ICANN ICANN Email List Archives


<<< Chronological Index >>>    <<< Thread Index >>>

Improving Participation by Relevant Stakeholders: SMEs

  • To: <iic-consultation@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Improving Participation by Relevant Stakeholders: SMEs
  • From: "Michael Setton" <setton@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 12 Jul 2008 17:58:53 +0200

Dear Directors of ICANN:


As the founder and chief executive of a small business that is deeply
involved in Internet innovation, I applaud ICANN for dedicating a portion of
its Paris meeting to companies that haven't traditionally played a role in
the ICANN process. I enjoyed the opportunity to participate in the Business

Access sessions and the other panels and forums at the ICANN conference this
week. I hope this signals the start of a much greater effort aimed at

welcoming involvement from the business community ­ beyond a small group of
ICANN 'insiders'. 


Although I appreciate ICANN's initiative to involve new business users, it
would be an enormous mistake for ICANN to believe that it can now 'check the
box' for broader business participation.  I respectfully suggest that the
efforts in Paris represent -- at best -- a tentative first step toward

encouraging true broad-based business participation in the ICANN process.

Again, while the Business Access panels were appreciated, I had several
concerns regarding both the agenda and ICANN's effectiveness in reaching out
to the business community.


First, there were only two Business Access sessions offered. In the first
and largest meeting -- focused on internationalized domain names -- ICANN

staff presented lectures and slide presentations on the history and current
state of the policy-making process. Little time was provided for questions,

and when questions were asked, ICANN President Paul Twomey informed
attendees that ICANN's IDN policy was effectively closed, having already

been developed over the course of several years. From our standpoint,
"Business Access" should mean integrating our positions into the ICANN

decision-making process rather than lecturing us on the status of existing
ICANN policies, and referring us to ICANN¹s website for further details.


I was further troubled that new participants were overwhelmingly outnumbered
by regular ICANN participants in these sessions. A straw poll conducted by
an ICANN executive during the morning Business Access session revealed that
most in the room were veterans of multiple ICANN meetings. In fact, domain
name companies were the single largest group in attendance.


Part of this may be due to inadequate outreach communications to the larger
business community prior to the meeting. It was only in the days immediately
prior to the event that the timing and subject matter of Business Access
panels was finalized. Small businesses in particular need far more lead time
to determine whether they should attend an international meeting, and they
need to know what will be discussed.


In order to make future Business Access events more useful to the broader
business community, and to meet ICANN's stated goal of expanding business
participation in the ICANN process, we would offer the following


* Select one ICANN meeting a year to host the Business Access sessions, and
significantly expand the Business Access agenda throughout the meeting ­ not
just on the first two days.

* Provide detailed Business Access agendas, including key topics to be
discussed, at least two months prior to such meetings.

* Structure the Business Access panels so that business attendees are active
participants, rather than passive audience members.

* Focus Business Access panels on pending -- rather than completed ? policy
development processes, so that business input can actually be factored into
the final outcome of ICANN policy decisions.

* Provide new business attendees with clear guidance on how to make their
voices heard in the policy development process. Provide feedback on how

those submissions are addressed by decision-making bodies.


ICANN is to be commended for recognizing the importance of involving a far
broader cross-section of the international business community in its

process. The issues before ICANN are of vital importance to innovation,
industry and the future of the global Internet on which we all rely.


I sincerely hope that you will build on the admirable intentions of this
inaugural Business Access experiment by creating a program that provides

businesses with a meaningful opportunity to participate in the ICANN




Michael Setton

CEO, Cyberfab

Grenoble, France





<<< Chronological Index >>>    <<< Thread Index >>>

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Cookies Policy