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Improving Our Public Meetings: Timelines and Milestones

In an October 2020 blog post, ICANN President and CEO Göran Marby outlined the steps that the ICANN Board and the organization (org) are taking, at the community’s request, to help facilitate a dialogue on improving our support for ICANN Public Meetings. Through this engagement, we will assess the effectiveness of our Public Meetings, determine which meeting improvements are needed to support the community's work, and outline features that should be integrated into our return to in-person meetings going forward. The goal is to deliver the recommendations to the Board for their consideration, and implement the approved recommendations accordingly.

Methodology in Seeking Community Feedback

The org worked with the Board and the community to provide the following avenues by which the community could share its input into improving Public Meetings:

  • A survey was developed and distributed to the Supporting Organization and Advisory Committee (SO/AC) chairs. Each chair then distributed the survey to their respective members. The members, in turn, completed the survey.
  • The results of the survey have been shared with the SO/AC chairs.
  • During ICANN69, the Board hosted a session to gather feedback from the community.

In addition, the org, the SO/AC chairs, and their representatives participating in the ICANN Meetings Community Planning Group, have had ongoing discussions about the ways in which the virtual Public Meetings held in 2020 have impacted the community’s work and the need for org support.

Results of the Survey and ICANN69 Meeting Session

We want to thank our community members for taking the time to complete the survey. More than 170 community members completed the survey, representing a range of the SO/ACs and the regional and constituency groups. We also want to thank all those who attended the ICANN69 Focus on Meetings session. Over 340 stakeholders participated in all or part of the session, making it the seventh most attended session of ICANN69. Your feedback is critical to the evolution and improvement of our Public Meetings.

Timeline on Survey Result Analysis and Board Recommendations Paper

As outlined above, we have completed three important milestones in this process and the following steps remain:

  • The SO/AC chairs are analyzing the results of the survey on behalf of their members and will share a consolidated response for each SO/AC, based on the results of their internal discussions with the org and one another.
  • Using these consolidated results, the org will draft a report of the recommendations for further discussion with the SO/AC chairs.
  • The org will incorporate feedback from the SO/AC chairs and share a final report with the community.
  • In January 2021, the recommendations report will be shared with the Board for review and discussion.

Again, we want to thank the community for your participation and contributions to this important effort. We know that the virtual meeting format has been challenging; it’s not easy to participate in back-to-back Zoom calls to get our work done. The dedication, patience, and adaptability you all have shown during this difficult time is inspiring, and the Board and the org are committed to improving your meeting experience.

Public Meetings are a critical part of our multistakeholder model and we are steadfast in our obligation to make the types of noticeable improvements that will matter most to all of you.





    Jeffrey Joseph Neuman  06:50 UTC on 15 December 2020

    It is my understanding the ICANN intends to not allow Working Groups to meet at future ICANN meetings in favor of only "cross-community sessions". I am not an SO/AC leader, and therefor have not been asked to provide input, but I am one of the Co-Chairs of a PDP Working Group that has benefitted greatly from holding sessions at ICANN. "Policy development" rated very high in the survey on the activities that the community believed should happen more at ICANN meetings. Nowhere more does policy development take place, than in PDP Working Groups. Putting aside the recent ePDPs on registration data, GNSO PDP Working Groups have historically always been open. Using SubPro as an example, Working Groups can have over 200 participants from the GNSO Constituencies and Stakeholder Groups, but also many representatives from other SOs and the various Advisory Committees. In fact, SubPro has dozens of members from the ALAC and GAC. By definition therefore, these working groups are cross community. PDP Working Groups, like SubPro, have never succeeded in getting funding for separate face to face meetings because of the sheer size of the groups and assocd costs. Funding has only been available for CCWGs and recently the representative ePDPs. If you take away the ability for PDP Working Groups to meet face to face at ICANN meetings, then you will be taking away the ability for these Working Groups to ever meet face to face. I strongly urge ICANN to consider PDP Working Groups as being "cross community" and allowing these groups to meet face to face (when such meetings resume) during official ICANN meetings. If the intention is only to not allow them during the virtual meetings, that is fine. But if the intention is to prevent them from meeting at F2F ICANN meetings, this would run counter to the survey and to the multi-stakeholder process. Thank you for considering my views. Sincerely, Jeff Neuman (in my personal capacity)

    ICANN org  18:01 UTC on 16 December 2020

    Thank you for your comments, Jeff. The chairs of the Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees are currently consolidating the views of various ICANN community groups on the evolution of ICANN Public Meetings. Please consider sharing these observations about Policy Development Process working groups with the leadership of the GNSO Council. ICANN org is grateful to the ICANN community for its continued commitment to collaborative planning for ICANN Public Meetings, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Mrs Stinson  09:08 UTC on 22 December 2020

    I am willing

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