Brainstorming a 21st Century ICANN

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is the global organization managing the Internet’s domain name system that enables communications to flow seamlessly across a unified, global Internet.

To maintain its commitment to transparent, accountable, participatory and effective management in the public interest, ICANN recognizes that it must evolve how it works and makes decisions to keep pace with the growth and globalization of Internet access and newly available collaborative approaches for solving public problems.

The ICANN Strategy Panel on Multistakeholder Innovation is charged with considering how ICANN can experiment with and adopt 21st century tools and approaches. To that end, the panel is curating an open conversation to elicit ideas for experimentation.

We need your help to make concrete suggestions for innovative processes and platforms, and techniques for how to implement them to improve how ICANN can work globally, effectively and consistently with its public interest values.

To organize our thinking, we have set up five categories. When sharing an idea, explain how it could be applied to one or more stages of decisionmaking by assigning it to a category and/or adding some descriptive tags.

Stage 1: Issue Identification: Spotting problems and projects to work on. For example, ICANN should adopt the use of open brainstorm tools like this one to enable people to raise issues.

Stage 2: Developing and Prioritizing Solutions: Devising creative approaches and the knowledge for how to use them. For example, ICANN should use expert networking tools to find experts for working groups with the know-how to decide what must be accomplished.

Stage 3: Evaluation and Review: Providing for analytical input and assessment. For example, all projects should be subject to open peer review as a way to get more people involved in understanding what works.

Structural and Legal: Developing organizational forms, jurisdictional boundaries and legal norms. For example, all contracts should be written and published using open and consistent data standards consistent with international open contracting norms.

Everything Else

To help kick start your brainstorming, consider a few of the important and technical topics that ICANN is currently tackling:

  • Making the Domain Name System (DNS) support variants of non-Latin scripts that mean the same thing but are visually distinct. For example, “.游戏” in simplified Chinese vs.“.遊戲” in traditional Chinese for “.games.”
  • Eliminating the possibility of "name collisions" – what happens when newly delegated strings conflict in the DNS with strings already in use. For example, the applied-for top-level domain “.home” conflicts with “.home” as used in internal enterprise systems; and
  • Evolving the next generation system for Whois – a public database of domain registration data – should look like.

Together, we can develop 21st century best practices for managing a shared global resource like the Internet's unique identifier system.