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

Deirdre Williams williams.deirdre at gmail.com
Fri Jan 11 08:09:35 EST 2019

Please excuse the cross-posting.
I've been following this discussion with care, and have a couple of
questions which seem to fall in line with what Nnenna and Jeremy are saying.
1. If we had more or less stopped sharing information/discussing things/
working together within IGC and Bestbits separately, would merging the two
groups again really improve participation?
2. Is there a way for us to look at what needs to be done, what we want to
do, how we want to do it?
3. Who are "we"? Are we the same as the people who started IGC and Bestbits
- same objectives, same perceptions and perspectives, same priorities?
Without answers to these questions it seems unlikely that we would make
much progress.
Purely as an illustration please consider IRPC (which many of us also
belong to) which is currently having some difficulty with identifying
volunteers to carry out management tasks for the group.
Civil society still needs a means to discuss issues and find a common
voice, but is this the right way to do that now or do we need to devise
something different?
Best wishes for 2019

On Thu, 10 Jan 2019 at 14:09, Jeremy Malcolm <jeremy at malcolm.id.au> wrote:

> On 1/10/19 2:01 AM, Sheetal Kumar wrote:
> > For those who were part of the first Steering Committee of Bestbits -
> > could you share more information about how it was constituted and why?
> It was because IGC discourse had become toxic and dysfunctional, and
> people were dropping out. It had been a while since it had been able to
> agree on a joint statement. At the same time, the 2012 ITU WCIT was
> coming up, and being able to collaborate on joint action was important,
> so a few conversations between people both inside and outside of IGC
> resulted in them becoming the first volunteer steering committee.
> But then the same civil society politics that had driven the IGC into
> the ground started to disrupt Best Bits too. There were (misplaced but
> damaging) allegations about various participants having hidden agendas
> or not being transparent enough about their own funding. So whereas the
> original committee had been fairly lightweight and informal, pressure to
> adopt more formal mechanisms of accountability resulted in us investing
> a lot of time in creating a more elaborate set of rules and processes.
> As it turned out, this was too heavy and people weren't motivated to
> engage in these new processes, indicating that the more lightweight
> structure had probably been better.
> If there was a group of willing people who could resuscitate Best Bits,
> even without formal elections, I'd be all for that. But I don't think
> there is. I personally have given as much time to it as I'd like to
> give, because I'm focusing my energy on my new nonprofit Prostasia
> Foundation now.
> --
> Jeremy Malcolm PhD LLB (Hons) B Com
> Internet lawyer, ICT policy advocate, geek
> echo "9EEAi^^;6C6]>J^=^>6"|tr '\!-~' 'P-~\!-O'|wget -q -i - -O -
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“The fundamental cure for poverty is not money but knowledge" Sir William
Arthur Lewis, Nobel Prize Economics, 1979
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