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Board Blog: A Preview of the Montréal Board Workshop

22 October 2019

From 30 October to 3 November, the ICANN Board will meet in Montréal, Canada, ahead of ICANN66, for its sixth and final workshop of the calendar year. At this point, three years after the IANA Stewardship Transition (30 October 2016) a lot of progress has been made operating under our new bylaws. We stand ready to work with the community and the org to address a number of important issues.

Our workshop will be focused on preparing for the Annual General Meeting (AGM), and will be the last one for Cherine Chalaby and Khaled Koubaa. At the end of this AGM, they will step down and Mandla Msimang and Ihab Osman will take their places at the Board table, as the Board will vote on the new slate for Board functions and committee membership. A deep thanks to Cherine for his leadership during the past nine years, as well as to Khaled for his service over the last three years, and a warm welcome to Mandla and Ihab, who have already demonstrated their interest, commitment, and experience during our last Board workshop in Los Angeles.

Board workshops are generally fast-moving affairs, with a number of important topics and discussions on the agenda. Workshops held ahead of an ICANN Public Meeting are an especially critical opportunity for the Board to ensure that its members are fully briefed on the range of issues that the ICANN community will be discussing. It’s paramount that the Board be prepared to enter and contribute meaningfully to any number of conversations, whether it’s regarding new generic top-level domain name (gTLD) Subsequent Procedures (SubPro) or the evolution of ICANN’s multistakeholder model of governance. As you’ll recall, the Board already spent considerable time at its last workshop in Los Angeles on these topics, as these activities are at the heart of the discussions, and rightly so. They are also front and center in the Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2021 to 2025, and it is important we stand together in the execution of this plan.

During the Montréal workshop, we will host two public sessions: a public Board meeting and an educational session about registries and registrars. More information about these listen-only sessions, including dial-in instructions, is available here.

On 30-31 October, the first two days of the workshop, have been set aside to onboard the new Board members whose terms begin during the AGM. These sessions and trainings cover a variety of topics, and ensure that the new members are armed with the information they need to best serve the ICANN community. During these undoubtedly intense sessions, they will be briefed on the fundamentals of Board administration and operations, governance, best practices, and the role of ICANN’s Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees (SO/ACs).

Friday, 1 November, Cherine will kick off the day with introductory remarks and our first session will be dedicated to the election of the BGC Chair. This election will be facilitated by our current BGC Chair, Becky Burr. In the afternoon, the BGC will hold its meeting, followed by a risk management session hosted by Lito Ibarra and Matthew Shears. We will end the day with the Board Technical Committee (BTC) meeting.

Saturday, 2 November, will begin with opening remarks from Cherine, followed by a meeting with Göran Marby, ICANN’s President and CEO, to discuss his key priorities for ICANN org. Avri Doria and Becky Burr will then prepare the Board for Constituency Day with a policy update. This will be followed by a session where we will reflect on the topic we sent to stakeholders: Community, Board, and ICANN org readiness to implement the three critical plans that will shape ICANN’s future,” as well as a session to prepare for responding to questions sent to us by the constituencies.

After a short break, Brian Cute will present an update on the progress made towards developing a workplan to improve the effectiveness of ICANN’s multistakeholder model. Becky will then lead our first public session, an educational presentation about registries and registrars, and the business approaches they take within the Domain Name System (DNS) marketplace. This promises to be informative session, and I encourage anyone interested in learning more about the subject to listen in. Information on how to join is available here.

The final session of the day will be an update on the status of the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), provided by Göran. The Board will also attend the ICANN Fellowship Social Networking Event, and I invite everyone to join us!

On Sunday, 3 November, we will start the day by joining the Bylaws-mandated Community Action Approval Forum. Then, we will review resolutions or active accountability mechanisms, which we plan to vote on during the public Board meeting. Afterwards, Sarah Deutsch will present the FY2019 audited financial statement, which the Board needs to review. We’ll then have a working lunch with the GNSO Council.  

In the afternoon, Becky and Avri will lead a session on the prioritization, affordability, and streamlining of the various ICANN Reviews currently underway, followed by an update on the .COM agreement. After that, Avri will provide an update on the status of the policy development process (PDP) on the new gTLD SubPro.

Next, León Sanchez will lead the Board Accountability Mechanisms Committee’s (BAMC) report to the Board, and Becky will lead the BGC’s report to the Board. The final session of the day is set aside to prepare for the ICANN Public Forums and the AGM.

ICANN’s Public Meetings are an important opportunity for the community, Board, and ICANN org to come together, exchange ideas, and solve key issues in a more personal setting. This workshop schedule has been designed to ensure that the Board is prepared to engage in the most meaningful, informed way possible. I look forward to hitting the ground running and speaking with many of you, whether you plan on attending in-person or remotely. Safe travels to all!


Maarten Botterman

Maarten Botterman

ICANN Board Member