[CCWG-ACCT] A Blog about a CCWG Participant!

Grace Abuhamad grace.abuhamad at icann.org
Tue Apr 14 21:37:13 UTC 2015

Original link: https://www.icann.org/news/blog/accepting-the-icann-challenge
Accepting the ICANN Challenge
For newcomers, their introduction to ICANN can be overwhelming. Our
structures and processes can appear incomprehensible; our website
information difficult to decipher; our annual meetings a maze of complex
issues; our community constituencies might look impenetrable.
Many have taken advantage of ICANN's Newcomer and Fellowship programs to
ease their entry into this unique world. And if you are a first timer,
uncertain whether you can handle the challenge, understand that all of us
were new to ICANN at some point.
But Arun Sukumar has taken that challenge a step further.
Arun is a lawyer and a senior fellow at the Centre for Communications
Governance at the National Law University in Dehli, India.  He had never
been to an ICANN meeting until ICANN 52 in Singapore in February. He
described his experience as "a voice in the wilderness". "Personally, I have
found that it takes a whole lot of warming up to", Arun said. But he wasn't
I met Arun in Istanbul in March, at the two-day meeting of the Cross
Community Working Group tasked with developing proposals to enhance ICANN's
Accountability - a necessary process running parallel to the IANA
Stewardship Transition work. When the processes began and ICANN encouraged
broad participation from beyond the traditional ICANN communities, Arun
accepted that challenge as well and joined the CCWG Accountability as one of
135 participants.  The Istanbul meeting was the first time he had met face
to face with the other members and participants of the CCWG.
During one of the work breaks, Arun agreed to sit down and talk with me on
camera. He explained that the National Law University in Dehli supports his
travel for participation in ICANN. His job is to report back to those
stakeholders in India who can't afford to attend ICANN meetings, to make
them broadly aware of what ICANN is all about. Arun said there is great
interest in India in the role ICANN plays in Internet governance, and
particularly in the IANA stewardship transition and ICANN accountability
Before attending the meeting in Istanbul, Arun participated in the CCWG
discussions online. He raised questions about the role of the independent
advisors in the CCWG, about ICANN's Mission Statement and Core Values.
But Arun admitted, his entry into ICANN hasn't been easy.
"To be frank, it has been an uphill task to be part of the institutional
culture of ICANN, to be an active participant in ICANN discussions, because
I have found that there are some concerns about diversity that ICANN has to
address immediately, especially around the context of the IANA transition".
But Arun also said he had established a rapport with several CCWG members
and participants online and that during the face to face meeting in Istanbul
he found it easy to communicate ideas with the group "even though they may
not be entirely acceptable to people sitting across the table".
When the Istanbul meeting ended on that second day and most members and
participants had left the room, I noticed Arun had not. He was standing with
two others from the group, listening for the most part, as they offered
suggestions on community constituencies that might interest him and how he
could further ease his entry into ICANN, reminding him that they too once
were newcomers.
The full video interview with Arun Sukumar can be found here
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhmtNi4M6tc> .

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