ICANN Meetings have been central to ICANN’s multistakeholder model since its formation in 1998. They provide a venue for learning about ICANN, advancing policy work, conducting outreach, exchanging best practices, conducting business deals, and interacting with members of the ICANN community, Board, and organization.
Designed to meet a diverse range of needs for ICANN’s Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees (SO/ACs), staff, and newcomers alike, an average ICANN Meeting accepts more than 350 submissions to schedule in twelve simultaneous sessions spanning four to six days.
The current strategy for ICANN’s triannual meetings was developed by the Meeting Strategy Working Group (MSWG) and adopted by the ICANN Board in 2014. The MSWG was a cross-community Working Group created by the ICANN Board to look into all aspects of the ICANN Meetings. The group made proposals for changes to meeting timing, duration and format, rotation of the meeting location, meeting support and engagement activities, and meeting planning.
Where and when do ICANN meetings take place?
ICANN meetings are held three times each year in different regions of the globe to enable attendees from around the world to participate in person. Each ICANN Meeting held throughout the year has a different focus and duration. The meetings are known as Community Forum, Policy Forum, and Annual General Meeting (AGM).
You can see the list of the dates and locations for past and upcoming ICANN meetings at http://meetings.icann.org/calendar.
The Community Forum is the first meeting in the three-meeting annual cycle, typically held in February or March. The duration of the Community Forum is six total days, running from Saturday through Thursday.
The Community Forum structure includes time for internal work of the Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees (SO/ACs), cross-community interaction, and plenary sessions on topics of community-wide interest.
The Policy Forum is the second meeting in the three-meeting annual cycle, typically held in June, with a duration of four days, Monday through Thursday.
The Policy Forum is dedicated to policy development work of the Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees (SO/ACs), and regional outreach activities. The Policy Forum is generally smaller than other meetings and the shortened agenda has, no public forums, and no board meetings.
Internet policy is developed by the ICANN community's bottom-up, consensus-based policy-making structure. Three groups at ICANN are responsible for developing Internet policy and making recommendations to the ICANN Board: The Address Supporting Organization (ASO), Country Code Names Supporting Organization (ccNSO), and Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) which is the largest policy-making organization in ICANN. The GNSO's Policy Development Process (PDP) is a detailed bottom-up, multi-stakeholder process that invites global participation and depends on the Internet community's input for success. The Policy Forum is an important opportunity for PDP working groups to advance their work in face-to-face meetings with the broader community.
Annual General Meeting (AGM)
The Annual General Meeting (AGM) is the third meeting in the three-meeting annual cycle, typically held in October or November. The duration of the AGM is six days, running from Saturday through Thursday.The AGM includes time for internal SO/AC work and cross-community interaction, but the overall focus is to showcase ICANN’s work to a broader global audience, with more time dedicated to capacity building and leadership training sessions. The AGM is also where new members of the ICANN Board of Directors take their seats.
Who should attend?
ICANN meetings are all about participation, collaboration, and finding solutions to the small – and large – problems that the Internet constantly faces. The meetings are free and open to anyone who wishes to participate.
As a meeting participant, you could be from almost any profession and from any corner of the planet. ICANN is set up to allow everyone affected by its work – and that is pretty much everyone – to have a say in its processes.
To ensure that the organization stays flexible and changes to meet the needs and demands of a rapidly changing Internet, not only do the SOs, ACs, and the Board go through regular reviews, but ICANN also maintains a strong culture of general public participation.
Typical attendees include government representatives, business managers, IT managers and consultants, DNS industry managers and experts, intellectual property managers, academics, and others invested in the continuing stable, secure and resilient operation of the Internet. End users are also well represented.
If you cannot physically attend a meeting, ICANN offers a variety of services to ensure that the power of participation is just a click away.
Learn more at http://meetings.icann.org/remote-participation.
What are the registration fees?
Attendance at an ICANN meeting is free to the general public, although you will have to pay for your own travel and lodging.
Programs for Newcomers
ICANN welcomes Newcomers into its multi-stakeholder process through a special orientation program during its meetings. On Sunday during the Community Forum and AGM, ICANN holds a series of training sessions –just for Newcomers. Among the topics covered are an introduction to ICANN, how to use ICANN engagement tools, how the community interacts during and in between meetings, and much more.
The Newcomers’ Program is a starting point for understanding ICANN and its community, what it does and how the system works. It also helps Newcomers engage with the ICANN community and participate effectively so that they leave the meeting well informed and willing to come back.
Learn more at https://www.icann.org/newcomers.The Fellowship program also provides grants to members of the global Internet community who would otherwise be unable to attend. Fellows come from ccTLDs, governments, civil society, the business community and academia.
Learn more at https://www.icann.org/fellowshipprogram.
Sponsorship Opportunities are available at all ICANN meetings. For inquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For media enquiries, visit http://www.icann.org/en/press/.