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Q3: ISOC Board

Do you think the current model of electing the BoT needs to be changed? Today individual members do not elect trustees, and org members elect half of the Board, while contributing only with 1/4 of the budget. Are all stakeholders equally represented on the BoT, or there’s a need of restructuring, based on contribution from different constituencies?

This entry was posted by the ISOC Elections Committee on Tuesday, March 28th, 2006 at 3:34 am. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 or Atom 1.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

7 Responses to “Q3: ISOC Board”

  1. Comment by: Bill St.Arnaud   
    March 30th, 2006 at 2:15 pm

    Board structure and election for a non-profit international organization is always a very sensitive topic.

    My suggestion, after further guidance and discussion with current board members and ISOC executive, would be to retain a Board Goverance consulting firm to advise and recommend some possible new structures.

    A board structure reflecting financial contributions may not be the most appropriate. Given the future challenges to ISOC and the Internet I would suggest a structure that allowed representation by the most influential e.g. well known technical visionaries etc

  2. Comment by: Franck   
    March 30th, 2006 at 9:45 pm

    Is ISOC build on the IEEE model? Is it a technical supporting organisation? Is ISOC a lobby organisation in the US sense?

    Basing ISOC on who finances it the most would make ISOC looses its credibility. Organisation members of ISOC have provided huge support to ISOC in its most difficult moments. However, if ISOC wants to be an independent and strong adviser in fora like the IGF but also with Governments and other organisations, it must also have a support based on individual membership. It is important it has representation from developing countries so membership must be available to all. Individual members should be able to vote to elect board members regardless of their financial contribution to ISOC. If you look on my page on you will see that I prone a better equilibrium between organisation, chapters and individual members.

    It is sure a difficult subject which can only progress if individuals and chapters give direction actively.

  3. Comment by: Artur Serra   
    March 31st, 2006 at 8:56 am

    ISOC Board should maintain a balance between excellence, interest and representation. Initially ISOC was the organization of the fathers of Internet, the open minded and technological visionaries of the Net. ISOC should be keep this prestigious constituency at the forefront.
    Then it was the place of the companies and other organizational members. The constituency of interest.Its funding and institutional support is absolutly necessary. Finally, ISOC is increasingly the place of everybody, local chapters and individuals. Chapters paradoxically are the expression of the global growth of Internet. This constituency will increase as Internet expands globally. Everyone should be confortable in the ISOC BoT looking for fitting ISOC and its BoT to the Internet evolution.

  4. Comment by: Richard Bell   
    April 6th, 2006 at 8:05 am

    You will never please everyone. What it really boils down to is a question of Governance. Governance is widely defined as the balance between “power” and “accountability”.

    There is often a tendency for the debate to focus predominantly on the “power” element of the equation: who is getting elected, how are they elected, who elects them. It is equally important to give some thought to the question of “accountability”. By which I don’t mean monetary accountability (which I feel sure is well taken care of) but rather accountability in terms of: what has the board achieved? what have they delivered? where could more have been done? what issues have not been dealt with? what are the mechanisms for redress when the board does not deliver ….and so on.

    If we focus only on the mechanisms for addressing who gets into power but not on how to make them accountable we will have a poor system of governance indeed.

  5. Comment by: David Isenberg   
    April 16th, 2006 at 8:34 am

    This is an important question, and a subtle one. But I’m going to learn from the about-to-be executed engineer in the joke about the stuck guillotine blade and defer my answer to this question.

  6. Comment by: David Isenberg   
    April 16th, 2006 at 8:46 am

    One more thing. In response to my friend Bill St. Arnaud’s comment above, I would NOT farm this job out to a consulting firm, but rather would attempt to catalyze a discussion among the chapters, the organizational members, the individual members and the stakeholders within IETF, .org and other ISOC activities. The Internet — and ISOC — is best when the decisions come from the edges!

    One might say that a consulting firm would only present options, and ISOC would retain ultimate control. But I think that we, ourselves, by the very process of coming up with our own options, would become better governors of ISOC. The journey, in this case, embodies much of the destination.

  7. Comment by: Yan Baoping   
    April 27th, 2006 at 8:10 pm

    In a non-profit organization, structure the BoT based on contributions is not a good way to represent the stakeholders. I suggest that ISOC should develop a commenting procedure, and establish election/nomination committee to follow this procedure to summarize comments from chapters and individual members. Another role of the election/nomination committee is to ensure and promote the participation from developing countries and warren the geographical diverseness. I encourage ISOC to open the door for individual members to elect trustees, and restructure the funding mechanism to ensure the voice from developing countries who with limited economic capabilities while maintaining sufficient funding for ISOC.