Next week, the ICANN community will convene in Singapore for ICANN 52. The meeting comes at an important time - particularly regarding the efforts focused on the transition of the IANA stewardship function and the work to enhance and define ICANN’s accountability as an organization. It is in that latter context that the leaders of the Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees (SO-AC) will gather on Monday 8 February from 14:00-15:15 local time (0600–0715 UTC) in the Padang Room for their now traditional SO/AC High-Interest Topic Panel.
While a cross-community working group pursues discussions of how ICANN's broader accountability mechanisms should be strengthened, SO-AC leaders are also aware that the multistakeholder community is challenged (and accountable) for providing meaningful and sustained contributions to a substantial and continuous workload of policy, strategic and operational matters. This is a challenge that faces all members of the community.
The panel session in Singapore will build on work started at ICANN 51. In Los Angeles community leaders met collectively as a group with senior ICANN staff and began a shared and focused effort to generate new ideas, establish clear goals, and suggest work plans to help them substantively and comprehensively address some of the current workload challenges facing members of the ICANN community.
The community leaders identified several areas where additional processes, resources, or capabilities could improve the working effectiveness of staff and community participants. They agreed to establish work initiatives to begin generating ideas through best-practice sharing across the various Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees that could drive improvements in three main areas:
- Establishing a stakeholder-led mechanism for prioritizing ICANN’s overall policy issues and related work areas,
- Developing comprehensive information management improvements to make information about ICANN’s current and past work more accessible and available to all existing and future ICANN participants, and
- Identifying ways to improve the community’s capabilities to identify and attract new and productive community participants while retaining and supporting existing participants who dedicate their time and efforts to ICANN’s work.
The panel session will explore each of the three areas and also invite audience contributions to the discussion. As always, remote participation services will be available. We encourage participation on Twitter through the hashtag, #askSOAC, which will be closely monitored for feedback during and after the session. Above all else, we hope the session will promote broader discussion of practical problem-solving improvements that will help identify solutions for more effectively managing, delivering and supporting contributions to ICANN’s core work.