[UA-discuss] Diversity of vice-chairs [was: Re: Question for UASG Chair candidates: what are strategic obstacles blocking UA?]

Jim DeLaHunt list+uasg at jdlh.com
Thu Mar 30 22:59:50 UTC 2023

Hello, Wijayawardhana:

Thank you for your fearless comments about how the UASG operates. This 
kind of discussion is important for any grass-roots group to function well.

I have various responses to your various comments, which I will 
interleave below.

On 2023-03-24 11:27, Wijayawardhana wrote:
> …I would like the UASG community to start a real discussion about having leaders from other regions…
> …some serious thinking and discussion about having seats set out for each of the five ICANN regions, much like we do in other working groups and nom com.
> We can't do that for the chair, but can certainly do it for vice chairs, working group chairs, vice chairs, ambassadors, etc. There should only be room for one vice chair, working group chair &vice chair from each region. Even if they nominate, they must do so for the one seat that ought to be set aside for that area.…

I am not in favour of having UASG leaders selected on the basis of 
coming from regions. I am in favour of selecting the leaders who will be 
most effective is achieving UA, especially by activating the engagement 
of all the UASG participants. It seems to me that placing regions as the 
primary criterion leads to patronage, and placeholder do-nothings, 
rather than action.

This especially applies to working group chairs. I participate actively 
in three working groups, and monitor the email list of a fourth. To my 
mind the working group chairs have the most crucial leadership roles in 
UASG. Their leadership determines how well new members get welcomed and 
encouraged to contribute more. They also guide the writing of Statements 
of Work. That in turn determines how effective our funding for vendors 
multiplies into impact on universal acceptance in the world. I really 
want each working group to have multiple strong leaders that care about 
that group's objectives and are skilled at encouraging efficient 

> …By doing so, we can encourage engagement from all of ICANN's regions and have representatives from those regions inspire and entice others in their area to work on the UA mission.…
This seems exactly backwards to me. We should not install leaders from a 
region first and encourage engagement in that region second. We should 
encourage engagement in a region first, identify the leaders that emerge 
from that engagement, and persuade a few of them to lead UASG.  And I 
expect all leaders of UASG to be encouraging engagement in all regions 
of the world, not limiting themselves their own region.

> …The most notable example is the fact that there are only two Indian candidates running for chair and that no one else even dared to enter the race.…
The fact you state is correct, both candidates for chair were Indian. 
But what are you trying to say with, "dared to enter the race"? If you 
are saying that there were other willing candidates, and someone in UASG 
or ICANN prevented or threatened them into not running, then that is a 
scandal and it should be corrected. But if in fact the nominations were 
open, and nobody apart from these two people nominated themselves, then 
I think the word "dared" is misleading, and "bothered" would be more 

> …Also, it is clear at the moment that several regions have nominated UA ambassadors just for prestige, particularly in India; they have not added anything to the UASG objective. There shouldn't be any permanent positions, and those who don't contribute should be asked to go so that there is room for others.…

I do not follow the work of UA ambassadors closely. But I agree 
wholeheartedly that UA ambassadors who don't contribute should make way 
for others who will.

All this by way of saying: if you want regional diversity of 
vice-chairs, the important next step is to have candidates. By my clock, 
there are just over 24 hours for people from the various regions of the 
world to step forward. If you know of someone you think would be a good 
UASG vice-chair, encourage them to nominate themselves! If you care 
enough that your region is under-represented, step forward!

The deadline is 23:00 UTC, 31 March 2023. Something is better than nothing.

This North American will cheer everyone who shows that leadership.

Best regards,
     —Jim "80% of life is just showing up" DeLaHunt

> …I'm sorry if I sound harsh, but a change is necessary if we actually want the UASG to function well after eight years. If not, we run the risk of having either only Americans or only Indians for another four years. The most notable example is the fact that there are only two Indian candidates running for chair and that no one else even dared to enter the race. If this trend continues in all other posts, the UASG will be dominated by individuals from a certain region.
> Thank you very much!
> Wijayawardhana
> ------- Original Message -------
> On Thursday, March 23rd, 2023 at 15:22, Jim DeLaHunt via UA-discuss <ua-discuss at icann.org> wrote:
>> Thank you, Satish Babu and Anil Jain, for your thoughtful answers to the
>> question.
>> On 2023-03-22 20:45, Satish Babu wrote:
>>> Here are my thoughts on the strategic obstacles that are inhibiting
>>> the goal of Universal Acceptance.…
>>> …[thoughtful answer omitted]…
>> On 2023-03-23 00:25, Anil Jain via UA-discuss wrote:
>>> According to me, the most significant strategic hurdles currently
>>> impeding Universal Acceptance are:…
>>> …[thoughtful answer omitted]…
>> I am glad to see replies from other people. I would be happy if this
>> developed into a discussion among all of us.
>> Best regards,
>> —Jim DeLaHunt, from Canada
>> --
>> --Jim DeLaHunt, jdlh at jdlh.com http://blog.jdlh.com/ (http://jdlh.com/)
>> multilingual websites consultant, Vancouver, Canada
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     --Jim DeLaHunt, jdlh at jdlh.com     http://blog.jdlh.com/ (http://jdlh.com/)
       multilingual websites consultant, Vancouver, Canada

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