Respected ICANN Chairman of the Board Steve Crocker has wrapped up his organisation's 47th International Meeting, held in Durban last week, with a message to the community.
This message, reproduced here in its entirety, provides both a useful and concise summary of the Durban meeting and insights into the Chairman's view of where ICANN stands at the moment, the successes it has notched up and the challenges it faces.
This is Steve Crocker's message:
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ICANN Board, ICANN staff and chairs of the ICANN Supporting Organizations and Advisory Committees,
ICANN 47 was great! ICANN meetings are complicated productions with multiple "story lines" unfolding in parallel, each with its own challenges. In no particular order and at the risk of omitting important events, these highlights come quickly to mind:
I last wrote to everyone at the beginning of 2012, about a year and a half ago, reflecting on 2011 and looking ahead into 2012. The progress since then is remarkable.
I noted the opening of the window for gTLD applications, the forthcoming selection of a new CEO, and the renewal of the IANA contract. I emphasized the need for us to be effective and for us to concentrate on cooperation and rapport in our interactions with our partners in the Internet ecosystem. During the time since then:
I did not comment then on the upcoming interactions in the Internet governance area, a definite oversight on my part. Since then we have been heavily involved with the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Baku in November, the ITU's World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-12) in Dubai in December, and the Fifth World Telecommunications/ICT Policy Forum (WTPF) in Geneva in May. The result was a historic change in our relationship with the ITU and a qualitative improvement in discussions regarding Internet governance. This will be a major theme in the coming year.
Finally, my own thinking about ICANN's principles and posture has continued to evolve. I had spoken repeatedly about the need for both effectiveness and efficiency, and these indeed remain key tenets for me. We need to get our job done, we need to do it well and we need to be efficient in our use of money and time. I had also mentioned the need for rapport and communication with our partners in the Internet ecosystem, ISOC, the IETF and IAB, the RIRs, W3C, et al. This point has grown in my mind to include our interactions with *everyone*, and is part of a broader theme, empathy. Empathy is key to effectiveness and efficiency, and, indeed to trust as well. Do we understand the needs and desires of the people we interact with, and do we make it clear that we not only understand them but also appreciate them? Do they feel appreciated and well served, even when our answers may not be the ones they're looking for?
If we're able to achieve effectiveness, efficiency AND empathy, we will have truly arrived.
I look forward to continued progress through the rest of 2013 and beyond. I know most of us are tired this weekend and are either recovering or taking some well deserved time off. Rest, recuperate and reconnect with your families, and then plunge in again!
Chair, ICANN Board of Directors
By Stéphane Van Gelder, Chairman, MILATHAN
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Minds + Machines