Minutes of the Meetings of the Executive Committee of the Internet Society

19 August 2002
Executive Committee Meeting Minutes

Date: 2002.08.19
Committee: Executive Committee of BoT
Document: excom-02-007
Revision:
Supersedes:
Status:
Maintainer: Minutes taken by Christian Huitema.
Access: Unconfirmed

Attendees: Fred Baker
Rosa Delgado
Lynn Duval
Christian Huitema
Latif Ladid
Toshio Miki
Kees Neggers
Glenn Ricart
Lynn St.Amour

I. Financial Update – L. St.Amour
The July statement will be available within a few days.

The cash available at the end of June was $125K. The account receivable amount was down $25K due to difficulties encountered by some members; other are asking to spread their payment, and possibly downgrade to a lower class of membership. The account payable amount was $332K. We will have to pay a final settlement to Exponova in 3-4 weeks. We are waiting for precise invoices from ISI for the RFC editor contract. Our improved financial position over the previous years allowed us to obtain a $25k line of credit.

The P&L statement shows a $225K loss, due to the loss of several gold and platinum organizational members. The P&L organizational revenues to-date are close to budget.

The standard pillar showed a loss at end of June; at the treasurer’s suggestion, RFC editor’s expenses are now accrued on a monthly basis.

The educational pillar shows a loss of $157K to-date at the end of June, due to INET being unbudgeted; once the conference accounts are finalized, we expect a loss of approx. $120K although the conference itself is expected to break even or suffer only a minor loss. The bulk of the unbudgeted expenses are salary cost, which reflects deflection of staff from other tasks to support INET.

Lynn is trying to find sponsors for the policy pillar.

Bringing in new members is difficult in the current economy. There is anecdotal evidence that some organizations chose to support INET rather than join ISOC; Lynn will try to get data on this possible “competition” between conference sponsorship and membership fees.

II. .Org bid update and next steps
Lynn contacted key members of community to explain our position and alleviate some doubts. Fred also explained our position to the IAB. The good news is that the members who had expressed concerns are now supportive and are expected to renew their membership.

A 1st recommendation by ICANN’s staff is due today. The applicants will have 10 days to respond to the staff comments, i.e. until 8/29; ICANN’s staff will issue a final recommendation by 9/5; the ICANN board will make its decision later in September; a formal announcement is expected at ICANN’s meeting in October.

Losing the bid would not have a negative impact on our budget, as the budget does not include any financial implications of managing .org.

III. Fundraising update
We are awaiting a report from Philippe Courtot.

IV.Future Conferences Task Force Update
Christian presents the state of the task force reflections. There are basically three trends: a small single track conference focused on “policy and technology” issues with an objective of ensuring ISOC’s visibility; a conference featuring high-profile panels, that could be recorded and used to seed regional conferences; and a “meeting place” conference aiming at gathering the membership. The goal of the task force is to have a report ready within a few weeks. In the current state, the only provisional recommendation would be to guarantee a sufficient lead time, ideally 18 months between the decision and the actual conference, and to opt for a compact format in order to avoid financial risks; if we hold a conference in 2003, then that conference should take place at the end of the year.

Looking at the attendance list of INET 2002, Lynn questions the “meeting place” concept. There seem to be a very large overlap between attendance at INET and membership in the IETF or being present as a speaker, and a much smaller attendance from chapters/individual members, which would make the value of another meeting place debatable. It would be interesting to get more membership feedback through the “member-discuss” list.

There has been a proposal to hold an INET 2003 jointly with the WSIS conference, which will be held December 10 – 12, 2003 in Geneva. The reason for interest with WSIS was collocation; there are however strong doubts expressed by members of the executive committee. Co-locating with a very large WSIS conference would expose us to a significant image risk, and confusion between ISOC message and that of UN organizations or the ITU. Rather than focusing on WSIS, we should get a list of other “related but different” conferences, and check collocation opportunities.

Christian will send a note to the board this week, presenting the results of the task force.

V. Progress on nomination committee, election & membership.
The nomination committee’s work is impeded by the absence of a clear process for handling nominations and petitions, and by the uncertainty relating to direct elections of trustees by individual members. The first point should be easy to solve; during the last board meeting, Alan Greenberg was asked to organize a committee and study improvement to the election process; Lynn will ask Alan to proceed as quickly as possible with this work. The second point, direct election of trustees by the membership, should be debated and resolved by the board. This will also be initiated shortly.

VI. Publications strategy update
We have a request for appointing an editor for a new ‘Journal of Internet studies’ and we need to find someone both competent and very motivated. In general, we need to reinforce the task of the Publications committee; and we need a charter statement for the committee. They will then specify for example the intended readership of the journal, e.g. academic vs. general public.