Assignee(s) and

Call for
Call for
Vote OpenVote 
Vote CloseDate of SubmissionStaff Contact and EmailStatement Number
16.11.2012ICANN Consolidated Meetings Strategy Proposal


14Y, 0N, 0A

Tijani Ben Jemaa
05.11.201209.11.201205.11.201210.11.201214.11.201215.11.201216.11.2012Nick Tomasso 
Comment/Reply Periods (*)

Important Information Links:

Comment Open:2 October 2012
Comment Close:16 November 2012
Close Time (UTC):23:59Public Comment Announcement
Reply Open:17 November 2012To Submit Your Comments (Forum)
Reply Close:7 December 2012View Comments Submitted
Close Time (UTC):23:59Report of Public Comments
Brief Overview
Originating Organization:ICANN Meeting Operations Department
  • Policy Processes
  • Transparency/Accountability
  • Reviews/Improvements
  • Participation
  • Events/Conferences
  • Operations/Finances
Purpose (Brief):ICANN is opening a public comment forum for the ICANN Consolidated Meetings Strategy Proposal. Community members are asked to provide feedback on the proposal.
Current Status:ICANN Consolidated Meetings Strategy Proposal open for public comment.
Next Steps:

Comments will be accepted in this forum and in continued interaction with the community and staff.

Once the comment and reply periods have ended, ICANN will review community feedback and post an assessment of comments received.

The Board Committee on Public Participation will then submit the proposal to the ICANN Board with its recommendation.
Staff Contact:Nick
Detailed Information
Section I: Description, Explanation, and Purpose
ICANN Meetings are an essential element of the ICANN multistakeholder model. It is essential that Meeting venues provide excellent facilities for community interaction. The purpose of the ICANN Consolidated Meetings Strategy is to ensure that the conference venues that offer the best facilities can be used.
Section II: Background
The topic of ICANN meeting structure, purpose, execution and locations is not a new one; it has been evolving since the early days of ICANN. Documentation regarding ICANN’s approach to its thrice a year meetings began in earnest with the Meeting White Paper posted by then Board member Susan Crawford in November 2006. The ICANN Meetings Reform Discussion Paper [PDF, 387 KB] published in 2008 continued the discussion, and it persists today.
Section III: Document and Resource Links
ICANN Consolidated Meetings Strategy Proposal [PDF, 284 KB]
Section IV: Additional Information

(*) Comments submitted after the posted Close Date/Time are not guaranteed to be considered in any final summary, analysis, reporting, or decision-making that takes place once this period lapses.


Please click here to download a copy of the PDF below.



The At-Large Advisory Committee understands the difficulties that the meeting staff encounters to find the right venue for the ICANN International meetings in some regions, especially because these meetings have been growing in size and scope. It welcomes the effort to review the current selection system. 

As ICANN is a global organization, and it is making huge efforts to become more international, the main objective to be considered in the review should be the inclusiveness: except for particular security cases, the ICANN meetings should be fully accessible to the whole Internet community from all countries of the world. Any new strategy that does not fulfill this requirement couldn’t be considered as an improvement of the system.   

Therefore, The ALAC believes that easy visa procurement to all countries citizens should be the first criterion of the new strategy. The experience of Toronto was very painful for the ICANN community, especially those from the south. The IGF found a way to make to the host country candidate accept special visa arrangements for the IGF participants, which ICANN can do as well. 

The second very important element for the review is the quality of service in general, which includes the venue quality, accessibility, and closeness to various standing hotels and other facilities, as well as the safety and security. 

Lastly, the cost is to be considered for ICANN and its community: airfare, accommodation cost, and all other expenses should be reasonable. Multi-year contract with meeting facilities, such as hotel chains and other service providers may indeed reduce the overall cost. 

The ALAC thinks that the new strategy should keep the concept of holding meetings in the 5 regions as much as possible equally. Nevertheless, it does not consider harmful an unbalanced approach when it is justified.     

The At-Large Advisory Committee strongly believes that if the review should be based on the 3 mentioned criteria to result in a consolidated strategy that is in line with the new management objectives of internationalization and inclusiveness

  • No labels


  1. ICANN Meetings in different parts of the world is a demonstrable commitment to diversity and a serious measure of ICANN's commitment to global outreach.

    Any strategy that further restricts direct access and participation from those parts of the world now under-represented in the ICANN DNS policy development ecosystem is inimical to the global public interest.  

  2. Gone are the days when ICANN would sit back, like the olympics, and be courted by governments wanting to demonstrate their geek cred. So if ICANN gets to pick the locations, it's sensible to have a transparent rationale for its choices. Not sure I agree with this particular process, but it's a useful step.

    As ICANN is looking to hold its meetings at convention centres (with nearby hotels) rather than within the hotels themselves, the number of cities capable of accommodating meetings is still rather high (and indeed this was the model used in Brussels and Nairobi). So that isn't a significantly limiting factor.

    So far, the intent of having the meetings in different cities appeared to be five-fold:

    1. Appear to the public to be globally engaged, to counter ICANN's legal status as a California corporation
    2. Engage the local community in ICANN issues
    3. Expose ICANN and its usual stakeholders to a global diversity of needs and sensitivities
    4. Be less expensive to attend (at least to the one-in-five meetings in your region)
    5. Allow host cities and/or governments to show off their Internet savvy to the world

    So let's examine how well these are working:

    Appear to the public to be globally engaged:  As a public relations tactic the current roadshow presents an image of a globally aware ICANN. Yet the reality is that ICANN meetings are, by and large, the same rich-world group of vested interests and lawyers following ICANN around wherever it goes. And the results of all these years of travel are ICANN policies that still act as if the global south doesn't exist. So maybe the issue here is that nobody's being fooled anymore, so perhaps ICANN should drop its pretences.

     Engage the local communityI guess I just don't see it. A handful of local NGOs and governments attend shows who otherwise wouldn't participate, but the reality is that this effect is far more claimed than realized. How many ALSs have joined as a direct result of an organization attending a local ICANN meeting? Shock exposure of the local community to ICANN meetings dominated by experienced, aggressive players and full of technical jargon is not what I'd consider an optimal form of outreach. If ICANN would budget for preparatory meetings to engage communities in advance, this might be worthwhile. But this is not happening. So what we have is an expensive charade.

    Expose ICANN participants to diverse needs and sensitivities: Nice intent, no proof that there's anything to this outside of delegates getting a taste of local good (and whatever culture they can glean from the Gala).

    Be less expensive to attend Nope. For every person who saves money by going to Durban or Cartagena, a hundred more are paying double or triple what it would cost to go to a global hub city. In terms of the sheer practicality, it might actually be less expensive to have an AFRALO general assembly in Paris than in the region (ditto for LACRALO and Miami) – but that's the fault of the travel industry, not ICANN.

    Allow hosts to show off their Internet savvy: I'd say that pool is pretty well exhausted. ICANN now struggles just to find hosts willing to bear the costs of the Gala. Nobody needs ICANN anymore for publicity; indeed, given the noise in WCIT and elsewhere, it seems that ICANN may be actively shunned by some of the very places where it should be for the purposes listed above (Moscow, for instance).

    Anyway... this is just food for thought as we determine a response.

  3. In my opinion this approach this is in opposite to the new outreach strategy Fadi underlined during our working session in Toronto. I think ICANN must undertake any effort to organise meetings in most parts in the world as possible, maybe the improved and advanced outreach strategy will strengthen most of the points Evan lined out:

    1. Appear to the public to be globally engaged, to counter ICANN's legal status as a California corporation
    2. Engage the local community in ICANN issues
    3. Expose ICANN and its usual stakeholders to a global diversity of needs and sensitivities
    4. Be less expensive to attend (at least to the one-in-five meetings in your region)
    5. Allow host cities and/or governments to show off their Internet savvy to the world
  4. The motivating factor has some merit - it will exclude certain nations and would mean repeated use of particular cities. I would suggest adding on at possibly every fifth meeting the use of a venue in a country that does not necessarily meet the criteria of hotels and a convention centre. This would address issues of exclusion that might emerge. I would include this in our statement - in some form.

    Some grammatical errors need to be corrected in the statement so it does not read like we are contradicting ourselves in the statement. (see second to last paragraph.)