[council] GNSO Council meet and greet?

William Drake william.drake at graduateinstitute.ch
Thu Sep 17 09:09:14 UTC 2009


I'm of course fine with the dinner, but like Avri and Mary question  
the advisability of starting the week with an airing of grievances (or  
as Adrian put it, pet hates).  While such a ritual is mandatory for  
kicking off a Festivus (who'd bring the pole?), for a GNSO meeting it  
strikes me as singularly awful institutional design, particularly  
now.  It will foul the air, not clear it, and set us off on the wrong  
course with conflicts foremost in our minds at a meeting when we're  
supposedly launching a new and improved collaboration people worked  
long and hard to devise.  And what a delightful way to welcome the new  
councilors, sure to inspire---it'll be like joining a meeting of the  
Human Rights Council, but without the decorum.  Scholars and  
practitioners of healthy negotiations and collaborations would advise  
precisely the opposite model, i.e. starting with the low hanging fruit  
of shared concerns and objectives, building trust and confidence, and  
then moving on to the tough stuff.  But of course, that presumes the  
objective is to get to yes, rather than to settle scores.

In any event, if this is what everyone really wants to do, ok we'll  
play. NCUC has plenty of grievances, probably more than most, and if  
required we can rise to the occasion.  In this context, I would agree  
with all those who favor inclusion of constituency officers.

I am however implacably opposed to doing this off the record.  If  
people have something to say, let's do it in a manner that is  
transparent and accountable to our constituencies, the larger ICANN  
"community," and the real world beyond.  Kicking off the era of the  
new GNSO, post-NTIA decision, with a closed conclave would be rather  
insular signaling.

Greetings from a very collegial and multistakeholder IGF meeting,  
where inter alia some people are discussing the possible creation of a  
new dynamic coalition on ICANN accountability.


On Sep 17, 2009, at 12:24 AM, Mary Wong wrote:

> A social event versus a more formal discussion serve different  
> purposes. I'd definitely support the former, and could be persuaded  
> to support the latter.
> The social (informal) event would be particularly good for  
> introducing newbies and allowing everyone to get to know one another  
> in a more relaxed environment, especially if we've just spent hours  
> (or days) locked in discussion/negotiation/what have you. In  
> contrast, the more structured "let me get this issue off my chest"  
> discussion serves to let off steam of a different kind. This means  
> that having it first thing on Saturday morning is likely to  
> intimidate newbies and, possibly, cloud the atmosphere for the rest  
> of the day/weekend.
> Is there some way to have the formal discussion under some form of  
> agreed controls (as suggested by Adrian) and other than as the first  
> agenda item for the weekend?
> My two cents',
> Mary
> Mary W S Wong
> Professor of Law
> Franklin Pierce Law Center
> Two White Street
> Concord, NH 03301
> Email: mwong at piercelaw.edu
> Phone: 1-603-513-5143
> Webpage: http://www.piercelaw.edu/marywong/index.php
> Selected writings available on the Social Science Research Network  
> (SSRN) at: http://ssrn.com/author=437584
> >>> Adrian Kinderis <adrian at ausregistry.com.au> 9/16/2009 5:39 PM >>>
> And dinner with informal conversation whilst glossing over and  
> ignoring some major crevices that are appearing in relationships in  
> the GNSO Council between Councillors seems pointless...
> I don't think this is a matter for "tearing shreds of each other". I  
> think it is a matter of communicating our concerns.
> I believe, with the right governance of the Chair, and strict  
> controls it can be a productive time.
> I'd happily put my hand up to help run it.
> Adrian Kinderis
> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-council at gnso.icann.org [mailto:owner- 
> council at gnso.icann.org] On Behalf Of Avri Doria
> Sent: Thursday, 17 September 2009 7:34 AM
> To: Council GNSO
> Subject: Re: [council] GNSO Council meet and greet?
> On 16 Sep 2009, at 22:20, Anthony Harris wrote:
> > it was customary for the Council members
> > to share a dinner and thus have an opportunity for
> > informal conversation.
> >
> Ps.  I am very much in support of a dinner with informal conversation.
> I think that is a wonderful idea.
> the council should do those regularly.
> a.

William J. Drake
Senior Associate
Centre for International Governance
Graduate Institute of International and
  Development Studies
Geneva, Switzerland
william.drake at graduateinstitute.ch

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