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Q1: Priorities

ISOC has a broad and large membership, with healthy debate regarding the priorities for the organization as a whole and on approaches/practices. What do you believe the priorities should be for the organization? What would you suggest the Board and Management do to bring about an agreed position?

This entry was posted by the ISOC Elections Committee on Tuesday, April 19th, 2011 at 7:39 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.

4 Responses to “Q1: Priorities”

  1. Comment by: Nick Ashton-Hart   
    April 26th, 2011 at 8:13 am

    Any international, member-driven organisation faces a challenge in trying to create a consensus on what to do and how to present it.

    I’ve spent many years working to create this kind of consensus and while it is difficult, it can be done. The key, in my experience, is to focus on high-level objectives but to ensure that implementation allows different regions of the world to prioritise them differently.

    I think the way in which the current Business Plan and Budget seeks to drive increasing levels of activity to the regions recognises this approach in many key areas. Going forward, getting this balance right will be absolutely critical.

    Helping the regions work to create a regional consensus that is congruent when globalised is a staff challenge best met through ensuring those hired by the organisation are committed to helping the members’ views get expressed and who keep their own views out of the mix. This is a real challenge for all organisations which are member-driven but meeting that challenge is the key to legitimacy and success.

  2. Comment by: Theresa Swinehart   
    May 2nd, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    With ISOC’s reaching its 20th anniversary, it is good to see ISOC’s membership increase and diversify. With this, and the Internet’s evolution, healthy debates over priorities, approaches and practices are important. The work of the organization reflects a wide range of projects, and the 2011-2013 business plan identifies a good framework for specific goals. While all of ISOC’s work is important, areas of priority should include building on and strengthening ISOC’s work globally, education and awareness around Internet issues and informing Internet policy dialogues. Examples of such areas include:
    - ISOC’s historical and key responsibilities towards the IETF, complemented by increasing awareness of the IETF’s work amongst policy makers and new participants from emerging countries.
    - Education and trainings, which are well reflected in ISOC’s education program goals, including hands on technical trainings, and events on Internet issues, especially those in cooperation with national and/or regional organizations.
    - Regionalization, in particular strengthening the regional bureaus and engagement at a regional level with all stakeholders, including members. This provides ISOC an opportunity to help deliver on its mission and projects at a regional level, while improving its globalization.
    - Emerging country development work and the leadership programs, including the Next Generation Leaders Program and the IETF Fellowship Program.
    - ISOC’s ongoing support for W3C’s work around open web standards.
    ISOC’s vision of “the Internet is for Everyone” is an important cornerstone of its mission and goals. Programs and work that look to retaining that for the future, including regional work, leadership programs, partnerships with other initiatives, and areas focused on the next generation, all contribute to the future viability to retain this vision.
    ISOC’s membership is diverse, which is a natural reflection of the globally changing Internet environment. For the Board and management, it is imperative to retain a focus on the work program, including projects and focus areas in its business plan that contribute to informing, educating and addressing issues that confront the future of the Internet. It is also a major responsibility of the Board to determine consensus on these issues across the wide range of ISOC’s membership.

  3. Comment by: Jason Livingood   
    May 5th, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    I think the current priorities and objectives in the 2011 – 2013 business plan look good, and future updates should continue to be consensus-driven. A key priority that is apparent to me (and which I think I can assist with on the Board) is revenue diversification, to ensure the continued and long-term financial health of the organization. If ISOC does not continue to diversify revenues and remain financially healthy, the organization will be unable to achieve any of its goals.

    I also agree with a priority to focus in regions where ISOC can have an impact such as Africa, parts of Latin America, and parts of Asia where the Internet use is growing rapidly but the penetration of Internet access may be relatively low. Other priorities should be to continue to focus on the highly complex multi-year transition to IPv6, as well as on DNSSEC deployment. Work in this area could also help educate end users, who continue to seek greater levels of privacy and control over their personal information and security.

    There are also a wide range of threats to the Internet, including cyber-crime and malware / bot networks, state and non-state cyber warfare, intellectual property theft, content and application blocking, and wholesale country-wide Internet blocking. I believe tailored ISOC programs and work in this area should be a priority.

    And an additional key priority is for ISOC to remain intensely focused in critical areas of Internet policy and governance and, particularly, continue to reiterate with governments and all other key stakeholders around the world how critical an open, consensus-based Internet community has been to the success of the Internet and will be to the continued success of the Internet.

    Jason Livingood

  4. Comment by: Bill Smith   
    May 17th, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    The Business Plan & Budget (2011-2013) is well organized and lays out a high-level plan for the Internet Society. In reviewing the plan, I noticed a projected 22% increase in Membership/Platinum Sponsorships and a projected 51% increase in Sponsorships and Grants. These are aggressive targets and achieving them may be challenging, especially in the current economic environment.

    My suggestion for Q1 (and now Q2) priorities is to ensure that any resources required to achieve these goals are in place as early as possible. Any delay in resource availability will likely have a negative impact on revenue for the current year.

    Looking beyond the early quarters of the current fiscal year, regionalization and broadening membership are excellent initiatives that will serve ISOC well both in short- and long-term. While the Internet is a global resource (and phenomenon), many issues require discussion and consideration well below the international level. ISOC’s enhanced regional activities could provide fora for these discussions. In addition to providing a much needed home for these conversation, ISOC would improve brand recognition thereby assisting with revenue generation and membership expansion.

    Internet Governance will continue to be a topic of interest and ISOC must remain actively engaged in discussions with other organizations. From personal experience, I know these conversations can be difficult, but I believe it is essential to continue the dialogue. I was very pleased to see the addition of Markus Kummer as Vice President, Public Policy and believe he, together with other key staff will effectively represent ISOC.