[discuss] What is MSism?

Avri Doria avri at acm.org
Wed Apr 16 11:38:01 UTC 2014


On 16-Apr-14 04:20, Pranesh Prakash wrote:
> In the absence of stakeholder groups, the usage of the word
> "multistakeholder" is a bit strange.

This is what I find problematic.

I think that first there are stakeholders (which I define as affected
people with an interest who involve themselves). In many cases those
stakeholders form into groups that have particular affinities, interests
and concerns.  But the stakeholder groups are secondary to the existence
of stakeholders. First you have stakeholders, they then group themselves
into stakeholder groups.

One of the problems we have had since the Tunis Agenda is the artificial
division of humanity into 3 (or was it 4) government designated
stakeholder groups. This left stakeholders scrambling to fit into one
designation or another.  This is not the way it happens in the world.
We even saw that in the formation of the /1net, several stakeholder
groups indicated they were not part of the named groups, yet were part
of global grouping.  Strict use of government designated stakeholder
groups sometimes become an exclusionary mechanism.  What counts is the
stakeholders, not the way we group them.  That is secondary.

ICANN did not call itself multistakeholder at first because the term was
not being used.  With the advent of IGF and its call for improvements in
ICANN and elsewhere, organizations started considering themselves
multistakeholder and even took the advice coming out of the IGF,
circumspect as it might have been about giving advice.  But if you look
at ICANN's stakeholder group designations you notice that they do not
match government established groupings.  Yet many are accepting that
ICANN is multistakeholder.  I certainly think it is a multstakeholder

The IETF did not call itself multistakeholder because the term was not
being used.  And in fact within the IETF today there is an argument to
what extent it is a multistakeholder group.  I am one of the IETF
participants who do see it as a multistakeholder entity because it is a
group of stakeholders working together despite the different grouping
they may belong to in the rest of life.  To use an old expression, these
people come from all walks of life: government workers, corporate
employees, independent professionals, academics, advocates etc. Most all
all would fit into at least one of the government designed stakeholder
groups, some may fit into several.  I would also argue that within the
IETF there are stakeholder groupings or a sort, but not along the Tunis
Agenda defined lines, nor even along the lines ICANN uses, rather along
technical area divisions. These grouping that get quite insular, have
their own forms of thought and their own points of view and appear, to
me, to be quite similar to stakeholder groups.

[Aisde: I would require a better analysis of the nature of stakeholder
groups qua qroups to call these technical area interest aggregations,
stakeholder groups, but I do theoretically put the technical layer
organization of the population of the IETF into the category of
stakeholder groups.]

In short first we have stakeholders.
Only later do we have stakeholder groups
and the various number of stakeholder groups
is greater than {3, 4 or 5}.


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