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ICANN in North America: New Engagement Plan and Hundreds of Participants in 2021

15 February 2022
By Joe CatapanoJoe Catapano and Naela SarrasNaela Sarras

It has been another busy year for the North American Global Stakeholder Engagement team (NA GSE) at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers organization (ICANN org). As you may know, ICANN does not make Internet policy, you do, through your participation in our meetings, programs, and policy development processes. Our job is to make sure anyone in the North American region who wants to be, can be, engaged, knowledgeable, and included in realizing ICANN's mission of making the Internet safer, more resilient and interoperable.

In July 2021, based on the broad participation and input from the community, our NA GSE team published the ICANN North American Regional Engagement Plan For the Fiscal Years 2021 – 2025. This was no small feat. This new regional engagement plan will guide our work's objectives and strategies into 2025.

Last year, we also saw the inauguration of a special virtual event series. Despite the pandemic, about 250 participants attended our four engagement sessions, discussing:

  • Briefing on Discussions at the U.N. and E.U.
  • Demystifying the Root Zone
  • A Look at the ICANN Strategic Plan
  • ICANN's Newcomer Programs

In addition to hosting the ICANN72 Annual General Meeting (AGM), which was held virtually from 25-28 October 2021, our team also organized the first ever North America Space session. The session provided an opportunity for our regional community to meet, network, and discuss pertinent issues related to ICANN processes. During this session, in which ICANN's President and CEO and Board members from the region participated, we focused our efforts on engaging with the regional community in evolving the NA Space and implementing the recently published Regional Engagement Plan.

Regarding our academic engagement, in addition to presenting to five universities, ICANN and the North American Network Operators Group (NANOG) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to conduct joint technical engagements at colleges and universities in the North America and Caribbean regions. Our outreach efforts will address issues we mutually share an interest in, such as cybersecurity programs, informatics, computer science, and other network-related issues. Special attention will focus on expanding engagement in underserved communities in both regions.

Without your efforts, the Internet would not be what it is today, a vast communication network increasingly available to the entire world. We would like to thank our regional community for a collaborative year and invite others to join our efforts. Please subscribe to our regional mailing list, regional newsletter, and follow-us on social media.

Authors

Joe Catapano

Joe Catapano

Stakeholder Engagement Sr Manager
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Naela Sarras

Naela Sarras

VP, Stakeholder Engagement - North America
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