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Chairman’s Blog: Previewing the Montevideo Workshop

13 September 2017

Steve Crocker, Former ICANN Board Chair

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On a regular basis, both in-between ICANN meetings and at the beginning of each ICANN Meeting, the ICANN Board meets in a workshop format. During these workshops, the Board and ICANN’s management team come together for in-depth consideration of important and timely ICANN issues.

These workshops provide the Board with face-to-face time for discussion and decision-making on matters of interest to the ICANN community and requirements regarding the work of the ICANN organization. The Board generally uses one day for committee and working group meetings and two days as a full group on timely topics and longer-term strategic issues. The Board usually selects 10-12 topics during each Workshop.

From 20-23 September 2017, the ICANN Board of Directors will be meeting in Montevideo for our last intersessional Board workshop of the year. Ahead of that meeting, I want to give you a brief overview of what we expect to be covering and discussing.

Recently, the Board has adopted a five-block structure to help guide how we spend our time at workshops and we will be conducting the upcoming workshop in this manner.

The five blocks for this workshop are:

  1. Oversight of Policy Development & Cross-Community Initiatives
  2. ICANN Org Oversight
  3. Strategic & Forward Thinking
  4. Governance & Fiduciary Responsibilities
  5. Community Engagement & External Relationships

We’re meeting in Montevideo in part to facilitate attendance and interaction with the Latin America and Caribbean Network Information Centre (LACNIC), who will be in town for one of their annual meetings. The extra day associated with this workshop will give us time to interact with the LACNIC Board and the LACNIC community. Two key committee meetings this time are the Organizational Effectiveness Committee (OEC), which will be looking at ongoing At-Large Review and addressing community coordination issues for the Specific Reviews, and the Board Audit Committee, which will review the draft audited financials and hear from the Independent Auditors about their work.

On the Friday, 22 September, our schedule is divided up into three blocks, following the opening and a dialogue with ICANN CEO Göran Marby. During these blocks, we’ll be hosting one public session, the details of which you can find here. The public session will address how the ICANN Board intends to respond to the Governmental Advisory Committee’s (GAC) advice in its Johannesburg Communiqué.

In addition to the public session, which I highly encourage you to join and listen to, the Board will discuss the path to reaching resolution of open issues on name collision. The Board will also start planning for the election of the Board’s leadership positions, as well as slating for the Board’s committees in advance of the Annual Meeting at ICANN60 in Abu Dhabi, where these selections will be made.

The final day of the workshop, the Saturday, 23 September, will start with a webcasted Board meeting, which I hope you’ll be able to join. The remainder of the day will be focused on strategic issues and the road ahead for both the Board and the organization, including conversations about priorities for FY18 and long-term financial planning.

This workshop comes few weeks ahead of the Annual General Meeting. For the last several years we have made a practice of inviting incoming Board members to join us even before they are formally seated. I am pleased that León Sanchez, Matthew Shears, Avri Doria and Sarah Deutsch will all be able to join us. This facilitates smooth transition and helps the new members come up to speed quickly.

As many of you are aware, this is my last year as Chairman of the ICANN Board, with my term ending at the beginning of November. I look forward to sharing my personal reflections with the Board during this workshop. Personally, I’m also looking forward to enjoying some delicious Uruguayan asado. We’ll plan to update you in the days following the Board workshop to share key takeaways and updates from the sessions discussed here.

Former ICANN Board Chair

Steve Crocker