[discuss] Questions regarding business sector participation

Joe Alhadeff joseph.alhadeff at oracle.com
Mon Dec 23 11:03:01 UTC 2013



A few items related to questions that have been raised.  


ICC BASIS has been coordinating business input to many processes and forums starting with the WSIS in 2003 through all the processes established by the WSIS including the IGF, CSTD etc. ICC BASIS’ networks of business representatives spans all sectors and geographies. As we have done for the selection processes to put forward business experts to the IGF MAG each year since its inception, the CSTD working groups on IGF improvements and the one on enhanced cooperation, we ran a comprehensive process to identify business representatives for the two 1net committees that will input on the meeting in Brazil next year and the 1net steering group. 

 We had lengthy discussions about the criteria for serving and it was clear that with only 2 seats on each committee and 5 on the steering group it was not going to be realistic to think we could meet all the criteria including geographic diversity. The attempt was made to put forward business representatives who understand that their role is to be a liaison back out to the broader business community, through ICC BASIS and through any other group or network that wants to be involved and to bring in input from the sectors and geographies to the work of these groups. We hope that more diversity can be achieved in the overall composition of these groups.

Business is as diverse as any other stakeholder group and no system to identify representatives is perfect. It is critical that representatives who serve are able to devote the time and energy to fulfil their roles as liaisons, as these are not decision-making bodies, and the hope is that that is what will be done. 

In terms of the discussion on this list regarding ICC and BASIS membership and fees:

-BASIS is a membership initiative that is open to any fully business oriented organization or company

-The annual membership fee is based on the entity’s public annual revenue and there is a sliding scale to ensure membership is less burdensome for SMEs and businesses in developing countries and there are opportunities for other business associations to join as well.

-ICC member companies pay a membership fee as well as non-ICC members

-membership in ICC’s national committees gives companies/organizations access to the ICC Commission on the Digital Economy, not BASIS activities.  

Much like at IGF meetings, ICC/BASIS intends to also coordinate with other, non-member businesses /business associations involved in the topic.

Kind regards,

Joe Alhadeff, Chair ICC Commission on the Digital Economy



Also, Nick, you are correct that CCBI is not a BASIS member, but the policy positions of BASIS are coordinated with 


From: Nick Ashton-Hart [mailto:nashton at ccianet.org] 
Sent: Monday, December 23, 2013 4:10 AM
To: Peter H. Hellmonds; Dave Burstein
Cc: discuss at 1net.org
Subject: Re: [discuss] Questions regarding business sector participation


I would add to this, though, in case it isn't clear, that BASIS is a 'pay to play' system; the CCBI element where there is a way for non-members to be engaged in BASIS is pretty much gone. There are periodic meetings at major events, like the IGF, where non-members are invited, but all substantive decisions and appointment processes are reserved to members from my experience. 

I would note that this is in contrast to my association, CCIA, as regards Geneva IG processes; we are the only representatives of the technology sector based in Geneva engaging with the member-states and IGOs here and so we provide key updates to non-members on various topics (including to BASIS but not just IG related) as a service to the sector as a whole (on the assumption that from time to time orgs and companies will provide some support to our activities). Of course paying members get much more, it is simply a function of resource needs, and that's reasonable; we all have to run in the black.

>From a macro view beyond this question of representation, industry in general needs a new approach to Internet policy, in my view; there needs to be greater coordination between associations and probably some new sectoral organisations. The world has shifted on all things Internet but industry has not yet caught up to the shift, which is natural and not a surprise; it takes industry longer than some other sectors to adapt to dramatic, short-term changes such as the Snowden revelations have produced.


"Peter H. Hellmonds" <HYPERLINK "mailto:peter.hellmonds at hellmonds.eu"peter.hellmonds at hellmonds.eu> wrote:



You are perhaps confusing the specific BASIS membership with the more general ICC membership. I think Ayesha will be best to provide the correct answer, but to provide some background, to my best knowledge the situation is as follows:


BASIS (Business Action to Support the Information Society)  is the successor to the CCBI (Coordinating Committee for Business Interlocutors) which was formed for the business constituencies at the WSIS. Because ICC has consultative status with the UN ECOSOC, ICC was asked by the UN to help coordinate global business through the CCBI. CCBI was open for all businesses, not just for ICC members. And it was paid for from the general ICC budget, even for those who were not paying ICC members. 


After WSIS, CCBI members asked ICC to continue this organizing function and the venues multiplied in which ICC through BASIS provided services to the whole business community (IGF, CSTD, ECOSOC, WSIS Forum, etc). At some point in time ICC suggested that while it could keep BASIS open to all business members (whether ICC paying members or not), it did not have the resources to pay for the staff and travel expenses to support this entirely from its budget and asked for BASIS members to help pay for the effort. 


Therefore, a scheme was introduced that reflects business size and whether the business comes from a developed or a devolving country. The contributions expected from those businesses participating are reflecting this scheme and are designed to defray some of the costs of BASIS. In practice, BASIS contributions never fully paid for the expenses. Hence BASIS is partially funded from ICC membership fees and partially by those who are in BASIS, whether or not ICC members. 

Membership in BASIS has continually grown over the years and includes many c! ompanies from all parts of the world and also organizations like the GSMA which is not a member of ICC. 


Not all members have the bandwidth to participate in all venues, so volunteers share the work and liaise with the larger membership. 


As to the specifics of this nomination process and its outcome I'm sure Ayesha will shed some light on the considerations that were discussed and agreed upon. 

Let's all wait for Ayesha to comment before jumping to conclusions. 

Peter H. Hellmonds

<HYPERLINK "mailto:peter.hellmonds at hellmonds.eu"peter.hellmonds at hellmonds.eu>

Disclosure: I'm a paying small business member of ICC Germany and volunteer as ICC Germany's special advisor on the digital economy, which allows me to participate in BASIS. 

On 20.12.2013, at 18:03, Dave Burstein <HYPERLINK "mailto:daveb at dslprime.com"daveb at dslprime.com> wrote:

In the U.S., ICC Basis requires a membership fee, undisclosed but based on sales, that appears to be in the thousands. The exception is for lawyers in solo practice, $500. As a result, there are almost no smaller businesses. 


   It clearly speaks for large organizations, not the general U.S. corporate body.




On Fri, Dec 20, 2013 at 10:59 AM, George Sadowsky <HYPERLINK "mailto:george.sadowsky at gmail.com" \ngeorge.sadowsky at gmail.com> wrote:


I would like to ask the following questions regarding business sector participation in 1net and related Internet governance activities, and I would appreciate a public response from representatives of that sector:

1. Is ICC BASIS the sole coordinator of private sector nominations to the 1net steering committee and to the several of the committees that will support the meeting in Brazil in April 2014?

2. Does ICC BASIS restrict its nominations to within the group of "members" of ICC BASIS?

3. In order to be considered a member of ICC BASIS, does an organization have to pay a fee to ICC BASIS?

4. If so, how much is that fee, and is it a one time fee or a yearly fee?

Since much of our discussion seems stuck on representation issues (to my dismay), let's at least get the facts in the open so that we can eliminate unnecessary and unproductive speculation.

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