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Chair’s Blog: A Preview of the ICANN Board’s April to May Workshop

29 April 2021
By Maarten BottermanMaarten Botterman

With ICANN70 still fresh on our minds, the ICANN Board is preparing to meet again for our next workshop, to be held from 30 April – 2 May 2021. To help streamline our agenda, on Thursday, 22 April, the Board Risk Committee (BRC) and the ICANN organization presented an update to the Risk Report, which is provided to and discussed by the Board twice a year.

2021 will certainly be remembered as a very busy year for ICANN. If you haven't already done so, I encourage you to read my recap of the Board workshop prior to the Virtual Community Forum. In it, you'll find an overview of some of the most pressing topics the Board is considering, such as the recommendations outlined in the final report of the Second Security, Stability, and Resiliency Review team (SSR2), as well as highlights from the resolutions stemming from our regular meeting of the Board.

On Friday, 30 April, we will kick off with a discussion with ICANN org President and CEO Göran Marby on current matters of interest. Becky Burr will then lead an update on the implementation of the recommendations laid out in the final report of the Competition, Consumer Trust, and Consumer Choice (CCT) Review Team. If you're interested in learning more about the CCT Review, I recommend reading this blog. For the final session of the day, Matthew Shears will give a presentation on the key trends highlighted at the Strategic Outlook Trend Identification session we held during our ICANN70 workshop.

On the second day of the workshop, Saturday, 1 May, we are holding two sessions. First, Avri Doria will be joined by Theresa Swinehart, ICANN org Senior Vice President of Global Domains and Strategy, to lead our discussion about how to approach scoping the Operational Design Phase (ODP) for the New generic top-level domain (gTLD) Subsequent Procedures (SubPro) Policy Development Process (PDP) recommendations that were approved by the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council. The ODP will ensure that the Board's decision, advice, and comments regarding the recommendations take into consideration ICANN's Bylaws, the Board's fiduciary duties, costs associated with implementation, and more.

The second session, hosted by Danko Jevtović and Becky Burr, will focus on the ICANN org's resourcing plan and an overview of the prioritization framework under development. With so many initiatives in the works, and more to begin in the near future, the Board has a responsibility to ensure that ICANN org is planning for how we'll achieve our objectives. This requires thoughtful focus on how ICANN's resources will be utilized in the most efficient and effective manner possible. Having a clear framework for how we prioritize our work is an important step in that direction.

On the final day of the workshop, Sunday, 2 May, the Board will discuss the Governmental Advisory Committee's (GAC) ICANN70 Communiqué, which contained GAC Consensus Advice, and prepare for our response. Vice Chair León Sánchez will then lead the Board in drafting our Fiscal Year 2022 operational priorities. The Board's priorities help us identify opportunities to improve our own operational efficiency and develop consensus on how to pursue those goals. I recently joined León virtually for a conversation about these priorities, which you can watch here.

As part of our commitment to continuous improvement, the workshop will finish off with a feedback session. We'll reflect on the workshop, discuss the successes, and consider how to further improve the way we work together. One of the Board's goals is to leverage the lessons learned during this period of virtual interactions to enhance virtual participation for future ICANN meetings.

As always, I will provide a recap of what transpired during each of these sessions in my post-workshop blog, so stay tuned.


Maarten Botterman

Maarten Botterman

ICANN Board Member

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