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Update on ICANN's Strategic Planning Process

The future of ICANN depends on our ability to work together to anticipate new challenges and opportunities ahead. The strategic outlook and strategic planning processes represent a joint effort between the community, the Board, and the ICANN organization to identify and track trends that relate to ICANN and its mission to ensure these opportunities and challenges are accounted for in ICANN's current and future strategy.

This process has evolved since it was last completed in 2014, based on feedback from the community, the Board, and the ICANN organization. I'd like to take a moment to share some information about where we are, and what the next steps will be.

Each year, the community, Board, and ICANN org participate in a strategic outlook program to identify key trends. The trends identified through these sessions inform the strategic planning process as outlined below.

The phases of the strategic planning process

Phase 1. Strategic Outlook Trends Identification: (Jan – Sept 2018) - In process

  • Community stakeholder groups, Board, and the ICANN org participate in annual trend identification sessions.
  • The Board uses the trends identified by community, Board members, and ICANN org to identify top trend priorities.
  • The Board shares initial findings on trend priorities with the community for their consideration and input during September webinars (to be announced). These webinars also provide the community with the information needed to engage in a strategic planning session to be held at ICANN63.

Phase 2. Prioritization, Strategic Objectives and Goals: (July – Oct 2018) In process

  • The Board shares initial proposal with community for consultation on prioritization of trends and strategic response to the trends during a public session at ICANN63 (opportunities to attend remotely will also be provided).
  • Following community input, the Board defines objectives and goals that will serve as a foundation for the framework and key elements of the Strategic Plan.

Phase 3. Drafting of Strategic Plan: (Oct 2018 – Jan 2019)

  • The Board overseas the creation of a draft of the Five-Year (2021-2025) Strategic Plan.
  • The draft of the strategic plan undergoes discussion with the community, with community provided through feedback on the Draft Strategic Plan via the public comment process.

Phase 4. Finalization of Strategic Plan: (Feb – Mar 2019)

  • The ICANN org revises plans based on public comment from the community.
  • The Board finalizes and adopts new Strategic Plan (FY2021-FY2025).
  • The Strategic Plan will not go into effect until after the Empowered Community considers whether it will reject the plan. If the Strategic Plan is rejected, ICANN will consider the reasons for that rejection when proposing a revised plan.

Once finalized, the Strategic Plan is then put into action through ICANN's five-year and annual Operating Plans, which specify how we will execute our work in order to meet the objectives laid out in the Strategic Plan.

Where we are now

The community, Board, and the ICANN org have completed the process of identifying strategic outlook trends. The ICANN org has consolidated the results of the trend identification work.

What to expect as we head into ICANN63

Findings will be shared with the community in September via webinars. This will help inform further discussion during a session planned for ICANN63. A draft Strategic Plan will be assembled and posted for public comment following ICANN63. Members of the Board's Strategic Planning Caucus Group will participate in the webinars and the session during ICANN63 alongside the community and ICANN org.

Stay Up-To-Date with the Strategic Planning Page

Visit the strategic planning page on for updates on progress and opportunities for community input.

I look forward to working with you all to help prepare ICANN for the future. Thank you for your time, interest, and participation.


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