The GNSO's New Motto: Be prepared!

It’s a new year, and for the Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO), that means a new approach to getting things done. Alongside five major Policy Development Processes (PDPs), we have GNSO members participating in three Cross Community Working Groups (CCWGs), four Implementation Review Teams (IRTs), and four ICANN Specific Reviews. Some of these are just getting started, others are mid-stream, and others are nearing completion. We have come to consider an enormous workload as just business as usual. Even so, this year we’re going to attack it more strategically.

The GNSO Council is getting together for a face-to-face meeting from 29-31 January in Los Angeles, California. We are seizing an opportunity to think critically about “big picture” issues and questions that simply don’t fit in the typical 15-minute agenda timeslots. By the end of the meeting, we hope to better understand our role under the new bylaws and have plans for how to carry out that role more efficiently, effectively, and collaboratively. We’ll be updating our operating procedures, documenting expectations, and developing new strategies. Don’t expect us to sidestep around difficult questions, such as:

  • Why do PDPs take so long? (Yes, the GNSO wonders about that too.)
  • What do we do with all these new members in PDP Working Groups? (We do have more participants, but is this alleviating our crushing workload? Or is it just the same few folks pulling the oars?)
  • How can we better anticipate, identify, and tackle challenges and obstacles in PDP Working Groups?
  • What do liaisons to PDPs, IRTs, and other groups in the community really do? What should they be doing?
  • How can we help the ICANN organization and community acknowledge that there’s more to the GNSO than just the Council Chair?
  • How do we make the most of the 16 days we spend together each year during ICANN’s three public meetings?

We have scheduled our January Council meeting on 30 January to seize the face-to-face opportunity. As always, anyone can listen in via audiocast. If you’re keen to find out more about our 2018 priorities and how we plan to approach them, you are also welcome to join the live audiocast of our discussions on 31 January. Or, if you’d rather just read a high-level summary of what took place over the three days, we’ll publish a concise report shortly after the meeting ends.

Here’s to the year ahead! There’s no shortage of things to do, and this time we hope to be even better prepared.