A Call to Action – Help Us Design a 21st Century ICANN


Today kicks off the distributed brainstorm brought to you by the ICANN Strategy Panel on Multistakeholder Innovation (ICANN MSI Panel) and The Governance Lab @ NYU (The GovLab).

ICANN process graph- IGstage

What is the MSI Panel & What are its Goals?

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 address this charter by soliciting your suggestions for constitutional, structural, legal, procedural and technological innovations to make ICANN more effective and more democratic. While we cannot decide for ICANN, the aim of the MSI Panel is to use its authority to push for real change. Thus, we want ideas that are concrete and specific for innovative processes, structures, platforms, and techniques for how to implement them that ICANN could try.

We 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. We want to help identify how ICANN can move toward a more global and effective model of coordinating the Domain Name Systems (DNS) consistent with its public interest values. Doing so, we believe, will help safeguard a more legitimate and effective version of the global and participatory model ICANN uses to coordinate the DNS and its players, to the end of securing one global and stable Internet.

Engagement Specifics

That’s why we’re launching the first stage of our 3-stage engagement today via an online idea generation platform. We want to engage with the global public and canvas for ideas that will inform the Panel’s recommendations and experiment designs for ICANN.

During Stage 1: Idea Generation, we’re looking for concrete ideas that ICANN could test at each stage of decision-making. Our Idea Generation platform is set up to elicit suggestions for new and innovative techniques, strategies, tools, technologies, platforms and structures that ICANN should or should not adopt. We want your ideas on what would be implementable and what would help ICANN evolve and improve how it works and engages across borders and disciplines.

So from anytime from Today until December 31, 2013, you can JOIN THE INITIATIVE by going to:


Submit ideas for new and innovative ways ICANN can engage widely and wisely in decision-making on important issues within the DNS. Tag your ideas and vote on others to make sure the best ones bubble to the top.

We want to know how your ideas will help ICANN better achieve its core values and leverage modern innovations in governance and technology. We want to know at various stages of ICANN decision-making—from issue identification to solution development to evaluation and review:

  • New and innovative techniques and strategies ICANN could adopt – whether procedural or technological – to work more openly and effectively;
  • Tools, technologies and platforms that ICANN could use to enable broad, diverse and expert participation throughout;
  • Ideas for constitutionalstructural, and/or legal models ICANN should or should not adopt; and
  • Other projects, initiatives, models, and technologies being deployed around the world that the MSI Panel could study and learn from to help propose specific experiments ICANN could run to ensure institutional readiness for the 21st century.

And take note – the opportunity to participate and inform the Panel’s proposals to ICANN doesn’t stop with our Idea Generation site. Sharing your input and ideas is vital throughout all 3 stages of our distributed brainstorm. We’ll organize the input we get from the Idea Generation stage into topics for blogs, which we’ll ask you to comment on and annotate. We’ll review feedback and put recommendation proposals online on the GovLab wiki for you to edit and fine-tune.

With your input, we can help identify 21st century best practices for global and effective Internet resource management.  We hope you’ll join us!

More Info & How To Help Spread the Word

  • To inspire participation and learn how to contribute, watch and share a video The GovLab made for the launch of this distributed brainstorm.
  • To better understand what ICANN does, how its policy development processes and structures work today, and the challenges it faces as Internet connectivity expands and evolves, read two ICANN Primers The GovLab prepared: “Understanding the Technical and Business Functions of ICANN” and the “Primer on the Internet Corporation for Assigned Named and Numbers.”
  • To follow important weekly Internet governance news, check out The GovLab SCAN: Selected Curation of Articles on Net-governance every Friday on The GovLab Blog.
  • To learn about The GovLab and its Living Labs Projects on Smarter Governance aimed at studying and experimenting new ways to innovate and improve how our institutions govern in the 21st century.
  • For a central spot to read about The GovLab’s Living Labs ICANN Project on Smarter Governance – see  The GovLab’s recently launched Open Governance Knowledge Base ICANN page.

Follow @TheGovLab on Twitter for updates and use the #WeCANN hashtag to help us spread the word and get others involved throughout all stages of this initiative.

The Tags . . . .

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