Did You Attend ICANN’s Latest Meeting? Here’s What Our Team Thought About Our Time in Barcelona.

By Lauren Lao, Marketing Communications Manager, Public Interest Registry

If you follow along on Public Interest Registry social channels, you’ve likely seen many mentions of ICANN and ICANN63. The acronym stands for Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers – known more widely as ICANN (www.icann.org). The organisation is a nonprofit advocating for global policy, governance and infrastructure of the internet and also plays a leadership role in coordinating the interconnected naming system. Alongside gTLD registries like Public Interest Registry and other domain industry members, ICANN works to keep the internet open, safe and secure for users around the world.

ICANN meetings offer many opportunities to participate in internet advocacy and the organisation genuinely works toward creating a collaborative and inclusive community representing industry and non-industry volunteers at all levels of expertise. In fact, many on our team are involved on ICANN board committees and working groups. Transparency and accountability are also core tenets of the organisation, and their annual meeting schedule includes the more widely attended Community Forum, Policy Forum and Annual General Meeting along with other smaller meetings to provide ample opportunity for participants around the world to attend.

Last month our team returned from the ICANN63 Annual General Meeting in Barcelona, Spain completely energized. For those who missed ICANN63, below are a few perspectives on the experience and results from four Public Interest Registry departments – policy and legal, channel services, marketing and finance.

Policy & Legal

The Public Interest Registry Policy & Legal Teams were kept very busy in Barcelona. Many, many hours were spent debating ICANN’s Temporary Specification gTLD Registration Data, compliance with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and continuing tension between personal rights and third-party access to private data. Although the community has not yet reached a resolution, we find the dialogue – and our participation in it – important to keep working through the issues. Updates on these themes, as available, can be found on ICANN’s Announcement web page. For anyone interested in DNS policy development with ICANN, this area of their website is helpful to understand the approach and how you can get involved.

Department Highlights

  • Registries and registrars met with the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) to further discuss steps to combat child sexual abuse materials online. You can learn more about Public Interest Registry’s involvement here and keep an eye out on our blog for reoccurring posts from IWF on their efforts.
  • Paul Diaz, Public Interest Registry Vice President of Policy, finished his term as the gTLD Registries Stakeholder Group (RySG) Chair (2015-2018), having previously served as Vice Chair (2012-2015).
  • Beth Bacon, Public Interest Registry Director of Policy and Privacy, took her seat as RySG Vice Chair of Administration and will be eligible to serve her own full term from 2019-2021.

Channel Services

ICANN63 gave our Channel Services Team the opportunity to show that we are invested in working collaboratively to support the promotion and sale of .org, and to spend quality time with registrars. We also reiterated our new approach to working with registrars, which focuses on building relationships and channel incentives, based on each company’s needs (learn more here).

Department Highlights

  • The collaborative environment of ICANN allowed Public Interest Registry team to develop new relationships with registrars that we had not previously engaged with.
  • More specifically, our team was able to communicate that we care about everyone equally (no matter size) and that when we build personalized collaborations, we take into consideration every unique aspect of their business: target audience, business model, target countries, etc.
  • This open line of communication gave our Channel Services Team a better understanding of registrars’ needs/challenges and ‘day-to-day’ operations, which will allow us to collaborate on new opportunities in the upcoming year.

Marketing

Our marketing team took advantage of the lively expo area at ICANN63 to reinforce awareness around the .org domain. The Public Interest Registry booth was designed with bold graphics and an informative timeline about the history of .org and attendees were asked to contribute their thoughts about .org to a live interactive word cloud. On the evening of October 23rd, Public Interest Registry hosted an intimate, yet exciting dinner event at Tickets Bar, a Michelin-star tapas restaurant that specializes in molecular gastronomy. The evening event was well attended and allowed our team to engage on a more personal level with stakeholders among the visually appealing (and quite yummy!) dishes, magician and Rumba Catalina band.

Department Highlights

  • The .org booth served as a great meeting space for Public Interest Registry to host registrars, have impromptu meet and greets, and foster general industry networking, all reinforcing the collaborative environment of ICANN meetings.
  • The activity in the expo area allowed the Public Interest Registry Marketing Team to connect with a diverse makeup of attendees and discuss the trust, safety and security attributes of the .org domain.
  • If you missed the action in real time, our most active ICANN63 social media posts can be found on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. Don’t forget to connect with us on these channels, if you’re not already!

Finance

ICANN63 was Vice President of Finance Kathy King’s first ICANN meeting. According to Kathy, “I enjoyed attending the sessions aimed at those new to the Annual Meeting and thought they provided a beneficial overview of the organisation and its activity.”

Department Highlights

  • The Finance team met with the ICANN CFO and Vice President of Finance to discuss issues facing the internet and how they are being addressed by the community through a finance lens.
  • The opportunity to meet various people and organisations in the industry – working outside of finance – gave our team a better appreciation of how their niche area supports a bigger picture.

Did you attend ICANN63? If so, tell us about yourself, what you experienced and what went well. We look forward to connecting with many more people at ICANN64 in Kobe, Japan March 9-14, 2019.


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