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I am a German Professor teaching International Communication Policy and
Regulation this year at the University of Aarhus, Denmark (Institute for
Media and Information Sciences). I was involved in a number of "founding
conferences" of new institutions, including the International Programme for
the Development of Commnunication (IPDC) of UNESCO, the MacBride Round
Table on Global Communication (MBRT), a NGO with a vague constituency and
the Inter-Regional Information Society Initiative (IRISI) of the European
Commission, a network of meanwhile 30 European regions, where the
definition of membership ("what is a region") was a crucial and legally
difficult question. I am following the emergence of ICANNA since a couple
of years and a group of students is writing papers on the issue here in
Aarhus this fall semester. We have discussed also the ICANN membership
question and I allow me to present some ideas for further consideration:
Memebrship should be open and flexible. In principle is each domain name
holder a memebr.
The selection of the nine representatives of the membership in the ICANN
Board should be based on a three stage process which combines different
elements of self-nomination/nomination, selection/election and lottery.
Before starting the nomination/election procedure a certain structure is
needed to define the nine seats in the board. My proposal is that if you
have nine gTLDs that one user from each gTLD can become a representative in
the Board. (taking the old proposal from the ITU MoU there could be one for
.shop or one for .nom or one for .art). If there are less than nine gTLDs
than some gTLDs get more seats in the Board on the basis of a decision of
the Membership Advisory Committee.
Each user of a gTLD can nominate him or herself or can nominate another
user on the basis of three conditions:
a. a proofed statement that the candidate is an active user of the relevant
b. a C.V. which indicates his/her special knowledge in the field and
c. a support of a certain number of users of the gTLD (lets say 100 users
(or maybe 1000 users) of whom have to be 30 (or 300) from two other regions
than the candidate is based to guarantee a broad geographical representation
Candidates should post their candidature on the Web so that members can ask
questions in a given period.
The Membership Advisory Committee checks the nominations and the
uestion/answer communication among the candidates and the members on the
Web and selects/elects five (or three) candidates for each of the nine
groups on the basis of certain transparent criteria which still have to be
defined. There could be eventaully additional electronic interviews of
candidates by Members of the Advisory Committee.
The final stage is a lottery among the five/three rather equal qualified
candidates in each the nine groups. This nine "winners" will be at the end
of the day the nine directors.
I hope this ideas will contribute to the debate and I would be glad to
Prof. Wolfgang Kleinwaechter
University of Aarhus
Institute for Media and Information Sciences
NETCOM Institute of the Media City Leipzig