Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Report from Amsterdam on ICANN Strategic Plan

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Thomas Roessler reports to his collegues on the ALAC:

Some initial notes from the "Amsterdam Consultation on the ICANN Strategic Plan", as the meeting has ultimately been called.

There was participation (and, mostly, also talks) from all GNSO constituencies, NRO, and some ccTLDs. I was flying ALAC's colours, even though I gave "an Individual Internet User's Comments" on the plan. (Given the absence of any internal consultation, formal ALAC comments would have been inappropriate. Such comments would also have looked differently.)

ICANN was represented by Paul Verhoef, Kurt Pritz, and Barbara Roseman. Maria Farrell, the newly-hired GNSO policy support staff, had her first day on the job in Amsterdam.

There was widespread disappointment about the way in which consultations around the strategic plan had been handled so far, and a partial communications breakdown between some senior ICANN staff and the community. Basically, the lesson here boils down to "don't
claim you've done formal consultations when all you've done is limited outreach to some people."
In particular, we weren't the only ones who were surprised by finding "their" priorities and objectives represented in the strategic plan without any prior consultation.

People appreciated the principle that ICANN had started working on a strategic plan.

There is agreement among those who were present in Amsterdam (including senior ICANN staff) on the further procedure:

* Comments will be prepared along the lines discussed this morning in Amsterdam. These are positions that found consensus of all present at the meeting; some of these positions are fairly weak.

An initial set of "official" notes from the Amsterdam meetings will be posted this weeks; comments on these are expected by Feb 18. By Feb 25, a final version will be submitted as a comment to ICANN, on behalf of all those who participated.

(If people want to disassociate themselves from these comments, they'll have to say that.)

* People will submit their own comments on the plan; given some discussion in Amsterdam, we'll have to talk about outreach and facilitating user participation in ICANN. (I wanted "facilitate",
Disspain wanted "encourage"; Marilyn put in square brackets. :-/)

We should coordinate this with NCUC; I'd like to ask Vittorio to take the lead on that. I'll help as much as time permits; probably, we best do that on the icann-cs list.

* The deadline for comments stays Feb 28.

* Well *before* Mar del Plata, ICANN staff will present a revised version of the strategic plan that incorporates the comments received. It was made crystal clear in Amsterdam that "the
morning before people get on their planes" does not qualify as "well before the meetings."

* In Mar del Plata, there will be a public forum on the strategic plan. The board is expected to approve the plan. The understanding will be that the strategic plan is subject to ongoing evolution, and hence not a final document.

* Also in Mar del Plata (probably on the afternoon of the second public forum day; Barbara Roseman is coordinating the schedule; Denise, please make sure that this doesn't collide with the ALAC schedule), there will be a meeting of the GNSO constituencies, the NRO, the ccNSO, and ALAC leadership to discuss the how to develop the further procedure regarding the strategic plan.

* This procedure will be fleshed out between Mar del Plata and Luxembourg, and will be adopted (and started) in Luxembourg.

The ultimate goal here is to have a consultation process with the entire community that enables further development of ICANN's strategy, and to let the strategic plan involve the budget process.

At this point, ALAC is in the loop as far as this consultation process is concerned. It will be up to you guys not to drop the ball on this.

Regards,
--
Thomas Roessler

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