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ICANN's Strategic Outlook Program Helps Identify Trends to Meet Challenges & Opportunities Ahead

As ICANN62 gets underway, I wanted to share a quick update with you on the progress being made in ICANN's Strategic Outlook Program, a key part of developing the next ICANN strategic plan. As you may have heard Göran Marby and Cherine Chalaby mention before, long-term strategic planning is important for ICANN to navigate its way moving into the future. The Strategic Outlook Program is a key tool designed to help in this effort.

The Strategic Outlook Program is a joint effort between the ICANN organization, the community and the Board to identify and track trends that relate to ICANN and its mission to make sure that these opportunities and challenges are incorporated into ICANN's current and future strategy. You may have already participated in one of the Trends Identification sessions or you may be planning to participate in one during ICANN62. So far, this year ICANN org has conducted 17 sessions with the community, organization, and Board and we have eight more sessions scheduled to take place with different community stakeholder groups at ICANN62.

The results of this ongoing annual effort will also serve as input for the revision of ICANN's five-year strategic plan, which then provides a framework for our operational planning work. We plan to establish regular communications to the community of the planning activities underway.

We look forward to keeping you updated on the progress of this effort. Thank you for your time and interest.

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