Read ICANN Blogs to stay informed of the latest policymaking activities, regional events, and more.

Preview of ICANN72 and the October Board Workshop

20 October 2021

ICANN is moving at full speed, with several important projects underway or nearing launch. But first, the upcoming Board workshop will be dedicated to planning for the ICANN72 Annual General Meeting (AGM). The primary goal is to ensure that we are fully prepared to engage effectively with the Community and Organization (Org) during ICANN72 and further the work to which we are all committed.

The AGM is also the event where we welcome new ICANN Board Members and liaisons and thank the departing members for their service. Departing after the last day of the AGM are Ron da Silva, Lito Ibarra, Merike Käo, and Nigel Roberts. They have all been excellent colleagues and we are grateful for their valuable contributions.

The new Board members and liaisons come from different regions and are named to the Board by various stakeholder groups, but once they join the Board, they agree to act in the best interests of all of ICANN. The new members are: Allan Barrett (Africa, named as a voting board member by the Address Supporting Organization); Edmon Chung (Asia Pacific, named as a voting board member by the Nominating Committee); James Galvin (North America, named a board liaison by the Security and Stability Advisory Committee); and Katrina Sataki (Europe, named as a voting board member by the Country Code Names Supporting Organization). They have been actively participating in our Board activities since the September Board Workshop and will join us again at the October Board Workshop.

Due to ICANN’s important role protecting the Internet, risk preparedness is key. On Thursday, the Board Risk Committee will lead a biannual Board discussion on the Risk Report. The report helps us understand and address any risks that might negatively impact our ability to fulfill our mission.

One of the key topics we’ll discuss during our workshop and during ICANN72 will be the ongoing community conversation about Domain Name System (DNS) abuse and security threats. The Board working group on DNS abuse will lead discussions, and we have invited a panel of senior Internet security experts to share their views on the topic with the Board. The session will be open to the public and you can register here to listen in. The ICANN Board remains engaged on this issue and ready to support the Community as it determines the path forward to tackle it.

We will spend Saturday taking a deep dive into ongoing policy efforts and hot topics. Org briefings will help the Board prepare for our meetings on topics stakeholders and constituencies would like to discuss. At ICANN72, we are eager to hear from the constituencies about addressing geopolitical challenges that impact ICANN’s remit. We will also be consulting with the Advisory Committees to further improve the current Board Advice process. 

Up first, we will receive an update on ICANN’s first Operational Design Phase (ODP). The first ODP is assessing the System for Standardized Access/Disclosure (SSAD) to handle nonpublic registration data as outlined in the Final Report of the Expedited Policy Development Process (EPDP) on the Temporary Specification for gTLD Registration Data Phase 2. The ODP mechanism will improve and augment the transparency of the Board’s consideration of policy recommendations and ensure that they are in the best interests of ICANN and the ICANN Community.

The timeline for delivery of the Operational Design Assessment to the Board required adjustment. At this session, the Org will update the Board on the timeline extension, and assumptions building on the experience and insights gained over the past months while building ICANN’s first ODP. We anticipate learning from progress made on SSAD considerations, as well as from the experience with the ODP process.

Sunday, we will also discuss the developments in Expedited Policy Development Process for Specific Curative Rights Protections for International Governmental Organizations (EPDP-IGO). This EPDP was initiated in August of 2021, and the team has already published an Initial Report for Public Comment

Turning to ICANN72, we look forward to meeting with Community constituencies, as this is an opportunity for us to discuss issues of mutual interest in an open way. All of our constituency meetings are listed in the ICANN72 schedule, and I encourage you to listen in if you can. Even though each session is dedicated to the specific constituency’s delegates, I am sure subjects will be raised and discussed that are of wider interest as well.

We are very much aware of the high interest in getting back to face-to-face meetings once it is safe and practical to do so. Additionally, we want to learn from our experience and preserve the best aspects of virtual participation. For example, how can we ensure access and participation in ICANN Public Meetings is equitable for both in-person and online participants around the globe? ICANN’s multistakeholder model requires participation from all stakeholders, and the Board stands by to do what it can to ensure we continue our important work even in these virtual times. The plenary session on Wednesday 27 October will provide an opportunity for stakeholders across the ICANN ecosystem to exchange ideas and viewpoints on this issue.

The ICANN Board members are looking forward to hearing from you at the Public Forum on 28 October. We welcome all questions and comments. I hope to see you in the virtual rooms at ICANN72 and perhaps share a Fika together during one or more of the Fika slots during the week. On behalf of my Board colleagues, I wish you a productive ICANN72 and look forward to the progress we will make together on our important work.


Maarten Botterman

Maarten Botterman

ICANN Board Member