[bestbits] Re: Best Bits steering group

Jeremy Malcolm jeremy at ciroap.org
Mon Jul 15 00:01:14 EDT 2013

On 08/07/13 15:16, Jeremy Malcolm wrote:
> Best Bits came into being as a very loose, grassroots coalition, and this has worked very well.  At the same time, it has now reached a point of maturity (and influence) where the benefits of institutionalising it a bit more strongly would probably outweigh the risks of doing so.
> To this end, a few volunteers have come (or been prodded!) forward to serve as an initial steering group.  Since we don't already have a democratic procedure for selecting such a steering group, we haven't tried to invent one.  Rather, it will be the steering group itself that is responsible for recommending such a procedure for the rest of us to adopt.

Just to report back quickly that the first act of the interim steering group has been to co-opt two more members to join them, who will be someone from APC (to be confirmed), and Marianne Franklin.  This could continue, but we think that a small team of six, plus the two co-optees, will be sufficient for us to move towards establishing a more democratic selection process.

Meanwhile, here are some other points to bring you up to date (not exclusive):
Recently the Enhanced Cooperation Working Group has released its questionnaire.  We are going to be developing a draft joint response to this on the EC sub-list, and releasing it here when ready.  This should not prevent anyone from writing their own response!  See https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1zMI-GHo4Fv9pwAfmuTqFd-sd4zquvREfB4850NXhP7E/viewform?pli=1&hl=en.
Our annual meeting in Bali is coming together, with venue details to be revealed soon.  Although we already have a rough outline of the programme, it remains open to suggestions in light of more recent events, such as the PRISM surveillance scandal and the ITU's decision to keep the CWG-Internet closed.
Our two IGF workshops at which we will present the results of our annual meeting to the broader community of stakeholders were both accepted and all of the panelists are confirmed.  For the one that I'm coordinating, the panel consists of members of the CSTD Working Group, including members from other stakeholder groups viz. Baher Esmat from ICANN, Ellen Blackler from Disney and Alexandre Fontenelle from Brazil.
I am pursuing a lead which would provide travel funding and administrative support to Best Bits.  I have a phone call with the prospective funders today and will report back soon.  Meanwhile with the trickle of mainly in-kind support that we already have, work has slowly been progressing on upgrades to our website.  Enhancements to the shared calendar facility are now being tested and will be unveiled soon.
On the other hand it is unlikely that any travel funding will come through in time for the Asia-Pacific Regional IGF in September, so our proposed workshop at that event might not go ahead unless a sufficient number can make it, or another funding source comes forward.  Sorry about this.

Dr Jeremy Malcolm
Senior Policy Officer
Consumers International | the global campaigning voice for consumers
Office for Asia-Pacific and the Middle East
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