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Chair’s Blog: Preview of April–May 2022 Board Workshop

28 April 2022

This week, the ICANN Board of Directors is holding a virtual Board Workshop from 28 April to 1 May. While we had originally planned for a hybrid meeting, with some Board members gathering in person, the ever-changing pandemic circumstances meant that we once again are meeting over Zoom.

Our workshop takes place following a two-day virtual meeting of the leaders of the ICANN Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees, which Board Vice-Chair León Sánchez and I attended. Both meetings provide a good opportunity to further discuss and prepare for our planned hybrid ICANN74 Policy Forum in June.

Our goal is to implement the best possible health and safety measures for those who consider participating in ICANN Public Meetings in person. I recognize that such a consideration should be a personal decision, based on a clear understanding of the measures taken for participation "on location" – wherever that is. The term "hybrid" stands for a commitment to ensuring that effective participation in our meetings is also possible for those not physically in the room.

I encourage you to register to attend ICANN74 either virtually or in person if you have not already done so. ICANN is committed to ensuring that the Community can continue to participate safely and effectively under these continuously evolving circumstances, whether in the room or via Zoom.

Here is the agenda for the Board Workshop. We look forward to engaging with you on these topics and others during ICANN74.

Thursday, 28 April

The first day of the workshop featured a session dedicated to team-building and collaboration among Board members, during which we used the tools we learned to appreciate virtual environments.

Friday, 29 April

The next day, Matthew Shears will lead a session focused on the ICANN Strategic Plan objective of "addressing political issues impacting ICANN's mission to ensure a single, globally interoperable Internet." During this session, the Board will identify and review new and evolving geopolitical trends that could impact ICANN's work.

Matthew will also provide an update on the prioritization session that the Board continued at the March Board Workshop. Through this exercise, the Board examined its FY22 Work Plan against the ICANN Strategic Plan to ensure that the Board's priorities are aligned with it.

The day will conclude with an update from ICANN President and CEO Göran Marby.

Saturday, 30 April

The third day will start with a discussion on alternative name spaces led by Göran and ICANN Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer John Crain. Next, Avri Doria will facilitate a discussion on the New Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) Subsequent Procedures (SubPro), including an update on the Operational Design Phase work by the Org, a review of specific topic areas from the New gTLD SubPro Policy Development Process Final Report, and plans for a session at ICANN74.

After a break, Becky Burr will lead a session dedicated to the next steps for the System for Standardized Access/Disclosure to Nonpublic Generic Top-Level Domain Registration Data (SSAD). The Board will discuss the SSAD proof of concept that ICANN Org prepared for the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council's Small Team. The Small Team is reviewing the SSAD Operational Design Assessment to help guide the GNSO Council and the Board's continuing discussions on how to proceed with the policy recommendations on the SSAD. We will stand ready to consider next step requests from the GNSO Council on this.

Sunday, 1 May

On the final day of the workshop, I will begin with a session on ICANN74 to explore how the Board can best engage with the Community at this unique hybrid meeting. We will also discuss ways to support and stimulate further Community participation in ICANN policy-making and related activities. And we will evaluate our approach on what factors to consider when determining whether it is responsible to continue with meeting at a specific location.

Next, Avri will lead a session focused on the work of the third Accountability and Transparency Review team. The session will include a status update on work of the Pilot Holistic Review Terms of Reference Team, which has started working on the draft Terms of Reference.

The Board will then hold a Special Board Meeting. As with all our Board Workshops, I will close with a feedback session during which we will evaluate the effectiveness of the workshop and discuss ways to improve how we meet and work together.

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


Maarten Botterman

Maarten Botterman

ICANN Board Member