The 45th meeting of the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) held in Toronto, Canada October 15-18, offered a different feel of progress than the vibe after the previous ICANN44 meeting held in Prague, Czech Republic. ICANN meetings are held around the globe, three times yearly. The Internet community gathers, in a United Nations like atmosphere, offering an assortment of players and personalities to observe. Government Interests, business interests, user interests, public interests are all represented. All the global politics presented in all the global languages. The topic of discussion: Management of the Global Communications Infrastructure for all.
Prague’s week long marathon meeting left an after taste of how is all ‘this’ going to be done? Toronto’s updated message: ‘This’ will be done, exclamation point, end of comment period. “This” being the introduction of approximately 1400 new ‘right of the dot’ words – or Top Level Domains – slated to go online beginning 2013. A massive undertaking changing the Internet space forever as we know it.
New ICANN CEO and President Fadi Chehade introduced ICANN’s ‘New Season’ to conference attendees Monday morning. Centered around structuring communications in a way to engage and communicate with all, Mr. Chehade presented his four objectives as new CEO: Affirmation of Purpose, Operational Excellence, Internationalization and Evolving the ICANN bottom up Multi Stake Holder Model so it keeps working.
The CEO then displayed a view of his executive team – each pictured inside a bubble labeled with their individual expertise – commenting, “There are many more bubbles with many of you in them,” gesturing toward the audience.
As ICANN45 Toronto closed Friday, participants seemed pleased with the ICANN upgrade. Progress continues to be made developing the charity draw concept for an orderly approval of new TLDs. A new personal MyICANN.ORG web platform was introduced providing a central location for participant collaboration. Additionally, ICANN staff and TLD applicant interests were rumored to be cordially discussing mutual ideas and reasonable solutions to necessary trademark protection measures. A global group hug, if you will, the likes not experienced in the ICANN halls for years.
On the Sunday morning of ICANN45, the Toronto Marathon started and finished in the center of Canada’s largest city and was run along the shore of Lake Ontario. ICANN45 Toronto started the ‘New Season’ of ICANN, and progress made suggests we can see the Top Level Domains Marathon finish line approaching.