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APAC Space Moves Beyond ICANN Meetings

5 May 2016
By Joyce Chen

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The ICANN Asia Pacific (APAC) hub hosted the first APAC Space web conference on 21 April 2016. This web conference was the first time an APAC Space meeting was held outside an ICANN Public Meeting. I would like to share my observations with you.  

A feature at every ICANN Public Meeting since ICANN52 in Singapore, the community-led APAC Space is an important venue for sharing views and contributing to policy development. At ICANN55 in Marrakech, the community decided that the APAC Space should move beyond ICANN Public Meetings to sustain interaction among the community for a deeper discussion on ICANN policy issues.

The bi-monthly APAC Space web conference was thus conceived, with each session focusing on one key topic. The inaugural web conference discussed “APAC participation in the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO).”

The web conference was a success, with over 40 community members in attendance. After I introduced the topic and its background, including the ongoing Review of the GNSO, the community then discussed how participation in the GNSO could be enhanced in areas such as numbers, diversity, and active contribution. The moderator was Edmon Chung, CEO of DotAsia, who has been involved in the APAC Space since its inception.

The dialogue was lively – with many attendees speaking up through the live chat. Community members shared their ideas, of which a list of recommendations for improving APAC participation in the GNSO, which can also be applied to ICANN in general, was documented. Suggestions included the need for statistics on participation, live scribing for the GNSO Working Group meetings, and more emphasis on involvement in ICANN policymaking. The list may be useful in other discussions globally on the same topic.

I was encouraged by the lively discussion, and hope that participants who were hesitant to speak up will feel free to jump in next time. The APAC Space web conference proved to be a microcosm of multistakeholderism, reflecting how the ICANN community works – using technology to enable remote participation.

We hope that by creating more opportunities for interaction and discussion on ICANN policy issues, our community will be able to participate even more actively in the global discussions.

If you missed the web conference, you can watch the recording.

The APAC Space is open to all APAC community members. For information about the next APAC Space web conference session happening on Thursday, 16 June 2016 at 03:00 UTC / 11:00 SGT, email to apachub@icann.org. We hope to see you there! 

Authors

Joyce Chen