[GNSO-Accuracy-ST] Welcome

Michael Palage michael at palage.com
Mon Sep 27 15:56:09 UTC 2021

Dear Scoping Team members,


I want to start by personally thanking everyone for volunteering for this
effort. As you may have heard, I've recently been appointed by the GNSO
Council to lead this effort. 


While I know many of you know me, there are a couple of new faces so I would
like to give a brief background about myself and my motivation for
volunteering as chair.


I have been a participant in the ICANN multistakeholder model (MSM) now for
almost 23 years and during that time I have served in a number of
capacities, including the Chair of ICANN's second ever Working Group, aptly
name Working Group B. Suffice it to say that over the years I have had a
front row seat watching the continued evolution of the Policy Development
Process. During this time I have actively participated in a number of
stakeholder groups, e.g. Registrars, Registries, Business, IPC, and ALAC.  I
believe this diverse background allows me see and understand topics from
multiple perspectives, and will help me to ensure that all points of view
are heard on these complex issues. As required by the rules, I must remain
neutral in all of the discussions, but remaining neutral also means I have a
duty to make sure that all relevant viewpoints are heard and addressed.


My primary motivation in volunteering for this effort is my concern about
the ongoing sustainability of the MSM which I have devoted the past 23 years
of my professional life trying to safeguard. Both those within the ICANN
community, as well as others outside of it, have expressed to me their
dissatisfaction with the MSM and how inefficient it can be.   And although
they raise some good points, I firmly believe that we can always do better
and that we should never give up on improving the MSM.


When I first got involved in ICANN one of the strongest selling points of
the MSM was that it could respond more quickly to market dynamics than
traditional government/regulatory forces. My concern is that I see a growing
number of my ICANN colleagues seemingly giving up on the MSM model and
taking their issues directly to national governments or International
Organizations rather than focusing on getting things done through the ICANN
MSM.  It is as if there is a perception that governments can more
efficiently respond to market dynamics than can the MSM. I believe there
needs to exist a symbiotic relationship between the ICANN policy development
process and national legislative initiatives.  This is all part of the grand
public-private partnership which is ICANN.


The best way to help the efficiency of the MSM, in my humble view, is to
become a part of it to demonstrate once again the value of the
public-private partnership and to hopefully show that we can respond to
market and regulatory demands.  However, the ultimate success of this group
is not driven by the chair, but rather by the cooperation and willingness of
the Working Group members to be able to listen to all sides of an issues,
understand the problems being faced, and to resolve to address those
problems.  This will of course necessitate compromise on all sides where


I've asked the staff support team to help me in putting together a short
survey which we will be circulating shortly in the next 24-48 hours.  I
really need everyone to complete this survey before our first call.


Finally, as you may have seen, we already have a workspace (see
https://community.icann.org/x/hQIuCg) and the staff support team has already
pulled together an index of relevant resources (see
It is key that you familiarize yourself with these documents as well as the
instructions provided by the GNSO Council to this team (see


We have an incredible ICANN policy support team in Marika, Barry, Caitlin,
Terry and others and I believe you will see that in the preparatory
materials that they have prepared. 


Our first meeting will be on Tuesday 5 October at 14.00 UTC for which you
will receive a calendar invite shortly. In addition to introductions and
sharing of expectations, I also plan to start a conversation on how to best
organize and plan our work as our first order of business will be to develop
a work plan. To support this conversation, the staff support team is working
on a set of background briefings for each assignment that will be shared
shortly. I am a big fan of using an agile approach so I would like the team
to consider limiting the number of plenary sessions and trying to get some
of the work done using small teams. But of course, a decision on this will
be in your hands.


I look forward to working with all of you and please look out for further
communications ahead of our first meeting. 


Best regards, 


Michael Palage



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