All posts by Roberto Gaetano

Report from the Chair to the General Assembly of the Association

Dear Members,

I would like to share some considerations about the status of the Association.

First of all, the numbers: as you can see on our web site https://individualusers.org/our-members-community/ we have 79 members and 5 observers. These numbers are by far the highest across RALOs.

Besides the numbers, we should note that among our members we have people that are very active in the ICANN community, and also people in leadership positions, including ICANN Board and PTI Board.

So we can say that our Association, thanks to our members, is playing an important role in the ICANN community, and in particular for the At-Large. But we must ask ourselves one question: what does our Association for favouring and supporting the participation of our members? In short, are we providing an added value to the sum of individualities of our members?

My personal answer is no. I would love to be proven wrong, but there is not much that we add, as organization, to the achievement of our members, with the possible exception of the simple fact that we provide a “home” for them that they may not find in other parts of the ICANN community.

The follow up question is whether we should provide more – or whether what we do is just what is expected from us. Corollary question is whether our members had expectations that were not fulfilled by joining our association. In other words, is there something that we should do, or at least do better, in order to provide an added value?

Once we have an answer to the questions above, we will be better placed to figure out the implications for our current way to operate. For instance, what role and purpose has the web site? What should be the content of it, in order to make it an useful tool rather that being just a repository – and not even timely updated – for information about our Association? Actually, do we really need to have a web site or will this be a wasted effort? Also our internal mailing list does not seem to be very active. With the requirement of having all EURALO Individual Members subscribed to the public EURALO discuss list euro-discuss@atlarge-lists.icann.org do we still need a list for our members? I personally believe we still do, but would like to hear the opinion of the members. And there are even more questions that we should ask ourselves – but first of all we must understand the role that we have as an association for individual members.

I believe that time is ripe for a change. Since the early days in which our founding members started this initiative much has changed. For instance, the need for having individual members to provide additional resources for achieving the At-Large goals has been recognised. A working party has been tasked to formulate recommendations to formalise participation of individual users and to mobilise more resources from the user community worldwide. The UIM-WP – see https://community.icann.org/display/atlarge/Unaffiliated+Individuals+Mobilization+Working+Party – has produced these recommendations, approved by ALAC in March 2021. We are still struggling to having them implemented, but besides formal implementation I believe that this is the time for rethinking our structure – so our 2022 General Assembly is happening at the right moment.

I will send in a separate message a reminder of the requirements for RALO Individual Members – this is the formal title that is given to individual users – but can anticipate that there is nothing that would sound “strange”. All requirements are what could be reasonably expected. However, it is good to have a wide discussion so that there is a full understanding of the new rules.

Cheers,
Roberto

Message from the Chair

Dear Members,

In the past years we have seen a huge growth in the membership, as of today we have 78 members and 5 observers – see https://individualusers.org/our-members-community/.

However, while a lot of our members are active in the ICANN community, there is little added value that our association brings. Initially, the idea was to use our communication tools (blog, email, etc.) to share information and discuss ideas – time has shown that the communication and discussion happens using different vehicles, like for instance the Discussion for At-Large Europe euro-discuss@atlarge-lists.icann.org mailing list.

In the meantime, the Unaffiliated Individual Members Working Party (UIM-WP) has provided recommendations, approved by ALAC, to make more efficient use of the limited resources and to better mobilise the individual members that we have in each RALO. Some of the recommendations include:

  • formalise the application process giving an active role to At-Large Staff
  • define minimum requirements for RALO Individual Members
  • define obligations for RALO Individual Members

The rules of our association are by and large aligned with these recommendations, but we need to discuss the situation and formally do some changes. I am planning to use F2F time at ICANN75 to trim the details and call for a General Meeting of the Association as part of the EURALO 2022 Days, scheduled for 8-10 November 2022.

I will circulate a bullet point list of the items to be addressed to comply with the ALAC approved recommendations and we can discuss different options, as the recommendations leave margins for implementations by different RALOs.

I am also publishing this message in our blog.

Best regards,

Roberto

Annual General Meeting 2019

EuroDIG – The Hague – 19 June 2019

The meeting opened at 12:45 local time – 10:45 UTC.

The Chair invited the attendees to introduce themselves. There were also several observers. No remote attendees.

The Chair briefly summarised the status of the Association, addressing the following points:

  • in the last elections of the board we had only three candidates for five seats – Roberto, Dina, and Fotjon were elected;
  • the Association now counts 50 members and 6 observers, with one applicant in the approval process.

No question or comments were made

The Chair presented a few proposals for the next year, that are:

  • to have more flexible procedures, less decisions by the Board and more interaction with the membership;
  • improve outreach, using all opportunities to present the Association to potentially new members interested in participating to the ICANN processes – events at which outreach can be successful include IGF (global, regional and national) – need for presentation materials, including flyers.

Olivier, EURALO Chair, took the floor. He said that his mandate will end at the ICANN meeting in Montreal. He then focused on funding part and mentioned that we are not always optimising the use of CROP, and some time we miss opportunities. One way to improve is to share CROP information on all mailing lists and make sure that the EURALO event calendar is always up-to-date.

Matthias stated that we should provide better information on how to subscribe to mailing lists and proposes to have this accessible on our web site.

A discussion took place on Universal Acceptance. It was clarified that the issue is not only related to IDN, although those represent the most visible example. It was argued that Internet Users, and therefore also our Association, can play a fundamental role detecting and reporting the cases in which valid addresses are not accepted by some operators. This is something that our members could commit doing.

Olivier reports that EURALO has 36 ALSes, but added that more important than the total numbers is the number of active members.

The Chair summarised the discussion and added the following:

  • we definitively need to redesign the web site, but this requires resources;
  • people interested in Universal Acceptance should subscribe to the ALAC IDN WG, that under the chairmanship of Satish Babu is currently extending its scope to cover multilingualism and UA;
  • we need more volunteers for different tasks in our association, for instance as website management, maybe a call for volunteers should be made.

The Chair closed the meeting at 14:00 local time – 12:00 UTC – mentioning the upcoming meeting in Marrakesh and the possibility to meet some of our members there.

2018 Multistakeholder Ethos Award Honors Stéphane Van Gelder

PANAMA CITY – 25 June 2018 – The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is honored to announce the recipient of the 2018 Multistakeholder Ethos Award. This year, the community selection panel posthumously recognized a long-time member of the ICANN community: Stéphane Van Gelder. The award was presented today at ICANN62 in Panama City to Stéphane Van Gelder’s wife Julie Talfournier Van Gelder.

Please find the complete article here.

EuroDIG planning meeting

The EuroDIG planning meeting has been held in Tbilisi earlier this month.
Our member Raphaël Beauregard-Lacroix has timely produced these summary notes that I am posting now, apologising for the delay.
Please be aware that the bullet point notes do not cover the whole session but only the part that Raphaël has attended remotely, but you can find a recording of the morning here and the afternoon here.

  • Youth Participation: it is not about separating young and old, but empowering young people and helping them build their confidence so that they can intervene and participate during EuroDIG
  • Start ups participation: it is difficult to engage them, so there will be more efforts on that side for this year. This observation can be extended to private sector in general.
  • High level speakers: there must be some high level speakers to attract a certain type of crowd, and they will usually not participate in a standard panel or workshop. They will have their own 10 min with all attention, but we still limit the number of that kind of speeches.
  • Side events: not much opportunity to hold pre or side-events because of the lack of room in Georgia this year.
  • Hot topic session on Day 0: Saving some space in the programme for new developments of IG that we cannot foresee as of now (precedent of Snowden revelations and sudden rise of surveillance as a topic)
  • Flash sessions: no recording, no microphone. Short in time, “punchy”. There are currently more proposals for flash sessions than slots, but it usually sorts itself out since many do not want their topic to be a flash session.
  • Keynote: there will be a head of state, but as of now no one is confirmed. Maria Gabriel from the EC is almost confirmed.
  • GDPR: Was meant to be covered in an educational session first. There were discussions as to what kind of format GDPR should be presented as. No consensus during the meeting, besides the fact that it should not be (only) an educational session. The EuroDIG secretariat will make a decision on that matter.
  • Schedule organisation: lots of discussion on how to organise the schedule and format the sessions, with workshops, plenaries, keynotes, and open mic. The point being to maintain the interactivity and maybe come up with new formats, such as a debate or “targeted” open mic.
  • Blockchain session(s): EurodDIG secretariat will reach out to a blockchain expert, possibly outside the “circles” of EuroDIG, in order to act as a focal point to help the secretariat organise and manage the session(s) on blockchain.
  • Eurodig principles: several principles, same as previous years. Note that max 5 speakers per plenaries, and they do not recommend speakers in workshops. They use the term “key participants” for workshops rather than speakers.
  • Wiki and session logistics: It was decided that the wiki would serve as a “kitchen” in order to help the org teams for each session organise, while there would be some form of front page, that would feature the highlights of EuroDIG and help private sector and NGO participants justify their participation. The wiki is usually not edited early enough for that, and it is not possible to “force” people and organising teams to edit it. The EuroDIG secretariat also emphasised the difficulty of being very strict with deadlines. One participant was very adamant that the secretariat should be more strict with deadlines. Another participant stressed that having the wiki page for plenary sessions empty up to 1 month before looks bad upon the conference.
  • Venue: Rooms Hotel has been confirmed.
  • Final agenda: will be circulated by the secretariat in the coming weeks, after which organising teams can start to set up the sessions in more details. As a reminder, it is open to everyone to join the organising team of any session, and default emails are provided by the secretariat for that matter (which redirect to the session’s focal point’s email)

 

Board of the Association

Please find below a copy of the message that the outgoing Chair has sent to the membership after the election of the Board of our association.

Dear Association Colleague, this is to inform you that the elected members of the new Board held an online consultation, which ended on 4 November evening. A unanimous decision appointed:

  • Chair: Roberto Gaetano
  • Vice Chair: Jean-Jacques Subrenat
  • Secretary: Fotjon Kosta
  • Board member: Olawale Bakare

This decision will come into effect on 5 November 2017 at 00:01 UTC.

Please find more details about the Board of our association in this page.