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Friday, August 09, 2013

Charting Way Forward with ICANN’s Strategy Panels

The 47th public meeting of ICANN ended in Durban, South Africa on July 18, REMMY NWEKE who was there writes that ICANN is trying to walk the talk with the establishment of its five Strategy Panels to chart a new course for the global internet community.


Introduction:
BIG story as it were emanating from the just concluded 47th public meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in Durban, South Africa was the setting up of a five Strategy Panels by ICANN president and chief executive officer, Mr. Fadi Chehade, to fast-track the proposed five-year strategic planning process.

This much was applauded by the stakeholders as a means of charting a way forward for the global Internet community on the soil of Africa, with the acclaimed father of Internet on the continent, Dr. Nii Quaquor from Ghana as the overall chairman, with a year timeframe to conclude its assignments.

As said by Chehade, the creation of five new ICANN Strategy Panels will serve as an integral part of a framework for cross-community dialogue on strategic matters. The ICANN Strategy Panels will convene subject matter experts, thought leaders and industry practitioners to support development of ICANN’s strategic and operational plans, in coordination with many other global players, and will be comprised of up to seven members including the chair.

He explained that the panels have been designed to conduct work in critical strategic areas identified by the community, board and staff, the ICANN Strategy Panels will build on public input being generated to inform a new, overarching vision and five-year strategic plan, and subsequent operating plan, for the organization.

ICANN president made it clear that the panels are advisory in nature, hence they would report to him, but would operate in a manner consistent with ICANN’s commitment to transparency and accountability; and channel all views, guidance and advice produced into the standard community and board processes that guide ICANN’s activities.

Chehade noted that in its 14-year history, ICANN has grown to reflect a changing landscape of continued innovation, interconnectedness, and unprecedented growth in the Domain Name System (DNS) ecosystem, one that transcends groups and borders to serve the public interest. Yet, the Internet is at a critical inflection point as billions of new people are expected to join the global network in the next few years and as the nature of its usage matures dramatically.

With this in mind, he anticipated that the ICANN Strategy Panels would help catalyze transformation and advance ICANN’s role in the context of a dynamic, increasingly complex global environment.
Time table:

Further, Chehade told participants at the Durban 47 that the ICANN strategy panels would conduct their activities, starting in September 2013, primarily online and through conference calls, although face-to-face meetings are expected to take place according to the needs of each panel. “The ICANN Strategy Panels will also provide public updates on their progress that will be linked to ICANN’s overall strategic and operational planning activities,” he said, adding that dedicated ICANN executive liaisons have been assigned to and will support each of the ICANN Strategy Panels throughout the process.

Objectives:
Chehade said the ICANN Strategy Panels would focus specifically on identifier technology innovation; ICANN’s role in the Internet organizations’ ecosystem; ICANN multistakeholder innovation; the public responsibility framework; and the role of ICANN in the future of Internet governance.

Chairs who will lead the panels in their respective concentrations and who will guide the panels in their groundbreaking efforts have been identified; however, qualified individuals interested in serving as committee members are still being sought. Potential panel members need not originate directly from ICANN structures, but should have a deep understanding of and concern for the work being undertaken by ICANN, and an ability to think strategically, globally, and creatively about the challenges inherent in the ICANN Strategy Panels’ mandate.
Interested individuals were encouraged to send their resume/CV to the email addresses affiliated with each of the specialty areas by 29 July 2013. Members will be selected by ICANN’s President and CEO, in coordination with each ICANN Strategy Panel Chair.

Responding on behalf of the panels, its overall chairman, Dr. Quaynor commended ICANN leadership for choosing them and promised they would do their best in order to move ICANN forward.

Key deliverables:
DigitalSENSE Business News gathered that each committee has key deliverables and for the Strategy Panel on Identifier Technology Innovation chaired by Paul V. Mockapetris, it includes engaging with the ICANN community and public on technology matters; develop a technology roadmap for DNS and other identifiers; and provide a technology roadmap for ICANN technical and security operations, including best practice recommendations and reference systems.

For the Strategy Panel on ICANN’s Role in the Internet Organizations’ Ecosystem chaired by Vinton G. Cerf, the key deliverables comprise to facilitate review of the assumptions, linkages and frameworks that underlie ICANN’s responsibilities in the current Internet ecosystem; seek insights on ways to maintain and enhance ICANN’s stewardship in an evolving ecosystem; and cultivate thought leadership on ways in which ICANN can serve a complex set of Internet constituencies.

The Strategy Panel on ICANN Multistakeholder Innovation to be chaired by Beth Simone Noveck, DigitalSENSE Business News gathered has its deliverables to examine how Internet policy related to unique identifiers might be best managed in the future; propose new models for broad, inclusive engagement, consensus-based policymaking and institutional structures to support such enhanced functions; and design processes, tools and platforms that enable the global ICANN community to engage in these new forms of participatory decision-making.

The overall chair, Dr. Nii Quaynor would preside over the strategy panel on the public responsibility framework, propose ICANN’s role and five-year strategic objectives and milestones for promoting the global public interest vis-à-vis ICANN’s mission and core values and for building out the base of internationally diverse, knowledgeable and engaged ICANN stakeholders, especially within the developing world; propose a framework for implementation of ICANN’s role, objectives and milestones for promoting the global public interest, building capacity within the ICANN community, and increasing the base of internationally diverse, knowledgeable and engaged ICANN stakeholders; and provide advice on programs and initiatives that help achieve the above objectives.


Although the chair of the Strategy Panel on the Role of ICANN in the Future of Internet Governance is yet to be determined has as its key deliverables to provide a set of guiding principles to ensure the successful evolution of ICANN’s transnational multistakeholder model in cooperation with national and international bodies; propose a roadmap for evolving and globalizing ICANN’s role in the Internet governance ecosystem in consultation with global players; and in coordination with the many other global players and ICANN stakeholders, propose a framework for implementation of ICANN’s role, objectives and milestones in global Internet governance.

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