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Multistakeholder Innovation

31 January 2014
By Beth Noveck

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The ICANN Strategy Panel on Multistakeholder Innovation, supported by The Governance Lab @ NYU (GovLab), has been working over the course of the past several months to develop recommendations for how ICANN can evolve the ways it engages and collaborates with global stakeholders in coordinating the Internet’s unique identifier systems. Specifically, we were tasked by Fadi with:

  1. Proposing new models for broad, inclusive engagement, consensus-based policymaking and institutional structures to support such enhanced functions; and
  2. Designing processes, tools and platforms that enable a global ICANN community to engage in these new forms of participatory decision-making.

To undertake answering this important charter, the Panel and GovLab launched a 3-stage brainstorm initiative in November at ICANN 48 in Buenos Aires. This initiative began with Stage 1: Idea Generation, which consisted of an open call for ideas for how to innovate the way ICANN practices multistakeholderism and collaborates across borders. This took place via an online engagement platform.

Starting in the new year, the Panel and GovLab proceeded into Stage 2: Proposal Development, which has involved reviewing and organizing the innovative ideas shared to inform an initial set of 16 proposal ideas for ICANN. These proposals have been informed by the dialogue and ideas shared via the engagement platform, interviews with ICANN staff and community members, observation of ICANN’s day-to-day work (in particular of the Policy Development Support Team), participation in ICANN 48, expert consultations and further independent research.

These proposal ideas are captured in an initial draft blueprint meant to provide a framework for moving ICANN toward a truly effective, legitimate and evolving 21st century organization. Each of the blueprint’s 16 proposals will be further fleshed out into individual proposal drafts, which the Panel will share online, asking experts, community members and the global public to comment, react and provide feedback via line-by-line annotation and commenting features. Each proposal draft will include some open questions that with your help will enable the Panel to further marry these innovative approaches to ICANN’s current practices. This stage is designed to help take ideas closer to implementation. The final stage of the Panel’s work will feature Collaborative Drafting, wherein the Panel will release a full report draft via a wiki and ask the community and public for help to fine-tune.

The Panel and GovLab welcome your continued input on the preliminary set of conclusions it has reached. We encourage all to visit the GovLab Blog and ICANN project page to learn more about how you can provide feedback, comments and reactions to help the Panel move these initial conclusions even closer to implementation.  You can also reach the panel anytime by email at icannmsipanel@thegovlab.org


Beth Noveck