2 More Days Until Launch!

We’re getting closer! On November 19, 2013 at 10:00AM ART/ 8:00AM EST – the MSI Panel and the GovLab will launch its distributed, global brainstorm to help get the best ideas for evolving and adapting ICANN for the future.to-launch-2

Following up from yesterday, we wanted to give you some more specifics.

When & Where Does It Start?

On November 19, 2013, our Idea Generation stage will launch online via a brainstorming platform, Ideascale. You can take part in the online community by going to thegovlab.ideascale.com anytime between now and December 31, 2013 and joining the ICANN Strategy Panel: Multistakeholder Innovation community page.  (Note: The Ideascale page is not live yet – so you won’t be able to access or submit ideas without requesting to join the community. But don’t worry – once the page goes live on Tuesday, you’ll be able to access and submit ideas with no problems.)

STAGE 1: IDEA GENERATION: Once on the community page, you will be able to submit, comment on, deliberate, tag and vote on ideas for evolving and adapting ICANN. The page provides 5 different categories to help you organize your ideas:

  • Issue Identification: Ideas for innovating how ICANN spots problems and projects to work on.
  • Developing & Prioritizing Solutions: Ideas for how ICANN can devise meaningful and creative approaches and the knowledge for how to use them.
  • Evaluation & Review: Ideas for how ICANN can enable analytical input developing concrete proposals to ICANN.
  • Legal & Structural: Ideas for developing organizational forms, jurisdictional boundaries and legal norms in line with ICANN’s public interest values.

What Happens Next?


After our Idea Generation stage ends, the MSI Panel will review ideas, use them to write up blog posts in collaboration with research support from the GovLab. Posts will summarize key themes and topics for innovation to begin developing concrete proposals to ICANN.

You’ll be able to comment on the blog posts and provide input via ReadrBoard, an in-line annotation tool that lets you comment on every word and sentence as you see fit.



We’ll keep the blog posts up for a week, and then, based on your feedback, we will publish draft proposals on the GovLab Wiki, where you can collaborate with the MSI panel to fine-tune and edit concrete proposals that ICANN can begin to test right away – and has committed to accept and consider.

Need some help to jumpstart your thinking? Not sure how to frame the ideas you have?


Thinking about innovative approaches to decision-making in a vacuum can be difficult. To help you organize your thinking, here are some of the current technical topics ICANN works on:

  • Making the Domain Name System (DNS) support variants o fnon-Latin scripts that mean the same thing but are visually distinct. For example, “.游 戏” in simplified Chinese vs. “.遊戲” in traditional Chinese for “.games.”
  • Eliminating the possibility of “name collisions” – what happens when newly delegated strings conflict in the DNS with strings already in use. For example, the applied-for top-level domain “.home” conflicts with “.home” as used in internal enterprise systems; and
  • Evolving what the next generation system for Whois – a public database of domain registration data – should look like.


What do we mean by innovative tools and approaches for decision-making ICANN could adopt? Here are some examples:

  • In the U.S., the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) is using new technology to get better expertise into decision-making. Specifically, the FDA is using VIVO – an expert network connecting scientists and researchers across institutions – to help the agency more quickly and effectively identify those with technical know-how and experience who could help determine whether a new medical device is safe.
  • The European Commission is crowdsourcing ideas for the future of European policy by using the Futurium, an online debate platform that allows policymakers to not only consult citizens, but to collaborate and “co-create” solutions together.
  • Open data is another relevant innovation being used. In Burkina Faso, for example, the government is putting its contracts with the mining sector up on line – a practice called “open contracting” – and engaging the public and researchers to more easily search and analyze them to make sure companies are complying with regulations.

Stay Tuned! And follow @TheGovLab and the #WeCANN and #ICANN48 hashtags on Twitter for updates, too.


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