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Chair's Blog: A Wrap-Up of the Genval Board Workshop

21 September 2018
By Cherine Chalaby

Last weekend, the ICANN Board met in Genval, Belgium, to hold our fifth workshop of calendar year 2018. Four incoming Board members were able to join us: Merike Kaeo, Danko Jevtovic, Nigel Roberts, and Tripti Sinha.

On Friday, 14 September, Ram Mohan kicked off the workshop with a session on strategic planning. During that session, the Board reviewed the feedback on the strategic outlook work, including the input from the community on trends that could impact the future of ICANN. We talked about our approach, our vision, engaging with the community, and how we see the timing of the development of the strategic plan unfolding.

In the afternoon we held Board committees’ sessions for the Board’s Governance, Organizational Effectiveness, and Technical Committees. Then we all attended an engagement event held at ICANN's regional office in Brussels, where we met local stakeholders and thanked them for their time and contributions to ICANN.

On Saturday morning,15 September, Göran Marby, ICANN President and CEO, began the day, as we do at each workshop, with a dialogue regarding his key priorities for the organization. He also led an extensive conversation with the Board on the status of the .AMAZON applications, which was the subject of a Board resolution in our public Board meeting on Sunday morning.

Then, Göran and Becky Burr held a GDPR-related discussion about the status of current work, including topics around a possible unified access model, which would seek to provide a unified approach for how parties with a legitimate interest would access non-public WHOIS data. Chris Disspain and León Sanchez provided an update on the Generic Name Supporting Organization's (GNSO) Expedited Policy Development Process (EPDP) on the Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data. We discussed how the EPDP team is following a challenging work program, and that its upcoming face-to-face meeting in Los Angeles will be an important milestone to demonstrate progress on the development of an Initial Report and recommendations.

Avri Doria led a session about the most recent developments concerning second level protections for International Governmental Organization (IGO) acronyms. The GNSO is close to completing the IGO-INGO Curative Rights Protection Mechanisms Policy Development Process (PDP). The GNSO Council acknowledged receipt of a final report from the working group but has not yet voted on the recommendations. Inconsistencies remain between the PDP Working Group’s recommendations and GAC advice issued to date on the topic of curative rights protections for IGOs.

On Saturday afternoon, David Conrad led a robust discussion around Domain Abuse Activity Reporting, followed by a demonstration of the progress made to-date on the Information Transparency Initiative. Then Göran facilitated a discussion on how ICANN org should navigate incoming requests from contracted parties, when ongoing community work could result in a process change that might impact the request.

Akinori Maemura led a session about the KSK Rollover, which was the subject of a resolution in our public Board meeting the following day. We had a beneficial in-depth discussion, exploring the concerns expressed as a result of the public comments and advice received, given the potential impact of the rollover.

Ram then hosted a session where the Board discussed the ICANN org's recommendations for the strategy to reduce effects of security attacks on the root server system managed by ICANN. In our final session of the day, Akinori, and Ron da Silva led a discussion of the Board's response to concerns raised by the Numbers Resource Organization and Regional Internet Registries about how to effectively participate in ICANN.

On Sunday morning, 16 September, we began the day with a public Board meeting, as we usually do. We passed resolutions with regards to:

  • The KSK Rollover;
  • Response to the GAC advice from the Panama Communiqué;
  • Further consideration of the .AMAZON applications;
  • Appointing a new member of SSAC;
  • Convening the first IANA Naming Function Review;
  • Appointment of 2019 NomCom Chair and Chair-Elect; and
  • The renewal of the .COOP Registry Agreement.

For more details on the workshop, including the full text of the resolutions from the public Board Meeting, please see the Board Page.

After our public Board Meeting Becky Burr led a session aimed at reviewing the results of the Board's 360-degree review.

On Sunday afternoon, Maarten Botterman and Becky facilitated an ongoing discussion about disbursement mechanisms for auction proceeds. They provided the Board with an update on current community work, and the planned initial report from the Cross-Community Working Group on Auction Proceeds.

We then held a meeting where we finalized the Board’s FY19 operational priorities, led by Maarten. You can expect an update on these in a blog ahead of ICANN63.

At the end of the day, Becky led a discussion regarding the Board's leadership roles and the slates for the various committees and working groups, ahead of the Annual General Meeting in Barcelona.

I look forward to seeing you in Barcelona for ICANN63.


Cherine Chalaby

Former ICANN Board Chair