IX. The VeriSign Endowment
C40. The current .org registry agreement between ICANN and VeriSign, Inc.,
5.1.4 No later than 90 days prior to the Expiration Date, [VeriSign]
will pay to ICANN or ICANN's designee the sum of US $5 million, to be used by
ICANN in it sole discretion to establish an endowment to be used to fund
future operating costs of the non-profit entity designated by ICANN as
successor operator of the .org registry. [VeriSign] agrees that such funds,
once paid to ICANN, will become the property of ICANN and/or ICANN's designee,
and that [VeriSign] will have no ownership or other rights or interests in
such funds or in the manner in which they are used or disbursed.
C41. Do you propose to seek to qualify to receive any funds from this
C41.1. If so, describe in detail how you propose to use this endowment.
Include the commitments you propose to make about the uses to which the
endowment would be put. Explain why those uses are consistent with the smooth,
stable transition and operation of the .org TLD for the benefit of current and
future .org registrants.
The funds will be used for four primary purposes:
- Startup: To provide start up funding for the organization in the
amount of $250,000 per year over 6 years and to provide a reserve fund for
- Capacity-building: For Internet and web-related "good
works" and "digital divide" projects geared to the civil
society. The goal is to expand the communication capabilities of civil
society/non profit organizations around the world, using the Internet to
leverage and multiply the capacities of these organizations, notably in
relation to the developing world. One possibility is for the UIA to build
on proposals previously elaborated in detail with an associated
Development Alternatives (India), in response to the InfoDev
program of the World Bank, for the use of information in support of
development (see IINTERCEPT: Interactive Contextual Environmental Planning Tool for Developing
Countries as approved by the World Bank for funding).
This proposal built on a 1997-2000 project (Ecolynx: Information Context
for Biodiversity Conservation) executed by a UIA-led coalition of NGOs
under the Info2000 programme of the European Commission (DG-XIII). An
example of a project along these lines is the TaraHaat
effort geared to villages throughout India.
- Community support: Extend and integrate the above communication
capabilities into the process of enhancement of community dynamics and the
sharing of information among people in local communities under a variety
of conditions. As an example, the UIA led a coalition that proposed to the
European Commission a set of 18 complementary modules (see Facilitating
Community through Information: a suite of software-enabled participation
tools) indicative of the kinds of work that could be supported.
"Local community" is also interpreted here to include
enhancement of the quality of face-to-face gatherings of people from
around the world.
- Pattern support: The UIA believes that a fundamental challenge
for the nonprofit community is to give itself a new sense of identity and
self-image that encompasses and honours its tremendous diversity and
dynamics. Beyond the need of nonprofit bodies to locate and sustain
contacts, the UIA sees a more fundamental need of sustaining new patterns
of contact, partnership and coalition formation. One possibility the UIA
would explore is the development of multi-media tools, integrated into web
navigation, which would trigger recognition and activation of new patterns
of relationship between organizations. Many of these possibilities have
been elaborated in some detail in UIA studies, notably in the elaboration
of a research proposal made to the European Commission (see Knowledge gardening
through music: eliciting patterns of coherence for African management). Preliminary work integrating these approaches has already
been integrated into UIA web database intiatives (as illustrated by images
in this proposal).
C41.2. If you propose to seek to qualify to receive the endowment funds,
explain why you believe that your proposed use is consistent with the terms of
Per the requirements in the ICANN/VeriSign .ORG Registry Agreement, Section
- UIA is a nonprofit organization specifically focused on global civil
society in all its aspects
- UIA will use the endowment to support the operational mission of the
UIA plans to use $250,000 per annum of the endowment over the six year
period of the contract for operating expenses, and has developed detailed
budget estimates and projections associated with running the .org registry.
Without such financial assistance from the endowment, UIA cannot make a
commitment to running the registry. In addition, there will be some initial
seed funding that will be required from the endowment in order to establish
Diversitas infrastructure during a transitional phase (involving typical start
up costs such as hiring, legal fees, leasing office space…etc). The
intention is to pay these funds back into the endowment as funds are available
from the running of the registry.
Our longer term goal is to fulfill the mission of the civil society, and as
funds are available, to switch them over to various "good works"
projects related to helping non profit organizations in the developing world
to develop a presence on the web. A minimum of $3.5 million of the endowment
is being held in reserve and the intent is to use the interest from the
endowment for these efforts
Our plan is to fund a number of Internet or web-related projects through
"micro-grants" up to $10,000 per award. Some of these may be
promising R&D-type projects that could prove meaningful to the civil
society more broadly.
We have deliberately decided not to lay out a more detailed plan for the
"good works" or "digital divide" effort associated with
the endowment for several reasons:
- We want to explore various specific options in consultation with the Non
Commercial Domain Names Holders constituency in ICANN's Domain Names
Supporting Organization, Diversitas's Board of Directors and Policy
Advisory Council; and,
- We envision conducting several international "workshops"
related to the endowment to solicit and generate good ideas and proposals
from organizations around the world.
Indeed, we believe it would be premature and somewhat irresponsible to
decide up front exactly how this part of the endowment (and any surplus funds
from the running of the registry itself) would be used.
C42-49. Intentionally omitted.
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