[ripe-chair-discuss] Status of RIPE Chair discussion?
Jim Reid jim at rfc1035.com
Fri May 19 17:36:57 CEST 2017
> On 19 May 2017, at 15:58, Job Snijders <job at ntt.net> wrote: > > A leadership position which is instantiated to lead and serve a > community, must be chosen by that very same community, _not_ by "the > previous person". I fear the chair-selecting-chair methodology can > weaken our posture against self-selection bias, and the methodology does > very little against a chairperson operating with blinders on. Just > because this method was used once before, does not make it a common > practise nor is the single occurance a justification in itself to repeat > the practise. Job, your concerns are reasonable but perhaps over-stated. I would like to think we can trust the RIPE Chairman to make a wise choice about his or her successor. [It worked out just fine last time.] We certainly should have enough confidence in the RIPE Chairman to make that decision and get it right. If we can’t, how did someone with such poor judgement ever get to become RIPE Chairman? One possible way to deal with the concern over self-selection bias might be for the chairman’s choice of successor to somehow get endorsed by the community. Says Jim hand-waving. So if he/she makes a bad choice, the community says no and the RIPE Chairman tries again. At that point he/she will in all probability have a very clear indication from the community who should have been chosen the heir apparent. Getting the balance right here is hard. On one hand, it’s important that whoever serves as RIPE Chairman has deep roots in the community, enjoys broad support and is well respected. Which points towards an insider. On the other, choosing someone from a small gene pool could well lead to insularity or self-selection bias. Perhaps term limits could help so that the RIPE leadership gets refreshed every few years. Remember too that nothing is set in stone. I think we could try the "RIPE Chairman chooses their successor” (for some definition of that expression) and see how it works out. If it succeeds, we simply declare victory and all go back to our day jobs. If not, we try to devise some other mechanism to appoint/remove Our Dear Leader. BTW, “Chairman” is the correct term. It does not (should not) impose any limitation on the gender of whoever occupies that position. There’s at least one person on this list who is a Chairman and is unhappy to be called chair because they “weren’t a piece of furniture”.