[council] On to 2017...

James M. Bladel jbladel at godaddy.com
Wed Dec 28 13:54:18 UTC 2016

Council Colleagues –

As we close the book on 2016, I wanted to send a short note to the mailing list highlighting our accomplishments, and setting the stage for the upcoming year. I’m proud of what we’ve achieved on Council in 2016, including several “big ticket” projects associated with the IANA transition, new bylaws, GNSO improvements, and our policy work covering topics like privacy services, domain transfers, rights protection mechanisms, WHOIS/RDS and of course, future gTLDs.  The GNSO is situated at the core of every major ICANN issue, and this group rose to meet every challenge.

But aside from any singular success, I’m most proud of the way we’ve come together to work as a team.  For examples of this, consider our three-faceted approach to chairing the Council, the coordination with broader Stakeholder Groups and Constituencies, and our outreach to other SOs and ACs.  In all cases, we favor openness and engagement over isolation inside a GNSO “silo”. I strongly believe that this cultural shift will benefit the entire community in the years to come.

And with a thought to the future, there is no shortage of big issues for the GNSO Council to take on in 2017.  First up, we need to find a path towards resolving the IGO/Red Cross issue. This topic was the first order of business when I joined the Council in 2013, and ideally it will be addressed before I’m termed out in November.

We are kicking off a “standing selection committee” to predictably and consistently appoint the growing number of liaisons and review team delegates as the GNSO expands its outreach and participates in the Empowered Community.  And Heather, Donna and I are working with Marika and her team to improve how the Council tracks and manages its workload.

On the Policy front, expect to see important milestones in Curative Rights, RPM Reviews, RDS/WHOIS and New gTLDs in 2017.  We should also expect developments on implementation of completed policy work associated with transfers and PPSAI.

And finally, we must preserve the role of the GNSO from encroachment by other organizations, both inside and outside of ICANN.  Some of these groups would prefer to see policy proposals presented directly to the Board, in the form of advice, or CCWG recommendations, or new protocol definitions.  But the development and management of policies governing gTLDs remains the sole remit (and responsibility) of the GNSO, and it falls to us as community leaders to continuously demonstrate how this is principle is essential to the multi-stakeholder model.

For 2017, my request to you is simply for more of the same:  enthusiastically contribute your ideas, speak up with your concerns, volunteer for projects and sub-teams, keep talking to each other, and seek out ways to bridge differences.  We are not always going to agree on the issues, but we should never give up on pragmatic solutions that can strike a compromise and advance our work. Next year will be my last year on the Council, and I’m hoping to leave it a more effective, efficient, and congenial organization than it was four years ago.

It’s a privilege to work with everyone here, and I’m excited for 2017.  Best regards, and Happy New Year!

Thanks –

James Bladel
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