[discuss] Representative Multistakeholderism (was: Re: Report from the BR meeting local organizing group - Dec 2013)

Mawaki Chango kichango at gmail.com
Tue Dec 24 17:03:25 UTC 2013

On Tue, Dec 24, 2013 at 2:21 PM, John Curran <jcurran at arin.net> wrote:

>  I would be interested in whether there is any systematic model for
> representation, or even commonly
> accepted practices, as there are aspects which remain unclear to me at
> this time regarding the general
> approach to "representative multistakeholderism".    For instance, is
> representation valid based on a
> parties past demonstrated activity in a given community, or is it their
> involvement with institutions whose
> mission is helping a given community?  Is representation valid if
> self-asserted, or does the community
> itself have to be involved in selection of representatives for the model
> to be valid?  How does funding
> influence the legitimacy of representation, i.e. are community-funded
> representatives more valid than
> those funded by governments or institutions?
>  Are there different levels of rigor for representative
> multistakeholderism appropriate depending on
> whether it is for administrative/facilitation functions versus supporting
> statements of position on issues?
> e.g., it is relatively straightforward for myself (or the ARIN Board of
> Trustees depending on the context)
> to assert _ARIN's_ position on an issue but only to the extent that the
> position is germane to ARIN's ability
> to fulfill its mission.  Representation of the 4500+ ARIN members on
> Internet topics beyond that scope
> isn't generally appropriate without first conducting some member
> consultation and dialogue on the topic.
>  To the extent that the 1net coordinating committee undertakes duties
> beyond administration and more
> towards 1net output development, these questions about methodical
> representation become rather
> important; further, given that many folks on this list are likely more
> familiar with the "open multistakeholder"
> model of outcome development (such as practiced in the IETF or in RIR
> address policy development), it
> would be useful to have some additional insight into what exactly
> "representative multistakeholderism" is...

Is there an up-to-date reference document you could point to regarding the
"open multistakeholder" model or any other similar model? I have been
thinking about these questions, too from the moment it became clear to me
that people have issues with the empirical definition of stakeholder
(whatever that might be) through the proxy of recognizing a person as from
one or another stakeholder group. We all know people may relate to more
than one stakeholder group, and I personally don't like relying too much on
labels when it comes to human beings. And yet, there seems to be a tension
in embracing "multistakeholderism" while rejecting the need to structure
stakeholders, precisely for the purposes of facilitating recognition and

Arguably, there is an alternate solution which lies in direct democracy
without the need for any structuring of the stakeholders: participates
whoever can and the best outcome will trickle up. I'm not sure how
practical and feasible that model is beyond certain scale, but in any case
it might be better called open/ participatory direct democracy or something
like that rather some name that involves the notion of stakeholder. So, the
question for me is this: Can we argue for and build an alternate model
still having to do with the existence and recognition of multiple
stakeholders, yet with different and innovative ways of organizing
participation and representation, or shall we reject all-things-stakeholder
and for what? I wanted to write a blog about that, so I'd appreciate any
relevant pointers to ideas one could build on.


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