[Internal-cg] IETF assessment

Alissa Cooper alissa at cooperw.in
Tue Feb 3 02:42:37 UTC 2015

Hi Milton,

A few thoughts below.

On Feb 1, 2015, at 3:41 PM, Milton L Mueller <mueller at syr.edu> wrote:

>> -----Original Message-----
>> From my perspective the
>> assessments are primarily an internal tool for the ICG and may come from
>> multiple people. There is an official result that the ICG needs to agree on, but
>> it is the separate conclusion on whether we need to ask something from that
>> community or not. Does this view of the process make sense, or do you want
>> to do something else?
> I agree that the assessments are for our internal use, primarily, but of course as they are exchanged on an open list others can see them, which is good. It would be good to have an accepted assessment for the ICG as a whole. In the IETF case I deliberately went into some detail describing the process issues because I wanted to set the bar a bit higher than others had done regarding how we assess the proposals. That does not mean there is a huge problem with the IETF proposal, only that we need to be very clear-eyed about what happened and how it happened. This is better than just  rubber stamping things. To answer your question directly, any decision to ask a community for something should be based on an agreed, mutual assessment by the ICG. However, I would think that sending questions to an operational community would not require full consensus - if a significant group within ICG wants a question answered, I think we should let them ask it even if we don't share the same c
> oncern.

I would be concerned if we went down this path because the community consensus processes can require significant effort and resources. For example, if the IETF community needs to come to consensus about answers to questions that we ask (not sure if they do or will, just using it as an example), that involves a substantial number of steps, calls for input, reviews by area directors, etc. I don’t think it’s fair to put the communities in a position where they have to run those processes multiple different times to address questions received by different factions of the ICG. I think it is our responsibility to figure out if we collectively have questions to ask and assemble those in a single response to each community. Of course, there is no reason to leave out a question in such a response that a bunch of us want to see answered.

Furthermore, I think it is that response that we need to agree on within the ICG — not necessarily a single assessment sheet per community. Having one or more assessment sheets is very helpful, but I think if we’re going to work towards some output from this step of the process, our time is better spent figuring out if we have any questions for the community and what those are, rather than perfecting an assessment sheet.

>> Please be very careful in setting the bar for open and inclusive processes
> I think the IETF process was very open but struggled with inclusiveness. There is a distinction between the two. 
> To illustrate the distinction, imagine a process that is open in principle but a large and vocal faction of old-timers tells newcomers that their opinions don't count. One could question the inclusiveness, not the openness. Or imagine an organization or process dominated by men that says, "we are open to participation by women" and does indeed let them in, but then uses various mechanisms to marginalize and exclude the woman who were brave enough to participate. Again one could question the inclusiveness, not the openness. I am making a conceptual point here, not a concrete accusation. ;-) 

I just want to note here that the ideals of open participation and complete inclusivity can be in tension. Under circumstances where anyone is allowed to participate in any manner they wish, it’s quite difficult to prevent Participant A from telling Participant B that his opinion doesn’t count — or foreclosing Participant A’s contributions of any sort -- because that involves limiting how Participant A engages in the process.

In any case, in the context of the IETF proposal, I saw discussion on the basis of ideas, not on the basis of who was offering those ideas. There were pronounced agreements and disagreements among long-time participants, between newcomers and long-time participants, and among newcomers. Some ideas ended up in the rough. All pretty standard stuff in my experience.


> _______________________________________________
> Internal-cg mailing list
> Internal-cg at icann.org
> https://mm.icann.org/mailman/listinfo/internal-cg

More information about the Internal-cg mailing list