I am putting forward myself as a candidate for NCSG-Chair because I have considered the needs we have, as a Stakeholder Group, for this position and I feel my experience and working style make me particularly suited for the role in terms of the demands of the position at this time.
I have significant experience in ICANN processes. I have been a GNSO Councillor for 4 years, representing NCSG. I have been elected by the GNSO Council as Vice-Chair for two of those terms (including briefly as acting co-chair of the Council between Jonathan Robinson leaving the Council, and the election of James Bladel). I was interim Chair of NCUC in 2012 following the resignation of Konstantinos Komaitos. I have participated in many GNSO Policy Working Groups, including the currently representing NCSG as one of the vice-chairs of the Next Generation RDS Working Group. I was also active in the GNSO-GAC Consultation Group, that sought to bridge some of the barriers to GAC involvement in, and understanding of, GNSO Policy processes. And I served on the first Security, Stability and Resiliency Review Team, which gave me useful understanding of many of the parts of ICANN outside the GNSO. I think my very broad understanding of ICANN, and proven ability to work with a wide range of other groups within the ICANN Community, is particularly appropriate for a time when the ICANN community will be developing new ways to work with each other as it adapts to the new Empowered Community roles and other new community mechanisms. I think in general a strong network across ICANN is very valuable for those aspects of the NCSG Chair role that involve serving as a representative of the NCSG to the broader community.
I am currently, and have been for several years, the Chair of Electronic Frontiers Australia. In this role I have developed a very strong understanding of what it means to chair an active civil society organisation in the digital rights space, and I am sympathetic to the very wide range of needs of civil society organisations and the many ways they can related to ICANN. And I have developed useful skills such as understanding procedural fairness, budgeting, and how to support policy development work. I’ve worked towards developing broad civil society connections, and I think I am well equipped to help NCSG represent itself outside the ICANN community in the broader civil society and Internet governance world.
In terms of the Chairs role internal to NCSG, I feel very strongly that the Chair has to be focussed on working within the boundaries of the role as set in the Charter, and that means that there are limits to the extent to which the Chair can set the agenda - the Chair must work by consensus of the Executive Committee, must act unilaterally as little as practically possible, and should foster consensus with the EC as much as possible, And the NCSG Chair has a very limited role as regards to NCSG policy work, mostly focussed on finding ways for the Policy Committee and Councillors to do their work. My focus would be as much as possible to develop an EC culture of active consultation and collaboration, to go beyond the necessary consensus on the EC role and foster active cooperation between the constituencies and NCSG members. I would strive to develop the newly active Finance Committee as a mechanism for coordination of all NCSG and constituency budget requests.
I believe the resources of NCSG need continued development, as we grow (and ICANN grows in complexity around us). I think I am particularly well placed to assist with the development of NCSG web resources for membership and elections begun by Tapani, as I am familiar with CiviCRM and we use it extensively at EFA (I will of course strive to help if I am not elected). I would work towards the improvement of (through both volunteer coordination and budget requests) both the development of these administrative resources, and tools to assist policy committee in its work. I would also investigate, in collaboration with the EC and Constituency leadership, development of policy expertise and support through programs such as mentoring, training, and leadership.
I think some issues over the last few years have shown some areas where our Charter and rules could use some improvement, and that we could also benefit significantly from some documentation and agreement on established operating procedures of the EC, PC and FC, and our interactions with other ICANN groups, particularly our colleagues in the GNSO Non-Contracted Parties House. I have been involved in the negotiation of some of these mechanisms so far, and I would continue to work towards this.
In conclusion, I believe the NCSG Chair needs to be focussed on consensus and cooperation within the entire Stakeholder Group, needs to have a very strong understanding of the NCSG role within the complex ICANN organisation and community, and be very aware both of the opportunities for strengthening NCSG by cooperation, and the limits off he role to act unilaterally. I think I have the skills and experience to provide the form of leadership NCSG needs right now. I also have a number of ideas for projects that NCSG can perform in the next year to strengthen the ability of all of us to work towards non-commercial voices at ICANN.
Thank you, Ayden, for nominating me for the NCSG Chair position, and thank you everyone for your support. I accept the nomination. Sorry for the delay in my response. This was for two reasons; firstly, I needed time to think about it, and secondly, as I am currently the chair of the NCUC I did not want to just accept the nomination without a statement that clearly stipulated my reasons.
I think as the Noncommercial Stakeholder Group we need to be strategic in our overall involvement with policy development at ICANN. Being strategic is not just a fancy term that I throw out there. I actually mean something by that. We need to help our members and NCSG representatives on the GNSO Council to develop policy at ICANN and to be able to meaningfully contribute to the process. We need to be at the top of the game. We need to be better in policy advocacy. We have the means, and we have great members who have suitable backgrounds and qualifications that can help us to advance noncommercial interests and address noncommercial concerns at ICANN.
I believe members of the NCSG should find it easy to get involved with policy making, to understand what the NCSG does, and to be able to help our GNSO Councilors with their decisions. You should also be able to challenge the decisions made by your leaders and representatives. Experienced members at the NCSG should not be left alone in their efforts to advance noncommercial interests at ICANN. New members should not feel lost when they want to get involved with policy making.
We should also make joining the NCSG to advance policy at ICANN more attractive for those who care about similar issues. The NCSG should be the prominent venue where noncommercial interests are advanced at ICANN.
If elected as the NCSG Chair, I will work with you towards building the NCSG more. We should explore the resources and means accessible to us to make the NCSG stronger. I have gained some experience in managing and securing resources which will help us with this. I would also like to work more on NCSG internal governance. We need to come up with internal operating procedures, update our wiki page, inform you about the leaders’ decisions and conducts, brief you on most important decisions periodically, and overall, tell you more about what is going on within NCSG leadership.
These are the reasons I would like to run in this election for the position of Chair of the NCSG. I have plans and feel totally committed to bringing you three things: strong internal governance, support and capacity building for policy making at ICANN, and increased outreach opportunities.
Name: Arsene Tungali
Region: Africa (DRC citizen)
Employment: Nonprofit Executive; Independent researcher on issues including Internet Freedom; Consultant in Internet governance and ICT strategies for nonprofit organizations.
Conflict of interest: None that I am aware of.
- Reasons for willingness to take on the tasks of the particular position;
I can be considered as a new blood, wiling and ready to serve. I have never had any leadership position in any of ICANN structures. If elected, this will be the first position that I might be taking: representing the NCSG on the GNSO Council. I look forward to working with our veterans and work on their side as we advance our cause.
I am really keen to join past and current Councilors in leveraging on their efforts. I will try my best, in coordination with other Councilors, to involve our distinguished members in Council discussions and deliberations in making sure we really represent you and we are able to convey your views and your message in GNSO so that the Board is able to hear what the NCSG thinks of different issues affecting non commercial users. This is possible through effective communication between Councilors and NCSG members. I know former Councilors have done their best; I am intending to reinforce this aspect.
Concretely and in addition to the above:
- I will continue my fight for issues related to human rights, freedom of expression, privacy, open Internet as I know these are some of the issues we fight for as a stakeholder group, representing the non commercial users and organizations. I will thrive to help ICANN be more active and adopt concrete positions in these areas, especially in this time where we note a lot of violations in Africa and in the world.
- I will use my time as Councilor to understand the different positions of other ICANN SO/ACs and see how we can partner with those who defend the same positions as us so that we can have good relationship and join our forces. I believe this will benefit the NCSG to have good allies in other avenues.
- Qualifications for the position;
I believe am known to be a strong civil society advocate and activist, mainly in the Internet governance space since 2011. I always try to advance the causes of civil society organizations as well as individuals in different capacity; most recently as a Co-coordinator of the Civil Society Internet Governance Caucus (IGC), a challenging role I took in 2016, which was a learning opportunity as well as an opportunity to advance civil society agenda in the Internet governance space.
In that capacity, I have worked, alongside the NCSG, on the Civil Society Coordination Group (CSCG) in a number of tasks including appointing civil society representatives in different venues and structures including the IGF MAG, speakers for the WSIS Forum and the IGF. I have also worked alongside the NCUC for the Joint civil society gathering ahead of the IGF in Mexico. This has given me the experience of seeing NCSG representatives fight, defend positions and build partnerships with other civil society groups; I believe this is something we should strengthen and I am happy to support this move on the Council.
I am familiar with ICANN and its structures (most importantly, its place in the whole global Internet ecosystem). After my first meeting in 2014, I immediately joined the NCSG and the NCUC where I am particularly active in policy discussions. If elected as a Councilor, I know that I will be representing the whole SG even the NPOC which I am not a member of but I am interested and following their work as a nonprofit executive, interested in the DNS.
I have so far joined 2 working groups:
- An Observer at the workstream 2 working group on Diversity because I am a true advocate of diversity in terms of regional, gender and language representation in ICANN. I am a native French speaker and fortunate enough to speak and write in English as well.
- An active member of the CCWG on gTLD Auction Proceeds. I joined this CCWG because I believe, as a nonprofit executive, I have something to contribute in helping ICANN use this money for the right cause. I have been contributing so far and can see the work of this group going in the right direction; my main goal being to make sure we decide to use the money on projects that will benefit civil society groups as well.
- Statement of availability for the time the position requires; and
I am ready and able to commit time, energy and resources to be effective in supporting the work of the Council. I believe those who know me, can testify that I can make things happen. I have followed the work of the Council; I know the level of commitment that this volunteering position requires.
- Optionally, any other information that the candidate believes is relevant.
I take this opportunity to thank Mamdou LO for nominating me for the GNSO Council as a representative of our dear NCSG. It is truly an honor to be standing and “compete” with the people I admire for their work and involvement in everything ICANN. I have never done/achieved even half of what they have achieved so far; I am humbly writing this in the hope that you will trust me enough and allow me to represent you, which is a challenge that I am ready and happy to take.
You might not know me but I promise that by the end of my term, you will have known me for what I will have achieved, with your support and that of the other Councilors. Thank you to all those who publicly endorsed my nomination and thanks for your wonderful words. I look forward for your votes!
- Name: Michael Karanicolas
- Region: North America
- Gender: Male
- Employment: Formerly with the Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD), now a consultant for the Open Government Partnership (OGP), assessing transparency reforms undertaken by the Canadian government, and carrying out broader research on the efficiencies and benefits of open contracting processes.
- Any conflicts of interest: None
- Reasons for willingness to take on the tasks of the particular position: As a relatively new face at ICANN, having only joined the NCUC in 2015, among my main priorities is to increase the accessibility and transparency of decision-making processes, with an eye to boosting stakeholder engagement. Too often, ICANN's processes are hidden behind impenetrable acronyms and procedures, which I believe frustrates many who would otherwise be interested in getting involved. My main motivation for seeking this position is to work to enhance the lines of communication between the GNSO and the community as a whole, and to boost the ability of interested participants to contribute their thoughts and ideas, fulfilling the potential of ICANN's bottom-up policy development process.
- Qualifications for the position: Since 2010, I've worked as a human rights advocate with a dual focus on freedom of expression and transparency (the right to information). As part of my advocacy, I've worked to design, enhance and implement public engagement processes in a range of contexts, from developed democracies, to emerging democracies, to non-governmental structures like international banks, NGOs, and of course here at ICANN. Community engagement, and opening lines of communication, are a specialization of mine, and I would look forward to opportunities to use these skills in the context of the GNSO.
Although I joined NCUC relatively recently, in my time here I've demonstrated a strong ability to push processes forward, and to collaborate effectively with stakeholders from other constituencies. This is best evidenced by my role as Rapporteur of the CCWG on Transparency, where I've been able to overcome substantial policy differences between stakeholders representing different interests to arrive at a set of concrete recommendations for reform, which are currently in the final stages of approval. I've also been an active member of the working groups regarding Rights Protection Mechanisms and, most recently, for the allocation of ICANN's Auction Proceeds, and I am currently on the Executive Committee of the NCUC.
Through my work with CLD and, more recently, with the OGP, I have had to collaborate with partners from every region of the world, and representing every stakeholder group imaginable. This includes business interests, particularly from the tech sector, as I've worked to enhance human rights protections among private sector intermediaries. I also have extensive experience working with government officials to try and persuade them to improve human rights protections. This includes developed democracies as well as repressive States. I am very familiar with the language of governments, and would make a powerful advocate for our interests. Moreover, as an advocate, building broad coalitions is a particular specialization of mine. As part of campaigns for greater transparency, one of my trademarks was to unite campaigners from a variety of sectors (environmental activists, LGBTQ activists, unions, student groups, etc.) who shared a common goal of enhancing access to government records. Uniting disparate groups around points of common interest is a particular skill of mine, and one which would be useful at the GNSO.
- Statement of availability for the time the position requires: Anyone who has watched the way the work of the CCWG on Transparency has advanced will know I have no problem putting the hours in. Originally one of two Rapporteurs for the group, and now the lone Rapporteur after the departure of my colleague from the business constituency, I have kept things moving forward at a good pace. However, now that that work is coming to a close, I expect to have more time to devote to ICANN. My move from full-time employment with CLD to a consultancy-based system should also provide me with more available time to contribute.
Best wishes, and best of luck to the other (really outstanding) candidates whose names have been put forward.
Dear NCSG members,
Please find below my candidate statement.
I would like to thank Michael Oghia again for nominating me and express my gratitude to all those who expressed their support. Your words of encouragement were very important for me. Thank you very much.
Candidate Statement, Tatiana Tropina, nomination: GNSO Council
Name: Tatiana Tropina
Employment: Senior Researcher, Max-Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law, Freiburg, Germany
Conflict of interest: None
Reasons for willingness to take on the tasks of the particular position:
The main – actually, the ultimate – reason why I am willing to take this particular position is that I want the Noncommercial stakeholders to have a strong voice and a strong representation in the GNSO policy-making processes. And here I am not talking about the number of seats on GNSO Council that belongs to NCSG and allows us to vote. I want NCSG to have a stronger voice in deliberations, in advocating for our interests, in bringing our values to the ICANN policy-making outcomes.
I am also willing to do my best to make the NCSG members informed and to ensure a broader participation of the membership in policy-making processes. I see the areas where we can put more efforts, like the channels of communication between NCSG membership and councillors, the work of the NCSG policy committee, the involvement of the broader NCSG membership in the policy making. I also want NSCG to further strengthen collaboration with other stakeholder groups – because we don’t exist in a vacuum and we can have good alliances on some issues while fighting on the others and standing firm on protecting the noncommercial interests. I am ready to work hard on this.
To sum up, I would like to direct my efforts to:
- making NCSG always vocal, visible at present at the Council
- informing NCSG membership on the policy processes, building capacity and engagement
- collaborating and communicating with the stakeholders when we can have common ground or common positions on the issues.
Qualifications for the position:
During the past 8 years of my career, I have been focusing mostly on two things: policy-making and capacity building. Before getting involved in the domain name issues, I was focusing mostly on cybersecurity and cybercrime – also on capacity building in this field for different stakeholder groups – and then I became more engaged with the broader issues of Internet governance.
I am not a veteran at ICANN, but probably not a newcomer either. I joined NCUC in 2015 and jumped in with both feet. I started with participating in the CCWG-Accountability Workstream 1 and CCWP for Human Rights and became a member of the NCSG Policy Committee. After the start of Workstream 2, I have been very active in the Human Rights subgroup and was one of the penholders in the small team that worked on the actual drafting of the Framework of Interpretation for the Human Rights bylaw. I am also active in the Jurisdiction subgroup, and I tried to help with drafting SO/AC accountability subgroup report (well – only a section or two but was happy to provide my input!). I am active in the CCWG on Internet Governance and, again, was a part of drafting team for the CCWG charter amendments. Yes, I am trying to make a point here – for me, participation is real. Participation means grabbing a pen (ok, a keyboard) and being vocal.
Last year I was elected as a European representative for the NCUC executive committee. Again, I have a track record of my participation: from outreach (some of you might remember out outreach in Copenhagen, EuroDIG and other venues) to taking part in different procedural and administrative tasks. I took an active part in drafting procedural rules and in addressing the ICANN's comments to NCUC bylaws. I participated in budget request drafting, and in drafting IGF proposals together with other NCUC members – and we secured our presence at IGF 2017 because our proposal was selected.
What fascinated me about ICANN in the beginning of my involvement and still fascinates me is that the more you are willing to take part, the more input you provide – the more of actual results, the real impact of your work on policy or accountability processes you can see. It is very inspiring and rewarding. I think this one of the factors that keep us, volunteers, going on. I believe that NCSG can benefit from my qualification and my willingness to work if I am elected to the GNSO council. I am vocal, I am present, I am ready to put my volunteer time and expertise in the policy-making and capacity building to see the real impact on policy.
Statement of availability for the time the position requires:
I know how much involvement the GNSO Council position requires. I think the track of my volunteer activity at ICANN and other IG spaces speaks for itself: I am ready to put long hours into ICANN-related commitments. As I have quite flexible working hours and schedule, there has never been a problem to devote time to ICANN and I can fully commit to GNSO work.
Last but not least: I wish good luck to all the other candidates – they are excellent!
My sincere thanks for your kind words of encouragement. Please find below my candidate statement, wherein I speak to my motivations for pursuing this leadership role, our aligned values, and outline how my qualifications and experience would allow me to professionally and intelligently represent the NCSG on the GNSO Council. Thanks again.
Best wishes, Ayden Férdeline
Name: Ayden Férdeline
Region of Residence: Europe
Employment: Independent Policy and Communications Consultant
Conflicts of Interest: None
Reasons for willingness to take on the position:
Through the GSNO Council, civil society has real voting power to impact domain name policy. We are not the primary actor there and our challenges and constraints to participation are both well-known and legitimate. But this is not to say that we cannot be more vocal or have more influence. I have the desire — and I believe I have the capability — to support and develop positions that advance non-commercial interests at ICANN. In general I would say that I have well-developed normative positions on issues, but when faced with specific policy questions, I take care to revise my thinking based on evidence and analysis. What I find exciting about ICANN is how it harneses the power of the Internet to experiment in democratic governance on a global scale. It allows end-users like myself to participate in the management of a global resource. This public involvement in policy making is something which I have taken very seriously in the nearly two years that I have been an NCSG member, and if elected, I am willing to put in the hours to represent the NCSG professionally and intelligently as we advance and preserve non-commercial interests in GNSO discussions.
Qualifications for the position:
I am on fire for Internet policy, and over the past two years have routinely put time aside in my calendar to advance the NCSG's interests at ICANN by drafting public comments, volunteering on the frontline in working groups, and communicating to new voices my own pathway to engagement and how they too can get involved. In addition, I have facilitated workshops and webinars to upskill participants in domain name policy issues, and I have worked with NCUC leadership and alongside other NCUC colleagues to contribute to the development of our onboarding programme.
Outside of ICANN, I have been on the organising committee for workshops at the European Dialogue on Internet Governance in Brussels and in Tallinn, moderated a workshop at the World Summit on the Information Society last year in Geneva, and was an Internet Society Ambassador to the Internet Governance Forum in Guadalajarra. I have edited a series of policy briefs and moderated workshops on audiovisual media regulation at the European level, and I am now a part of a nimble, youth-led initiative, Copyfighters, that is seeking to translate non-commercial principles and values into regional public policy.
I hold an MSc from the London School of Economics.
I believe in the NCSG's mission. I recognise the value of multistakeholderism, and I am passionate about the potential for technology to drive opportunity and to make our world a more open and connected place. I am absent circumstances that could give rise to a conflict of interest or bring the reputation of the NCSG into disrepute. To the best of my knowledge I have not taken any positions which are fundamentally inconsistent with the NCSG's principles or mission, and I have a history of active engagement in Internet governance-related working groups, discussion lists, and related activities.
Dear NCSG members,
Below is my Candidate Statement. Thank everyone for the support given, it really matters when you do this because you believe in it.
Nomination: GNSO Council
Name: Martin Silva Valent
Region: Latin America
Employment: Lawyer (self-employed) and Entrepreneur, working at Datas NGO (on formation), Buenos Aires, Argentina (among other projects).
Conflict of interest: None
Reasons for willingness to take on the tasks of the particular position:
I understand that this critical resource can either enable or limit civil society rights such as Freedom of Speech, Privacy or the right to organize with others. I also think it’s crucial to develop a fairer society and more prosperous future. I believe that in every step of mi engagement in ICANN I learned to read the ICANN Process and Policy making, I learned to read the different stakeholder’s interest, dynamics and problems, and of course, I learned to follow mentors, lead mentees, lead groups, calls, working process and create the right strategies and dynamics to properly address the non-commercial coerces in the DNS policy of the GNSO. Being a GNSO Councilor allows me to fully apply all that I’ve been learning and fight from a better position in the cause of non-commercial interest. I also do think with the commitment of making the Councilors work more transparent, accountable and accessible to the members so that the non-commercial strategy and engagement can go as far, broad and participative as it can. ICANN is full of places to work from, and in my case, I feel I can do a lot from a Councilors perspective.
Qualifications for the position:
I’ve been working at ICANN inside the non-commercial constituency for the last 4 years because I understand the importance of the DNS in the open Internet. I’ve been going up the ladder in the leadership position, I started as a Fellow from the fellowship program and a NCUC/NCSG member and became and NPOC member, later a Secretariat in NPOC and a Mentor in the Fellowship program and Leadership Program, and about a year ago I became Vice-chair of NPOC and four month ago I stepped in as the temporary replacement Councilor in the GNSO Council when Amr left the position open. During all this time, I engaged in several working groups but they one that caught my eye the most is the Review of Right’s Protection Mechanisms Working Group, one the heavy policy issues that could dismantle all the work being done to make the DNS a balanced and fair system for all stakeholder, and a Working Group with outstanding involvement of Trademark Lawyer, Registries and Registrars and Businesses.
Outside ICANN, my lawyer formation, going to trials, doing tough negotiations, drafting contracts and sorting out bureaucracy, and my experience as a human right activist in hard issues like the Right to Truth, Freedom of Speech, Intermediary Responsibilities, among others, with regional practice being part of global forums like the IGF and in other countries outside Argentina like Mexico and Brazil, and with several years of research and teaching at university level mainly on civil rights and Internet Governance; all of that give me a very good base to stand up to any task the GNSO Council may require of me.
Statement of availability for the time the position requires:
I am aware of how to handle volunteer obligations and leadership positions, I’ve been doing it for years inside and outside ICANN. Specially in the GNSO Council I’ve proved I can keep up with the time and work required to be there. Being my own boss, or an entrepreneur by nature, I have a flexible agenda and is possible for me to tailor made my availability to suit’s the GNSO Council needs. I fully commit to continue and always improve my work and performance in ICANN, weather inside or outside the Council.
I am very happy to be part of this and I want to again thanks all for the support. Even if I am not elected I am happy to be here and will continue to do my best.
Cheers to all,
Martín Silva Valent