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London meeting already ICANN’s second-biggest

Kevin Murphy, June 17, 2014, 13:04:13 (UTC), Domain Policy

Over 2,200 people have already registered for ICANN 50, which kicks off this coming weekend in London.
According to ICANN, that puts the upcoming meeting second only to last year’s one in Beijing, which had 3,141 pre-registrations and 2,532 eventual attendees.
London’s a pretty convenient “hub” city to fly to, but I suspect a lot of the interest might be related to the IANA transition process, which has put a new spotlight on ICANN in recent months.
ICANN has already laid on overflow viewing rooms for discussions related to the IANA topic.
The meeting officially starts with the welcome ceremony on Monday, but the work begins as usual on Saturday, when the various constituencies gather to decide what they want to moan about this time.
As usual, you don’t have to actually be in London to “attend” the meeting — there’s a full schedule of remote participation opportunities if your diary, bandwidth and time zone permits.
It’s a packed schedule as usual, and it could look overwhelming to a newbie.
A good trick is to simply follow the board of directors around on the Tuesday, when it invites each constituency into the room in turn for some passive-aggressive feedback sessions.
You’ll get a relatively concise breakdown of the top three or four issues on the mind of ICANN participants in that way, but probably not a great deal of insight into the board’s thought process.
The public forum on Thursday is also a highlight. Anyone can take to the mic to say or ask anything (relevant) they please. Comments and questions can also be submitted remotely.
For ICANN 50 the forum has actually been shortened to two hours to accommodate discussions of the IANA process, causing some in the community to question whether ICANN is trying to stifle the crazy.

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Comments (2)

  1. Stifle the crazy? There are some crazies, but as ICANN’s decision makers move further and further away from the multi-stakeholders they are so swift to praise, the public forum is one of the few places that the Board actually hears from people. It’s the only place that all of the bits and pieces that make ICANN get together.
    ICANN leadership is fixated on the IANA transition, it believes it’s the most important thing going, and they’re hoping to cement their power as an international organization on the talking-shop tour of global bureaucrats. So they’re cutting out what other people want to talk about in order to talk about what they want to talk about. They could have cut other places to make time, or just extended things. It’s not a particularly good sign.

  2. Edward Morris says:

    I see no evidence to support the idea that the shortened public session is designed to stifle the crazies. The Board has plenty of opportunity to speak there, as elsewhere.

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