[ripe-chair-discuss] Status of RIPE Chair discussion?
Daniel Karrenberg daniel.karrenberg at ripe.net
Mon May 22 22:58:32 CEST 2017
Job, we are looking to select someone who keeps the community working well and working together. We are not selecting a "leader". We are not selecting someone in a corporate governance role. I do not think that "bottom-up requires elections" is true. We have been successful for 28 years without electing our chair and I argue that we have had a productive time *because* we have not had RIPE chair elections every three years. Elections do *not* have a high potential to select the kind of person we want. The ideal person is not the one who gets nominated and elected. They are also not the people who win a popularity contest nor a name-recognition game. Elections also have a high potential to be extremely divisive rather than unifying. A lot of energy may be necessary to re-unite the community after a fiercely contested election. Elections also tend to cost a lot of energy during the campaigns if they are contested. "Short, hard terms and term limits" are also not appropriate for the RIPE chair. Hard terms and term limits tend to force "renewal" at very bad moments in time. That is why I proposed text with a lot of flexibility and with a lot of "usually"s in there. We want someone with "gravitas" and continuity. We want flexibility to time the changing of the watch. What you propose is absolutely appropriate for corporate governance positions within groups of people like the RIPE NCC board. It is not appropriate to select the best person as RIPE chair. Maybe we can compromise on a system where "current chair proposes new vice chair to WG chairs who confirm or not" and "WG chairs provide formal feedback on performance of chair and vice chair at regular intervals"? I will be busy with family things during the next couple of weeks. I will try to read this list. But I may not be able to participate in the discussion much. But by all means keep it going! I also realise that we are missing a "design document" for fundamental ideas behind the RIPE & RIPE NCC system of self-governance. It is all passed on by word-of-mouth and experience. I am quite willing to help write something like this together with a couple of WG chairs; then have the community discuss it. Any takers? Daniel PS: For those who do not know me: I'd like to think that I am not just an inflexible traditionalist who wants the 'good old times' to never end. Look at my CV and judge for yourself. Even if you don't you should know that I have been "supporting the RIPE community since 1989", have been the one and only vice chair of RIPE to date and that I have ample experience with governance of both informal groups and serious corporations. I *do* lack experience in the governance of fully for-profit enterprises. https://www.ianacg.org/icg-files/bios/bio-karrenberg-06aug14-en.pdf PPS: And yes I have fought alongside Nurani and Izumi in the IANA transition battles within ICANN. While I can work in such a system, I do not think it is remotely applicable to what RIPE is now and should be in the future.