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Board Work Ahead of and During ICANN68

18 June 2020

Over the past few months, ICANN org and the community have been working diligently to ensure that ICANN68, our second virtual ICANN Public Meeting and the first-ever Virtual Policy Forum, is capable of supporting the community’s ongoing policy and development work. The Board thanks everyone who has contributed to this process, especially as they balance the added stress and obligations brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Normally, we issue a pre-workshop blog just before ICANN Policy Forum. However, the Board will not be meeting face-to-face this time, and will instead meet remotely. We have switched to a more intense schedule of weekly meetings, instead of having three full-day workshops in a row. This is just one of the ways we have adapted to the current “normal.”  At the same time, our commitment to keeping you up-to-date on what keeps the Board busy still stands.

Over the past weeks, we’ve been holding discussions and prep sessions ahead of ICANN68 to ensure that we’re prepared to meaningfully engage with the community on a number of important topics. These include Domain Name System (DNS) abuse, the future of virtual Public Meetings, the Third Accountability and Transparency Review Team’s (ATRT3) final report, new generic top-level domain Subsequent Procedures (SubPro), and the latest developments regarding the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

In addition to the meetings that have been scheduled with the community’s Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees (SO/ACs), we look forward to participating during the upcoming plenary sessions:

We encourage everyone to join and participate during these plenary sessions. Individual Board members will also join a variety of community-led sessions to actively engage and better understand the community’s perspectives.

The Board continues to monitor the ongoing developments related to COVID-19, and greatly appreciates the community’s commitment to progressing its work despite the challenges. As recently announced, ICANN69, originally scheduled to be held in Hamburg, Germany, will now be held as our first-ever Virtual Annual General Meeting (AGM). The Board is confident that by building on the lessons learned during ICANN67 and ICANN68, and collaborating with the community, we will be able to make this work, together. We will continue to learn together; improve the engagement opportunities for all, as much as reasonably possible; and engage with the community on moving back to meetings “on location” over time.

While the COVID-19 virus continues to affect the world in many ways, it is more important than ever that we continue moving forward and making progress. The collaboration and dedication we’ve seen since the start of this pandemic is truly impressive and inspiring. Thank you for all that you do.

Please stay healthy and safe.


Maarten Botterman

Maarten Botterman

ICANN Board Member