Digital Activists Are Shaping the Evolution of the Internet: the Voice of Civil Society in ICANN

17 December 2017 - A Other on Other in Geneva, Switzerland


Organization: ICANN

Title: How Digital activists are shaping the evolution of the Internet: the voice of civil society in ICANN


This panel session will explore the role and voice in Internet Governance, particularly in ICANN, of civil society, spanning the non-profit and non-commercial sectors, academia and end-users. 

ICANN's Mission and Core Values require the organisation to reflect the broad geographic and cultural diversity of the Internet at all levels of policy development, and that ICANN's decision-making and the bottom-up, multistakeholder policy development processes are for the benefit of the Internet community as a whole. Civil society plays a key, integral role in ICANN, right in the middle of initiating and negotiating policy, and making decisions jointly by consensus with all other stakeholder groups involved. 
Civil society participants at ICANN have helped shape policies on a broad range of domain name topics, notably for improved transparency, privacy and freedom of expression. This was evident in the recent transition process for the stewardship of the IANA functions from the US Government to the global multi-stakeholder community, where it was resolved that the ICANN Bylaws be clarified to add a specific commitment to respect human rights. 

Panel discussion

We believe civil society actors have played and important and influential role in ICANN, representing the interests of individuals, academics and non-commercial users. Panellists will introduce how civil society participates and contributes to ICANN, civil society's successes, and critically examine how the voice and knowledge of global civil society can be strengthened; what more can be done to further ICANN's mission and core values, particularly ensuring continued and expanded geographic and cultural diversity. There will be discussion about lessons civil society actors can learn from participation in ICANN to promote participation and contributions to other Internet governance processes.

Roundtable Speakers (provisional):

- Lousewies van der Laan, ICANN Board (Chair of the session)
- Sarah Kiden, African Regional At-Large Organization (AFRALO)
- Alan Greenberg, Chair At-Large Advisory Committee (ALAC)
- Satish Babu, Asian, Australasian and Pacific Islands Regional At-Large Organization (APRALO)
- Niels ten Oever, University of Amsterdam 
- Farzaneh Badii, Chair Non Commercial Stakeholders Group (NCSG) ICANN
- Ayden Férdeline, ICANN Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council and NCSG
- Joan Kerr, Chair Not For Profit Operational Concerns Constituency (NPOC) ICANN (TBC)
- Tatiana Tropina, ICANN Generic Names Supporting Organization (GNSO) Council and NCSG
- Grace Mutung'u, Berkman Klein Center and KICTANet 

- Jean-Jacques Sahel, VP Stakeholder Engagement & Managing Director - Europe
- Adam Peake, ICANN Civil Society Engagement

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