[bestbits] [governance] IMPORTANT : Merging IGC with Best Bits

Michael J. Oghia mike.oghia at gmail.com
Tue Dec 18 06:50:24 EST 2018

Hi Sheetal, all:

I really appreciate the way you framed it Sheetal, and also appreciated
Nadira's context + De's questions. Forgive my potentially myopic view of
these groups considering their background and original mandate, but even
the recent example of our joint HLPDC submission provides a good instance
of why these groups exist. From my understanding, one of the reasons you
initiated it was due to the lack of civil society coordination, and was in
many ways the spark that ignited this discussion. That's not to say it's
the first time, but I guess it brought the issue back to light.

I agree with your process, and echo your call for feedback about merging
the lists since, so far, no one has seemed to dissent. Yet, if someone has
a good reason why they shouldn't be, we should hear from them.


On Tue, Dec 18, 2018 at 11:37 AM Sheetal Kumar <sheetal at gp-digital.org>

> Dear Farzaneh, all
> In response to whether the Steering Committee of Bestbits still stands, my
> understand ing is that all the mandates have expired. My CSCG mandate has
> also expired.
> But there is a question that we did agree to answer on the call last week,
> namely whether to merge the Bestbits and IGC lists. I think that needs to
> be answered, as Bruna has said, before any new Steering Committee elections
> are launched. So, thanks Nadira for sharing that information about Bestbits
> and IGC's mandates. That's useful information for our discussion!
> Deirdre asked a fundamental question about the relevance of both groups on
> another thread ("are discussion spaces like Internet Governance
> Caucus/Bestbits still relevant? I ask because they have fallen very silent
> over the last year. This question needs an answer"). My response would be
> that it seems, including from the strong attendance on the call last week,
> that there is interest not only in discussing internet/digital issues among
> civil society - and as she also points out in the same email, their
> intersection with other issues - and sharing information but also in
> greater coordination. The question seems to be more how to do it and what
> challenges there are. In terms of challenges, one issue that was raised was
> the existence of lists that duplicate each others mandates, namely Bestbits
> and IGC. There was support for merging them on the call, and then holding
> elections for a Steering Committee afterwards but a decision could not be
> made on the call of course. So separate consultations must be had with each
> group. That seems to be to be the focus for our discussion now.
> Therefore, I'd suggest that we continue to have this conversation about
> whether to merge the lists or not and aim to come up with a response by
> mid-January. We could either hold a vote with our separate constituencies
> or simply say that unless anyone strongly objects, the lists will be merged
> at a certain point.
> In terms of what a new steering committee could do to promote stronger
> coordination, there were a number of ideas floated including organising a
> pre-Rightscon meeting, and promoting greater awareness and communication
> with civil society representatives at relevant IG mechanisms.
> Does anyone on Bestbits have concerns or disagrees with the merging of the
> lists? Are there other options for promoting greater coordination, than
> using + merging already existing platforms?
> Best
> Sheetal.
> On Mon, 17 Dec 2018 at 22:03, Nadira Alaraj <nadira.araj at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi Farzaneh,
>> I'm putting some information that could be an answer to one of your
>> inquiries. Taken from http://internetgov-cs.org
>> On Mon, Dec 17, 2018, 23:34 farzaneh badii <farzaneh.badii at gmail.com
>> wrote:
>>> I think the most important is to discuss why BestBits was created and
>>> whether the reasons still stand and how BestBits members feel about the
>>> merge.
>> *Internet Governance Caucus (IGC) <http://igcaucus.org/>*
>>> Our vision is that Internet governance should be inclusive, people
>>> centered and development oriented. Our contributions to the various forums
>>> relevant to Internet governance, will strive to ensure an information
>>> society which better enables equal opportunity and freedom for all.
>>> *Best Bits <http://bestbits.net/>*
>>> Best Bits is a civil society network on Internet governance and Internet
>>> rights. It offers an open space where each group can present and advocate
>>> for the initiatives that they believe offer the best positive agenda for
>>> advancing broadly shared civil society interests in Internet governance.
>>> On Mon, Dec 17, 2018 at 9:00 AM Arsène Tungali <
>>> governance at lists.riseup.net> wrote:
>>>> Hi everyone,
>>>> You have probably seen this already on a different thread but thought
>>>> it well to have this discussion solely on the IGC list (as I expect
>>>> Best Bits to do the same), that's why i started this thread hoping to
>>>> hear from you on this important question.
>>>> This need for merging was raised by some IGC members during a civil
>>>> society call that had mostly IGC and Best Bits participants; many of
>>>> whom are both IGC and Best Bits (BB) members. The call happened last
>>>> week and Farzaneh offered to share the link to the recording.
>>>> I will not go into much details about the rationale but would welcome
>>>> anyone to weigh in and share their reasoning on whether or not we
>>>> should merge both lists. We will need to also answer the question on
>>>> how (who is doing what?) will this happen? Is the IGC going to become
>>>> BB or the latter becoming IGC? Or are we working towards a different
>>>> group where members of both groups will all be added?
>>>> This brings back to my memory the whole hassle we had to migrate
>>>> (SAVE?) this list and allow us to have this discussion list (which
>>>> hasn't been quite active for a few months but where many feel safe to
>>>> share IG related updates). So i hope we discuss and take into account
>>>> the technical cost of the merging process (should it happen).
>>>> I am also not sure how we will gauge consensus about this question on
>>>> this list? Should we vote? How long do we take to decide? Should we
>>>> consult IGC 'founders' or former Co-coordinators separately and ask
>>>> them what they think?
>>>> During the call, Bruna and I offered to have a decision by mid-January
>>>> and we hope this is realistic given the holiday season. We will then
>>>> report to the group.
>>>> I just wanted to throw this all here and would REALLY appreciate a
>>>> discussion that will help us move forward and come to a conclusion.
>>>> Best regards,
>>>> Arsene
>>>> ---
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> --
> *Sheetal Kumar*
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