[discuss] /1net Steering/Coordination Commitee

Mawaki Chango kichango at gmail.com
Fri Dec 20 14:55:13 UTC 2013

On Fri, Dec 20, 2013 at 1:36 PM, John Curran <jcurran at arin.net> wrote:

> On Dec 20, 2013, at 7:44 AM, Mawaki Chango <kichango at gmail.com> wrote:
> > The only alternate path I see, which would really be true to the
> opposite position, would be to dismantle all stakeholder groups in IG, to
> even ban that term from our parlance and erase that notion from our mind,
> and claim that we are just a collection of individuals with personal
> interest in IG and sometimes with societal concerns. Will only be listened
> to whoever can afford to spend time and money (traveling to meetings,
> paying for internet connection and even being able to use the working
> language) on the sole basis of the merit of their ideas as individuals. And
> with that we will have great outcomes for a stable and secure global
> Internet.
> Some aspects of the above I believe in (discourse on each topic based on
> the merits of the ideas themselves, not their origin), but I believe that
> we all
> need to bring good ideas from everywhere (and everyone) that we can, in
> that manner trying to address the "only those with the time and money" bias
> that might otherwise occur.
> > If between those two paths, anyone sees other possible, workable,
> effective, sensible forms of participation, I'd be glad to hear from them.
> Per above - ideas based on their merit, not origin; all of us acting as
> conduits
> for those who may have views or ideas to contribute.

I understand that. One of the challenges to that, though, is: how can one
make sure that I, as a civil society participant and individual
entrepreneur somewhere in Africa, will care to actively support Facebook or
Google's concerns, based on their merits? (I know they don't need me, but
still, question of principle.) And how can one make sure that those big
corporations care my concerns and those of other people like me be
addressed, on their merits beyond we being consumers of their products? If
the slate of representatives they just came up with is of any indication,
that doesn't bode well. In addition, that assessment of merit will have to
come from some particular angle, and one can only hope that through our
collective processes for seeking consensus and making compromise, we could
come to some collectively agree-able and balanced view about which ideas
have more merit than which (although we have to accept that that, too, will
take time and energy.)

More broadly, we need at some point to conceptualize and clearly articulate
that other model of participation which we're opposing to the stakeholder
model or want to replace it with, so as to facilitate institutionalizing
it. It's really difficult to take us seriously when we say the stakeholder
model is nefarious to coming together and making smart decisions, while
ICANN itself structures its processes around constituencies and
stakeholders. I'm not pointing fingers to ICANN but just recognizing the
fact that its institutional processes have an import in the IG space. It
won't be enough to keep waiting for nomination instances to criticize the
stakeholder model or advise to get rid of it in an email discussion. We
have to do more than that. We have to come up with a fully-fledged
NON-stakeholder or ANTI-stakeholder model, showing how it can be
practically implemented, worked and lead to better outcome, at the scale we
are dealing with, push for ICANN and other meaningful IG institutions which
have seemed to rely on the stakeholder model to reform their processes and
adopt the new one, so as to help phase out the old model and get rid of
that culture. Otherwise, I see no value at declaring just in instances like
this that the stakeholder model is bad and that we should ignore it, while
there still will be groups out there, coming to these processes on the
basis of their shared/group interests and mandating their representatives
not to try and find out which ideas have more merit and support them, but
to defend those interests of theirs.

I look forward to the day when the new model will be predominant across IG
structures and processes, and when my ideas will be first listened to like
those of anyone else despite some possible cultural differences in the way
I express myself and without me needing the blessing of a stakeholder group
for that, and then will be judged solely on their merit even if I'm not
backed by big money or am going against some vested interests. Amen!



> Thanks,
> /John
> Disclaimer:  My views alone.
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