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Business Engagement at ICANN Looking Ahead

The midpoint between the last ICANN meeting in June and ICANN51 taking place in Los Angeles in October seems an ideal moment to launch the fifth edition of ICANN meetings´ Business Digest,

The Business Digest is designed to help newer companies in ICANN understand some of the issues that are relevant to their bottom line. It is a non-exhaustive summary of the technical and political issues addressed during public meetings.

The Business Digest is offered in all of the ICANN languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish) and is among our most popular business engagement tools, having generated over 10,000 views in various languages. Here you can get your own copy of the latest edition.

After eighteen months into ICANN's dedicated business engagement program, we continue to deliver one overriding message:  ICANN's work is crucial to the interoperability and growth of the Internet on which so many businesses depend. Moreover, ICANN is an open and participatory model, therefore, business advantage and useful information can be gained through participation Knowing – or actually shaping – "what's coming next" in Internet policy related to the Domain Name System and other unique identifiers is one reason why many companies participate today.

What does ICANN ask in return from business sector? What ICANN "requests" ranges from a simple request to continue the work of ICANN, participate in working groups, submit public comments and eventually may possibly ask for active participation in the arduous task of developing policies. In collaboration with individual ICANN constituencies, as well as boarder Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees, we are increasingly asking companies to devote more resources &ndsah; time and people- for continuous participation in ICANN, with an eye toward developing a geographically diverse pipeline of talented volunteers to carry ICANN's work forward over the decades to come.

The generation of 1.000 followers in social media, over 350 viewers of our pre-ICANN meetings orientation webinars and several thousand downloads of materials of the ICANN for Business workspace is in fact the easiest part. This is the kind of awareness raising and knowledge building that must take place to generate a flow at the outer edge of that pipeline of future stakeholders.

The social media and publications work is supplemented by partnerships with business organizations such as the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the World Economic Forum (WEF), GSM Association (GSMA), World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA), and Chambers of Commerce around the world. They are valuable intermediaries that increasingly keep the business community up to date on ICANN activities.  Headline grabbing issues like  the US government announcement. regarding the transition of the stewardship of the IANA functions and the efforts to enhance ICANN accountability make it easier to draw their attention.

Still, the next big challenge is how to make it easier for these companies to participate at the technical working level: on issues of security and stability such as name collision or new generic top-level domains related topics such as universal acceptance or the next round of applications. More than one company has recently asked us to "map" where their corporate interests overlap with ICANN policymaking.  Here is where outreach efforts, working alongside our constituency leaders, must be redoubled.

The Internet Service Provider & Connectivity Providers Constituency (ISPCP) of the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) is a good example of the ongoing efforts. Their push to recruit new members and inform more companies of the important ways ICANN affects their core businesses will serve as a guide for similar efforts on other fronts. The creation of compelling guides that serve as a menu of ways to "plug into" ICANN processes from the perspective of diverse business sectors such as software and hardware manufacturers, network operators, telecommunications companies, content providers and security firms will be our next order of business.  We will also continue enacting "best practices" based on the experience of companies currently active at ICANN.

Bringing ICANN's important work to the attention of businesses around the world has been among the most satisfying experiences of my professional life, and it would not be possible without the strong partnership of the passionate and knowledgeable private sector participants active in the ICANN community If you would like to join in ICANN business engagement efforts, I invite you to contact me directly at chris.mondini@icann.org or at businessengagement@icann.org, to share your ideas.

In the meantime, please help us to spread the news about the latest edition of the Business Digest. I hope you enjoy reading it, and look forward to your feedback!

Christopher Mondini is VP, Global Stakeholder Engagement for ICANN

Comments

    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""icann.org"" is not an IDN."