The amount of time one spends actually working for ICANN is enormous. And that limits the people who can actually work for ICANN as directors. I say "work", but you should know that this is not a paid work. Nope. It's being performed for free — we dedicate our time and skills to ICANN free of charge.
Many people ask me "What is it like to be on the Board of ICANN?"
Here is my response, with some astonishing data.
From the outside it looks great — lots of travel, business class, good hotels. From the inside, lot's of work. You travel to New Zealand — two nights on planes, and you don't have even an extra day to see anything. Why not having an extra day? You will see below.
Let's take a closer look at the time we spent on ICANN… The ICANN Board list has 16217 messages since I joined (June 25, 2003) until a couple of weeks ago, when I did the calculations below. The different committees I am in have the following number of mails:
Meetings Committee - 365
Audit - 234
Board Governance - 106
Board only - 142
General Assembly - 265 (since January 2006)
GAC WG - 94
ICANN- 4152 (directly related)
ICANN media - 615
ICANN other - approximately 2000
Or on average I received 23 messages a day. This number does not include all messages I wrote (they are in several different directories, and difficult to count).
Reading an email takes on average 5 minutes. That's about 115 minutes/day, or 2 hours. Every day. Or 60 hours/month, which equals between 7 and 8 working days. (Note, that's without calculating reading the different documents, sometimes hundred of pages!).
Or for one year it's exactly 90 working days (60 hours by 12 months = 720 hours, the working day consists of 8 hours, so it makes 90). That is 18 weeks (5 working days each).
Plus the 30 days we go for the conferences (on average we spent at the conference venues 8 days, plus 2 days travel), plus 8 days for two board retreats (2 day-retreat + 2 days travel). They include Saturdays and Sundays, which in my own country Bulgaria has to be calculated twice, but I will not do it here.
Then we have the monthly conference calls — 2 hours each, which adds to this another 2 working days. That's actually 40 days, or another 8 working weeks. The total account comes to 26 (twenty six) working weeks.
Without counting the reading of the different documents we are supposed to read. E.g. the ".xxx" had about 2000 pages. Without counting all the people who we meet at different places, and they talk to us about ICANN.
And last, but not least, without counting that whatever decision you will vote, you'll be always blamed by more than half of the people coming to the ICANN conferences.
That's the calculation. Now, some may say that they don't spend, or don't need to spend on average 5 minutes per email. True. But there are emails where you have to spend 50 minutes, and there are such, which will take you a minute. That's why on average it's 5.
If you find an error in my calculations, please, leave a comment. Thanks.
Some comments from former ICANN directors can be seen at my blog.
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