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RE: [ga] [fwd] Substance over rhetoric - a constructive challenge(from: edyson@edventure.com)

[Apologies for cross-posting - you started it...:-)]

----- Forwarded message from Esther Dyson <edyson@edventure.com> -----

From: Esther Dyson <edyson@edventure.com>
Date: Fri, 15 Mar 2002 05:30:04 -0500
Subject: [icann-alsg] Substance over rhetoric - a constructive challenge

Substance over Rhetoric:

ICANN hires Alexander Svensson to manage At-Large outreach for the next
year.  This position will be funded (here’s the challenge!) by my $10,000
pledge, matched by institutions such as Harvard’s Berkman Center (which
spent at least that much to send its own team to Ghana to observe the
recent meeting), Markle, Bertelsmann, and the like, and a variety of
interested companies who at least in principle have supported the notion of
an At-large membership.  And perhaps even ICANN can allocate a small sum
with “energy and enthusiasm.”

Dear Esther,

Your pledge of $10,000.00
http://www.atlargestudy.org/forum_archive/msg01908.shtml was made in
response to Pindar passing round the hat

I'm sure I'm not the only one here thinking that cash pledges were thrown
into the basket without strings, and that in due course these would be
allocated by the At Large Membership as they saw fit, as opposed to
allocation of pledges in kind, where donating Members specified the
resources and services they were willing to provide. It doesn't seem quite
right that you impose conditions on your pledge that were not there at the
time it was made.

There is a wider issue to consider also. In view of the results coming out
of Accra, the ramifications of which still need time to fully appreciate, it
may well be that the At Large Membership does indeed agree with you that it
is necessary to have a fulltime employee, but nevertheless decides to engage
one person who could pursue a number of representative/ liaison positions,
of which ICANN would only be one. After all, we are hardly likely to be able
to afford more than one person, if any at all. Also, there are those who may
feel that as ICANN has funded Denise Michelle's role, they still have a duty
to continue to support the At Large at least in that capacity.

Moreover, ICANN's very existence is now questionable and consequently, some
form of direct contact by the ALM with the DoC may be desirable in order to
preserve the At Largo's independence from both failures of the existing
administration, in which it has had no role so far, and any future proposed
ICANN structure for which there is no consensus support from its membership
to date. Indeed, it is not impossible that ICANN could be replaced by a
successor agency in September, so there will be those who do not think it
prudent to throw all At Large eggs into the ICANN basket. In addition, we
now have Senator Burns Committee Hearings on the horizon, and it does seem
sensible to bear in mind that whatever representative spokesperson/ liaison
officer we seek, ought to have skills to represent the ALM in these highly
political fora, including before Congressional Committees in the USA.

With the greatest respect to Alexander, this role requires discussion and
debate, and to be advertised to the widest possible audience to draw the
best candidates, and it is simply premature to decide who may be the best
person to fill it. So if I might suggest a more constructive way forward -
you should lead a forum debate on this matter on Icannatlarge.com, where
consensus amongst the 550+ members for your suggestion to hire Alexander can
be documented as well as further expressions of interest/ pledges and
nominations that may be received in support of your idea. This is what we
call in Best Practices "A Suggestion" (see forum for detailed definitions),
nothing more, nothing less, so what we need to do now is establish what the
Issue is and for me, the issue is about ICANN's refusal to fund any part of
the At large, and possible conditions attached to your own pledge.

In the meantime, if you would please clarify whether or not your pledge has
strings attached to it, that would be helpful.

Finally, on a point of Order, Alexander is not Chair of the GA, that is
Thomas Roessler's role - Alexander is Alternate Chair.


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