by Joe Catapano, Coordinator, ICANN Global Stakeholder Engagement for North America
Members of civil society and academic organizations discussed the issues most important to them in a face-to-face meeting with ICANN President Fadi Chehadé at ICANN’s Washington, DC engagement office today. The briefing and Q&A touched on the evolution of ICANN since Fadi’s term began in 2012.
Occurring on the heels of the annual “State of the Net” conference, where Fadi spoke about the upcoming gathering in Sao Paulo known as the Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance, the briefing provided an opportunity for ICANN to welcome representatives of the civil society and academia to exchange thoughts on the future of Internet Governance, as well as the future of ICANN.
Partnership emerged as a key theme during the meeting. Fadi stressed the importance of ICANN coming together with like-minded organizations to achieve common goals, as well as the importance of further integrating civil society into ICANN and strengthening their voice within the multistakeholder model. To that end, Fadi and the ICANN team were able to explain communications platforms and constituency groups of most relevance to the attendees.
Though the future of Internet Governance was a main thread throughout the discussion, broader attention was given to important civil society concerns including, individual liberty and ensuring human rights in the Internet ecosystem of the future.
The event was a first for the Washington, DC engagement office, and represents the beginning of what promises to be an active year for ICANN’s outreach and engagement with key civil society and academic stakeholders in North America.