At-Large Summit: Opening General Session

Sat 28 Feb 2009 - 09:00 - 19:15
Don Alberto 1


What it is | The Opening General Session of the At-Large Summit is the first meeting of representatives of the worldwide At-Large community participating in ICANN.

Elements of the session include:

  • An opening keynote address by Alejandro Pisanty, former Director, ICANN Board;
  • Opening addresses from ICANN Board Chair, Peter Dengate-Thrush, and ICAN President and CEO, Paul Twomey;
  • An overview of the various ICANN Departments, and ICANN’s Advisory Committees and Supporting Organisations;
  • Expert panel discussions with Q&A on IDNs, DNSSec, the IPv4-IPv6 transition, and last but not least Transparency and Accountability in ICANN.

Why it is important | This opening Session will be a unique event in which representatives of the worldwide At-Large community are physically assembled to work on user issues as a global community.

Who should attend? | All At-Large Summit delegates, anyone interested in At-Large or the issues being discussed from the perspective of an Internet end user.

Interpretation | The session will be simultaneously interpreted into English, French, and Spanish

Remote Participation Options |

  1. Telephonic remote participation (English only)
  2. Live audio streaming (English, Spanish, and French)
  3. Chat between remote participants and those in the room (English, Spanish, and French)

Instructions on how to participate remotely may be found at this URL:

Summit Microsite | The At-Large Summit microsite has complete information at

Background: What is the “At-Large Summit”?

The Mexico City meeting is a landmark for ICANN’s At-Large community (“At-Large” is the name used for the individual Internet user community participating in ICANN).

The whole At-Large community will be meeting together face-to-face in the ‘At-Large Summit’. Approximately 90 representatives of At-Large organisations (called “At-Large Structures”) are already confirmed. You will be able to spot them easily, as each will have a ribbon indicating their status as a Summit delegate attached to their ICANN meeting badges.

The Summit is being held 28 February through 5 March 2009 at the Mexico City Sheraton and also at the nearby Melia Mexico Reforma Hotel. All ICANN meeting attendees are invited and encouraged to attend the sessions, all of which are open to everyone.

As proposed by the At-Large community, the Summit has the following objectives:

  • Develop the community’s capacity for engagement in ICANN by increasing its knowledge and understanding of the key issues confronting ICANN and ICANN’s roles and responsibilities;
  • Provide an opportunity for the community to finalise and present its advice on some of the most important issues facing the ICANN community today; and last but not least,
  • Highlight the successes of the community in recent years and build upon them to ensure that the interests of the world’s more than 1 billion individual Internet users are well represented in the development of Internet name and number policy.


Agenda details: 

Expert panel discussions with Q&A :

Transparency + Accountability
Organisers: Wolfgang Kleinwaechter, Adam Peake

Format: Panel discussion with strong involvement from the floor.
Description: The purpose of this session is to discuss the PSC approach to Transparency and Accountability, and the At-Large expectations (and contributions) to an enhanced and improved transparency and accountability framework for ICANN. The Transparency and Accountability Framework passed by the Board and recommended in the OneWorld Trust report will be highlighted. Transparency and Accountability are milestones and criteria in the JPA and will be important to the post-JPA ICANN. It will be key for all constituencies’ engagement, both now and in the future. Transparency and Accountability are enablers that are crucial for ICANN’s future.  This sessions aims to provide Summit delegates with an understanding of the role of transparency and accountability in ICANN policy development and decision-making, as well as some ideas for how transparency and accountability can be enhanced.

Name Server Security/DNSSEC - Introduction
Organisers: Lutz Donnerhacke, Patrick Vande Walle

Format: Presentations and Q&A.
Description:  The purpose of this session is to explain to the At-Large community what DNSSEC is, how it works and why it will be a useful enhancement to the current DNS system. The session will start with a presentation of DNSSEC, followed by an extensive Q&A session with the audience and DNSSEC experts. We hope this session will provide the required background information for the participants to the DNS security workshop on Sunday, as well as on overall understanding of DNSSEC and its impact on use of the Internet in the coming years.  Invited presenters include Lutz Donnerhaecke, Beau Brendler, Patrick Vande Walle, and Ram Mohan. 
IDN Introduction
Organiser: Hong Xue

Format:  Panel discussion followed by Q&A.

Description: The domain name system, particularly at the top level, which is still solely in ASCII scripts, has become the last digital mile for the non-Latin script Internet users. The development and implementation of the domain names in native scripts are not only essential to bridge the digital divide caused by script difference, but enshrine the fundamental principle of ensuring the freedom of expression of all the users, irrespective of the scripts or characters that they use, in the domain name system. ICANN’s Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) program, which has been developing for almost 9 years and synchronizing the contributions of various stakeholders, is aimed at ensuring that domain names in different scripts will not prevent online devices from communicating with one other. This session will look at the ICANN’s IDN program, discussing the relevant technology and policy developments and review ALAC’s IDN work. The participation of the local Internet user community is very important for the successful implementation of IDNs. This session will discuss how to ensure the user community’s effective participation in the ICANN IDN process and make the individual IDN users’ concerns and expectations audible at ICANN’s forums.  Invited panellists include:  Hong Xue, Chinese Domain Name Users Alliance; Mohamed Bashir, AFRALO; Ram Mohan, Board of Directors of ICANN; Tina Dam, ICANN IDN Program Director.

IPv6 Introduction
Organisers: Patrick Vande Walle, Olivier Crepin-Leblond

Format:  Presentations, panel discussion, and Q&A

Description: Every device connected to the Internet needs an Internet Protocol (IP) address, currently of a format named IP version 4 (IPv4). Within the next few years, the current pool of IPv4 addresses will expire, which may have a significant impact on the use of Internet by the general public. Although we are not about to literally “run out” of IPv4 addresses, it is time to embrace a new, more extensive format, named IP Version 6 (IPv6), in order to connect the next billion Internet users. Clearly, the two versions will initially have to run in parallel – IPv4/IPv6 cohabitation – but a process needs to be engaged to favour migration from IPv4 addresses to IPv6.  This session will provide a snapshot of the current status of IPv4 address depletion and IPv6 address adoption throughout the world. We will find out if you, as an individual, need to think about IPv6 today, and if so, what you could do to be IPv6 ready. Experts will also explain the advantages of migrating to IPv6, but also the issues and concerns about IPv6 migration and how to reduce risks as much as possible.  Half the time allocation of this very interactive session has been reserved for questions and answers in order to generate a real dialogue between the panellists and the audience. If you have pressing questions about the consequences of IPv6 implementation, this is the time to ask them to a panel of recognised experts chosen to provide a balanced view of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that IPv6 implementation brings. This new technology is vital to the future of the Internet. We aim to explain it to everyone. Invited speakers include Vanda Scartezini, Olivier Crépin-Leblond, Patrick Vande Walle, Leo Vegoda, Thomas Narten, and Harald Alvestrand.