LACNIC Is Successfully Evolving and Becoming a Stronger Organization
According to Oscar Robles, CEO of the Regional Internet Registry for Latin America and the Caribbean, after successfully completing a process of institutional reorganization and consolidation resulting from the organization’s internal growth and the expansion of the regional Internet community, in 2016 LACNIC will focus its efforts on analyzing the new challenges ahead in order to determine its next strategic cycle.
In an interview with LACNIC News, Robles reviewed his first year as the organization’s CEO, highlighted LACNIC employee teamwork, and offered an optimistic message on the future of the Internet in the LAC region.
In your opinion, what were LACNIC’s highlights during 2015?
Once again, 2015 was a year of significant changes within the organization as we attended to the needs of our more than five thousand members
We redefined our organizational structure to better meet the demands of a complex environment, our growing membership base, a regional Internet community in continuous expansion, an environment with greater shortage of IPv4 addresses, a world turning towards digital solutions and an invasion of sensors and devices connected to the Internet.
We continue to strive for a stable organization with a working environment that will allow the proper development of our employees and fulfilling our objectives. This year we ranked as one of the best places to work in Uruguay (GPTW) for the fourth consecutive year. We also received the DERES recognition for the best CSR practices in the quality of working life category in Uruguay.
We formally launched LACNIC WARP (Warning, Advice and Reporting Point) for the purpose of providing security incident reports and alerts to all our members, as well as our online Campus through which we offer a broad range of courses and exclusive benefits to our partners. In 2015 we reinvigorated the policy development process and had very encouraging results and received relevant policy proposals.
LACNIC welcomed prominent guests both at our offices in Casa de Internet as well as during our 2015 events: Vint Cerf, our most recent visitor; Mayra Arevich, President of ETECSA and LACNIC 25 hosts. We were also joined by Fadi Chehadé of ICANN, John Brzozowski of Comcast Cable, Kathleen Moriarty of the IETF, Alvaro Retana of Cisco, and George Michaelson of APNIC.
All this while working on the transition of stewardship of the IANA functions, one of our highest priorities, which will begin its implementation phase in 2016.
During your first year at the helm of the organization, what was the most difficult thing you had to learn? What lessons learned can you share with us?
First and foremost, the nature of the RIRs. Although I had a basic understanding of their inner workings, certain essential pieces of information are needed to understand the true nature of an RIR, such as where our authority derives from.
Other than that, having previously served on the LACNIC Board had allowed me to get to know the organization and have a clearer understanding of the direction we should promote.
This has been a time of transitions and organizational changes for LACNIC. Can you tell us why?
In previous years, the organization met important objectives and did so with the help of its organizational structure. We now needed to adapt that structure to the new challenges we were facing, the typical challenges faced by any growing organization transitioning from small to medium-sized, with greater formalization of its internal activities and processes and attention to external risks and threats. This required a new structure.
LACNIC has consolidated its regional leadership in Internet governance issues and played an important role in the IANA functions stewardship transition. How do you see this process today?
I think the definition process was successful, not only because of this leadership but also because the five RIR communities successfully produced a consolidated a set of principles, which was quite a complex task. We then produced documents which reflected these principles and met the expectations of everyone involved.
The Regional Registry has generated new discussions with changes in IPv4 policies. What’s your opinion on this topic?
Something we’ve historically defended is the multistakeholder mechanism, not only because we are convinced of its benefits for organizations such as ours, but also because it is how we have always defined the rules under which LACNIC and the other RIRs allocate number resources to their members. Thus, beyond the fact that there were no explicit barriers in the mechanism for defining such rules (the policy development process), we wanted to make sure that the mechanism was clear and that everyone was able to participate. This year has been very positive in terms of our efforts and the results we’ve achieved, among them renewed discussions on policies which are relevant to the region, such as resource transfers.
The year came to an end with Internet pioneer Vint Cerf’s visit to LACNIC. What was your takeaway from his visit to Casa de Internet?
Vint Cerf’s visit allowed us to think about the major challenges for the future. Beyond sharing time with a public figure such as Vint, his visit will be the starting point for the strategic planning process we will undertake next year.
How do you envision LACNIC’s future? What does the organization’s roadmap look like and what are its major challenges?
In 2016 the organization will devote significant efforts to identifying the challenges, objectives and projects on which we will work during our next strategic cycle. However, there are certainly some elements of which we are already aware: an environment with increased use of technology (IoT), Phase 2 of IPv4 exhaustion in the LAC region, the transition of stewardship of the IANA functions, and local Internet governance efforts seeking greater weight and participation in local decisions, among others.
What would be your message to the community after your first year as LACNIC CEO?
The same message I gave to the Board during their final 2015 meeting. This year, LACNIC successfully transitioned to a stronger organization, less dependent on individuals and more dependent on the collective and collaborative work of the people who are part of the organization, with renewed commitment to its various communities, and fully aware of the risks it faces as it ceases to be a small organization (in terms of our number of employees) and prepares to analyze the challenges it will face in the coming years.