This space is specifically to catch comments and create a discussion around the "gaps" in Outreach, that is, what Staff may not be doing, what the community would propose to do, ideas of outreach that have not yet been explored...

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  1. Dear Friends

    My first comment would be not on a specific outreach activity but on one way of effective outreach. Several global organizations are operating in the various constituencies, they have large memberships and reach thousands of people. My own organization the Global Knowledge partnership is one of them and we would love to support ICANN in its outreach because it would create a real win/win situation. ICANN will win because it reaches people it was not able to reach before. ICANN would win because whilst people will not necessary open and spend time on a ICANN message, they are much more open to read and spend time on something that comes through an organizational channel that they are familiar with. Every organization that acts as a channel for ICANN will win, as every information they can provide on Internet Governance to their members and affiliates supports them. 

    ICANN needs to be at all time in the driving seat on these activities and co-ordinate with the disseminating organizations.

    It would help if ICANN once a month could create a 1 page message, in human language that a normal non ICANN infected person can understand, that then would be distributed through the channels mentioned above. Each of these message should end up with clear information how a person reading this message can further comment and/or engage with ICANN.

    Next steps:

    1. Clear up how such messages can be created
    2. Draw up a list of organizations willing and able to disseminate ICANN messages
    3. Contact organizations and reach understandings.


    Just a thought





    1. Thank you Klaus - will take a look at this - I tend to prioritize a bit like that myself, be it phone calls or emails....we'll discuss at next session with other community and staff - really appreciate you jumping in and getting conversation started.

    2. I totally agree with Klaus, it allows for more engagement in the outreach initioative as I can see.

  2. Hi All, 

    This relates to approaches to communicating multi-stakeholder processes. One of the .ECO Council members, ISEAL Alliance, is basically the ICANN of the ecolabel (voluntary sustainability standards) world. It's a policy-making environment that is at least as complex as ICANN's. 

    ISEAL has been growing rapidly, and is becoming quite sophisticated at communicating key junction points in the multi-stakeholder processes it runs.

    For consideration, here are some examples of how they are building a cohesive and broad communications strategy around their processes. Elements include an online survey, a webinar, a listserv, consultation workshops, and a video:




  3. Prior to the call this week, wanted to bring this article to the attention of the group. It was interesting not from the lens of the subject of the article, but from the challenges facing ICANN as a technical group with many long term, active participants. In particular, this quote resonated: 

    "They did not want me there, so they said things like, you don't have so many years of experience in ICANN; you just joined not so many years; you weren't here when ICANN was formed."

    Simply put, how can ICANN ever hope to grow participation if the existing participants don't want new participants there? Any conversation about outreach must be first built on the assumption that new participants will be made to feel welcome.

    Otherwise, the only product of fresh outreach can be the creation of more individuals with negative views of the process, which is essentially a counter-productive exercise.

    Our view is that independent mediation, comprising at least one in-person professional facilitator/mediator present on any policy/working group call, with clear instructions and authority to assure a balanced and welcoming dialogue without biasing the policy-making process, is a critical pre-requisite to any outreach. We would welcome a discussion of this with the members of this group. 

  4. I appreciate Klaus and Jacob´s comments.


    As Klaus, I also work for a regional organization that reaches thousands of people at events organized in collaboration with local organizations all over the region. This events are organized in 9 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Costa Rica, Uruguay, and Mexico) and the number of countries participating grows every year. There are around 1000/2000 (depending on the country) live participants in each event and thousands more participate online. Participants are mostly form the eCommerce/eBusiness industry (large, medium and small companies as well as entrepreneurs), in general, commercial users of the Internet.

    Delivery in these events of "human language that a normal non ICANN infected person can understand" (as Klaus wrote) would be an important complement to organizing a workshop or other kind of outreach activity.

    I have also to say that the way I myself got aware for the first time of the existance of ICANN was by ICANN ombudsman participation in events related to Dispute Resolution in which I was an active participant. 

    The information delivered to the public by the Ombusdman was related to a theme that was relevant to that particular audience, as it was about the Dispute Resolution principles the ICANN Ombudsman applied with also a basic notion on what was ICANN. So adding to the idea of human language, it is important to create materials that would be relevant to each public and that would talk in their own language.

    So if the events selected to do outreach and awareness are eCommerce events then materials should have a business approach and explain to a business person why ICANN work is important, why does that matter to him or his company, and what can he do about it, etc. If the events are more individual user oriented, then materials should be relevant to users, and so.  

    Also, I would not only explain what ICANN is but also what organizations relevant to that particular public are already involved in ICANN, so that people that would not like to get themselves directly involved, still can be participating through their own already known channels.  


    Regarding Jacob´s proposal of a facilitator/mediator in policy/working group, I would be open to explore that proposal and moreover I would add that there should be a network for this, with also guides/mentors for newcomers at each particular AC/SO or constituency, and/or policy/WGs. This, because you cannot put all the burden on the Chair of a constituency to welcome and guide participants.

    For instance, for a fellow, the work that Janice Douma Lange does is crucial. You get to have this one wonderful person in which you can completely trust and that you can ask whatever questions you have (and believe me, you have many questions to ask that you cannot ask anyone because you do not feel comfortable to do so unless is someone you really trust). So this gives you confidence and support in a very complex process. Also, this is enhanced by second time or third time fellows that can support new fellows. This people should be able to refer you to other people from the community for more specific guidance, that are dedicated to this as facilitators for policy/working groups and for constituency involvement.

    This way you can have a network of facilitators/trusted persons that can be able to support new members in the process of getting a fully integrated ICANN community member.    

    So I would like to explore these ideas and get feedback from all of you. 

    Looking forward for tomorrows call!!




  5. Some thoughts on the Inter-sessional Meeting


    There should be a organizational team formed for each meeting. This team should consist of:

    1-2 named representatives of each of the 5 GNSO non-contract communities

    ICANN staff

    1 named ICANN board member

    2-4 representatives of local partners

    The organizational team should be constituted 6 month before each inter-sessional meeting, meet online, and have a face to face meeting at the regular ICANN meeting that proceeds the inter-sessional meeting.


    The meeting should take place some month before the regular ICANN meeting.

    The meeting should take place in the region or country where the next regular ICANN meeting is taking place in order to achieve the highest possible outreach and outcomes for both meetings. Related event

    The meeting should take place if possible in conjunction, before after or during, with another ICT related event in order to maximize outreach potential, participants, impact and reduce costs.

    The meeting should take place in conjunction with local partner organizations that share ICANN’s Mission/Vision and values.

    (In order to support the last two points two “hitlists” should be created. The first is a list of organizations globally that share ICANNs Mission/Vision and Values and that can be approached and integrated as possible inter-sessional meeting partners. The second list should be of the ICT related events taking place in a potential region/country for the inter-sessional meeting at the appropriate timeframe.)

    Meeting parameters:

    The main aim of the meeting is to support the outreach of ICANN in general and the 5 GNSO non-contract communities in particular.

    Each meeting should be themed around a broad topic such as Security, Internet Governance and Rights. The topics should be outreach oriented.

    The process of preparation, execution and follow up for each meeting should be clearly defined:


    a) Constitution of organizational team

    b) Decision on theme and broad meeting program.

    c) Creation of a outreach strategy and plan of its implementation

    d) Outreach to potential partners and members of the 5 GNSO non-contract communities in the specific country and region.

    e) Outreach and engagement of national and regional media.

    During meeting:

    a) General ICANN outreach, information and capacity building events, such as receptions, open events,

     b) Specific national and regional outreach events of the 5 GNSO non-contract communities

    c) Specific media targeted events, such as televised debates, interviews and so on

    d) Specific capacity Building events

    e) Inreach/cross 5 GNSO non-contract communities events


    After meeting:

    a) Follow up events

    b) Integration of inter-sessional meeting participants in the next regular ICANN meeting

    c) Reporting on outcomes at the next regular ICANN meeting

    d) Evaluation and lessons learned

    For each meeting the above meeting circle should be followed.


    Each meeting should have clearly defined, measurable outcomes. They could be:

    1. How many people participated that never engaged with ICANN before?

    2. How many people could be reached through the media?

    3. How many people that never engaged with ICANN before registered and participated in the next ICANN meeting ?

    4. How many people engaged and became members of the 5 GNSO non-contract communities?

    5. How many capacity building events could be held and how many people reached with them?

    1. Like the idea of a local organizing committee, could perhaps involve the Fellows and Global Partnerships team also where relevant. 

  6. Dear Friends


    Thank you for the online discussion yesterday which was most helpful.

    I just want to follow up on some points.

    a) I can notstress enough, from NPOC's and from my personal opinion, the point that the inter sessional meetings should have a clear outreach component and function. What ICANN needs most now is outside awareness, communication, understanding and interaction. In short, ICANN needs to learn to market itself and it needs to market itself not to the nerds but to everybody. Yes, we need inlook, but I think the inter constituency communication will become much easier and outcome targeted when it is informed through strong outreach of the respective constituencies. Maybe we should think about a 50/50 or 60/40 quota of inter sessional meeting time for in and outreach respectively.

    b) The current system of funding the constituencies for the inner communication and decision making processes as it was practiced in the past and still in Y13 was right then, but it is not now. The constituencies have now in an ICANN that has to face new challenges not just the role of informing the decision making process, but they play now a vital role in ICANN's "marketing". For that the constituencies need cash in return for well planned and executed multi-sectorial outreach programs with clear results and deliverable. I know it sounds indeed strange for those whose main concern in ICANN is the well being of the DNS, this is also my foremost concern, but I have learned to take care of the DNS also means good marketing and outreach.(Just simply think: why the devil always should have the best tools, I think its time to change this situation, the empire of light also could do with some good publicity). The nature of publicity need in and for ICANN has changed fundamentally, in the past it needed to target the good guardians of the DNS now it needs to target all. The future of the root is decided now by those who will make the most effective publicly defend-able and sell-able claim on it, if we like it or not. It's time to be prepared and take action. Not only the way things are done have to change also, who does it. Marketing ICANN by staff might have been enough, today it needs the active support of the constituencies and those organizations that share ICANN's fundamental values.

    BTW: Looking through the talent pools in the constituencies, there are several people who have a huge experience in marketing and outreach, some of them have handled large programs with huge amounts of money on stake, I think they can be intrusted with some ICANN cash to do the same. Nobody will be against appropriate checks and balances in place at the same time.

    c) Moving from the general to the practical and particular. I did not find clear words yesterday in the call,so here it comes again: International media events have become for international organizations a vital and most effective part for outreach and marketing. As a famous example I want to mention the Doha debates by the Doha Foundation in co-operation with the BBC. It reaches millions, it has great value for the common good and its a Allah send for the Doha Foundation and the BBC. Everybody wins! There are other smaller examples that work well. Why can ICANN with it's staff and the talent pool available in its constituency come up with a format that does the same thing for ICANN? I think it would be great to have it in the framework of the inter sessional meeting. In general, I would like to see a outreach event that attracts at least 5-600 ICANN outsiders happen every time. How about instead of evening cocktails or gala an event of this kind? It's a challenge but it can be done and I would like us to think seriously about it.