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Board Blog: A Preview of the Los Angeles Board Workshop

16 January 2020

It’s amazing how quickly time flies! The new decade is finally upon us, and after a well-deserved break, we’re ready to pick up where we left off in 2019. As you have become accustomed, we share with you our plans for the workshop, and we look forward to sharing our findings shortly after.

Last year, we made great progress on several different projects and activities. Two significant pieces of work were released for Public Comment: the Operating and Financial Plan for Fiscal Years (FY) 2021-2025, which outlines how ICANN will implement its strategic objectives, and the draft report of the Third Accountability and Transparency Review Team (ATRT). We also advanced the discussion regarding the plan to enhance the effectiveness of ICANN’s multistakeholder model, which we will continue this year.

It’s important that we not lose the momentum we’ve built up, but work together to fulfil our mission with an eye toward the future – a future in which the social, economic, and political stakes will be even higher than today, and technology will have advanced to levels we currently cannot fully foresee. We’ll continue to work closely with the community to identify the most effective ways to prioritize and budget for community-led recommendations. The ATRT3 recommendations also address this.

The Board is committed to ensuring that ICANN continues to act as a trustworthy steward of the Internet’s system of unique identifiers. We do this by adhering to the bylaws and mission and following our established community-led policies in everything we do. The Board will continue to support important community-driven policy work.

We also advanced the discussion regarding enhancing and streamlining ICANN’s multistakeholder model, and we will follow-up this year. The subject of DNS abuse generated a lot of discussion in Montreal. Increased understanding of DNS abuse, and targeted action to mitigate behaviors that threaten DNS security, stability, and resilience is core to ICANN’s mission. Finding the most effective tools to fight DNS abuse, within ICANN’s remit, is a top priority for the year to come.

Los Angeles Board Workshop

The ICANN Board is holding its first workshop of the calendar year from 24 to 26 January, in Los Angeles, California. During the workshop, we will hold two public sessions, including a public Board meeting. As always, we encourage you to join if you are able. Instructions on how to dial-in to these listen-only sessions is available here.

Friday, 24 January, will primarily be dedicated to meetings of the Board’s various committees, including the Board Finance Committee (BFC), Board Governance Committee (BGC), Board Technical Committee (BTC), and Organizational Effectiveness Committee (OEC). Afterwards, Chris Disspain and I will lead a team-building exercise aimed at recognizing and understanding the unique qualities each Board member brings to the table, so that we can work more effectively as a team.

On Saturday, 25 January, I’ll start the day with opening remarks, followed by our dialogue with ICANN President and CEO Göran Marby. This is an important opportunity for Göran to update us on his priorities and goals for the year ahead. Next, Göran will lead our discussion regarding the proposed sale of PIR and the path forward. Afterwards, the Board will go through a comprehensive communication training session, organized by León Sanchez.

After a working lunch, Ron da Silva will host the Board’s review of the FY21 Public Technical Identifiers (PTI) and Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) Operating Plan and Budget. Avri Doria will then lead a session regarding next steps for new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) Subsequent Procedures (SubPro). Next, Göran and Becky Burr will provide the Board with an update on the status of the work regarding the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). To close out the day, Matthew Shears will lead the Board’s discussion on the approach to updating the Strategic Plan.

Sunday, 26 January, the final day of the workshop, will start with time set aside to review resolutions or active accountability mechanisms, followed by our public Board meeting. Afterwards, the Board will discuss the proposed amendment to the .COM registry agreement and provide its input to the ICANN org. León will also provide an update on the status of ATRT3, and Chris will update the Board on the Registration Directory Service (RDS) Review, whose final report will require Board action.

The Board will then provide a public update on the progress it has made toward its FY20 Operational Priorities, which I encourage you to join. For the final session of the workshop, Mandla Msimang and Matthew will update the Board on the progress made to develop a workplan to enhance the effectiveness of ICANN’s multistakeholder model.

Right after our Board Workshop, there will be a meeting of SO/AC Chairs in Los Angeles. This is similar to the meetings that take place before each ICANN meeting, but this is the first time they are gathering for a dedicated face-to-face session. Both Leon and I have been invited to talk about the Board’s priorities.

In order to make all of this possible, it will be key for us to work together toward fulfilling a higher goal: our joint ICANN mission. To make this possible we need to work together in an environment that is safe and welcoming for all stakeholders. This requires fostering a community that is respectful, transparent, and accountable.

We are all people, with aspirations, emotions, and loved ones. Throughout my time on the Board, I have been amazed by how much dedication people put in to do what is best for ICANN, from their perspective. It’s important that we remember that everyone participating is a human at heart, and to support each other from that understanding, community, organization and Board alike.

2020 is now upon us, and I’m confident that we will make this the best year ever. Together, we can ensure that the Internet’s unique identifier system continues to serve the world, in a secure and stable way.


Maarten Botterman

Maarten Botterman

ICANN Board Member