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ICANN meetings in for big shake-up, more dancing

Kevin Murphy, November 24, 2014, 17:01:39 (UTC), Domain Policy

Could you tolerate an eight-day ICANN meeting?

Could you get all your work done in just four days?

Would you be happy to wait up to nine months between Public Forums?

Do you want to see more regional dancing during ICANN opening ceremonies?

These are question you’re going to have to start asking yourself, because come 2016 ICANN meetings are in for a big change.

Recommendations adopted wholesale by the ICANN board last week would scrap the three six-day meetings schedule and replace it with one six-day meeting at the start of the year, one four-day meeting in the middle and one eight-day meeting towards the end.

The first of the year would be formatted pretty much the same as all meetings are currently.

The second, however, would scrap formalities such as the opening ceremony, as well as the Public Forum and public board meeting. Instead, the focus would be on policy development work within and between advisory committees and supporting organizations.

The final meeting of the year, the AGM, would add two extra days to the regular schedule for outreach sessions and SO/AC policy-making. There would be two Public Forum sessions, one immediately after the opening ceremony on day three, the other on day six as usual.

As this would be the official outreach “event” of the year, the opening ceremony would usually have some display of local culture, such as music or dance. That was once a staple of ICANN meetings, but we haven’t seen much of it the last couple of years.

The shake-up was recommended in a report published by the Meeting Strategy Working Group in February and adopted in its entirely by the ICANN board last week.

The third meeting of the year would be “would have a focus on showcasing ICANN’s work to a broader global audience”, according to the report. It would have an anticipated attendance of over 2,000 people and would therefore likely be held in a large hub city.

The smaller (it is anticipated) second meeting, with its reduced focus on formality and outreach, would (contrarily) be able to visit cities with smaller facilities, perhaps in parts of the world ICANN has not been able to visit before, the report says.

To be honest, I’m not really sure whether what’s been adopted will be any better than what’s in place today.

I’m pretty certain of one effect, however: if bombshells are dropped shortly after the first meeting of the year, you’re looking at somewhere between seven and nine months before you’ll be able to stand at a mic and yell at the ICANN board about it in public.

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Comments (6)

  1. Kristina says:

    I will be shocked if the new strategy is an improvement in any way.

    It’s appalling that the Board ignored most public comments that objected to elimination of the public forum from the second meeting.

    Increasing the length of the 3rd meeting is definitely going to have an adverse impact on volunteer participation and attendance.

  2. As if anything said in public comments matters.

    Unless you play the in-the-hallways negotiating game or, more likely, have what you want already lobbied and a forgone conclusions, you’re drawing dead.

    Insiders only, of course.

    Enjoy the cultural show.

    • anony (eroyalmail) says:

      ICANN accepted dot Guru / .guru application and brought it to the internet, this is their greatest success up to now imho.

  3. Richard Funden says:

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