ICANN 45 Highlights with GNSO Council Member, Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe – ICANN GNSO council member and a past Domain Sherpa – provides a post-event summary from the ICANN 45 conference that took place in Toronto, Canada, from October 14 to 18, 2012.

Topics discussed:

  • General feeling and sentiment of participants at the event
  • ICANN’s new CEO, Fadi Chehade, and his top priority
  • Timeline for new gTLDs and how IDNs will have priority
  • Valuations for new gTLDs and how it will affect .com domains
  • New auction process possibilities, including one reportedly backed by Donuts.co
  • The new MyICANN.org website and what it will do for you

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Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe: Why Fortune 1000 Companies Need to Pay Attention to the New TLDsJennifer Wolfe is the founder, president and managing director of WolfeDomain.com, a digital brand strategy advisory firm that works with Fortune 500 and emerging growth companies to build and protect brands in the next generation of the Internet.

Wolfe is also managing partner of WolfeSBMC, an intellectual property, corporate counsel and innovation law firm she started at the age of 28, and has recently been appointed to the Generic Name Supporting Organization Council of ICANN.

Wolfe co-author the book “Brands Rewired,” as well as the upcoming book “Domain Names Rewired,” and is a Six Sigma Certified Black Belt.

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Jennifer Wolfe Interview Raw (Non-Edited) Transcript

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ICANN45 took place October 14-18, 2012 in Toronto, Canada, and on top of everyone’s mind are issues including what was discussed about the new GTLDs, ICANN’s new CEO, a new website called MyICANN.org, and many other topics. We are going to dig into all of them in this ICANN Wrap-Up Show.

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Here’s your program.

Michael Cyger: Hey everyone. My name is Michael Cyger, and I’m the Publisher of DomainSherpa.com – the website where you come to learn how to become a more successful domain name entrepreneur and investor directly from the experts.

ICANN45, held in Toronto, Canada from October 14th-18th, 2012, is history; and like any conference of its size, reach, and magnitude, there was an enormous amount of information made available and shared between participants.

How do you make sense of it all and, more importantly, what information will affect you?

With us today is Jennifer Wolfe, ICANN GNSO Council Member and Founder, President, and Managing Director of WolfeDomain.com, and a previous Domain Sherpa. Jennifer, welcome back to the show.

Jennifer Wolfe: Thanks, it is great to be here.

Michael: I should point out that Jen is speaking on behalf of WolfeDomain.com. Although she is a GNSO Council Member, she is not speaking on behalf of GNSO or ICANN. Is that right Jennifer?

Jennifer: That is right. Thank you.

Michael: So you have just returned from the 45th Public ICANN Conference. Thanks for taking the time to provide the audience with some highlights from the conference. Let’s start with this. What was your overall impression and sentiment at the event?

Jennifer: What I think was different about this ICANN Conference from others is that there was really a lot of respect for the new CEO and what he is bringing in terms of a no nonsense approach; really reaching out and collaborating with different stakeholder groups. I think there was just a much more positive response from everyone participating, and I saw a lot more collaboration and seeing things proceed in a very positive way, particularly with regard to the GTLD Program.

Michael: What does that mean that people were more positive? Were there less people talking behind-the-scenes – “Oh, he is back up there talking again” – like you may have heard at previous ICANN Conferences? What does it sound like when you are at the event and you get the feel like there is a more positive sentiment?

Jennifer: Sure. I think, in the past, particularly with the GTLD Program, there were some glitches with Digital Archery, with the TAS System, and with the late timeframes. So, that created some conflict amongst those who were either for or against the Program. Obviously, those for were very concerned about what was happening. Those who were against it were saying: “You see? This is what we told you would happen.” And because of Fadi, the new CEO, and the way he has come in with this very much no nonsense. There were going to be no more glitches. We are going to take a business approach to this. I think that we are seeing a lot of people respond much more positively to the Program. Well, there are certainly divergent opinions, as there should be in anything global and of this nature with multiple stakeholder groups. So, there is still a lot of healthy discussion and debate of issues, but it just seemed like there was a more positive attitude; less dissonance about what is ICANN doing and are they capable of executing it. So, I think a lot more confidence in ICANN.

Michael: Great. And ICANN’s new CEO, Fadi Chehadé. I apologize, Fadi, if that is not the correct pronunciation. We will have you on the show and clarify it for everybody. But Fadi was in the spotlight. What issues did his make his top priority going forward?

Jennifer: I think he made his top priority that they are going to be listening to all the stakeholder groups; that the conflicts of the past and conflicts of interest in the past are in the past. He is going to take a much more conscientious approach – a no nonsense approach. He is going to listen to people. There are going to be executives who he has hired for the express purpose of listening and reporting back up and ensuring that people’s concerns are being responded to. And we saw that a lot in the Trademark Community; that they are reaching out and understanding those issues. We saw it, certainly, within the GTLD Community; that a very clear concise response to how are we going to batch all of these applications and what does the timeframe look like. We actually saw an accelerated timeline from what we were anticipating. So, all of those things, I think, really show us that he is going to be really good for ICANN.

Michael: Great. All right. So let’s jump into it. The subject on everybody’s mind is the new GTLDs. How is ICANN going to handle the perceived Wild West nature of the environment? What came out of the latest meeting with respect to the new GTLDs?

Jennifer: So, really, the biggest announcement was how batching is going to take place and how evaluation is going to take place. So, as you know, there are nineteen hundred applications across the portfolio of applicants; 1409 of those are actually unique strings, so there is several hundred that are in conflict. So, what has happened is, essentially, ICANN is creating a lottery system. So, every application – from one to nineteen hundred and eight, I think it is – will be assigned a number by a lottery. So, very random, of course, who gets which number. Once those are all lined up in order, then, as the evaluation process moved forward, those who complete the evaluation process who have no strings in conflict will basically be in the queue according to their number. So, for example, if you have number one, but you are in conflict with five other applicants and you cannot get that resolved, you are not going to be the first to launch; you are going to be waiting to go into the queue. But once you resolve all of those issues, then you are number one. So, in theory, someone who is number five hundred, but has nothing standing in their way – that have no conflicts, no one files an objection, they have no problems with the evaluation process -, then they are going to go through and be launched first. And the anticipation right now is that those strings that are clear path will start to launch in the second half of 2013. So, that is a very accelerated timeframe, and one that we think is very fair. I neglected to mention, and this is important too, that there was an agreement across the board that the IDNs – those strings – that are for Internationalized domain names, those will actually go first; and I think that is really fair. They think that they have been missing a spot in the Internet, and so to let them go first makes a lot of sense to me; so I was glad to see that happen.

Michael: Okay. So was that voted on? Is that a done deal that the IDNs are going to get priority over other TLDs?

Jennifer: They will. Yes, that is in order. Right, absolutely.

Michael: Okay. Was there any dissent about the IDNs getting priority?

Jennifer: I do not think so. I mean I think everyone seems to have a sense of that is really one of the reasons for the GTLD Program and that they have not had a space to have that in the past. I think there was more concern over some of the smaller applicants. Maybe somebody has two or three applications versus somebody who has three hundred applications, and they felt like: “Well, why should my three be up against their three hundred? Shouldn’t we have some waiting?” But really, if you think about it, you got to just make every application equal. I mean that is the most fair way to do. Every application has the same shot at being number one as being number eighteen hundred or nineteen hundred. So, I think it was a really strong resolution as apposed to any sort of other scheme to prioritize when we have so many.

Michael: So, I understand the process that you said that they were going to number them all, and then there was going to be a lottery, and they will go through the numbers in order based on the evaluation and the conflicts and if there are more than applications in for that TLD. But, basically, are you saying that there is going to be two lotteries – they are going to split out the IDNs separate from the other TLDs and then go through those first?

Jennifer: I am not sure if there is going to be a separate lottery for the IDNs? I will have to go back and look at that. My understanding was that IDNs were just sort of off; they were going to go first. There are not really that many of them, so that is probably much more manageable. And then you are talking about over one thousand of all of the other strings. So, I think that that is the way it is, but I would want to double check that that is procedurally how it is working.

Michael: Okay. But for domain name investors or people that are from countries where IDNs are important to them, domain investors should look at the IDNs first. They will be the first ones coming to market.

Jennifer: Absolutely. If you were looking to buy out those second string domains right when they become available, those are definitely the ones to start analyzing right now because those will likely start to go live in the latter part of next year. So, investors are at a good time to do your analysis. And actually, I would recommend to reach out to the applicants and have the conversation with them so they know what you are interested in and start to understand what their business plan is and what their timeline is for launch because, once ICANN release you essentially to launch, there is still a lot that technically has to occur before you are actually live.

Michael: Right. Okay. So the IDNs may start coming out as early as second half of 2012 and the rest of the TLDs may start coming out as early as second half of 2013?

Jennifer: Right. Well, no. So, both of them will be the second half of 2013. Did you say 2012?

Michael: I did say 2012. I am sorry. I did write down that incorrectly. So, basically, we are looking at the second half of 2013 for the IDNs and maybe as early as with some of the other TLDs.

Jennifer: Right. I think you are going to see the Lion Share launched in 2014. 2014 is really the year that we will see most of these launch. And ICANN, from a stability standpoint, has committed to launch no more than one thousand in a year, and I think that breaks down to about twenty a week was their goal. Once the first ones start to process, then they will be looking at a rate of about twenty per week that could move forward. And keep in mind. Once you move through evaluation and once you are actually ready to launch, you still have negotiate your contract with ICANN; you still have a lot of technical work that has to be done to actually be launched into the route of the Internet and operating. So, there is a lot that we still have to back into that timetable.

Michael: Yeah, I cannot even imagine launching twenty per week. Is ICANN going to staff up by tenfold in order to be able to do the evaluations and handle the negotiations (Unclear 12:31.2)?

Jennifer: Absolutely. And that is why we are looking at here we are in October. They are looking at the first ones at the middle of next year. So, that whole process is going to be taking place between now and then. So, they have hired the evaluators. They have now staffed up to understand the numbers that they are dealing with, which are higher than what was anticipated. So, yes, I think they are ready for that and I think, again, that is where seeing Fadi as the CEO in his real no nonsense approach is helping everyone to have much more confidence that the process is going to work.

Michael: Yeah. All right. So let’s talk about the current status of the GTLD Auction Process. We talked briefly just before we hit the record button, Jenn, and you had said that there were a lot of breakout sessions discussing the Auction Process. And I said, “How did you attend all of these sessions? It sounds like there were so many.” And you told me that you actually had five people from your Organization – Wolfe Domain – attending the conference. Is that correct?

Jennifer: That is right. We had five people. And what was interesting in the auction front is ICANN is really still developing the framework for the auction. So, again, from a pure timing standpoint, that is not going to occur until somewhere into the middle of next year. So, that is still being developed in terms of what ICANN is going to offer, but a lot of the string’s applicants are looking at: “Are there other options?” And so, there was a company presenting a private auction scenario, and I sent someone from my team to go to that session and learn what might that be as a solution for strings that are in conflict. And then there was just lots of talk around the coffee cooler and water cooler, etc. People talking about: “What are alternatives if we do not want to use the ICANN solution?”

Michael: Yeah.

Jennifer: So, definitely people exploring what options are there. Again, there are two hundred and fifty-one strings in conflict that is across I think it was four hundred applicants. So, we have got a lot of companies involved in these string conflicts, and they are looking for value added ways to resolve those conflicts.

Michael: Yeah. Okay, so let me back up for a second. Two hundred and fifty-one strings. Four hundred applicants. The Auction Process is not going to start until mid-2013 approximately.

Jennifer: Right.

Michael: What is the current stated ICANN Auction Process as of today?

Jennifer: As far as I know, there isn’t one. At least I did not hear of one and have not read of one. It is something that is still under development. So, I think we will see that being presented probably at the Beijing meeting in April. We will probably hear something prior to that meeting in terms of what the framework is. But again, I think that what you will see is that many of these companies who have applied and have conflicts will try to work out potential other scenarios. The one good thing is ICANN is very much encouraging all of the companies that have conflicts to go work it out on their own. ICANN does not want to be in the business of running auctions by any means. So I think that is where we will see a lot of vendors pop up in the next few months with solutions. One was presenting at ICANN. There were lots of conversations about different venders who might have solutions. So I think we will see more of those because, primarily, the applicants do not want to have to wait around for whatever the ICANN solution is.

Michael: Right. So, let me ask you about that ICANN solution. Is there a specific Organization within ICANN or does it come from the CEO’s office about how the Auction Process will be decided if it needs to come to ICANN holding an auction?

Jennifer: Right. I mean, essentially, ICANN can seek guidance from the GNSO; from the various stakeholder groups. In the past, they have been setting out frameworks and trying to roll them out. So I anticipate we are going to see this come from the CEO – from the Executive Level; possibly seeking some inputs and public comment from all of the stakeholder groups, but again, I think we will probably see something right after the first of the year. We will start to see what that framework might look like.

Michael: Okay.

Jennifer: But again, ICANN is encouraging all of the parties to self-resolve without needing to go to action.

Michael: Got you. So, if I have an application in and there are two others, it is to my advantage to somehow negotiate and get agreement from the two other parties on how to move forward. If I have an application, maybe I buy them off, and so I am the sole owner if it goes forward; or maybe we all work together; or maybe I just sue them and I try and take them to court and run their money out. There is a whole host of options out there.

Jennifer: There are lots of options. I think the good thing with it, at least in the conversations, is people really are trying to work things out. People are trying to find ways of: “Okay, there is a lot of room here. How do we make the pipe bigger; not divide it up into smaller pieces?” So I think there will be some collaboration and work being done, but again, it is up to all of the parties. You are right. In any dispute, there is a million different ways that you could find resolution. Private auction. Straight buyout. Negotiate. File a lawsuit. There are lots of different options that are available, and I think that is why ICANN is pushing for all of these applicants to resolve it on their own terms without having to go to the auction. But the action is, at the end of the end, if it has not been resolved by the time all of the strings get through evaluation, then there will be an ICANN Auction Process and it will go to the highest bidder.

Michael: Okay. And I believe Donuts made a presentation at this conference, or at least led a discussion session, about a Private Auction Model designed and managed by Crampton Associates. Was that one of the sessions that you attended or that one of your staff attended?

Jennifer: I did. I sent someone from my team to that session. And I do not think it was hosted by Donuts. I think there was an article out about that this week, and it was not my understanding that that was their conference. I think that they were interested in that model. So, I could be wrong about that, but I think it was a separate vendor that was providing that seminar. And essentially, it was just one model of an auction. It is interesting; when you start to look at auctions, it is all these game theory tools that can be used. So, we are seeing a lot of academics jumping in to say we have got solutions or we have got auction models that can work. So I think we are going to see more of those. That is a lot of what we are trying to do research on; is what are the different models that are available so that all of these applicants can know what their options are.

Michael: Right. And this was an interesting one. Instead of all of the money from the auction going to ICANN, it actually got split among the losers of the auction.

Jennifer: Right.

Michael: So, it would prevent people from maybe overbidding and going to others that were vying in the auction or not going to ICANN; so, a lot of different opportunities out there. What I do not understand, as an outsider, Jenn, is anybody can go to ICANN and say: “Here is the model you should use. And oh, by the way, I could be a vendor of this, or you can take the idea and run with it.” Or how does that work?

Jennifer: Well, I think that that is potentially true that they can go to ICANN and offer up a solution. Again, I think ICANN is trying to push out solutions to the parties. Ultimately, there are a lot of solutions. One of the things that I think is attractive about the Private Auction is that the parties do get the proceeds. So, there are some built in disincentives from running up the price, and it also helps everybody walk away with something. Even if you have lost it, then you have not lost all of the investment that you have made. You presumably returned something in terms of that investment. So I think that that is attractive, but I think there are also some players out there who just believe that they can outbid everyone and it does not really matter to them where the money goes. And so, as far as they are concerned, a Public Auction through ICANN is the way to go.

Michael: Yeah. Okay. So, a bunch of people are putting in their comments. This was one session that was held as just an idea session basically. ICANN’s Executive Team is going to look at all the different options and then I assume they will put forward a framework before the Beijing meeting, and then people will comment on it?

Jennifer: That is right. That is what I anticipate; is that, like everything else that has happened up to this point, they will put out some sort of framework and then provide the opportunity for some public comments on what that is, and then be able to modify it. And again, just from a pure timing standpoint, it is not going to even come into play until after the Beijing meeting.

Michael: Yeah. Do people actually need to attend the ICANN meetings, Jennifer, or can they just find out what the agenda items are and then send in their feedback about what should be done about auctions, let’s say?

Jennifer: Yeah, actually, what ICANN is really great about is the entire meeting is simulcast live on the Internet. So, if you are interested in a particular topic – for example, if you are interested in sessions regarding GTLDs -, you can actually go to the ICANN website, you can login, and you can post your questions and a representative from ICANN will read it on your behalf in the meeting. So, it is a great way. I find, even if I am at the conference and there are so many things going on at one time, I can login and hear something if I am in between sessions that are going on across the hotel somewhere else. Or if you just need a break, but you still want to listen, it is a great way to keep on top of what is happening. So you do not have to spend the money to go. Everything is absolutely live, and it is all recorded as well, if you want to go back and listen.

Michael: Is your voice as powerful by submitting a question or sending in an e-mail prior to the event or through online as it is if you show up in person?

Jennifer: Absolutely. The questions read from those online are treated absolutely the same as somebody standing there. I think the only difference is, when you are standing there, you can be a little pushier in terms of how much time you use in your questioning versus, if you are online, you posted your question and that is kind of it. So you do not have the immediate ability to follow-up.

Michael: Okay. Understood. And what types of people actually show up at the ICANN events? I have never been to one, so I cannot tell. Is it like domain investors that go to the TRAFFIC Conference or the Domain Fest Conference of the past, or is it more on the service provider side – the registrars want to go to make sure that their voices are being heard? How does it shake out?

Jennifer: Yeah, absolutely. There are certain stakeholder groups. Definitely the registry operators and the registrar operators. They are the people who are involved in a day-to-day how the Internet functions. Those service providers are all there. You also see a lot of Trademark lawyers, a lot of brands, and people who are concerned about how companies are being protected in the Internet. You see a lot of Government. Of course, there is the Government Advisory Committee. So we do see representatives from Governments around the world who are there, essentially, to look out for all of us and our needs. And there are certainly the non-business constituency groups who are there to look out for privacy issues, for free speech issues, and all of those things that are very important to all of us, as human beings, using the Internet. So, that is what is really interesting; is you have this nice divergent group of people all with their interests, but all working towards trying to create a global fair Internet.

Michael: Yeah. All right. A couple more questions on the GTLDs. Was there any general magnitudes discussed around where auction prices may fall for some of the GTLDs that are in contention?

Jennifer: Definitely, what I am starting to hear now. I would say, at the last ICANN meeting, people were tossing around one million dollars here or there. And the numbers seemed to be inflated up quite a bit more in terms of, now, we are talking ten, twenty, and/or thirty million dollars. Valuations are at a much higher rate. And those are just generalities. Obviously, some strings are more hotly contested than others. I think .APP is the most contested. I do not know anyone involved in that in particular, but I would assume that that could be worth a lot of money, and people are willing to put a lot of money into it. So I think what has happened is, as people have been able to process the scale of what is happening, the value of these TLDs is going up.

Michael: Yeah. And what was the scuttlebutt around the .COM extension as these new extensions were becoming decided that maybe .APP is more expensive? So, is App.com going to be even more expensive or will it drive down .COM prices?

Jennifer: That is a really great point. That was not really discussed. So, I would say you are probably right. I do not see a lot of people that are in the domain reseller business there. There certainly are some there, but that is not the hot topic of conversation because they are dealing, really, with the governance issue of the Internet at the ICANN meetings. But I think, for your audience, definitely, it is important to consider. Look at what some of the most contested TLDs are and might those have value in .COM; might just have in some other extensions that exist today. Absolutely. And I think, for your audience, they really should be looking at what else is out there. I hear a lot of people saying .COM is always going to be the gold standard. That is fine to believe that. That is probably easier to believe that. But if you look at the sheer scale of what is about to happen and the amount of money being pumped into it, there is going to be a paradigm shift in how the Internet operates; how people search and navigate. So, if you are in this business, you are going to want to know what do we think are the hot top level domains and what should we be buying up as second string domains when land rush opens.

Michael: Yeah.

Jennifer: Because, for all of those, there will be a sunrise, obviously, to protect brand owners, but then after that will be the opportunity for anybody to buy. And that is really what you want to be prepared for.

Michael: Yeah. All right. Let’s talk about that paradigm shift. You said that an enormous number of TLDs are going to be coming out. People’s expectation of the Internet is going to change. What I do know about people is that they do not like change, and even worse, they do not like to be changed. And so, is there a commission in the ICANN that is set aside just for education? Is there money set aside to run public campaigns to help educate people about these new TLDs and how they fit into the entire Internet landscape?

Jennifer: Yes, absolutely. They have some phenomenal communications people at ICANN. They are launching video briefings to help educate people. I think the problem right now is – and I heard some journalists say this and the panel of journalists at ICANN – that, because this is still so far out in the future, it is just not being covered. The journalists do not want to cover it because people do resist change, so they do not want to think about what is going to change right now, let alone something that is going to change a year or two years from now. But this is really where, as business people, you want to be very savvy because, if you can predict a trend that is coming, that is where you can be very successful in business. And so, that is why, certainly, for your audience, to sit back and say: “Well, I do not think anything is going to change” is missing an opportunity.

Michael: Sure. Was there anything discussed at the event around this paradigm shift and how education was going to take place?

Jennifer: Oh yeah, absolutely. I mean ICANN has a very specific plan on how they are going to communicate; but I think what everybody is all buzzed about is realizing that, because of the types of brands that companies that have invested in TLDs, they are going to educate consumers, and that there is going to be a consumer adoption rate that we think will be relatively fast. Certainly, as you look at past adoption of social media, we would anticipate a similar type of shift occurring here. Particularly, you see Google and Amazon having such big plays and what they are doing; that they are going to push consumer behavior. I mean every major bank has applied. They are going to teach consumers to trust their top-level domain. This is all going to drive consumer behavior in a new way.

Michael: Yeah. Okay. Also announced at the event was MyICANN.org – a new website. What value does this new website provide? What did they tell us about this website at the event?

Jennifer: Sure. I have not spent a lot of time on the new MyICANN. I think the goal is to allow every user out there to create their own account and really to have information streamed to them that is relevant to them. So, I moved into business. I am very interested in what is happening with GTLDs and what is happening with brand protection, so those are things that I want to have streamed to me. Someone else might be more interested in privacy rights, or might be more interested in some other topic. And so, you can really tailor it to be basically your account. So, it is like anything else. They are trying to make it more user friendly. In the past, the ICANN website can be difficult to navigate. So, I think the goal here is to give everybody a way to customize what information they are looking for and then be able to find it very quickly.

Michael: Yeah, sounds good. I signed up for that and that is pretty much what I went through. I just wanted to make sure I was not missing anything. You told Wayne Nelson, our Producer, “Valuations of new TLDs continues to increase as investments and commitments to success increases.”

Jennifer: Right.

Michael: Can you elaborate on what that means?

Jennifer: Yeah. So, I think what is happening is that, a year ago, this is still a very speculative program. There was not certainty as to who was going to apply. I think everybody was shocked with the number of applications and how many brands. Fifty percent of (Unclear 29:22.9) brands – top-level brands – applied; thirty-six of the Fortune One Hundred. Obviously, seeing Google and Amazon with very large portfolio applications. This is all, I think, shifting everyone’s thinking to say: “Wow, this is going to be big.” And when you realize that, then that is where those valuations start to go up. So, there is lots of venture capital money that has been pumped into this. There are a number of applicants who have a large portfolio. So, what we can see is that they are going to invest in it being successful.

Michael: Okay. And you brought up trademarks earlier. Was there anything specific around large corporations, brands, and trademarks discussed at the ICANN event and how those were going to be protected?

Jennifer: Absolutely. And there is a very strong trademark constituency within ICANN and there is a number of programs that are still being refined to ensure that brand are protected in the new GTLD environment. There is a Trademark Clearinghouse, where brands will be able to, essentially, put and house all of their trademarks in one place so that they are immediately verified. There is still a lot of work being done on what is referred to as the Uniform Rapid Suspension System; in which case brands who are clearly squatted on, if someone directly takes their brand and applies for something, it will be very fast and easy to take down those sites. So, there is still a lot of work to be done. There is still a lot more that brand owners are looking for in terms of protecting them, but we definitely see a big difference in today’s environment versus where we were fifteen or twenty years ago.

Michael: Yeah. All right, Jennifer. Was there anything decided at this event, or was this ICANN event merely just another Town Hall, where people – all the constituents – could come in and discuss the topics that still need to be decided?

Jennifer: Sure. I mean certainly the Board votes on certain motions and certain things are resolved, but it is not as though something new has popped up and now it has been resolved. What is really great about the ICANN Governance Model is that it has multiple stakeholder groups. All of them have a voice. There is process to develop the policy that is governing the Internet. And then, of course, the Board ultimately votes on it, and then the CEO and the staff are running the Organization based upon that Board direction. So, it is sort of like a Board of Directors meeting for a Corporation. You pretty much know everything before you go in because it is all on the table, so there was not anything new that was surprising. It is really just seeing how everything is unfolding and how the different groups are working together.

Michael: Excellent. Anything else, Jenn, that I did not bring up that you thought was important that the audience of Domain Sherpa should know about?

Jennifer: No, I think we have covered it. I think, definitely, just pay attention to what is happening with ICANN. You are going to see, I think, it evolve and become a much stronger Organization in the future, and it is certainly something to keep your eye on.

Michael: Yeah, great. If you have a follow-up question for Jenn, please post it in the comments below and we will ask her to come back, or one of her team to come back from WolfeDomain.com, and answer as many as they can. If you want to follow WolfeDomain on Twitter, she is at @WolfeDomain.

Jennifer Wolfe, Founder, President, and Managing Director of WolfeDomain.com and ICANN GNSO Council Member. Thanks for coming on the show again, providing us with the ICANN45 Conference highlights, and thanks for being a repeat Domain Sherpa.

Jennifer: Yeah, thank you.

Michael: Thank you all for watching. We’ll see you next time.

Watch the full video at:
http://www.domainsherpa.com/jennifer-wolfe-icann45-interview/


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3 Responses to “ICANN 45 Highlights with GNSO Council Member, Jennifer Wolfe”

  1. Tom says:

    Nice summary. Saved me a whole week. :)

  2. Johnny T. says:

    Great summary! Thanks, Jennifer and Michael.

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