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Chair’s Blog: Wrapping up the Los Angeles Workshop

20 February 2019
By Cherine Chalaby

The ICANN Board recently met in Los Angeles for our first workshop of 2019. As you may have read in my preview blog, we held three public sessions on the progress of the Board's FY19 priorities, an overview of track five of the Geographical Names as TLDs Policy Development Process, and a planning session to consider the recommendations outlined in the Cross Community Working Group on the Accountability Work Stream 2.

We followed the agenda as detailed in the preview blog, using the session dedicated to proposed Board resolutions to discuss, at length, the reconsideration requests that the Board would consider at its meeting later that morning. We also had the pleasure of having lunch with the Generic Name Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council, which had its own meeting nearby at the same time.

In this blog, I will share some of the more salient discussions from the Board workshop, as well as provide a summary of the key resolutions the Board passed during the public Board meeting and during another Board meeting held earlier this month.

Tracking Legislation & Regulations

ICANN President and CEO Göran Marby led an interactive session on the ICANN org's work to track legislation and regulations that could impact ICANN and its mission. We had a robust discussion about how ICANN should appropriately engage with governments to educate and help avoid unintended consequences. Our discussion focused on determining transparency around how we engage on legislative or regulatory initiatives, and ensuring that any actions we take are within our remit and our mission, while not taking political views of legislation.

Göran will develop a proposed approach on these engagement efforts and will share it with the ICANN community.

Strengthening ICANN's Multistakeholder Model of Governance

We also held a session on ICANN's governance. If you recall, the second objective of our draft strategic plan is to improve the effectiveness of our multistakeholder model of governance – a model that grew to fit our needs. However, as ICANN continues to evolve, and as our environment becomes more complex and higher in risk, our governance must also evolve; without compromising our deeply valued bottom-up decision-making process.

In line with that objective, at ICANN63 in Barcelona, the Board started a community-wide dialogue on this topic. Discussions with the community in multiple fora revealed several common issues.

At ICANN64 in Kobe, the Board would like this dialogue to continue to make sure we hear all stakeholders and have a fuller understanding of these issues. That dialogue will take place in a face-to-face session. The Board recognizes the importance of participating in this dialogue, but not leading it. As a result, an outcome from the Board workshop was to direct Göran to appoint a facilitator who has good knowledge of ICANN, its processes and accountability mechanisms, and is a long-time member of the community to guide us through a bottom-up dialogue. Board members look forward to participating in these discussions as part of the larger community.

Next Round of New Generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs)

For many years now, the Board has made it clear that no new date for a next round of new gTLDs will be set until the community has completed the various reviews related to the previous round. The reviews are expected to come to an end within the next 12 months. In addition, since the launch of the previous round, we have seen an expansion of the domain name space, with over one thousand top-level domain names added to the root.

Based on this, the Board directed Göran to confirm the status of these reviews and to present the Board with suggestions on the preparatory work required for the possible launch of a subsequent round of new gTLDs. The Board intends to review these suggestions at its meeting next month in Kobe.

Community Recommendations

In two separate sessions, the Board reviewed recommendations from the Competition, Consumer Trust, and Consumer Choice Review Team's report and recommendations outlined in the Cross Community Working Group on the Accountability Work Stream 2 Final Report [PDF, 444 KB]. After these discussions and prior to making any final decisions, the Board has instructed Göran to develop costed implementation and feasibility plans and timelines as part of the information to present back to the Board for a discussion on next steps. The Board also discussed the community's role in prioritizing resources to implement the work recommended across various reviews.

RSSAC and SSAC Advice

The Board discussed the Root Server System Advisory Committee's proposal for a DNS Root Server System (RSSAC037 [PDF, 2.59 MB]) governance model as well as the Security and Stability Advisory Committee's Name Collision Analysis Project plan. In both instances, we had fruitful discussions where we identified next steps for ICANN org and the community to work together and make progress toward implementation of the plans.

Board Resolutions

On 16 January 2019, before we met in Los Angeles we held a telephonic meeting of the Board and passed four resolutions, including:

On 27 January 2019, we held a public Board meeting and passed several resolutions, including:

For more details about the public Board meeting and the resolutions passed, please see the Board Page.

I will write to you again ahead of the Board workshop preceding ICANN64 in Kobe.


Cherine Chalaby

Former ICANN Board Chair