ALAC Chair Reports to Seoul Meeting on At-Large Activities in 2009
Cheryl Langdon-Orr, ALAC Chair, reported on the activities of ALAC and At-Large during 2009 at the 36th International ICANN meeting in Seoul today during the Supporting Organisation ("SO") and Advisory Committee ("AC") Chair Reports segment of the Public Forum.
A transcript of her comments, and those of the other SO and AC chairs may be found at http://sel.icann.org/node/6750. Her written report is reproduced below in full.
The Individual Internet User's Voice in ICANN
October 30th 2009.
Report from the Chair of the At-Large Advisory Committee, to the 36th Meeting of ICANN, in Seoul.
The level of engagement from our At-Large community has dramatically increased so far this year, as it had throughout the whole of 2008; in that year there were 13 Advisories to the Board, public comments from the community, or other official communications from the At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC). So far in 2009 there have been 22 (a 69 percent increase) – and the year is far from over! For those of you who wish at any time to track our policy activities, the At-Large Policy Advice Development Schedule is a living document that lists all commitments and tracks all changes.
In addition the 'core business' of the monthly meetings of the ALAC and of the 5 Regional organisations, regular community briefing calls and/or webinars on topics under public comment, there are other monthly meetings on some of our schedules. We are pleased to see that ALAC and At-Large are now increasingly a part of cross-community working groups on subjects from ccTLD-IDN-PDP, through Geographic Regions Review, new gTLDs, Post Expiry Domain Name Recovery (PENDR) and of course the all important RAA and registrant issues.
During this time the formal structure of our community has continued to grow. With 12 Internet end-user groups, known as At-Large Structures (ALSes) joining our 5 geographic Regional At-Large Organisations (RALO's) so far this year, with three more in process (and I believe another one being generated during this meeting based on the interaction and interchange between our community and the ICANN Fellows), this is a community growth since my last annual report of over 10 percent. At-Large is a very diverse community; if you are interested in seeing this graphically there's a map showing the location of all ALSes on http://www.atlarge.icann.org/maps/combined .
At this meeting we trust you all will have noticed the active participation where appropriate and the in-room presence of the ALAC and Regional Leadership and all reports back to our communities and for the record another online document / collaborative tool of record is here:
Planning and Resource Allocation - who is covering which non-At-Large sessions during Seoul and Reporting Back
You may ask: to what do we attribute the dramatic increase in engagement? We believe the answer is clear: the At-Large Summit held in Mexico City this year. Simply put, the Summit has proven that if you make a serious effort at increasing the capacity of the existing grassroots to understand complex issues and how to effectively contribute to policy development within the ICANN environment, the results you get will greatly exceed your expectations.
One of the most significant aspects of our current work plan is the implementation of the At-Large Review Implementation and we particularly valued our meeting here in Seoul with the Structural Improvements Committee where we reviewed our planning processes and project timelines and received feedback on key aspects such as the process for appointment of our At-Large Director.
This is of course all the product of an extraordinary group of volunteers, who in our community rarely have a connection with their ‘normal' purpose or their "day job" and the specific work of ICANN. They passionately believe that the public interest, benefits and future for global Internet users, both online now and those who are yet to have the opportunity, is directly advantaged by the representations made by them, both individually and collectively, into ICANN processes and policy development.
I'd like to take a moment to recognise a few of these: with the Annual General Meeting today the following ALAC Members have been replaced by either NomCom appointment or direct Regional election:
- Africa NomCom appointed Fatimata Seye Sylla 2 (Senegal),
- Asia Pacific NomCom appointed Nguyen Thu Hue 2 (Vietnam),
- Latin America and Caribbean NomCom appointed Vanda Scartezini 2 (Brazil)
- LACRALO elected José Ovidio Salgueiro 3 (Venezuela)
Our thanks and appreciation goes to each of these amazing people and the images and notes from our farewell to them during our wrap up session yesterday will be posted on our web site soon.
We now most warmly welcome as their replacements:
- Africa NomCom appointed Dave Kissoondoyal (Mauritius),
- Asia Pacific NomCom appointed James Seng (Malaysia),
- Latin America and Carribbean NomCom appointed Carlton Samuels (Trinidad and Tobago)
- LACRALO elected Sylvia Herlein Leite (Brazil)
José has been appointed to the ICANN Nominating Committee, so we see him in a role of continuity of service, as of course we also do for Vanda who has been elected by ALAC to replace Wendy Seltzer as our Liaison to the ICANN Board. Wendy has served us in this role for two years now and as she takes up her formal role as an NCUC elected/appointed GNSO Councillor we wish her well, thank her for all the work she has done on our behalf (in particular with the At-Large Summit) and look forward to continuing to work with her in her new role.
James has been appointed as the ALAC IDN Policy Liaison a role he is eminently suitable for (we see ourselves as privileged that he has joined our Committee) and replaces Sivasubramanian Muthusamy , who we thank most sincerely for energy enthusiasm and work that he has done, in this role over the last 12 months.
Elected officers of the ALAC for the coming year are:
- Chair – Cheryl Langdon-Orr
- Vice-Chairs: Sébastien Bachollet and Alan Greenberg
- Rapporteur: Carlton Samuels
AFRALO will advise us of their appointment to the Executive Committee to complete regional representation in the next few days
ALAC Liaisons for the coming year are:
- Board – Vanda Scartezini
- ccNSO – Rudi Vansnick
- GNSO – Alan Greenberg
- SSAC – Patrick Vande Walle
- IDN Policy – James Seng
- GNSO NCUC Constituency – Wolf Ludwig (also EURALO Chair)
As all of us in ICANN begin the process of planning for the next fiscal year, we should keep that in mind: the combination of travel support and capacity development of the community is a powerful driver of engagement. We could do far worse as a community than to increase the resources devoted to this area – not just for At-Large but for all communities. But in doing so we should work together to look for leverage points and opportunities to share resources and efforts, where possible with regional activities, outreach materials projects and activities being designed to meet the needs and be inclusive of the wider ICANN Community and its stakeholders.
Finally our most sincere thanks, appreciation and recognition must go to the ICANN staff that assist us and facilitate our essential role... The work of the At-Large staff: Nick Ashton-Hart, Heidi Ullrich, Matthias Langenegger and Gisella Gruber-White needs to be formally reported as going ‘far beyond' the call of duty, as a team they literally provide a 24 x 7 support mechanism to all parts of our community from the potential organisational or individual interested in getting involved, to the ALSes both during and after their formal establishment, to meeting the needs of the 5 RALO's severally and collectively and of course the ALAC itself; our heartfelt appreciation for what they do can never be expressed, in my opinion, adequately enough.
ALAC Chair 2007-2010