Designing a 21st Century ICANN

In 4 days – on November 19, 2013 at 8:00AM EST (10:00AM ART) – the ICANN Strategy Panel on Multistakeholder Innovation (MSI Panel) and The Governance Lab @ NYU (The GovLab) will launch the first stage of a three-stage brainstorming initiative to help get YOUR ideas and input on how we can evolve and adapt the way ICANN works and engages with global experts and netizens in the 21st century.


The MSI Panel has been charged with:

  • Proposing new models for international engagement, consensus-driven policymaking and institutional structures to support such enhanced functions; and
  • Designing processes, tools and platforms that enable the global ICANN community to engage in these new forms of participatory decision-making.

Our goal is to answer this charter by making recommendations to ICANN for ways to open the institution to greater and more diverse participation. We (The MSI Panel and The GovLab) want to help lead ICANN to embrace data-driven experimentation, and to develop processes through which people can collaborate in purposeful groups on and off-line. Doing so, we believe, will help safeguard a more legitimate and effective version of the global and participatory model ICANN uses to coordinate the Domain Name System (DNS) and its players, to the end of securing one global and stable Internet.

 How Will the 3-Stage Initiative Work?

icann-process-graph-all (2)

Stage 1: Idea Generation – Individuals can submit ideas for designing a 21st century ICANN to an online ideation/brainstorming platform. Users can rate and rank suggestions based on importance and practicality. The goal is to elicit a wide range of ideas for concrete approaches and tools ICANN could use to evolve and adapt how it works and engages with the global public in coordinating policy development in the unique identifier space.

Stage 2: Proposal Development – Idea submissions will be grouped into topics to start development of con- crete experiment proposals that ICANN could implement and test. Participants will be able to dis- cuss these initial proposal ideas using a blog with line-by-line annotation features. This stage is de- signed to take ideas closer to implementation by fleshing out the specifics for what ICANN could/ should or should not do in experimenting with new approaches for coordinating policy development.

Stage 3: Collaborative Drafting: Using a wiki, we will invite collaborative drafting on specific experiment proposals that the Panel will then submit to the ICANN CEO, Board and community.

With your input, the MSI Panel will make recommendations to ICANN for how to problem-solve across borders as it coordinates the DNS for everyone. Follow along for the next 4 days for updates and to learn more about how and where to participate once we go live on November 19.

Follow @TheGovLab and the #WeCANN hashtag on Twitter for updates, too!

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