[Community-Discuss] Diversity in ICANN (was Re: [members-discuss] Re: [AfrICANN-discuss] ICANN 2016 ...)

Mike Silber silber.mike at gmail.com
Thu Sep 1 09:32:39 UTC 2016


> On 31 Aug 2016, at 16:48, Dr Paulos B Nyirenda <paulos at sdnp.org.mw> wrote:
> Walu, Mike,
> Although racial diversity is a well recognised form of diversity, academically or otherwise, that
> is not the lever that I want to go down to in this case for ICANN Board Members, I am talking
> about regional diversity as defined in the ICANN system

I think the issue is that regional diversity is not defined in the ICANN system in the manner you are suggesting. (Actually, I think the only system that goes that route is the UN system, of one representative of every government of every country and then political jockeying for leadership positions.)

Now I think there may be merit in bringing that subtle distinction to the attention of the ICANN community and trying to create  awareness that regional diversity is not just at a continental level, but also intra-continental.

This is what a multi-stakeholder process is all about, raising awareness, doing the work, making proposals, getting support from others for your views and effecting change. It is NOT throwing rocks over the wall and then ducking - especially if you are throwing rocks at the Nominating Committee (who have done a pretty good job IMO) and in so doing are also indirectly imputing two very fine individuals.

> I am not instigating for a quota other than what is already in the bylaws BUT I am asking for
> some reasonablenes in aclaimed ICANN diversity which  I do not see in the current NomCom
> selection, that is the observation that I am making.
So let us look at some issues diversity that you seem to ignore: 

* 19 elected or selected board members and post October only *THREE* women. 15% when women make up 51% of the population;
* post-October, there will not be anyone of the board of Chinese origin (about 1,5 billion people); 
* no-one from the sub-continent on the board (though there are with origin or ancestry ties, but no-one living in the sub-continent - about 1,8 billion people);
* three Africans (population of about 1,1 billion) of whom two live there permanently; 
* only one person from the LAC (Latin America and the Caribbean) region on the board and he is from Central America (so South America, the Caribbean and Portuguese speakers have no representation) (about 0,7 billion people);
* quite a few Europeans, but none from Southern or Eastern Europe.

So the ICANN board has a slew of diversity issues. I would suggest that the “blackness” of the Africans or the under-representation of certain parts of Africa is worth considering but not the biggest issue we face.

Please also remember that the Nominating Committee is selecting for both skills and diversity. There has to be a mix, you cannot have people selected with limited or incompatible skills, simply to be more diverse. As pointed out previously - the way to deal with that is to get more SOIs from the very many well qualified and suitably skilled people in our region through to the NomCom as well as the SOs and ACs.

So I am fully supportive of doing work on diversity and as Dr Lisse has pointed out, there is an opportunity to engage now in the WS2 work to have your views aired. What I cannot abide is criticism without any indication of solutions or work being proposed.

> So, like Walu, I am partly attracted to the ICANN system partly because it tries to be
> adequately representative on the global scene

The ICANN board is *NOT* a representative forum. I was appointed by the ccNSO, however if do not *REPRESENT* the ccNSO on the board. I think you miss the point of the multistakeholder model. It is focussed on contribution and not representation. Anyone from anywhere can (in theory) contribute.

To improve it, we need to focus on making sure that voices are heard from areas which whose voices were not previously heard (like women, developing countries, users). There needs to be focus on diversity of views, *NOT* being representative.

Personally, I think if you want representation, then you need to go to the ITU.


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