ATLAS II Thematic Group 5: At-Large Community Engagement in ICANN - Session 1
"At-Large" is the name for the community of individual Internet users who participate in the policy development work of ICANN. Currently, more than 160 groups representing the views of individual Internet users are active throughout the world. The At-Large Community is made up of representatives from civil society, the private sector and the technical community. Each individual brings a voice, ideas, concerns, passion and context to the discussion.
Our challenge is how we engage with such a large multi-stakeholder community and break down the silos represented by those groups. Further our challenge is to develop the At-Large Community's capacity for engagement in ICANN by increasing its knowledge and understanding of the key issues confronting ICANN. Understanding ICANN's roles and responsibilities and aligning these with our own perspective is a task where we welcome participation and dialogue.
Policy Development is at the heart of what ICANN does. Policy development happens at many levels in the organisation. The system used to develop policies is in many ways unique. It is designed to promote bottom-up development and decision-making and is a perfect fit into the general theory of ICANN as an innovative governance model that allows participation from everyone that has either a stake or an interest in the subject matter. This policy development model is precious because it gives everyone a voice, but no-one a louder voice than anyone else. It brings together the technical, user, legal, commercial, governmental, civil and non-profit perspectives so that the resulting policy can truly be suited to all types of uses and users.
A Policy Development workshop will help you understand how one of ICANN's key policy development mechanisms, the GNSO or Generic Names Service Organisation, is used to develop policy for generic Top Level Domains.