[council] [Ext] Re: Consensus Playbook

Steve Chan steve.chan at icann.org
Mon May 4 23:32:29 UTC 2020

Dear Tom,


That is indeed how we’re looking at the phase now – this is the “soft launch” as the community gets a chance to review and digest.


To your question about the project to improve the Multistakeholder Model, I know that the internal team working on that project is aware of the Consensus Playbook, as well as the likely connection to Issue 8 on Consensus. I’m not sure precisely how the playbook will be integrated, but I’m quite certain it will at least be a part of the solution there.


As you’ve noted there are indeed next steps envisioned, but you’re right, we’re not quite there yet. 


Thanks for the initial round of feedback!





From: Tom Dale <tomwdale at gmail.com>
Date: Sunday, May 3, 2020 at 9:19 PM
To: Steve Chan <steve.chan at icann.org>, "council at gnso.icann.org" <council at gnso.icann.org>
Subject: [Ext] Re: [council] Consensus Playbook


Thank you Steve.


I assume this has now gone through the proverbial “soft launch”. I hope the following comments will help subsequent Council discussion.


The materials are, in general, helpful, practical and tailored to the ICANN framework (or at least the pre-Covid19 framework – see below). Is good!


Despite the intended “whole of ICANN” audience the main areas of potential use appear to be:
GNSO PDPs – They are referenced most extensively in the document. Which makes sense if this is supposed to complement PDP3.0. It is also applicable to ccNSO PDPs, but there are not as many of those.
CCWGs (or other forms of cross-community work which seem to have an endless choice of titles) – Although this does not seem to be explicit in the document.

The Playbook’s assertion that it is for all participants, not just leaders, makes sense. Making it happen at the proverbial grassroots is another matter. Does this tie in with the MSM Evolution work (wherever that has got to)?


There are some brief references to virtual as opposed to face-to-face meetings. I think if the post-COVID19 ICANN community has more of the former and fewer of the latter (and we don’t know that yet) then it would be worth exploring specific challenges of consensus-building across timezones, e-mail misunderstandings and simply getting agreement among people who may never meet in person.

As for next steps – I note that the e-mail sent to PDPs states “We anticipate additional opportunities for the ICANN community to discuss the contents and practical utility of the playbook.” Are there any specific plans for such opportunities yet, or is it (perfectly understandably) a matter of taking its place in a long line of current issues? 
Hope this is helpful




From: council <council-bounces at gnso.icann.org> on behalf of Steve Chan <steve.chan at icann.org>
Date: Wednesday, 22 April 2020 at 7:36 am
To: "council at gnso.icann.org" <council at gnso.icann.org>
Subject: [council] Consensus Playbook


Dear Councilors,


Originated from the Council’s PDP 3.0 initiative and a subsequent Additional Budget Request, the Consensus Playbook has been completed for the ICANN community to reference and use. This Consensus Playbook aims to provide community volunteers with practical tools and best practices for building consensus, bridging differences, and breaking deadlocks within ICANN processes. It does not seek to change the definition of consensus, the methods of decision making as prescribed in each community group’s rules and procedure, or create any new requirements. The Consensus Playbook was developed by the Consensus Building Institute (CBI), an external vendor contracted by ICANN org, with the requirement of broad applicability across the community, beyond just GNSO PDP working groups. CBI interviewed fourteen (14) ICANN community leaders across ICANN’s SOs and ACs, who shared their extensive consensus building experience in leading and participating in working groups and community groups.


The playbook is quite detailed and provides guidance from the beginning to the end of the consensus building process. It stresses that consensus building should be treated as a journey and that it does not just take place at the end of deliberations. To that end, I’d like to draw attention to Appendix A, which serve as a reference guide to help inform you which “plays” within the playbook are applicable to the various phases of the community’s work.    


The Consensus Playbook, as developed by CBI, was designed for the ICANN community and is only permitted to be used by the ICANN community in support of ICANN related work. The playbook shall not be used for any non-ICANN related purposes.


If you have any questions, please let us know.










Steven Chan

Policy Director, GNSO Support


Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) 

12025 Waterfront Drive, Suite 300

Los Angeles, CA 90094-2536


Email: steve.chan at icann.org

Skype: steve.chan55

Mobile: +1.310.339.4410


Find out more about the GNSO by visiting: https://learn.icann.org/

Follow @GNSO on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ICANN_GNSO

Transcripts and recordings of GNSO Working Group and Council events are located on the GNSO Master Calendar 

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