Please note that the transcript below has been provided by ICANN's Language services and is based on the audio file from the meeting. Some of the names might be inaccurate.
Kurt Pritz: Hello everyone. Thank you for having me talk about ICANN Strategic Plan. I was lucky enough to have a teleconference with many of you on previous occasions, one with the Council, the At-Large Council, and second with LACRALO and EURALO. So we hope what we’re presenting here reflects that we took into account your comments during the previous meeting. To the extent they haven’t, please flag them again, and we’d like you to review the materials presented and I’ll present some of the changes that have been made and you can review them and then we can have questions and answers, so pretty straightforward.
For those of you on the phone, what we’ve handed out here is a hard copy of ICANN Strategic Plan and, of course, that plan is posted. And, Heidi, is there a way to get… Does everybody have the link to where the Strategic Plan is posted that… Yes, so we’ll put up the link if you don’t have ICANN Strategic Plan at the ready, but there was an announcement for it sometime during the past month, so, you can always go to the ICANN webpage and look for the announcements on the right-hand side of the webpage and find it there.
Alan Greenberg: Sorry, Kurt, I’m sorry to interrupt. Can you speak clearly in the microphone cause apparently they do have problems with the sound, especially for remote users. Thank you. Sorry.
Kurt Pritz: Oh, no, thanks for the advice. There. So, we’re going to go through the slides so who’s the driver here? Heidi, are you driving or Matthias? So the first slide is really our agenda and, boy, I should get on the… What? Yeah, I know I was going to get on the Wiki too so I can read the comments cause I can’t really see them, but…
So I’m briefly going to describe ICANN’s planning cycle as I did last time, but it’s refined a little bit based on comment from our Board. We’ve also, in meeting with the community members, including yourselves, we’ve not only changed the substance of the plan, but we’re also changing some of the goals for the plan - that is, what the plan should include. And so this will require some additional amendment to the plan. So I wanted to show you what the new plan goals were to test your agreement and to see if you had any ideas for how the plan could be improved in a general way.
Then the next topic of discussion will be where the plan has changed from last year in summary form, and then there’s also been many changes to the plan already based on community input, so I wanted to highlight those. And then, you know, the steps we’re going to go through to get Board approval, so that’s the agenda.
The next slide shows the ICANN planning cycle which has recently been revamped to a certain extent. Our formal planning cycle had two semi-circles – six months of strategic planning and six months of operating planning and budgeting. And what we’ve learned is – not so much with strategic planning, but with operating planning – there really needs to be more time for discussion with the community that specific budget requests – and let’s not call them budget requests, let’s call them outcome requests or requests for help to accomplish something. Those sorts of requests, for ICANN to process them and plan for them, really takes longer than a six-month budgeting planning cycle, so you have probably had telephone calls and meetings here about the operating and budgeting plan which is earlier in our fiscal year than is usual.
And the purpose for that is to get that whole process started sooner.
So this is meant, then, to demonstrate that the planning cycle is really built into three – a strategic plan and then planning to develop an operating budget framework, and then a final budgeting plan so it’s meant to provide the community with more input into the budget, which is really where you get your resources, not in the strategic plan. But the strategic plan is very interesting for other aspects, you know – what is the direction of ICANN, and that’s why we’re seeking your input.
If you can, take a look at the strategic plan. I really want to point out a couple things. So the strategic plan’s not up, so you’ve got to look at your handout or on your computer. And the third page of the plan is what I would call the one-page version of the plan – lists in very short form ICANN strategic objectives across its four main mission statement pillars. And I think we’re pretty much familiar with them – insuring DNS stability; promoting competition and choice; excellence in ICANN operations, including the IANA function and a healthy internet ecosystem. That last one really goes to an effective policy-making process through a multi-stakeholder internationally based model.
So those are the strategic objectives and we really – that’s not the right slide. Just go back to wherever we were. There you go. That was a mystery slide.
So then if you are to turn the page on the strategic plan, we get to where the prose is and the first heading is DNS Stability and Security. And all I want to point out here is that the underlined sections, the strategic objectives really are in the third sets of paragraphs where it says Strategic Objectives. And all the underlined prose that you see in the plan are changes based on community comment to date. So we had… ICANN staff had written a proposed version of a Plan and that language has been amended or sharpened or added, and so the underlined sections of each section of the plan that follow are really the additions due to community-based input. So I just want to show you that just from a form standpoint in order to demonstrate that already there have been substantial changes to the plan.
So, what are those? Let’s go to the next slide. So, how do we want to take this plan and even make it better? So, how do we want to make it better? So, we’re seeking to reorganize the objectives. If you look at the strategic plan, some aspects of it are really broad to improve or insure DNS uptime and ICANN doesn’t control the DNS; we have our own limited areas of control. But we’ve got some more specific objectives. So we have some more specific objectives where we do have very specific control like increased contractual compliance.
So the strategic plan is a mixture of those lofty goals where ICANN has some influence, but not control in other areas where we have control. So we’re going to seek to reorganize all the bullets in the plan to distinguish areas where ICANN has control versus influence - the current version of the plan kind of comingles them - and then be very clear about our levels of engagement.
So sometimes we have a contract with an entity actually effect a change and sometimes we just have what I would call the bully pulpit or a platform from which to speak and encourage change.
So we’re going to reorganize the plan in those regards and then we’re going to include some more measurable objectives, some more clear definition of desired outcomes.
One example might be DNSsec where we do have a stated goal of the number of TLDs that will sign their zone by the end of some time period, so we’re going to aspire to be more clear about the desired outcomes and establish a method for evaluating those outcomes. So when you’re thinking about your comments to the plan, either now or in written form later, please think about these objectives cause we’re looking to change the plan in these ways.
So how has the plan changed in recent history? Well, since last fiscal year ICANN and its community actually got some things done, and so there’s changes to the plan in that regard. So, for example - and we’ve talked about these things on our last call - but our last plan focused on signing the roots on, well it’s signed so now we’re going to focus on DNSsec adoption by TLDs as I said.
And the last plan we proposed that a DNScert, which is an emergency response team that ICANN might coordinate, was proposed as one of the solutions to enhance DNS security. Clearly the community has said we don’t know if that’s one of the solutions or not, you just need to support a broad community discussion on DNS stability, DNScert might be one of those solutions. So you see a change in the plan that way.
And with regard to consumer choice and enhanced competition, last year’s plan focused on the delegation of IDNs; this year’s plan, now that IDNs are being delegated focuses on making IDNs work better in all situations. So implementation of the protocol down through the application layer and the like. There’s more discussion this year about protection of registrants through RAA amendments, GTLD registrar accreditation amendments and registrants write charter, and also focuses on communication of all these things to users so that, you know, the global community is aware of them.
For example, the new GTLD Program has attached to it a global communications plan.
Other updates to the plan under the pillar of core operations and making ICANN internal operations excellent. You know, the updates to the plan this year is ICANN has instituted a number of, I’ll just call them self-help mechanisms, you know, internal operational excellence initiatives – (1) targeted specifically at IANA and then an organizational effectiveness initiative to provide for continual improvement across the company. And then there’s a new focus on finally implementing and launching IANA automation.
And then with regard to the healthy internet ecosystem, including our policy development support, there’s an initiative for the GNSO to improve its policy development process. ICANN seeks to increase participation and engagement with especially the technical community. So the ITF - the root servers – practically engage with them and start a better collaboration. And also with forums where internet discussions take place, such as the IGF and the OECD.
And then, again, to improve communications and accessibility, one of those will be through reorganization of the ICANN website. So, you’ll see that effort is ongoing and any input you have into how to improve the website – cause everybody has an idea, right? We all do although we all agree it’s hard to get around - ICANN will be looking for suggestions there.
So what’s changed in response to the community input on the plan? Well, regarding stability and security, there were very many specific suggestions and really using - and I just described some – but really using our stakeholder relationships. Particularly with the technical community where we don’t really do a good job of liaising with, again, the ITF and the root server operators to accomplish these things here. So, remember, we’re trying to make the plan more specific and more objective and therefore, deliver plans for stable L-root operations – you know, ICANN operates the L-root – the publish business continuity planning, so you might have seen some of that in line with the new GTLD process and transition of registrars to facilitate the adoption of IPV6 and DNSsec. We talked about that and work with the community and internet security. So these were all pretty much word changes to the prose of the plan and insure that those specific objectives were put in there.
And then with regard to consumer choice and enhancing competition, you know, a key change was increasing registry registrar regional diversity so, especially with the IDN program being implemented and the potential implementation of new GTLDs that the goals of those programs are to increase regional participation in becoming a registree, becoming a registrar, or being able to take advantage of the new services and opportunities offered by new GTLDs and registrars in people’s own area.
And then something we used to do that we’re putting back is partnering with ISOC and others to provide training for those who want it – new CCTLD operators or new GTLD operators.
And then finally, the last set of changes we have to the plan to do with core operations. So focus on the IANA contract renewal – I think everyone knows that ICANN performs the IANA contract through a contract with the U.S. Government. And that that contract is up for renewal next year, and we plan to get a contract renewal next year and we plan to get a contract renewal and continue performing those operations in an excellent manner.
There’s a specific request to model our operational excellence operations after EFQM which – is that European? I think so, right? – which is – you know, there’s an American version of it that I’m familiar with, a continuous improvement – but model our efforts after that. If you know Deming – is it Edward Deming?
What’s Deming’s… What? No, no. That’s okay. We want to enhance measurements so make things more objective; we want to improve the PDP process from a staff support point and then – boy, this is a recurring theme, but – strengthen our strategic relationships with the technical community.
And then with regard to policy development support in the multi-stakeholder model, also known as the internet ecosystem, we want to maintain DNS uptime and maintain the existence of a single operable internet, one of those things where we don’t have control, but we might have influence.
But we do have control over enhancing the multi-stakeholder bottom-up model and working towards increasing participation through groups such as this one.
Improving the website – but you don’t just improve the website as the end, right? It’s a means to an end and so we want to enhance informational tools and content.
And then, finally, increase our participation and collaboration in all these forms that discuss internet governance, and to a certain extent, ICANN’s existence as a model is tied to those discussions.
So we’re going to come back to these slides in a minute. I just want to take one minute and say, “So what’s the path home from here?”
We’re going to continue having these consultations. I’ll tell you, they’ve been really good and you know, you sit in a room with a bunch of people and write the plan and stare at it for days and then you take it out and get a fresh set of eyes on it and it’s really helpful. Finish these consultations, we’ll repost the plan for public comment and submit it to the Board for approval in the next Board Meeting or the meeting thereafter that. While we’re not looking to markedly change the plan; we do not want to short cut the community consultation process.
So that’s kind of the end of my presentation and I guess I went on too long, but what we could do is go back to a couple slides ago and talk about update – yeah, keep going, go forward; no, you’re going the wrong way now. Yeah, one more. There you go. It’s over on the left. Yeah. Thank you.
So I’ll take comments. I would take comments first on either the gestalt of the whole plan or, specifically on items concerning DNS stability and security or competition and choice.
Male: A quick question. Kurt,, you had a reference to a PDP improvement. Is that the ongoing GNSO team or something else?
Kurt Pritz: Yes, that’s it. Paul?
Paul Twomey: I think it may have been on a previous slide, but there was a mention in this presentation about – I forget the exact terms, but responsibility versus influence, in other words, what I can actually do versus what it can use its bully pulpit to do or whatever. Can you give us a stronger… Can you give us a clearer interpretation for the user community as to what ICANN is actually able to do in light of some questions that the At-Large has been getting from the user community that they don’t believe ICANN believes that it has authority to enforce contracts.
Kurt Pritz: Hi, Paul. How are you doing?
Paul Twomey: Hi, Kurt. I didn’t mean to be… I was having a thought there. I forgot to be nice. Sorry.
Kurt Pritz: I’m good at that. So I think there’s three ways ICANN works. In some instances it has control – and I think it does have control where it has agreements, or where it does have authority to perform the IANA function, or where it does work with the community to develop policy and then implement that policy. So, ICANN, either the Board or an advisory committee or a supporting organization, can initiate a PDP and affect change that way. So in those areas, I think ICANN has a significant amount of control.
There are other areas where ICANN does not have control, but has significant influence, so I think that CCTLDs and GTLDs that adopt or assign their zone, I think ICANN has a lot of influential power there. They can… if a CCTLD needs help to, you know, technical help or something like that, to get the zone signed we can provide that. We can bring influence to bear to help convince TLDs to sign their zone; we could amend the registry agreement in the case of a GTLD, so those are instances where we have sort of a medium amount, you know, we can really affect change even though we don’t have authority; we can take responsibility.
And then there’s areas where we have less… no control and less influence. So, for example, a goal in Lester’s plan is 100 DNS uptime. While the DNS can be broadly interpreted, ICANN has little control over that. But we can promote security and stability; we can do training, we can do some other things. So I would grade those as the three types of control and influence that ICANN has and the plan – what that bullet says – the plan should make that clear. So that’s kind of the answer to the first part of your question.
The answer to the second part – I want to understand more about ICANN. ICANN clearly thinks it can enforce its agreements, so I’d want to have a continued discussion or get a response question from you if you want to do that, if you have a specific instance in mind.
Paul Twomey: Yeah, maybe I can send you an email or something with specific names, but there have been repeated examples. And this may have something to do with the fact that there’s apparently three job vacancies in the Compliance Department at the moment. There seem to be numerous examples of registrars behaving and acting in what appears to be non-compliance with the RAA and ICANN not doing anything about it. I can give you some actual names, but I’ll just email them or something.
Kurt Pritz: Yeah, and I think the really interesting discussion is about why the authority is in the contract and what ICANN can do. And so I understand that there’s three positions open and ICANN is not only planning to fill those positions, it’s planning to implement new GTLDs and staff a Compliance Department that’s adequate for that and there’s a plan for that. But if you look at statistics, you know the number of registrar de-accreditations are non-renewals, the amount of enforcement notices sent out or the amount of breach notices sent out, it’s always on the increase. Anybody else? I can’t believe there aren’t any. Erick?
Erick Iriarte: Hi, Kurt. This is my first time on this side of the pond. I’m pleased to see the DNScert taken off the list and want to commend the effort of funding work with network resource start up center in ISOC in the basic registry operations class and the advanced registry operations classes that have been held in Guatemala recently and Mali recently, and I assume will continue for the foreseeable future, as competency is developed in operators regionally which are outside of North American and Europe.
So I really commend that as a good choice of resource allocation that moves skills to the periphery rather than the DNScert proposal which moves skills to the center, possibly without any real use.
I’m puzzled by the references made to increase the involvement of the technical community because in 2002 we had a functioning protocol supporting organization that was in November or December of that year ceased to exist. And we have a current review of the tech liaison function which the initial report was fairly critical of its continued existence and proposed, among several proposals. ending the TLD as an entity which provides non-voting seats from the technical community on the Board and, of course, the previous PSO put voting seats on the Board and there is a significant difference institutionally between voting seats and non-voting seats, between veto power and persuasive power.
So I’m curious how this is going to work out that we will have increased relations with the – you mentioned the IETF – but presumably with the broad envelopes that we used to call the PSO of technical organizations, including the IETF and possibly the W3C and possibly others. That’s really all the comments I had. Thank you.
Kurt Pritz: So I think… So the objective to increase our effective interaction with a technical community, and specifically the IETF and root server operators, came out of, actually, two events, two or three. One is having to do with IDNs, the IDNA protocol and how staff worked with the IETF on that and then with the variant IDN discussion, IDN variant management discussion, where the IETF has said, “We’re not really considering any issues with variance cause you haven’t given us a problem.” And so our Board has recognized that as really staff not effectively participating in the IETF and raising issues there in the form of solvable problems.
And so I think ICANN is getting better; we have Joe Adley now, who works in that realm. But there’s a couple instances where solutions could be developed faster if staff reached out and did a better job.
The other instance had to do with the root server operations and root scaling where ICANN is churning away making new GTLD plans and, while that information is available for the root server operators so they can anticipate it, there was no real interaction between the two groups so they could plan for the timing, the number of delegations, the delegation rate. So a briefing was given to our sec but really that’s not complete and really there needs to be more of a cooperative relationship.
So the goals there… half of your comment, I think, the goals and the plan sprung from those two events where Board members and other say, “Get off your butt and go interact.” And what you’re describing – the report that recommends that that Board liaison role be abolished, I think that came from something else and I’m not up on that so I don’t really know all the reasoning, but there had to be some recognition that what we’re trying to achieve with the TLD role wasn’t really working bearing fruit, so go find something else to do; just don’t eliminate something and say, “Well, we give up.”
So I don’t know what the future of that recommendation is, but I think it too comes from the report anyway saying it wasn’t an effective tool for accomplishing the sorts of things that you’re talking about accomplish, so go find another way.
Alan Greenberg: Dev, go ahead.
Dev Teelucksingh: Thank you, Chair. I noticed in the presentation, I see that the word translations was included in the revised draft strategic plan after the consultations. Care to expand on what that is regarding translations?
Kurt Pritz: So, no. We wanted to flag that and the way it’s put in the plan now is make translations more effective. Theoretically that could be more or less, right? So I think what we’re talking about is making that the input we’re looking for and how we want to modify the plan from here is making that more of a measurable objective. So what could be some goals? And I’d really like to tie it to something other than a number or frequency, but what’s our goal? Because, you know, there’s translations and they cost money so we want to really do them in a way that gives us the most good. So is there a way to formulate an objective that really could be increasing the investment on translation, but also making that investment as effective as it can be?
It’s not easy or else we would have wrote it more better. But if you can give some thought to how that objective could be rewritten so it’s measurable and comes to improvement.
Olivier Crépin-Leblond: Thank you. Hong?
Xue Hong: Thank you, El. I hope you don’t mind if I ask a very specific question. We all agree these ICANN public meetings are very important for the community building, for the healthy ecosystem and for policy making and discussions. Otherwise, ICANN won’t have these meetings in different regions. I’m not sure whether you talked about this issue with my colleague in European-RALO, but as you may have (inaudible 0:43:19) that there will be an ICANN meeting in June 2011 in Asia Pacific region. So my question is that, when you make strategic plans for an ICANN meeting in certain region whether you think about to facilitate the regional need such as regional and large organizations need to have the (inaudible 0:43:42) events by using the (inaudible 0:43:47) of ICANN (inaudible 0:43:49). The same since we only have six months to go for this one in Asia, I’m quite keen to hear from you about any planning or strategic thinking about this because the European colleague has raised the issue that’s 18 months out of the time because there would be a European ICANN meeting in 2012 and they raised this issue already. I guess we are running out of time.
Kurt Pritz: So there’s two aspects to that. One is the strategic aspect – what are we trying to accomplish with that meeting. And I think that’s pretty easy to write down. There are a lot of benefits that would accrue from having such a meeting. So in the plan, if we want to regularly build on existing ICANN meetings in order to have other At-Large meetings, we want to build that into our strategy so it regularly and normally becomes part of the operating plan so it’s sort of not a last minute thing cause it’s a strategic objective.
So I can say, you know, now we’re starting – I don’t know if you met with Kevin and Carmen Juan yet – Wednesday you’re going to talk about budgeting, so you’re going to talk about with them – what’s the next fiscal year? 2011? 12, holy smokes! So the 2011-2012 operating plan, you know, you’re going to want to discuss making sure that you’ve got your input. You’re going to have specific opportunity to input into that plan for 2011-2012 which leaves us with – what are we going to do in six months, right? What? You’re shaking your head. So I can’t speak to what’s in the ICANN budget or what’s planned for that meeting in Asia. Does ALAC have a specific or the At-Large have a specific plan for that?
Xue Hong: At-Large has a strategic plan. But issue is that issue be planned into ICANN’s overall picture. And now is very much ad hoc so what I’m thinking is that it should be more strategically planned.
Kurt Pritz: I agree. That’s right. So we want to build that into the strategic plan so normally it becomes part of the operating plan cycle. So we want to write an objective into the strategic plan for that.
Alan Greenberg: Olivier?
Olivier Crépin-Leblond: Thank you, Alan. If I may add, Work Team C in the At-Large improvements is actually looking at this and looking at closer cooperation between ICANN strategic plan and also the ALAC strategic plan. That’s one of the reasons actually why Kurt was very kind to actually give us a presentation as well.
I do have one question for Kurt. The presentation you have here is different from the one you did earlier and I wondered whether we would be able to have a copy of that as well please. Thank you.
Alan Greenberg:: Anything else? Nine more minutes. We could finish early. Fern, I think you need to be complimented if no one is irate and wants to yell and scream at you.
Kurt Pritz: Well, let’s see if we take the input from you and get it into the plan and then we’ll test whether I get yelled at and screamed. I think the input is good and actually, you know, especially with regard to a translation objective and with regard to writing an objective for At-Large meeting planning as part of the annual planning cycle would be good if you could suggest how to write that.
Alan Greenberg: Olivier?
Olivier Crépin-Leblond: Thank you, Alan. Just one question and I might have missed this slide. With regards to Outreach, whether At-Large is part of the core strategy of ICANN for Outreach. Is that now linked into the plan?
Kurt Pritz: So here’s what it says now that was added. It says, “Starting with the new Board seat representing the At-Large community, we will also work to formalize input from the At-Large community into Board discussions.” That was the comment about the GAC, the comparison with the GAC.
Olivier Crépin-Leblond: Is there a time scale for this? Have you put a road map on that or is this the next three years?
Kurt Pritz: Well, Carole’s going to write that down but that’s exactly how we want to try to make these objectives more measurable – by putting some time scale on that.
Olivier Crépin-Leblond: Okay. Excellent. Thank you.
Alan Greenberg: Thank you. Evan?
Evan Leibovitch : Just one comment and it’s a positive and it’s a note of thanks for having put in the registrants’ rights charter into the community work section. Does this mean that there will actually be some resources available to help make that happen?
Kurt Pritz: Yes, I think there are policy development support resources already helping on this. I think what the addition of this will accomplish at the end – what goes in here filters down and gets into everybody’s work goals so we can hold up a banner at the end of the year and say success. So by formally including it here, what that will mean is there will be certain staff members at ICANN and that will be their work goal to establish that.
Anyone else? Last call. So I just want to thank everybody. Thank you guys, Olivier and Alan and everybody who contributed, everybody who takes time to read the plan. Everybody in this community works very hard; staff people work really hard to write things. The community works hard to read things and provide input and provide their own writings and want to make sure the iteration continues so the documents continue to improve. So, anyway, thanks for your efforts in the past and in advance for the future.
Alan Greenberg: Thank you for joining us. Heidi?
Heidi Ullrich: Thank you very much, Kurt. Just a comment. For those of you who would like to add your comments following today for the At-Large contribution to the strategic plan, there is a link to our workspace on that. It’s up in the connect chat, so please do take a look at that. There are two comments there already, but we definitely need to hear from you. Thanks.