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Module 2b – Working Group Formation

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Executive Summary


  • In creating a Working Group (WG), the GNSO Council is expected to follow the GNSO Working Group Guidelines, unless a compelling reason exists not to do so.
  • These guidelines outline "best practices" for the formation, chartering and operation of GNSO WGs. It is recommended that Council members and anyone interested in joining a GNSO WG read these guidelines in their entirety.
  • This GNSO Basics document summarizes only the guidelines regarding the formation and chartering of GSNO WGs. Separate documents summarize the Operations of GNSO WGs and a guide to new GNSO WG Chairs.

Reasons to form a GNSO Working Group

  • The purpose of a GNSO WG is to accomplish a task by enlisting both broad and informed participation from throughout the Internet community.

Steps in the GNSO Council's formation of a Working Group

  • The standard steps in the Council's formation of a GNSO WG include developing and approving the WG's Charter, circulating a Call for Volunteers, and confirming the WG-selected WG Chair or Co-Chairs.
  • The Council may also appoint a Council Liaison to the WG and, in rare cases (in order to ensure neutrality), the WG Chair or Co-Chairs.
  • Individual Council members are encouraged to recruit members for GNSO WGs and may also serve on GNSO WGs themselves.

Developing and Approving a GNSO Working Group's Charter

  • While the GNSO Council may arrange to develop a WG's Charter in various ways, the Council as a whole is responsible for approving the Charter.
  • Primarily, a GNSO WG Charter is expected to provide the WG with clear direction, including a specific objective and timeline.
  • See Section 6.2 of the GNSO Working Group Guidelines for specific template elements that should be included in a WG Charter.

Circulating a Call for Volunteers

  • The GNSO Council announces any new WG it plans to form and solicits WG members by circulating a Call for Volunteers.
  • The Call for Volunteers should be announced and circulated as widely as possible to ensure broad representation from the Internet community within the WG.
  • Ideally, the WG should strive to include members from each GNSO Stakeholder Group and Constituency.

Working Group Positions That the GNSO Council May Fill

  • The Council is not required to appoint any positions within a GNSO WG.
  • However, it has the prerogative to appoint the WG Chair or Co-Chairs (which it may do to ensure neutrality and fairness); to appoint a Council Liaison to the WG; and to request expert advisors or consultants.

Confirming the WG Chair or Co-Chairs

  • Typically, GNSO WG members select their own Chair or Co-Chairs, who must then be confirmed by the GNSO Council.

Recruiting GNSO Working Group members

  • GNSO Council members are encouraged to recruit volunteers to serve on GNSO WGs.
  • Usually, a Council member recruits WG members from his/her own GNSO Stakeholder Group or Constituency but may also recruit from elsewhere in the GNSO or ICANN, as well as from outside of ICANN.

Serving on GNSO Working Groups

  • GNSO Council members are encouraged to join GNSO WGs and may serve simply as a participant or in any other capacity within a WG.