The authors of the NSTIC document went to great lengths to get input form a wide range of stakeholders. The draft document they released last summer provided an opportunity to give feedback, giving an excellent starting point to bring people with very different core motivations and concerns together. The choice to name the big picture vision an Identity Ecosystem informs the choice of processes and structures appropriate to govern it.
User-Centric Community Success
In 2005-6 the Identity Gang /user-centric identity community was one tenth the size of the current NSTIC stakeholder community. It took us a year of active grassroots effort to develop the common language and shared understanding necessary to collaborate. NSTIC doesn’t have 5-10 years to coalesce a community that can collaborate to build the Identity Ecosystem Framework. To make the vision real, people who are from these different points of perspectives must become more aligned, to have a shared understanding.
How to Create Shared Language and Understanding
The NPO should continue using its convening power (both online and face-to-face) to keep fostering the dialogues necessary to have shared language understanding emerge. That will create a momentum to create the conditions for high-performance collaboration amongst the stakeholder community.
Using methods such as Value Network Mapping and Polarity Mapping will increase the shared language and understanding. With just a few staff, the NPO could host many focused meetings with stakeholders around the country and at industry events throughout the fall. The community of NSTIC stakeholders will be able to organize a thriving ecosystem because there will actually be shared language, understanding amongst NSTIC stakeholders by January.
Help Stakeholders Learn About and Find One Another
The starting point for this could be the list that came out of the MIT workshop and the Wikipedia book. There should be a simple standard set of information on each organization, including how they see themselves as a stakeholder in NSTIC, what they hope to contribute to it, what they are most concerned about, and what they want to collaborate with other stakeholders on. There might be a matchmaking role that the NSTIC NPO could play, proactively introducing stakeholders to one another so that potentially synergistic collaboration is enabled.
Supporting the stakeholder groups in learning more about one another is very important. One way to do that would be via a 2-3x weekly podcast, perhaps increasing it to a frequency sufficient to interview all known stakeholders.
All major conferences within the stokehold industries should be listed on a searchable calendar. This will help with cross-pollination, which is essential right now for the proactive development of shared language and understanding.
There should also be a way for people who are actively working to collaborate to find one another both online and off. NSTIC can use the conference calendar to encourage/enable “meet-ups” among stakeholders.
Socialization of NSTIC in IT professional communities is essential. These people need to understand it when it becomes time to socialize NSTIC with the public. They also can be a pool of not-directly-involved stakeholders to be tapped to participate in things like the Community Insight Council.
Measure Shared Understanding
When a diverse group of NSTIC stakeholders are passing the squirm test (page 15), then real collaboration is possible and it will make sense to “spin up” a steering group because there will be broad alignment within the group.
Foster Accountability Frameworks
Trust is absolutely essential in the Identity Ecosystem. People must trust that the information they share will be handled with care, respect and human dignity. This is achieved by having real accountability in the system around the user’s rights. When the system is functioning well and accountability frameworks are followed, then overall systems behavior of the Identity Ecosystem will be trustworthy.
Public Legitimacy is Key to Success
The processes around ecosystem development must also be very open to engender public trust. The NPO must work with industry to develop a strategy for public engagement and socialization.
Release Control to a Diverse Stakeholder Group
If the NPO rushes to set up a steering group before this kind of shared understanding is present in the private sector, large companies who host or provide the identifiers on digital networks used by millions of people (in the US and around the world) will lead it in their own way, primarily as a vendor driven trade association. They have no inherent incentive to create inclusive space, or incorporate key aspects of the strategy like maintaining civil liberties that seem difficult or expensive.
The NPO needs to lead in creating the space for:
- The private sector with the many different industries
- Nonprofit and advocacy groups
- Small and medium sized businesses
- Most importantly, the average citizen
Once the the stakeholders are collaborating using the shared language and understanding, the government can “let go” and just be a participant in evolving the Identity Ecosystem.
This post is from pages 51-54 of Kaliya’s NSTIC Governance NOI Response – please see this page for the overview and links to the rest of the posts. Here is a link to the PDF.
This is the section before: The Importance of Public Legitimacy
This is the section after: Missing Questions about NSTIC Governance