The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has managed the system of Internet domains for a decade and a half. Yet as the Internet continues to rapidly evolve and the volume and diversity of stakeholders connecting to the Internet grows, ICANN has recognized it must rethink how it operates as a platform for global collaborative decisionmaking – especially in light of new and increasingly sophisticated communications technologies. The GovLab is working with the ICANN Strategy Panel on Multistakeholder Innovation (MSI Panel), chaired by The GovLab director and co-founder Professor Beth Simone Noveck, to research and design technology-enabled experiments to help ICANN engage broader communities and bring their expertise and input into ICANN’s policy development processes.
Specifically, the Panel has been tasked by Fadi Chehadé, President and CEO of ICANN to:
From November 19, 2013 through the end of 2013, the MSI Panel and The GovLab invited individuals to submit ideas for designing a 21st century ICANN to an online ideation/brainstorming platform. Users were able to rate and rank suggestions based on importance and practicality. The goal was to elicit a wide range of ideas for concrete approaches and tools ICANN could use to evolve and adapt how it works and how it engages with the global public in coordinating policy development in the unique identifier space. To see the ideas, visit our online engagement platform.
Idea submissions are presently being grouped into topics to jumpstart development of 16 concrete experiment proposals that ICANN could implement and test toward the end of becoming a more effective, legitimate and evolving institution.
The Panel's master blueprint of proposals is located here:Quest for a 21st Century ICANN
We’re asking experts and the global public to discuss these initial proposal ideas on The GovLab Blog with line-by-line annotation and commenting features. This stage is designed to take ideas closer to implementation by fleshing out the specifics for what ICANN could/should and should not do in experimenting with new approaches for coordinating policy development and collaborating across borders.
Help Review Our Proposals:
ICANN should, together with the other Internet governance organizations, adapt expert networking technologies for identifying and making searchable technical expertise worldwide.
ICANN could publish its data freely online in machine-readable, downloadable and structured formats.
In order to open itself to broad-based and global participation, ICANN could leverage collaborative drafting tools
ICANN could test a wide array of alternative mechanisms for getting broad-based input at each stage of decision-making.
ICANN could experiment with imposing rotating term limits for all voting positions.
ICANN could experiment with innovative voting to allow the community to identify issues and individuals best suited to speak on those issues.
ICANN could innovate the public forum to create a more open and inclusive environment for participation
ICANN could pilot the use of randomly assigned small public groups as "citizen" juries.
ICANN could crowdsource oversight and develop success metrics to enhance its legitimacy as a global organization operating well and in the global public interest.
ICANN could help map the Internet governance ecosystem, its layers, the issues, and its management.
Using participatory budgeting, ICANN could experiment with different methods for directly involving the global public in budgeting decisions.
ICANN could help to create a minimum or basic set of rules for participating in the governance network.
ICANN could collaborate on research that promotes change and evolution in the Internet governance ecosystem.
ICANN should develop the institutional capacity for assessment as well as a systematic approach to monitor, evaluate, learn from, and use evidence.
We compiled all commentary and feedback into a final draft report of actionable proposals that the Panel has submitted to the ICANN CEO and President. This final report will also be shared on the GovLab Wiki for further edits/finetuning.
Prof. Alison Gillwald (PhD) is Executive Director of Research ICT Africa, a Cape Town-based think tank which hosts an Africa wide ICT policy and regulatory research network established a decade ago with the purpose of developing the data and analysis necessary for evidence-based ICT policy and effective regulation on the continent. She is also Adjunct Professor at the University of Cape Town's Graduate School of Business, Management of Infrastructure Reform and Regulation programme, where she convenes a doctoral and professional development executive programme. A former broadcasting and telecommunications regulator, she is involved currently in advising governments on broadband policy and regulatory bodies on competition and access regulation. Internet Governance and multistakeholderism is one RIA's current research streams.
Beth is Founder and Director of The Governance Lab. Funded by a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The GovLab aims to use advances in technology and science to change how we govern to improve people’s lives.
Beth is a visiting professor at both New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and the MIT Media Lab, and is on leave as professor of law and founder of the Institute for Information Law and Policy at New York Law School. She served in the White House as the first United States Deputy Chief Technology Officer and founder and director of the White House Open Government Initiative (2009-2011). UK Prime Minister David Cameron appointed her senior advisor for Open Government, and she served on the Obama-Biden transition team.
Her scholarship, activism, and teaching focus on accelerating and assessing progress toward smarter, more collaborative and decentralized governance. Among projects she's designed or collaborated on are Peer To Patent, the US government’s first expert network; OrgPedia, the Wikipedia of firms; Data.gov and Challenge.gov. A graduate of Harvard University and Yale Law School, she was named one of Foreign Policy's Top 100 Global Thinkers and “100 Most Creative People in Business” by Fast Company magazine and one of the “Top Women in Technology” by Huffington Post. She is the author of Wiki Government: How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger and Citizens More Powerful and co-editor of The State of Play: Law, Games and Virtual Worlds. Her next book The Networked State will appear with Harvard University Press. She tweets @bethnoveck
Media Lab Director, Joi Ito is a leading thinker and writer on innovation, global technology policy, and the role of the Internet in transforming society in substantial and positive ways. A vocal advocate of emergent democracy, privacy, and Internet freedom, Ito has served as both Board Chair and CEO of Creative Commons, and sits on the boards of Sony Corporation, Creative Commons, Knight Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The New York Times Company, Mozilla Foundation, WITNESS, and Global Voices. In Japan, he was a founder of Digital Garage, and helped establish and later became CEO of the country's first commercial Internet service provider. He was an early investor in more than 40 companies, including Flickr, Six Apart, Last.fm, Kongregate, Kickstarter, and Twitter. Ito's honors include TiME magazine's "Cyber-Elite" listing in 1997 (at age 31) and selection as one of the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum (2001). In 2008, BusinessWeek names him one of the "25 Most Influential People on the Web". In 2011, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oxford Internet Institute. In 2013, he received an honorary D. Litt from the New School in New York City. Mr. Ito served on the ICANN Board from 2004 to 2007.
Guo Liang is director of the China Internet Project and Associate Professor at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) as well as a Consultant at the Internet Society of China (ISC). Regarded as one of the leading experts on Internet impact in China He began his Internet related work as a columnist, writing about and introducing the Internet in Southern Weekend, a leading weekly newspaper in China in the mid 90s. In 1997, he chief edited seven books, known as the Internet Culture Series, including one book written by himself and this led to his recognition as one of the top 10 Chinese "Netizens" in 1998. Since 2001, he has conducted surveys on Internet usage and its impact on China for the CASS China Internet Project.
Geoff Mulgan is Chief Executive of the National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts (Nesta) and author of the Locust and the Bee: Predators and Creators in Capitalism's Future. Geoff Mulgan is the former director of the Young Foundation, a center for social innovation, social enterprise and public policy with a 50-year history of creating new organizations and pioneering ideas in fields as varied as aging, education, healthcare and poverty reduction. Geoff has held various roles in the UK government including Director of the Government's Strategy Unit and Head of Policy in the Prime Minister's office, and he was the founder of the think-tank Demos. He is chairing a Carnegie Inquiry into the Future of Civil Society in the UK and Ireland. His most recent book is The Art of Public Strategy: Mobilising Power and Knowledge for the Common Good.
Dr. Bitange Ndemo is the immediate former Permanent Secretary of Kenya's Ministry of Information and Communication. After his tenure with the Government, Dr. Ndemo went back to his job as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Nairobi's Business School, where he teaches entrepreneurship, and research methods. Most of his research centers on small and medium enterprises in Kenya with an emphasis on social enterprise. Dr. Ndemo holds a PhD in Industrial Economics from the University of Sheffield in the UK and an MBA and bachelor's degree in Finance and Accounting from the University of Minnesota. In the early 1990s, he was a Financial Systems Analyst at Medtronic Inc., a Fortune 500 company in the USA. He is a Honorary Chair of the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) and an Advisor to the Better than Cash Alliance, a global initiative to digitize payments.
Karim Lakhani is the Lumry Family Associate Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School and the Principal Investigator of the Harvard-NASA Tournament Lab at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science. He specializes in the management of technological innovation in firms and communities. His research is on distributed innovation systems and the movement of innovative activity to the edges of organizations and into communities. Currently, Professor Lakhani is investigating incentives and behavior in contests and the mechanisms behind scientific team formation through field experiments on the TopCoder platform and the Harvard Medical School. Professor Lakhani's research on distributed innovation has been published in Harvard Business Review, Innovations, Management Science, Nature Biotechnology, Organization Science, Research Policy and the Sloan Management Review. His research has been featured in publications like BusinessWeek, The Boston Globe, The Economist, Fast Company, Inc., The New York Times, The New York Academy of Sciences Magazine, Science, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Wired.
Stefaan G. Verhulst is Co-Founder and Chief Research and Development Officer of The GovLab where he is responsible for building a research foundation on how to transform governance using advances in science and technology. Before joining NYU full time, Verhulst spent more than a decade as Chief of Research for the Markle Foundation, where he continues to serve as Senior Advisor. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Culture and Communications at New York University, Senior Research Fellow for the Center for Media and Communications Studies at Central European University in Budapest; and an Affiliated Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Global Communications Studies at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communications.
Previously at Oxford University he co-founded and was the Head of the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy at the Centre for Socio Legal Studies, and also served as Senior Research Fellow of Wolfson College. He is still an emeritus fellow at Oxford. He also taught several years at the London School of Economics and was the UNESCO Chairholder in Communications Law and Policy for the UK, a former lecturer on Communications Law and Policy issues in Belgium, and Founder and Co-Director of the International Media and Info-Comms Policy and Law Studies at the University of Glasgow School of Law. He has served as a consultant to numerous international and national organizations, including the Council of Europe, the European Commission, UNESCO, World Bank, UNDP, USAID, the UK Department for International Development among others.
Jillian Raines works as a Legal & Policy Fellow for The GovLab. Prior to joining The GovLab she worked as an associate at Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP, where she represented policyholders as a member of the firm's Insurance Recovery Group. She earned her J.D. from New York Law School, where she also worked as a Student Research Fellow at the Institute for Information Law & Policy (focusing her studies on open government and open data), and served as the Visual Scholarship Web Editor for the NYLS Law Review. She earned her B.A. in English, Journalism and International Studies from Pennsylvania State University, where she served as the Arts Editor for The Daily Collegian, Penn State's independently run student newspaper.
Antony Declercq is a graduate of New York University's College of Arts and Sciences and holds B.A.s in anthropology and political science. Originally a Belgian citizen, he lived in China for 15 years before moving to New York City, and speaks fluent English, Chinese, and Dutch. Prior to his time at NYU and at The GovLab, Antony worked in Beijing as project manager, editor, and grant-writer at morning tears alliance, an international NGO focusing on children's rights and incarceration policy. His research focus is in collaborative decision-making, especially in the areas of policy and public services, and in transnational governance. At NYU, he completed an independent study in anthropology detailing emerging open governance initiatives in China.