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The focus of this document is the structure of the W3C's Advisory Board (AB). The AB was not part of the Consortium when it was created in 1994. The W3C Director approved the creation of the AB in 1998.

Some Consortium Members consider the current structure as sub-optimal. This document includes some historical information about the AB's current structure, problems with the current structure, alternative structure proposals and recommendations.

This document is a WorkInProgress (WIP). Feedback is welcome, preferably by directly editing this document or by sending email to public-w3process@w3.org (archive) with a Subject: prefix of [ABStructure]. We are also interested in input from non-Members i.e. The Public.


The AB was created in 1998. It's role is defined in the W3C Process Document (PD). The PD states the AB will consist of 9 elected embers and that individuals nominated for the AB do not necessarily need to represent a W3C Member.


  • What are the requirements and use cases that led to the creation of the current AB structure? What problem(s) is the current AB structure designed to solve?
  • Do the requirements and use cases from last century still hold today, and thus, still warrant an elected Advisory Board?
  • Why does the Staff need 9 proxies to represent the Consortium's ~400 Members?
  • What mechanism(s) are non-Members supposed to use to provide advice and recommendations to Staff?


  • Nine AB members is too narrow to represent the almost unbounded interests of Consortium Members plus the World Wide Web.


Here are some alternative ways to structure the AB, not necessarily mutually exclusive options:

  • Make the AB self-selected
    • The earliest proposal appears to be by Arthur Barstow in June 2009
    • Michael Champion's May 2013 proposal