[Ssr2-review] Role of observers and ways of participating

dmb at donblumenthal.com dmb at donblumenthal.com
Sat Jun 10 15:40:27 UTC 2017

I generally agree with James. I have no problem consulting with people who have specific expertise, as we do in SSAC periodically, but have misgivings about the mini-contract concept. 

From: James Gannon
Sent: Saturday, June 10, 2017 5:23 AM
To: Emily Taylor; SSR2
Subject: Re: [Ssr2-review] Role of observers and ways of participating

Hi Emily,

So I was under the impression that they were able to see the adobe room already no, with the exception of the adobe chat which was internal to the RT.

As for the other 3 options I would be reticent to give posting or speaking rights to observers as it does risk blurring the lines, the RTs were setup in a very specific way for a reason and as I have noted before we are a very understaffed RT with only 15 out of a possible 21 members appointed. As such I think a better approach if we have an observer who wishes to be active is to go back to the SOACs and ask for their appointment to the RT into one of the remaining slots.

If we have gaps in skillset or diversity on the RT that we need to fill then I think the onus is on us to go back to the bylaws which state

The chairs of the Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees participating in the applicable review shall select a group of up to 21 review team members from among the prospective members nominated by the Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees, balanced for diversity and skill.

Alternatively for those observers with specific skillsets, could we look at the option of retaining them as external advisors for a small fee on the key topics that they may wish to engage on, and to which they would bring a valuable perspective?

I want to note for the observers, many of whom are good friends of mine actually, that this is not a slight against them in any way, but rather I think its important to maintain the distinction between ‘silent’ observers and RT members, as such I’m open to creative ideas on how not to break the status quo while getting better inputs into the RT work in an informal way from observers.

Also my apologies for being quiet recently, I am undergoing a massive restructuring at work so my life is a bit messy right now!!


From: ssr2-review-bounces at icann.org [mailto:ssr2-review-bounces at icann.org] On Behalf Of Emily Taylor
Sent: 10 June 2017 09:53
To: SSR2 <ssr2-review at icann.org>
Subject: [Ssr2-review] Role of observers and ways of participating

Dear all

As mentioned by me on the last call, I have received some feedback that participating as an observer to this Team is not particularly straightforward.  There is a sense that observers are fairly firewalled from the discussions on calls (I understand that they are not able to see the adobe room for example), and this can make it difficult to follow the discussions. There is also no direct way for them to raise input in real time, either in our calls or through remote participation in the face to face calls.

Here are a few questions from me, to stimulate discussions on the list:

-  Shall we keep arrangements as they are, with regard to observer participations?

If you are open to changing the current arrangements, consider the following options. 

-  Able to see Adobe Room during calls
-  Able to participate in Adobe Room chat 
- Able to speak on calls by raising hand Adobe Room
- Able to join in list discussions (perhaps with some designation as 'observer')

Please let me know your thoughts, and of course any other options I may have missed.

Personally, I feel that we have a small group of Team Members and a small group who wish to be Observers. In my opinion we should make our processes transparent and encourage active participation from interested parties.  If we start to feel swamped or overwhelmed by Observer input, that will be a different problem which we can review if it arises.



Emily Taylor
CEO, Oxford Information Labs
Associate Fellow, Chatham House; Editor, Journal of Cyber Policy

Magdalen Centre, Oxford OX4 4GA | T: 01865 582885 
E: emily.taylor at oxil.co.uk | D: 01865 582811 | M: +44 7540 049322
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