[discuss] Selection RE: 1Net, Brazil and other RE: BR meeting site launched
gurstein at gmail.com
Wed Jan 15 23:41:14 UTC 2014
Thank you for your comments and let me reply inline.
From: Vladimir Radunovic [mailto:vladar at diplomacy.edu]
Sent: Thursday, January 16, 2014 1:50 AM
To: 'michael gurstein'
Cc: discuss at 1net.org
Subject: Selection RE: [discuss] 1Net, Brazil and other RE: BR meeting site
I have missed that question with a purpose - there have been lots of
discussions on that, and in this thread I wanted to raise some other issues
for discussion as well.
[MG>] yes, there has been some discussion on the issues that I've raised but
so far no one from the 1net Steering Committee, 1net, the groups
self-selecting for the Steering Committee, or the groups self-nominating for
the self-selecting groups for the Nominating Committee have provided any
rationale or argument in support of what I think is an unsupportable
I owe you my views on the issue of SC legitimacy as well, nevertheless:
While I am not acquainted with the details of the selection process, I am
aware from discussions that it was not perfect.
[MG>] If you aren't aware of the selection process, that suggests that there
may not have been one. basically it was a few mates sitting in a circle and
saying who from our circle shall we get to front this one
Yet I do find it a solid base for improvements for future occasions, as for
once civil society managed to come up with something to further work on.
[MG>] no, a self-selected group purporting to represent Civil Society but in
fact only representing primarily themselves came up with something again
primarily to serve themselves
Selecting the civil society representatives is a complex issue, I am aware,
as one can't use classic "representational democracy" model -
instead, we need to focus on searching for persons with and credibility,
experience, skills and knowledge that hopefully have strong support among
the CS groups =
[MG>] and who apart from these self-selected groups determined that this
particular group of individuals had the degree of integrity and credibility,
experience, skills and knowledge and only they had the required
characteristics. certainly being self-selected from the self-selected CS
groups they had strong support but since the circle was closed it is hard to
accept or know whether they had strong support from anyone else or whether
anyone else could have been found who had more support or better filled the
those persons we believe will fairly represent diversity of views that
exist in CS.
[MG>] what possible basis do you have for that belief. I see no
participation from Indigenous Peoples, people with Disabilities, poor
people's organizations, actual Internet users (and non-users) as opposed to
those talking about the use of the Internet by others-those are the people
of whom CS overwhelming consists and I see no basis to believe that the
current self-appointed group in any way "represents" their views among other
in the "diversity that exist in CS".
My confidence in this selection process came from my confidence in the
nominating committee members and their integrity and credibility.
[MG>] I'm delighted that you have confidence in those who chose you and in
the self-selected group of which your own organization is an active member.
and the other of those organizations who equally chose their own members for
these positions, but so far you have given no arguments why anyone else
beyond that circle should share your confidence and in the absence of any
reasonable arguments you have further undermined any reason for anyone
beyond your narrow circle(s) to accept this
If they made mistakes as you say, I believe that - and doom me for that or
call me naive - it was not with mal intention and it is something they and
all of us can work on in future to improve. In all the circumstances I do
think that the SC is legitimate, though admitting the selection process
needs improvements. With all this, I do hope that also you believe in my
personal integrity and credibility to represent you and diversity of CS
views in the SC; if not, I will give my best to show that you should - and
please help me do that by both criticizing and supporting my takes.
[MG>] Vlada, I don't know you directly and thus I can have no opinion on
your integrity etc.
But let me be quite direct.
The Community Informatics community recently and in the context of the
Brazil meeting published a Declaration
<http://ci-journal.net/index.php/ciej/article/view/1099/1065> . That
Declaration has now been signed on to by dozens of organizations globally
including the Indigenous ICT Task Force, Telecommunities Canada, the First
Mile Institute (New Mexico), Women be Free (Benin), the global P2P
Foundation, the International Alliance on Information for All, the Open
Technology Institute (USA), the RCM Participatory Foundation (Italy) and
over 100 individuals including the Founding Director of Siyafunda (South
Africa), the head of the Global Community Network Initiative (Austria), the
UNESCO Chair at the University of Strasbourg, a leading official of the
Broadband Commission, and a very very broad band of grassroots ICT
activists, academics and just plain users from all parts of the world.
However, from a fairly close observation not one of those currently active
in IG CS and certainly none of those who have been currently nominated for
positions representing either civil society or academia have chosen to
endorse this Declaration.
Of course, you and your colleagues in these positions can choose to endorse
whatever you like but since none of you have chosen to endorse the
Declaration of the Community Informatics community don't purport to say that
you are fully representative of civil society of which the CI community is
most definitely a part (unless you and your colleagues choose a definition
where only those who you folks designate as CS can in fact be CS) or that
you represent the diversity of CS positions. That is totally and manifestly
The Declaration points to issues and norms that we feel need to be expressed
in the context of the Brazil meeting and from what I have seen I have
absolutely no confidence that unless we are given an opportunity to be
represented at all levels in the planning of the event that many of those
issues will not in fact be presented for discussion and the voices of those
whose lived reality underlie those issues will have no opportunity to be
I must say further that I find this to be particularly outrageous since the
Declaration's concerns for the distributional effects of the Internet so
closely mirror the actions of President Rousseff and her party in Brazil
having undertaken social and distributional programs which have moved 10s of
millions of her fellow citizens out of poverty. The concerns of the
Community Informatics community in ensuring that the Internet is an element
in similarly ensuring the widest possible distribution of economic benefits
and similarly in advocating measures to overcome any inequalities that might
be arising as a result of the differential distribution of benefits arising
from the transformations that the Internet is bringing about need to be
heard as part of the upcoming meeting. And I have absolutely no confidence
or reason to have confidence that any of those currently representing "civil
society" will in fact present those concerns among others.
Vlada, I acknowledge and have considerable respect for the individuals and
organizations and for the concerns that they represent of which apparently
you are now the spokesperson. I wonder what might be the motivation to not
accord my colleagues and I and the concerns that we are presenting the same
degree of acknowledgement and respect.
From: michael gurstein [mailto:gurstein at gmail.com]
Sent: 15 January 2014 17:04
To: 'Vladimir Radunovic'; discuss at 1net.org
Subject: RE: [discuss] 1Net, Brazil and other RE: BR meeting site launched
It seems to me that you have missed the first and most significant question
which needs to be asked i.e. on what basis do you derive the legitimacy to
undertake any of the tasks as indicated in your subsequent questions.
Contra Milton, you cannot simply pull this legitimacy and authority to act
out of the air, assume it by some form of divine right, seize it through the
de facto occupancy of some type of electronic space or other similarly
Your legitimacy has in this instance, to come from the identification of a
constituency who, through a set of agreed upon procedures have granted you
that legitimacy to act on their behalf so long as your actions are
consistent with those procedures. In this case, you (or rather your
nominators) have misidentified your constituency (as being representative of
all of CS as a stakeholder group), failed to identify a set of appropriate
procedures on the basis of which your legitimacy could be granted
(appropriately transparent and accountable selection procedures for your
individual nominations) and only function on the basis of an external body
(1net) having accorded you legitimacy even though they themselves quite
evidently lack any form of legitimacy as per the above .
From: discuss-bounces at 1net.org [mailto:discuss-bounces at 1net.org] On Behalf
Of Vladimir Radunovic
Sent: Wednesday, January 15, 2014 10:07 PM
To: discuss at 1net.org
Subject: [discuss] 1Net, Brazil and other RE: BR meeting site launched
ahead of the first (and constitutive) meeting of the 1Net Steering committee
in the following days, and thinking about the substantial questions related
to 1Net (many been discussed already on this list), please share your views
on the following:
1. How do you see the role and potentials of 1Net? What should be its
task in a wider IG context?
(Taking into account the discussed views that it might have been started
with particular intentions and following particular interests, but now
providing (or hoping) that 1Net would be able to resist these and gradually
establish its legitimacy in the wider community)
2. What should be the role of 1Net towards major IG fora - IGF, ICANN,
ITU, and other?
3. What relation should 1Net have with the Brazil meeting?
The Brazilian organisers suggested in a press release (and as Anja
clarified: 1Net has not been consulted on nor has decided on any of these,
so we can only understand this as suggestions) several roles for 1Net,
including the "partnership" in organising the Brazil event... Should 1Net be
a partner, and if so how should it contribute to Brazil meeting (and how it
I am sure all the members of the Steering Committee would appreciate variety
of views on these.
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