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Invitation to Join Strategic Outlook Trends Identification Session

LOS ANGELES – 23 March 2020 – The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) invites the community to participate in an open strategic outlook trends session to help ICANN continue to be aware of trends that affect its mission and mandate.

With the rapid evolution of the Internet and variety of influencing factors, trends can change rapidly and in unexpected ways. The purpose of these open sessions is to build on past trend identification work in order to update our shared understanding of opportunities and challenges relevant to ICANN's current and future strategy. In order to support broad community input, ICANN will hold two remote sessions in addition to stakeholder group-specific sessions. (Check with your community group for date and time of your stakeholder group-specific session.)

Join this important discussion, all are welcome! Please note that participation will be limited to 40 participants per session, on a first come, first serve basis due to the breakout format. Sessions will be held in English. Learn more about the remote sessions in this briefing paper [PDF, 172 KB].

Open Session #1 Link: 30 March 2020, 15:00 – 16:30 UTC

Open Session #2 Link: 30 March 2020, 23:00 – 00:30 UTC


The Strategic Outlook Program is a joint effort between the ICANN organization, the community and the Board. New trends or shifts in existing trends impacting the operating plans (five-year or annual), and/or budget, will be factored into the annual iteration of those plans as appropriate. Significant shifts could also result in adjustments to the strategic plan.


ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure, and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address – a name or number – into your computer or other device. That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with a community of participants from all over the world.

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Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as"""" is not an IDN."