "Joe the 
Plumber" hat (or should I say... hard-hat).

I have followed the ALAC review since ICANN Paris, last year and started 
commenting on the WestLake Consultancy draft report.
In fact, I made comments in writing during each of the public comment periods. 
I am under the impression that each one of my comments were taken into account. 
Obviously, some comments might not have been included in the final draft - this 
is the nature of consensus - but others have been included and the draft 
amended accordingly.

The resulting document is a highly interesting piece of work which seems to 
have captured a majority of points about ALAC/At-Large which need improvements, 
amendments, promotion and support.

The dialogue between the community and the ALAC review was extensive. At face 
to face meetings in Paris, Cairo and Mexico, the ALAC review team received 
direct feedback from the At-Large community. Yes, the initial meetings might 
have shown much disagreement over some wording and conclusions, but as time 
went along and the various versions of the document were drafted, I felt that 
the gap was narrowing. This is a real feat, since the At-Large constituency is 
probably the most heterogeneous, complex, challenging, but also resourceful (by 
its wide range of ideas) constituency in ICANN.

Altogether, I have found this exercise to be a *real lesson* in 
consensus-building and critical improvement of resources.
I am yet to find *any other official organisation* out there incorporating 
official processes set-up to provide the same level of feedback, consensus 
building and fair policies for self-improvement. I am yet to find any other 
organisation out there allowing its members to openly contribute to its 
development and publically allow fair criticism both online and during its open 
meetings. This, in my personal view, shows real maturity and a real strategy of 
self-improvement. This makes me feel that although it's a "darned tough road to 
follow", self-governance *can* work.

Thank you to all of the ALAC Review Team. Thank you ALAC. Thank you ICANN.


ps. and don't any nay-sayers accuse me of boot licking. One has to give fair 
credit when credit is due. ICANN may not be perfect, but ICANN is improving; 
that's what's important in my view. To criticise for the sake of criticising is 
unfair & hypocritical.

Olivier MJ Crépin-Leblond, PhD

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