The multi-stakeholder model and the evolving gTLD space

7 November 2012 - A Workshop on Critical Internet Resources in Baku, Azerbaijan


This workshop will provide a review of present developments in ICANN’s work in the gTLD namespace, as well as a discussion of emerging issues and how the multi-stakeholder model can respond to meet these in the future. The New gTLD Program is a major initiative that reflects the intensive participation of many stakeholder groups and individuals. In working out the details of the program, the multi-stakeholder collaborative process proved to be a rich source of expertise and a reliable methodology for resolution of complex and far-reaching global issues. The opening of the gTLD space presents a number of opportunities: potential for innovation, increased diversity of scripts, languages, regional and community representation in the DNS, and increased competition and consumer choice. It also creates additional opportunities for the multi-stakeholder model to be strengthened with increased participation and capacity to build on existing provisions for the namespace, in keeping with ICANN’s responsibility to serve the global public interest. The workshop will include a description of the current status of the New gTLD Program, including an update on the evaluation process for the applications received during the January – April 2012 submission period. The workshop will also highlight the potential opportunities of the New gTLD Program in introducing top-level domains in multiple languages and scripts, and discuss how Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) could contribute effectively to the development of a more inclusive, and multi-lingual Internet. In addition, a set of panelists representing the perspectives of multiple sectors and regions will discuss areas of work that are anticipated to be presented to the multi-stakeholder community, including increasing IDN capabilities, broadening participation in developing countries, strides in accountability and transparency, and other topics.. The interactive elements in the workshop will allow in-depth consideration of these questions, particularly in identifying any issues on which greater clarification and mutual understanding would be helpful. The workshop is targeted toward those with an interest in the Internet’s namespace and the multi-stakeholder model.

· A general introductory question on the new gTLD program as a multi-stakeholder process.
· Update on the program, where things are and way forward.
· Role of governments in the process from policy development to implementation.
· Internet multilingualism contributes to the development of the Internet, particularly in non-English speaking societies. How does UNESCO perceive the potential impact of IDN TLDs on the Internet?
· With nearly half of the Internet population coming from Asia, what is the potential impact of new gTLDs, including IDN gTLDs on the end user?
· Many expect new gTLDs to drive more innovation. What is the outlook of the domain name industry in Africa and what business opportunities new gTLDs can bring to Africa?
· Impact of new gTLDs on security and stability of DNS.