[council] Questions for chair

Stéphane Van Gelder stephane.vangelder at indom.com
Wed Nov 17 10:16:10 UTC 2010


If I may, let me give you a short answer by email and augment that answer during our call tomorrow, as planned.

I think prioritization must be at the center of the next Chair's actions. We are all stretched very thin at the moment and that is having an adverse impact on our work and the Council's effectiveness. Staff are at their limit. But what I am more worried about is volunteer burnout: WE are at our limit.

The current DOI situation is a (small) example of what happens when we no longer have the time to look at the documents we are asked to ratify in detail. We miss something. In this case, it's a relatively easy fix (still it means having to go back to the OSC and the GCOT, doing a motion, etc.). Not so if we're dealing with a major policy development item...

I do not think that the prioritization work that was undertaken a year ago should be given up. But after a year, we really should have had a solution by now. Any such initiative needs leadership to see it through. It's just not good enough to let us waddle through several months of work and get to an end result that no-one is happy with.

If I am elected, prioritization will be a top issue for me because it is the key to making everything else work. I think the solution can be in part model based, as long as we don't let the model get too complex. But I also think it can be part organizational.

What I mean by that is the Council Leaders must be up to the task of suggesting ways forward to the Council. Of course, it is then up to the Council to accept those suggestions or not. But absent leadership that is able to make these suggestions, we risk chasing our tails for a long time to come. So that leadership team needs a dedicated Chair but also two equally dedicated Vice Chairs. There's just too much to do for the full leadership team not to be up to par.

On VI, I would argue that the Council was not weakened by the decision. The Board may have been weakened by it... But on our end, the PDP happened by the book.

But let's be honest, the Board was left with little choice but to either let further delays build in the new gTLD program, or to take a top-down decision. The question I think we have to ask ourselves is: how did we, as the initiators of the process, put the Board in this position?

Once again, I think in part it comes down to prioritization. When an issues report on this was requested, the Council was doing what it should. However, we then decided not to follow the recommendations that came out of that issues report. That's our prerogative but I think that no matter how we felt about the issue itself, if we'd had an effective prioritization system in place then, we might have looked twice at what it meant to launch the largest working group in recent ICANN history on a 6-month ride towards no result...

So as you can see, prioritization really is a key point for me.

If we get it wrong, or if we don't elect 3 Council Leaders that are dedicated to goals that remain realistic as far as volunteer, staff and budget resources are concerned, that's how we weaken the Council.

And that's me trying to give you a "short" answer Wolf... ;)


Le 16 nov. 2010 à 09:06, <KnobenW at telekom.de> <KnobenW at telekom.de> a écrit :

> I've 2 questions to both candidates:
> I'd appreciate a statement from regarding action item 1. from our last call (prioritization, see attached). Which specific efforts do you have in mind in order to strengthen the council's ability and effectiveness in organizing its work?
> With respect to the fact that the board recently took decision on VI without having received a specific council recommendation: which measures do you have in mind to avoid the council's position in the policy development process becoming more and more weakened?
> Thanks and regards 
> Wolf-Ulrich 
> Please note the following action items from our Council meeting one week ago:
> 1.      Assuming we dispense with the prioritization effort, Councilors are encouraged to communicate ideas on the Council mailing list on how to make decisions regarding whether or not to proceed on a project; the aim would be to compile a list of factors that can be used to make choices, and over time develop criteria for choosing projects and work items.

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