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ICANN70 Virtual Meeting Improvements

5 March 2021
By Ashwin Rangan

In January, the ICANN Board announced that ICANN70, originally scheduled as an in-person meeting in Cancún, Mexico, will be held as the fourth virtual ICANN Public Meeting. As part of ICANN org's ongoing efforts to improve these virtual Public Meetings and meet the needs of ICANN's global community, we are pleased to announce a number of enhancements that will be available during ICANN70.

Over the past year, ICANN org has received consistent feedback from the community regarding their desire to network and socialize with one another. We fully recognize the importance of face-to-face meetings and can assure you that it's a sentiment shared by the Board, community, and org. During previous virtual meetings, the ICANN Meetings team hosted a number of virtual coffee breaks to help facilitate these connections.

For ICANN70, registered attendees will have the opportunity to schedule their own private meetings with other attendees, whether it's one-on-one or in a larger group, to catch up with friends or discuss important topics. This feature is available using the "schedule meeting" tool on the event website.

ICANN org is also exploring new ways to make the most of Zoom's new and improved features, in the hopes of enhancing participation during ICANN70. As such, Zoom's interpretation feature will be utilized to provide remote simultaneous interpretation (RSI) during sessions that normally receive this service. Additionally, Zoom's automated live transcript feature will be enabled in English for all sessions that do not receive real time transcription (RTT) from live captioners. Please note that the automated live transcripts might contain inaccuracies and are to be treated as working aids, rather than official transcripts of record. ICANN org will continue to provide and enhance language services to better address the needs of our community. More information about the language service enhancements being deployed for ICANN70 is available here.

In 2020, ICANN org received numerous requests for breakout rooms as part of the community's Zoom working sessions. Zoom has improved the way in which breakout rooms are created and managed. Responding to community requests, breakout rooms will now be available during working sessions held as a part of ICANN70. We trust that the ability to meet in smaller teams will encourage participants to take an active role in sessions and will help advance the community's work. ICANN org has developed guidelines for staff to ensure consistency in handling requests from the community to use Zoom breakout rooms while fulfilling accountability and transparency obligations.

Finally, ICANN will continue to stream high-interest and plenary sessions on YouTube, which enables community members with limited bandwidth or without access to Zoom to watch and listen to these sessions.

To make the most of these improvements, all participants will need to register for ICANN70 in advance. Additionally, we recommend you download the Zoom application. As always, we encourage you to reach out with any suggestions or feedback on how we can further enhance ICANN virtual or in-person Public Meetings.


Ashwin Rangan

Ashwin Rangan