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01 February 2018

Proposed Incremental Changes to the ICANN Meetings Strategy


11Y, 1N, 1A

Alan Greenberg, ALAC Chair, voted against.

Sebastien Bachollet, ALAC Member of EURALO, abstained: 

"I abstain because I was Chair of the Meeting Strategy Working Group (MSWG)."

Sebastien Bachollet

Tijani Ben Jemaa

Maureen Hilyard

Seun Ojedeji

16 January 2018

01 February 2018

02 February 2018

07 February 2018

08 February 2018


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The final version to be submitted, if the draft is ratified, will be placed here by upon completion of the vote. 



The final draft version to be voted upon by the ALAC will be placed here before the vote is to begin.

The ALAC is pleased to have the opportunity to comment on “Proposed Incremental Changes to the ICANN Meetings Strategy”.

The ALAC agrees that no change is necessary regarding the Community Forum.

Regarding the Policy Forum, we are pleased to see the return of one of the very first proposals of the Meetings Strategy Working Group, regarding one full day dedicated to outreach, as ICANN is going (or is supposed to go) to new locations. The number of days must be at least 5 for the participants of outreach activities, and 4 for other activities.

Concerning the Annual General Meeting (AGM), our suggestion is to have 6 full days and one additional for groups and community leadership, which need to perform internal activities/meetings, including wrap-up sessions.



The first draft submitted will be placed here before the call for comments begins.

The ALAC is pleased to have the opportunity to comment on the “Proposed Incremental Changes to the ICANN Meetings Strategy”

The ALAC agrees that no change is necessary regarding the Community Forum.

Regarding the Policy Forum we are pleased to see the comeback of one of the very first proposals of the Meeting Strategy Working group regarding one day dedicated to outreach, as ICANN is coming (or is supposed to come) to new places. The number of days must be 5 for the participants of outreach activities and 4 for the other.

Concerning the AGM, it was supposed to be 7 days plus a last day to allow all the leadership groups to organize wrap-up meeting (allowing the new elected people to interact with renew leaders). Our suggestion is to have 7 full days and one additional for selected activities for leadership groups.

In addition two ideas need to be put in action.

During the Policy Forum 6 (or 7) sessions 2 hours are setup in parallel and organized by each linguistic community in their own language.
The 6 (or 7) sessions will follow the ICANN official languages.

During the AGM 5 sessions of 2 hours are setup in parallel and organized by each of the five ICANN regional communities.


  1. Please find a first draft proposal regarding comments on ICANN meeting proposed changes.

  2. I am  a bit confused by the two ideas you have that need to be put into action. Can you better explain this. Thanks

  3. Hello Sebastian, I am not sure the following is necessary: "The number of days must be 5 for the participants of outreach activities and 4 for the other." The report already made that clear, I think we should just confirm our support for the 5 days suggestion. On the AGM my preference will be to use 6days with the 7th day for internal working meetings and wrap-up. On the policy additional ideas, I think they could create unnecessary silos which could make those languages not covered feel more segregated. I also think this may increase planning requirements (rooms, resources, translation booths etc) which imply more cost and I don't think this is significant enough to justify an increase on Budget (at a time ICANN is looking to reduce expense). For the AGM idea, I am not sure what what value that brings as well.
    1. Hello Seun,

      I took the exemple to be more concreat of one and the other longuer meetings, but the 2 proposals can be switch.

      Those 2 ideas are exactly to decrease the SO/AC silos.

      Regarding the requirements: don't we have already 7 rooms in each of those meeting places? No need for interpretation booth as it is a one language meeting.

      For the regional meetings, I am very surprise that you don't think that the same type of meeting that AFRALO/AFRICANN can be offer (in // to help with the organization) to the other regions?

      1. Hello Sebastien, I still think 6 days is just fine for AGM. Actually yes it could technically reduce SO/AC Silos but will then create language Silos. I also don't think it's all just about the rooms alone, some hotels charge per room and that could imply more cost besides certain staff support will be required if more rooms are created. As to having regional meetings if that is what you meant then Yes it will be a good thing. Though I wonder whether other regions have been denied access to hold such meetings in the past? As i don't think such should be codified at a global level, regions have different ways of meeting and coordinating.
  4. Hello everyone,

    In the prevailing context of:

    1. a tightening of the ICANN budget; 
    2. many attendees in At-Large not being paid to attend meetings and, often, taking time from our various other obligations

    I wonder whether we may be doing a disservice by seeking to extend the number of days for meetings, generally.

    Certainly as it regards the AGM, I am unclear what further value we would derive from 7 days in addition to a further wrap up day. My sense is that 6 days with the 7th as the wrap-up day is, perhaps, the best approach.

    In respect of the policy forum, is it that the persons who lead the outreach are also the same persons who are expected to lead the various meetings? If not, then I would not support an additional day at this time.

  5. I agree with Bartlett on this issue.  Given the tightening of the ICANN budget, and the fact that many of the ALAC/At Large Community members are taking their own time to attend, we should be very careful in asking to extend the meetings.

    Responding specifically to the schedule:

    Agreed no change to the Community Forum meeing

    On the policy Forum, this has always caused confusion since it is coupled with 'outreach'.  One of the original justifications for the shorter days and fewer participants was that this meeting can be held in venues where it would be difficult to accommodate larger numbers. Also, given this would allow meetings outside of the major cities, the concept of outreach in those areas made sense - but then there is a sruggle for attendees to both undertake outreach activities and attend important policy discussions. So we do need further clarity on what is meant by 'outreach' and who does it if we are all to be in policy discussions.  I am NOT in favour of instituting simultaneous different languages.  We already have translation services, and those can be looked at.  But in a climate of decreasing budgets, and a short timeframe, this is not something we should be pursuing.

    On the AGM, again, with budget constraints and volunteer time in mind, I would favour the 6 day option, combined with a look at better use of participants' time.

  6. Community Forum: No change

    Policy Forum: Keep the 4 day format for the whole participants and add one day for those who do outreach, and this fifth day should be exclusively dedicated to local community outreach and engagement.

    AGM: Keep the duration to 7 days, while dedicating day seven for the community to hold internal working meetings and wrap-ups if they so wish: Means that the meeting is of 6 days for the constituencies that don't wish/need internal work/wrap-up, and 7 days for the others

  7. I agree with Tijani about the 4 day policy forum and 6 day AGM with the additional wrap up day for whoever needs it, and the ALAC invariably uses this for training, etc.

    I agree with  Holly about outreach. Taking people outside of the meeting when we are supposed to be getting everybody together and focusing on policy is conflicting. My view is that I don't think that the outreach that is done at the same time as the meeting is as effective as the regional outreach each of our RALOS attempts to do with limited CROP slots. Has ICANN actually evaluated how effective they think these outreach events have been during meeting times - how many of these participants are now engaged in ICANN?  Lets get back to meetings for policy - leave the outreach to the RALO communities to call in ICANN experts as required. RALOS working in their regions have a better handle of who to target and how to encourage and engage local communities to join up. 

    Also not in favour of separate sessions for different languages.. It would hardy be multistakeholder if we were isolating different sections because of language - that is the purpose of the translation services, I thought. 

  8. There are several kinds of outreach for different audiences. The one we are talking about is outreach for local community in location where ICANN is almost absent (venue for the policy forums). This will be initiation and introduction of ICANN for tease communities. We had 2 successful experiences in Marrakech (students and teachers in the Marrakech University) and Joburg (Students, Teachers and civil society members). Of course, this outreach activity is reinforced by the implication of the local community participant in the outreach in the ICANN meetings. We did it in both cases and the result is excellent.

    So, dedicating one day for outreach out of the ICANN meeting (preferably before the meeting) is very helpful to give those people who don't have any idea about ICANN the some of the basic information needed for them to follow the various sessions of the ICANN meeting  

  9. But those activities are RALO community led, and as you say it is preferable to hold these sessions outside of the meeting event. And what's more, you are encouraging them to join a group where they can have a say in what is happening in ICANN, through At-Large And  you are able to gauge the results of your efforts by their participation and engagement in your follow-up regional meetings and activities. So when you give people an idea of what ICANN is about - isn't that capacity building rather than outreach because they are already in the meeting.  My point is, who is the target audience for staff who also spend a lot of time and money on outreach during meeting events.  And they get paid to do this. So where do the people whom they engage participate once they have been "hooked"?

  10. I have ear so much time that At-Large/ALAC don't have enough time to do the work needed during F2F that I stil consider that 7+1 will be beter for AGM.

  11. First, I agree with Maureen - we need a lot more clarity on what is meant by 'outreach' - and whose responsibility it is anyway.  We also need to  use the term capacity building for those already 'hooked ' - and again, who has what responsibility for what tasks. 

    And again - I do not favour an additional day for a couple of reasons.  The first is that, for ALAC people at least, ALAC members are already taking their vacation time or leave without pay to attend. Another day is that much more of a burden on those members.  The second point is a budget one - ICANN's budget is shrinking and an extra day for ALAC members would be just that much more cost that they would be reluctant to pay without really good reasons. 

    Far better to organise days better (and ourselves better) so that at least some ALAC members are part of all of the important discussions.

  12. My friends Holly and Maureen,

    I tend to agree with you on the community exhaustion and the budget concern. I also agree that we need to agree on the definition of Outreach.

    But I think that outreach for local community especially in these locations where ICANN is almost absent (Meeting B: Policy Forum) is essential. And since only At-Large and NCUC do such activity, the 5th day will concern only them.

    Now, inside ALAC, who do local community outreach??? only a few people. the others are not concerned by the 5th day. So if we agree that the 5th day will be dedicated to local community outreach, it will affect very few persons from AT-Large and NCUC; thus, the concern of budget and community exhaustion is very much reduced while the big advantage of outreach for local community is assured. 

    AFRALO made experiences in Durban (South Africa), Marrakech (Morocco) and Johannesburg (South Africa), and the result is visible. We did them with almost zero $ because we did them without additional day. If we can dedicate one additional day exclusively for local community outreach, I think the result would be much better. The additional day should be the day before the ICANN meeting. 

    In summary, I proposed to keep the Policy Forum duration to 4 days with an additional day for local community outreach affecting the persons involved in this activity only.

  13. Hi Tijani

    I can understand your concern about local community outreach.. it is for this reason that we in APRALO are really intensifying our interest in our ALSes to not only attend our At-Large capacity building webinars but also our APAC webinars as well, so APRALO is very fortunate to get two doses of capacity building. But it is never going to be enough. AFRALO has been very fortunate that you have had communities who have been given personal attention from within the different levels of ICANN to introduce ICANN to the masses  I cannot say the same for Oceania.. it is many long years since ICANN came anywhere near Australia and NZ, let alone step foot in the Pacific... (ALTHOUGH David Conrad was in the Cook Islands last year to introduce the DNS Key Rollover to the Pacific telecommunication community) and yet we are the region of the WORLD that is really deprived of outreach AND capacity building. The fact that the APrIGF is finally going to Vanuatu, is the first time that we will have had anything ASIA_PACIFIC regional (including areas OUTSIDE of the Pacific region) happening in the Pacific  - and yet Vanuatu is on the opposite end of the Pacific from the Cook Islands - so the value for the Polynesian islands is pretty sparse.. And yet ICANN is chopping its budget so that we won't have a chance of ever getting anything from ICANN happening in the region. So its seems that we don't even make the bottom of the barrel!!

    So an extra day for policy or outreach is irrelevant to me, and not needed.

  14. Community Forum: No change

    Policy Forum: I support the change to five days since operating in 4 had been rather problematic. However, even if we can identify outreach efforts that warrant some people coming for an extra day, I believe the logistics of identifying exactly what that outreach will be and who will participate to be impractical given that it would have to be done PRIOR to starting travel arrangements. Therefore I strongly suggest that each community divide their time as appropriate to allow their outreach efforts in parallel with policy discussions. Although In At-Large it wouldbe nice to think that all attendees are equally focused on policy issues, that has never been the case and is not likely to fully become the case in the near future.

    AGM: I do not support adding another day. That strains ICANN budgets and the time of volunteers. Already a 7 day ICANN week typically means 9-11 days away from family and at 6+ days away from ones employment. Adding an extra day to the public meeting does not make sense to me. However, I strongly suggest that if the last day is devoted to wrap-up and development for the ICANN Committees and Councils, that it be listed as such and not pretend it is a full day of public meetings.

    I do not support the concept of language-centric or geo-centric meetings during the standard work day. I would support them before or after regular sessions if there is a demand. However, given that some regions and languages currently have the vast majority of participants, such meetings for those geo-regions and languages would not make sense.