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Chair’s Blog: June 2022 Board Workshop Preview

6 June 2022

Ahead of the ICANN74 Policy Forum, the ICANN Board of Directors will meet 10–12 June for its first in-person Board Workshop in more than two years. After so many virtual meetings, we are looking forward to meeting in person in The Hague, Netherlands. Some Board Directors will be attending virtually, which will give us the opportunity to experience the updated hybrid meeting format and help us prepare to engage effectively with the Community at ICANN74.

If you are planning to attend the hybrid ICANN74, which is taking place 13–16 June, be sure to register in advance, especially if you plan to attend in person. The deadline to register for in-person participation is Wednesday, 8 June. We are aware that traveling and meeting with colleagues and friends from around the world comes with risks, and so are committed to being inclusive to those who have chosen to participate virtually. The meeting is planned to be welcoming and inclusive for all, both in the room and online.

A central focus of the upcoming Board Workshop will be preparing for our discussions with the Community at ICANN74. As part of the Board's commitment to transparency and accountability, I would like to share with you our workshop agenda.

Friday, 10 June

I will begin the workshop with a short introduction, which will be followed by a dialogue with ICANN President and CEO Göran Marby. Then Board Vice-Chair León Sánchez and I will jointly lead a session dedicated to reflecting on the status of our current Board Operational Priorities and how they are affected by the threats and opportunities that we discussed at our previous workshop. We will also explore how to reflect support for our priorities in Göran's goals for fiscal year 2023.

Next, Matthew Shears will facilitate a midcycle evaluation of the ICANN Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2021–2025. During this session, the Board will discuss the progress being made to evolve the unique identifier systems, including by promoting Universal Acceptance and the implementation of Internationalized Domain Names, along with other strategic goals.

Saturday, 11 June

On Saturday, the day will open with an update on ongoing Independent Review Process matters, led by Becky in her role as the Chair of the Board Accountability Mechanisms Committee.

After that, Mandla Msimang and Matthew will begin by facilitating a discussion focused on further steps toward helping improve the effectiveness of ICANN's multistakeholder model.

As part of our preparation for further action, Avri Doria will lead a session on the New Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) Subsequent Procedures (SubPro) Policy Development Process. The session will include an update from ICANN Organization (Org) on the ongoing Operational Design Phase interaction with the Community on a number of key issues, and an overview of recent work by the Board SubPro Caucus.

In the afternoon, Becky Burr will lead a session on the System for Standardized Access/Disclosure (SSAD) to Nonpublic gTLD Registration Data and the proposed SSAD Light concept. The Generic Names Supporting Organization has requested the Board to pause consideration of the SSAD recommendations while the SSAD Light design work is explored, and the session will help ensure we understand the way forward. Then the Board Caucus on Domain Name System (DNS) Abuse will provide an update on its work in a session led by Sarah Deutsch and James Galvin. Our aim is to stand ready to support the Community in scoping and progressing work related to DNS abuse.

Next, the Board Risk Committee, led by committee Chair Harald Alvestrand, will give its report to the Board. ICANN Org and the Board Risk Committee continuously review the risk landscape and present their findings for discussion with the full Board twice a year.

Sunday, 12 June

Before we start our final day of our workshop, Göran, León, and I will meet with the leaders of the ICANN Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees. This meeting will provide an opportunity to connect and discuss priorities, and how to make the most of ICANN74.

After lunch, James Galvin will lead a session on the policy work planned for ICANN74. To prepare for policy discussions at the meeting, I encourage you to read the ICANN74 Policy Outlook Report. Next, ICANN Org staff will provide an update on the Pilot Planning Prioritization Framework, which aims to allow the Org and the Community to test the processes and methodologies developed in the draft framework.

Before the end of the workshop, we will hold a session to discuss a number of issues on which we intend to take action, followed by a Board Meeting to pass a number of resolutions. The meeting agenda will be published beforehand, as always, on the ICANN website.

As with all Board Workshops, we will end the day with a feedback session to discuss the effectiveness of the workshop and how we might improve next time. This time, I also expect to receive feedback on the new health and safety protocols put in place for in-person meetings, including ICANN74. We realize that these measures may feel cumbersome, but their goal is to help ensure that those who attend in person know what to expect when making their personal risk assessments.

As we move to hybrid meetings, ICANN is committed to providing a safe environment for those who attend in person, while ensuring that all attendees are able to participate effectively. If you are attending ICANN74 in person, please join us at a "Meet and greet the ICANN Board" Community Networking Cocktail session on Monday, 13 June.

After ICANN74, I will provide a recap of the June Board Workshop and our work at the Policy Forum, so stay tuned. Looking forward to seeing you in my hometown, The Hague!


Maarten Botterman

Maarten Botterman

ICANN Board Member