This week, the ICANN Board will be meeting for its sixth and final workshop of calendar 2018, ahead of ICANN63. While Board workshops are generally held over the span of three days, this workshop will also include an additional two days of onboarding sessions for incoming Board members.
Workshops held before ICANN Public Meetings are an important opportunity for the Board to meet and discuss some of the most pressing issues that the community will be tackling during its time together. With conversations still ongoing regarding the impact of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the choice of disbursement mechanism for ICANN’s new gTLD auction proceeds, and more, it’s critical that the Board fully understand these issues before we meet with the community to discuss them.
The first two days of the workshop, 17-18 October, are entirely dedicated to our onboarding activities for Board members whose terms start during the Annual General Meeting (AGM). These sessions cover some of the most critical, high-level topics that Board members need to fully comprehend, such as the fundamentals of the Board’s administration and operations, governance, best practices, and the role of ICANN’s Supportive Organizations and Advisory Committees. Our onboarding process has evolved quite a bit since I joined the Board eight years ago, and I’m confident that our current process provides new Board members with the tools they need to start their term on an informed basis.
Friday, 19 October, is the first day of the Board’s normal workshop sessions. Following my opening remarks, the Board will meet with Göran Marby, ICANN’s President and CEO, to discuss his priorities and goals for the organization. Avri Doria will then be leading a discussion of the key topics for ICANN63, followed by two sessions aimed at preparing the Board for its meeting with ICANN’s various constituency groups. After a short break, we will hold a session regarding the Board Finance Committee’s recommended strategy for replenishing the ICANN’s Reserve Fund. Ron da Silva will then be hosting a presentation by the ICANN organization about the FY18 Audited Financial Statement and a report of the Board’s expenses.
On Saturday, 20 October, we’ll start the day with an opportunity to review and discuss any upcoming resolutions, as well as an update on active accountability mechanisms. Afterwards, Göran will be leading a session about the status of the .AMAZON applications, and Chris Disspain will be leading a discussion about ICANN’s litigation and providing updates from the Board’s Accountability Mechanisms Committee.
On Saturday afternoon, Becky Burr and Göran will be leading a discussion about GDPR, the engagement with the community, and the current status of efforts to obtain legal clarity for a possible unified access model. They’ll also provide the Board with an update on the Expedited Policy Development Process being led by the Generic Names Supporting Organization. Akinori Maemura will then be providing a post-action debrief of the Root Zone Key Signing Key Rollover.
In the latter half of the afternoon, Kaveh Ranjbar will be leading a Board session, which will be open to the public (details for joining here), to discuss a status report from the Board’s Technical Committee on the current plans to respond to the RSSAC’s recommendations for a proposed governance model for the DNS Root Server System. For the final two sessions of the day, Becky and Maarten Botterman will be updating the Board on the work being done by the Cross-Community Working Group on new gTLD Auction Proceeds, followed by a review of ICANN’s various risks and mitigation actions that will be led by Ram Mohan and Lito Ibarra.
Sunday, 21 October, will be largely devoted to strategic planning and Board committee meetings. If you’ll recall, I wrote in my preview of the Genval workshop about the importance of setting aside time during our workshops for strategic thinking and discussions about ICANN’s long-term priorities. Ram will once again be leading our strategic planning session at the start of the day, and Becky will then host a session dedicated to Board leadership slating.
After lunch, Ram and Lito will be holding the second part of our risk workshop, and Maarten will then be leading two consecutive sessions. The first will go over the proposed agenda for the meeting of the Board-GAC Recommendation Implementation Working Group, and the second will be a briefing to prepare for the informal dialogue between the Board and the GAC regarding the two-character codes. The rest of the day will be dedicated to meetings of the Board’s various committees, including the Board Governance Committee, the Board IDN Working Group, and the Board Accountability Mechanisms Committee.
As you can see, we have quite a lot of ground to cover and topics to discuss during a short amount of time, while also bringing our new Board members up to speed and ready for the road ahead. I look forward to seeing many of you in Barcelona, and safe travels to all