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ICANN 51: DAY 3: Collaborative Planning

14 October 2014
By Denise Michel

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Community members working on the Strategic Plan

ICANN has changed a lot over the last sixteen years. One thing that hasn't changed, though, is our collaborative approach to planning.

You'll witness this in many ways at ICANN51 including: Board action on a new long-term Strategic Plan (the culmination of an eighteen-month, multistakeholder, multilingual planning process), a public session to discuss how the Strategic Plan links to the operating plans and budgets, and how to engage the ICANN community over the next five years.

Developing a Strategic Plan the ICANN Way

On Thursday, the ICANN Board is scheduled to consider the final draft of the new Strategic Plan [PDF, 1.61 MB] for fiscal years 2016 – 2020. Before we jump into the elements of the Plan, I'd like to reflect on the process used to create it because our collaborative community-planning process is quintessentially ICANN and inspired similar activities within the ITU and EU. Our Strategic Plan is the result of community, Board and Staff brainstorming, analysis, and planning, as well as fourteen months of public comments and discussions over multiple continents, online forums, and five ICANN meetings.

Many of you will remember that this community-driven process began in April 2013 online and at the ICANN meeting in Beijing, when ICANN's President & CEO, Fadi Chehadé, asked the world: What are the major environmental shifts (or factors) impacting the Internet in the next 1-5 years that should be taken into consideration when ICANN creates its new five-year strategy? The subsequent community brainstorming, iterations of draft plans, and public comments brought us to a final Strategic Plan.

It is intended to coalesce our global community around a new overarching vision and long-term objectives. The final draft Strategic Plan pending for Board action articulates ICANN's new Vision, restates ICANN's founding Mission, and sets forth five Strategic Objectives. Each Objective is tied to Strategic Goals, Key Success Factors (Outcomes), and Strategic Risks.

VISION: ICANN's vision is that of an independent, global organization trusted worldwide to coordinate the global Internet's systems of unique identifiers to support a single, open globally interoperable Internet. ICANN builds trust through serving the public interest, and incorporating the transparent and effective cooperation among stakeholders worldwide to facilitate its coordination role.

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES: 1) Evolve and further globalize ICANN; 2) Support a healthy, stable, and resilient unique identifier ecosystem; 3) Advance organizational, technological and operational excellence; 4) Promote ICANN's role and multistakeholder approach; 5) Advance ICANN's global public responsibility within its mission and commitment to the public interest.

A Collaborative Planning Framework

To provide the public with more insight and advance ICANN's accountability and transparency, a draft Five-Year Operating Plan is being developed to compliment the Strategic Plan. A new element of ICANN's planning framework, the Five-Year Operating Plan will detail— for each Strategic Objective and Goal—portfolios of ICANN activities, key operational success factors (outcomes), risks, key performance indicators (measurements), key dependencies, and phasing over five years (through FY2020).

The Strategic Plan and Five-Year Operating Plan will provide the foundation for ICANN's annual operating plans and budgets. Along with these new plans, a new planning framework will be developed with the community to identify when and how the plans will be reviewed with the community and updated going forward. This will be the focus of discussions at the "Strategic and Operating Planning" session scheduled for Wednesday morning, 15 October.

We hope you will join us there to continue ICANN's collaborative planning tradition.


Denise Michel

Former SSR2 Review Team Co-Chair