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Q3: Geographic and language Diversity for ISOC

Do you think that geographic and language diversity on the board is important for ISOC? How would you recommend implementation at the board level, at the staff level and as a global organization?

This entry was posted by the ISOC Elections Committee on Tuesday, April 19th, 2011 at 7:40 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.

5 Responses to “Q3: Geographic and language Diversity for ISOC”

  1. Comment by: Nick Ashton-Hart   
    April 26th, 2011 at 8:43 am

    Put simply, diversity is very important.

    During my time at ICANN, I fought continually for a greater commitment to multi-lingualism. To be diverse and multilingual, you have to have a plan and the members have to buy into that plan. This, to me, is the place to start.

  2. Comment by: Theresa Swinehart   
    May 2nd, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    As a global organization, strong respect for, and understanding of, the global Internet environment and the ability to engage with a globally diverse community of stakeholders is important. ISOC’s staff and board members, as well as participants and volunteers, bring a wide range of diversity, skills, experiences, and expertise that contribute to the organization’s ability to engage with a diverse global community from all regions of the world. Whether geographic, linguistic or other, utilizing the diversity of skills and experiences are an important aspect of any organization’s global work. With regard to the future, I would suggest ISOC continue to build on the good work done to date to engage globally, including through its regional bureaus, with a staff and board versed in the globally diverse Internet environment. This, combined with areas of work outlined in the 2011-2013 business plan, will contribute towards ISOC’s global engagement at all levels.

  3. Comment by: Jason Livingood   
    May 5th, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    As we can see with Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs), there are a wide variety of diverse cultures now connecting to the Internet in communities and regions which will experience a steep growth the percentage of the population with Internet access. As such, it is important for ISOC to continue and expand regional workshops and conferences, especially those focused in 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. But a key aspect of this is to lay the groundwork by creating and/or building strong, vibrant, and well-resourced chapters.

    As a result of investing in chapters and localized programs in key regions, ISOC can help these “developing Internet connectivity” regions build relationships, develop human resources, and share knowledge. These things are essential to help societies and regions deploy more Internet infrastructure, improve security and reliability, increase the speed and number of end user connections, and develop the technical leaders that are critical to widespread Internet adoption.

    Thus, I think ISOC can realize goals like this by focusing on key regions, investing in chapters and programs, and by hiring local staff that are based in these regions who know the culture, language, politics, and history intimately. This is the same strategy any business would follow – you need to recruit and build very local resources, and then invest in localized programs that are tailored to meet the particular needs and interests of each area – as opposed to trying to force fit an monolithic approach that works in other markets.

    Jason Livingood

  4. Comment by: Bill Smith   
    May 17th, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    I believe that diversity is extremely important. However, diversity is not limited to language and geography and consequently I encourage ISOC to be broadly inclusive; seek alternative viewpoints, controversial ideas, age-neutral concepts, etc. – in addition to language and geography diversity.

    Regarding implementation, I would encourage ISOC to seek highly qualified individuals that respect diversity and understand the benefits that come from a diverse organization. I am not supportive of targets or quotas but rather believe that a strong culture of acceptance, inclusion, and seeking the best will result in a truly diverse, and excellent organization.

  5. Comment by: Marcin Cieślak   
    May 25th, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    1. Possibility to quick share and accumulate shared knowledge across borders of ISOC various communities is important. As demonstrated with Public Policy Working Group effort ( it is difficult to collect global feedback from the whole community on particular issue. It is a worthwhile goal to explore possibilities to achieve some cross-language aggregation of local Internet-related information and providing at least some meta and summary information in few key languages. This is an extremely difficult subject and the implementation may be costly.

    2. We should constantly evaluate the role and position of the Regional Bureaus and leverage this structure in conjunction to the chapter development.

    3. Programmes like Next Generation Leaders that contribute to strengthening image of ISOC as a truly global organization, only headquartered in the United States, and this trend should continue.