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Chair’s Blog: September Board Workshop Preview

14 September 2022

After a successful return to hybrid Public Meetings with ICANN74, I am looking forward to once again engaging with the ICANN Community in person and online at ICANN75. If you are planning to attend the hybrid Annual General Meeting (AGM), which is taking place 17–22 September, I encourage you to register in advance. If you plan to attend in person in Kuala Lumpur, the deadline to register is Wednesday, 14 September.

I also urge you to peruse the open Public Comment proceedings before ICANN75 so you are prepared to discuss and weigh in on these important issues: Registration Data Policy; proposed amendments to specify operational requirements for RDAP in the Registry Agreement and Registrar Accreditation Agreements; the Universal Acceptance Roadmap for Domain Name Registry and Registrar Systems; and the Pilot Holistic Review draft Terms of Reference.

The AGM is the third and largest ICANN Public Meeting of the year and is where new members of the ICANN Board of Directors take their seats. I would like to welcome incoming members Chris Chapman, Wes Hardaker, Christian Kaufmann, and Sajidur Rahman. And I would like to thank departing members Akinori Maemura, Mandla Msimang, Ihab Osman, and Kaveh Ranjbar, who will complete their terms at the end of ICANN75. They have all worked hard and contributed immensely to the ICANN Board.

Before ICANN75, the Board will come together 15–18 September for a hybrid Board Workshop to advance our work and prepare for the AGM. Here is an overview of the agenda:

Thursday, 15 September

The workshop will kick off with a day of team-building activities, which will help Board members get to know one another and prepare for the work ahead.

Friday, 16 September

The following day, I will begin by giving a short introduction, which will include an overview of topics discussed and decisions made at our June workshop. Next, we will have a session to discuss a question we asked stakeholders in preparation of ICANN75: "What collaborative actions should the Community, Board, and Org be undertaking to further progress achieving our strategic priorities?"

As with every workshop, the Board will engage in a dialogue with ICANN President and CEO Göran Marby. Following this session, the Board will discuss the membership of Board committees and prepare for the Board leadership elections for next Board term.

Saturday, 17 September

On Saturday, Göran, León Sánchez, and I will meet with the leaders of the ICANN Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees to discuss our plans and priorities for ICANN75.

Then James Galvin and Sarah Deutsch will lead a session of the Board Caucus on DNS Abuse to address the ongoing discussions around Domain Name System (DNS) abuse. The Board plans to discuss how we can forge a common understanding of the problem among the Community, Org, and Board, and what actions we might take to make the Internet a safer place for everyone.

After lunch, the Board will discuss the policy recommendations related to rights protections for intergovernmental organization (IGO) identifiers in a session led by Becky Burr. The Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council unanimously approved five consensus recommendations from the Expedited Policy Development Process on Specific Curative Rights Protections for IGOs in June, and then submitted its Recommendations Report to the Board the following month.

Next, Göran will share the results of the annual ICANN Org staff engagement survey, which seeks to identify areas of improvement for the organization. Last, we will finish the day with an update on the Information Transparency Initiative, an ongoing effort to further improve ICANN's content governance and infrastructure, make information easier to find on icann.org, and enable a multilingual user experience. The ITI team will give us a demonstration of the updated Board-related pages that will be released soon.

Sunday, 18 September

Much of the last day of the workshop will be dedicated to preparing for ICANN75, beginning with a policy briefing and an overview of key issues for the meeting, shepherded by James. In the afternoon, we will continue our preparations by reviewing resolutions ahead of the public Board Meeting and getting ready for the Public Forum, which are both scheduled for 22 September.

In addition, Göran and ICANN Org staff will share an update on the work to design a system for disclosing WHOIS data. The WHOIS Disclosure System project stems from the Community's work as well as the Operational Design Phase conducted by the Org on the System for Standardized Access/Disclosure to Nonpublic gTLD Registration Data. ICANN Org has published the design paper ahead of ICANN75.

Finally, I will end the workshop with a feedback session to discuss the effectiveness of the workshop and possible improvements. As always, I will follow up after the workshop with a blog detailing the progress we made, as well as highlights from the AGM.

I wish everyone traveling to Kuala Lumpur a smooth and safe journey, and I look forward to seeing you at ICANN75!


Maarten Botterman

Maarten Botterman

ICANN Board Member