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  1. What strategies does the  candidates consider viable to expand the  number of  ALS's in 2013,  Secondly, what stategies would you suggest in engaging the  non-participatory ALS's


    1. My focus has been mainly with in-reach although there are many segues to outreach in this, as well.

      We started excellent in-reach during the Toronto event by inviting each ALS to Toronto for brainstorming and encouraging participation in policy work.  This work is already being built upon ramping up to the At Large Summit in London.

      In the ATLAS 2 working group, we have been working at this on several fronts.  First of all, we are working to put together a survey to be put out to the ALSs as to what areas of ICANN work they find interesting and would like to participate in more.  During the London Event, people will likely be broken up into working groups so that they can discuss their areas of interest more intently and put forward recommendations. I believe that this will improve capacity and interest within all regions.

      In the Capacity Building Working Group, we have divided up into sub-groups and are each pursuing ideas to expand capacity in various ways.  These groups include:

      1. Survey Group – we are working on putting together a survey that would ascertain (but is not limited to) the following:  individual ALS structure, level of ALS expertise (what is needed and what can be offered), linguistic level (what ICANN tools have you been able to use, what assistance can you provide others), meeting of ALS members, and integration into the ICANN eco-system (competencies?  limitations?).
      2. Social Media Group – they are working on alternatives to f2f meetings so as to improve communications and discussions about ICANN matters.
      3. On-Line Group – we are working on identifying online tools that are available, identifying adequate models and modules, identifying user-centric considerations, and identifying features to make the facility user friendly.  A number of sources have been identified and are being researched so that interested parties can learn more about Internet Governance and many things within the ICANN eco-system.
      4. Face to Face Group – this group is not only looking at actual ICANN f2f meetings but also trying to integrate other groups’ meetings (ISOC, IGF, IANA) so as to share ideas and capacity.

      So, by finding out where people’s interests lie and then providing them with varied alternatives to attain these goals, capacity and participation is hoped to increase.

      As each ALS is strengthened, optimistically they will reach out to other potential ALSs to bring them into NARALO.  Without impetus from within, encouraging others to join NARALO will be inviting them to an empty shell.  I believe in building our strength from within, to provide a beam of light around which others will naturally wish to cluster and become strong leaders themselves.

      1. This morning Fahdi just announced that the ATLAS 2 budget has been approved!  We are going to have a summit in London.  This has taken a lot of effort from the ATLAS 2 Working Group and there is much work yet to be done.  I'm looking forward to continue doing everything I can to ensure that we genuinely engage the ALSs and have them leave energized - as we did in Mexico but even better.

    2. This is an effort I actually started before becoming chair ahead of Toronto. As chair of the organizing committee I aggressively engaged all of our ALS and encouraged them to participate. The results were excellent, we had great representation in Toronto. As for the issue of new ALS it has been part of my regular agenda to recruit new ALSes from various communities and locations but first to improve our application process and make it more user friendly. We can't tell people to join NARALO and send them to an outdated Word document.


  2. Being in RALO leadership requires the ability to bring together multiple viewpoints and many different personalities. This requires the ability to work with people with whom you personally disagree, in some cases strongly.

    Given that all four candidates have at least a few years of experience within NARALO, you have all seen the kinds of challenges we face in offering a welcoming environment. All the outreach efforts in the world are for naught if potential participants are presented with a hostile social environment. What would you do – and what have you done – to provide a welcoming environment for participants (and potential participants), both in NARALO and across ICANN At-Large?

    1. I, personally, will never allow one person to bully or put down another on the list.  I have made that position very clear over this last election cycle – even if it may cost me the election.

      Everyone must be encouraged to speak up on the list and this will not happen if there are those who would personally attack them.  Those that have been abusive must have this action called into account.  If this cannot be done privately with consensus met by both the offender and the offended, then our Code of Conduct and Rules of Procedure are in place to deal with this.  I have done everything in my power to ensure that these are followed and have taken a lot of flack in this regard on the list.  If I have to be a lone voice to stand up for those who are being abused – so be it.  I have also followed up, where I can, with the aggrieved parties to try to encourage them and tell them what steps have been taken to attempt to ensure that such a thing does not happen again.  Such victims must know that the leadership is behind them and will not tolerate abusive behaviour on the list.

      Further, when new people join the list, I have tried to contact them via Skype to welcome them and to offer any assistance they might need.  This has lead to several great conversations and helped to ease them into the RALO.  I have also assisted many in finding things on the ICANN site and for enabling smooth communications with staff or with others.

      I have always tried to be open and to encourage others to approach me with any kinds of problems.  If I can’t fix the problem, I put them into contact with the appropriate party that can.

      I have also always participated in cross-regional calls and maintained good contacts in other regions, to call upon them for advice or to give assistance whenever and wherever needed.  We all must act together as a team, whether within the RALO or cross-RALO.

    2. I have made considerable efforts to speak with people who have opposing views and even "difficult" people. We can't claim to represent all users until we really do. This is supposed to be a forum of ideas, no one should feel excluded. However, we also have a duty to respect each others time therefore rules of decorum must be observed so "shouting" and intimidation do not replace discussion and keep shyer participants away. Officers should make an effort to engage "aggressive" participants but the rest of the members should not have to deal with it.

      Outside of our community, in dealing with ICANN, it does not get us anywhere if we just talk to ourselves. Our sessions and time at ICANN should be spent as much as possible with other stakeholder groups. We have to assume that not everyone is going to agree with us, but in talking to them we are often surprised that they will want many of the same things we do. I am actually very concerned that within the creation of DNA the commercial parties are attempting to become entrenched, this is a problem in my view.

  3. A couple of quick questions from me:
    1. Who, in your opinion are the key stakeholders in the NA region involved in ICANN and/or internet governance issues. What relationship, if any, do you have with them to promote and support at-large objectives
    2. Please identify what changes (if any) you would try to pursue to increase end-user involvement from the North American region. 
    3. What is your view on ICANN directly engaging internet users in the NA region? 
    4. What are the top 3 issues you see on the horizon that will effect users in the NA region. 
    5. If you could restructure any entity at ICANN (other that ALAC) which one would it be? What would you change.
    6. Should ICANN hand over any of its functions to the United Nations? If so, please explain.




    1. Hi Robert,

      I'm sorry that this answer has been so long in coming but some of your questions really got me to thinking and I wanted to take my time on them.  I don't have answers to all of them - or maybe just not a strong enough opinion.

      1. I think that there are many key stakeholders in the NA region.  More so than have any kind of elected positions.  Wherever I can, I go to such people to ask for enlightenment, ask for their opinion because of their expertise, sometimes rope people into helping me on something ICANN-related that I am writing.  I believe that this pooling of talent works very well in the NARALO and I know that I believe in everybody helping out where their talents best lie.  I find that most do and enjoy working with varied individuals, both within NARALO and without.
      2. I would like to see the aboriginal community to be considered separately from the rest of NARALO for inclusion into the fellowship program so as to gain leaders in that community.  We also need to look and see how well each of us are "advertising" ICANN issues on all of our ALS websites.  Maybe this could spread the word and attract others.  I will continue my work with the ATLAS2 Working Group and Capacity Building Working Group.
      3. This question has me a bit stumped and I would like some clarification.  In what capacity might they wish to engage internet users in NA and to what end?
      4. The flood of new gTLDs, further problems with Registrar non-compliance, cybersecurity issues
      5. No strong opinion.
      6. No.  I believe that the GAC would gain far too much power and it would erode at the multi-stakeholder model.
    2. <<Who, in your opinion are the key stakeholders in the NA region involved in ICANN and/or internet governance issues. What relationship, if any, do you have with them to promote and support at-large objectives>>

      North America has been a leader in telecom and if our input is to continue to be of value we need to lead in other areas. This includes diverse recruitment. I have developed contacts within industry, government, media and academia to push our issues and awareness.

      <<Please identify what changes (if any) you would try to pursue to increase end-user involvement from the North American region. >>

      Ask anyone on the street: 1. Do you use the Internet? Yes 2. Do you know what ICANN is? No. This is a fundamental problem. It is nearly impossible to engage in a high-level or detailed discussion with Internet users about our policy initiatives when they don't even know the opportunity exists. We have a double-barrier of trying to find our potential ALSes and then explaining to them WHY they need to participate. ICANN has an identity crisis both inward and outward. It's outward facing presence barely exists, we as At-Large cannot overcome this problem on our own, we need ICANN's help. If ICANN truly wants to engage the community it needs to engage the community, with us.

      <<What is your view on ICANN directly engaging internet users in the NA region? >>

      It is not happening and needs to. There are ways to effectively do this but they are not being utilized. ICANN spends too much time engaging with the commercial stakeholders and needs to get out into the field. ICANN meetings should occur on university campuses and not just commercial conference centers. This would be more accessible to the community and reach the up and coming programmers, policy makers, etc.

      <<What are the top 3 issues you see on the horizon that will effect users in the NA region.>>

      1. Continued pervasive criminalization of Internet commerce through spam, malware intrusion, etc. ICANN is doing very little to address these issues but is in a perfect position to do so through its contracts and oversight.
      2. Access and bandwidth issues - inequality of access.
      3. Ongoing issues with privacy - exposure, theft and superfluous collection (by parties both public and private) of personal data

      <<If you could restructure any entity at ICANN (other that ALAC) which one would it be? What would you change.>>

      Compliance needs direct review by the community. This is the core function of ICANN and is not responsive to the public.

      <<Should ICANN hand over any of its functions to the United Nations? If so, please explain.>>

      No, While there are significant problems within the ICANN operations and methods, there is no evidence the U.N would do any better. The U.N. is meeting place for the governments of the world but it is not a governing body itself. I think many nations would balk at Internet policy being directed by the U.N. ICANN has a mini-U.N. in the GAC, would U.N. control make the GAC the only stakeholder? Several nations refuse to participate in the GAC. Ceding influence to parties who so far have not been interested in the current stakeholder model is problematic for people who have invested so much time in the current model.

  4. Anonymous

    With the current push towards ICANN's internationalisation/globalisation do you think that the Naralo leadership adequately represents the diversity (for example the large hispanic community in the US) and also minority interests (for example inhabitants of insular areas of the US such as  Hawaii, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, American Samoa) existing in this region? How does your presence on the executive bolster such representation?

    Thanks for your consideration and response. 

    Cintra Sooknanan

    1. I don't think the current or past NARALO represents the growing ethnic communities in our region. Nor does the the number of  ALS's represent these communities.   We need to reach out to these communities and engage them to become active and with active participation they should stand for elections.  
      I started the discussion of  fellowships for the First Nations to the ICANN Fellowship which discriminates aganist their communities because they reside within the most developed nations.  As of yet no updates on any changes have been made on this issue from Janice on proposal.  

      We also have failed to garner outreach to the  disabled community which is roughly 10 % of the population. Since  our Toronto Naralo Capacity Building session we were asked to gather  10 names of potential ALS's  and my list focused on this group. We need to act our our outreach which has stalled


      1. Glen,

        Wonderful idea...

        I would be very supportive of your and Darlene's efforts to have the ICANN fellowship selection criteria be modified to include First Nations in the americas.

        In the meantime, I will raise the issue with industry canada and CIRA to see if they might be able to help in some way. 

    2. Great question Cintra!

      Actually a good question to keep on the table for NARALO more generally. Would expand the scope to also include Canada, as we often pride ourselves as to how multi-culturally diverse we are. 

      Ways of promoting and engaging  multicultural communities,public interest organizations organizations, and youth s should be a priority. The later group is the fasting growing demographic, and engaging them should be seen as quite important as well.

    3. I must say that I am very pleased that Eduardo Diaz of Puerto Rico has again be elected to the ALAC.  Eduardo has held many leadership positions within At Large and I feel that he does an excellent job of representing the Hispanic community as well as one of our insular areas as you have noted.

      Having said that, I do believe that more work still needs to be done in this direction.  I have met with some on the Fellowship Program to encourage inclusion of our large aboriginal population into their program and have provided back up information, as has Glenn but as he states, there has been no progress in this area.  This is something we will need to continue to push for.

      The Capacity Building WG, which I am on, are also looking towards increased inclusion and empowerment of minority groups and ways to reach out to them.  We most definitely need to continue and expand our efforts in these areas.

    4. I absolutely agree. We are only scratching the surface of our potential. The North American region has a diversity that includes people from everywhere and native peoples. The "Melting Pot" is not yet seen in our representation. I formed the sub-committee on recruitment and have been identifying existing groups to reach out to. In Toronto I requested present NARALO members each supply a list of 10 organizations in their community to contact. I am also very concerned about the non-presence of the disabled community at ICANN communities and want to tap our rich and active disabled groups in North America and get their issues on the table at ICANN.

      1. The above was a reply to Cintra Sooknanan, I do not know why it did not appear beneath.