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[council] WG: [Soac-infoalert] Draft blog post re Friday Board meetings, SO/AC reports, etc.

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  • Subject: [council] WG: [Soac-infoalert] Draft blog post re Friday Board meetings, SO/AC reports, etc.
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  • Date: Fri, 11 May 2012 08:21:47 +0200
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  • Thread-topic: [Soac-infoalert] Draft blog post re Friday Board meetings, SO/AC reports, etc.


I'm in particular concerned with Steve's asking the Sos/ACs for "...major 
resolutions in the works that deserve to be dealt with in a public Board 
meeting" although I understand a positive intention to engage the community in 
the process of establishing the board agenda. However any criteria to evaluate 
what "indeed" may be of major interest are missing here (e.g. financial, 
organizational, policy related impact e.a.). Unsatisfying discussions about the 
rationale may follow.
I don't like that the responsibility for the decision to hold a public board 
meeting is shifted to any SO/AC. To avoid unsatisfying discussions it may be 
acceptable if the board holds a public meeting in case of at least one (two, 
three...?) agenda items filed by any AC/SO regardless its assessment.

Best regards

Von: soac-infoalert-bounces@xxxxxxxxx [mailto:soac-infoalert-bounces@xxxxxxxxx] 
Im Auftrag von Steve Crocker
Gesendet: Freitag, 11. Mai 2012 01:25
An: Barbara Ann Clay; Rod Beckstrom; Denise Michel; David Olive; Nick Tomasso; 
Diane Schroeder; Filiz Yilmaz; Christopher Mondini; soac-infoalert@xxxxxxxxx; 
Icann-board ICANN
Cc: Steve Crocker
Betreff: [Soac-infoalert] Draft blog post re Friday Board meetings, SO/AC 
reports, etc.

Folks (Staff, SO and AC chairs, and Board),

I want to follow up on the announcement that we're wrapping up the ICANN 
meeting on Thursday evening.  We got a lot of feedback expressing concern, some 
of which will be allayed with more information.  Below is a draft of a blog 
entry I'd like to post as soon as it's been properly coordinated.  Please take 
a look and let me know if there are flaws or missing pieces.  (And if you know 
of someone I should have included in this coordination cycle, pass this on and 
also let me know.)

If I can get the relevant information re the SO and AC reports, I'll add it in.

Also, please let me know if there are indeed major resolutions in the works 
that deserve to be dealt with in a public Board meeting.  If so, we will need 
to schedule a public Board meeting and I'll need to adjust the wording of this 
blog posting.




On April 30 I announced we will wrap up the ICANN meeting on Thursday evening 
and not use Friday.  (Some groups may choose to use Friday for their own 
meetings; that's fine.)  We have received multiple inputs asking for 
clarification or suggesting this change has some adverse consequences.  The 
announcement was a bit light on details.  I wanted to get the decision out so 
everyone could adjust their travel plans.  Now I want to say a bit more about 
the changes.

In the past, we had three parts to the program on Friday morning -- reports 
from the Board committees, reports from the chairs of the Supporting 
Organizations and Advisory Committees, and a formal Board meeting.  Attendance 
during all parts of the morning have been very light.  There really has not 
been much actual utility for the community.  Also every day of meeting time is 
expensive, not just to ICANN but also to the community.  Like many people, I 
had been noticing that Friday mornings were not well attended, and it was clear 
it was time to make a change.  Let me now go into a few details, and I will 
close with a promise that if the changes we're making for Prague are not in the 
best interests of everyone, we will continue to evolve the schedule.

With respect to our Board meetings, the large majority of the resolutions we 
approve are the regular pieces of business that are known well in advance.  The 
Board approves these resolutions without fanfare.  The substantive work is done 
via the Supporting Organizations or via staff work, and the work is posted.  
Once in while there are Board actions that have some controversy or drama.  The 
XXX decision in San Francisco and the decision in Singapore to move forward 
with the gTLD program are the two recent examples that come to mind.  For 
matters of this import, we will hold a public Board meeting.  In Singapore, we 
did this at the beginning of the week.  This was a big improvement and really 
helped set a positive tone for the entire week.  I think this is a good 
pattern, and I'm inclined to follow this when it's needed.  I don't know how 
often we'll have to do this; I suspect it will be less than half the time.

A closely related aspect of this change is we will no longer be rushing through 
resolutions based on committee work or inputs during the week.  We need to take 
some time to develop the proper documentation.  So, instead of trying to cap 
the week off with resolutions passed on the basis of the week's work, we will 
report on what's come up during the week, what happened between the last ICANN 
meeting and this one, and what we plan to do following this ICANN meeting.  
This is in accordance with the recommendations of the Accountability and 
Transparency Review Team, and is consistent with the changes we made some time 
ago to provide more thorough documentation in the form of a rationale for each 
resolution.  These changes will have the benefit of providing time for careful 
and considered work on each resolution and better documentation for 
transparency and accountability.

Our vice chair, Bruce Tonkin, observes:

An example of this approach was on the topic of Conflicts of Interest in Dakar 
in October 2011.  The Board listened to the community during the week, and then 
in the public session on conflicts Board members gave some feedback to the 
community on specific measures that would be taken with respect to new gTLDs.  
After careful review by the legal team and review by Board members, the Board 
held a meeting on 8 Dec 2011 and passed a resolution on management conflicts 
for new gTLDs.  The Board also passed other resolutions that resulted from the 
discussion in Dakar.

We have made some related changes in the coordination of Board resolutions and 
the scheduling of Board meetings.  I will report on these changes in a separate 

We recognize the community wants to see the Board in action and have the 
opportunity to interact with the Board.  Toward this end, we are making two 
additional changes.  In the opening session on Monday morning, I will include a 
summary of what has taken place since the last meeting, and on Thursday 
afternoon the Board will report on what it has heard during the week.  The 
Board will continue to engage eagerly in the public sessions, listening closely 
to the comments from the community and responding to questions.

At the beginning of this blog I mentioned the reports from the SO and AC chairs 
and the reports from the Board committees.  We are still working out the 
arrangements for these and I will report separately on the details.  The SOs 
and ACs are the lifeblood of ICANN, and we want to make sure they have greater, 
not lesser visibility.

Finally, as I noted above, we are working hard to be both more effective and 
more efficient.  If we need to continue to evolve this process, we will.

Thank you.

Steve Crocker
Chair, ICANN Board of Directors

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