Shape the Future of the Internet at ICANN Meetings

Hey, conference lovers and Internet lovers. There’s a professionally-produced conference you can attend for FREE. It’s the ICANN Meeting, open to the public, held this week in Los Angeles, California (USA), and I attended on behalf of my work with the .BIBLE TLD Registry (operated by the American Bible Society). The official description of these events:

ICANN meetings are held three times each year in different regions of the globe to enable attendees from around the world to participate in person… ICANN meetings are free and officially run five days (Monday to Friday). There are also a few pre-meeting workshops and working sessions when the volunteer members of our supporting organizations and advisory committees initiate their work. Read more…

Unquestionably the Internet has changed the world and is increasingly shaping and affecting the next generation all around the world, both all peoples and the economy, the marketplace, the work force, travel, disruptions of old ways, innovations of new ways, etcetera. You’re reading this blog post because the Internet exists and runs pretty well most of the time around most parts of the world.


ICANN meetings have run 3 times a year around the world since 1999, this one in LA was number 51, and quite an international affair, with headphone-powered translation into 7+ languages available and attendees here from 100+ countries. This was my first time (cf. my stream of photos @ flickr). There is a ton of simultaneously-running meetings and working groups and sessions, with proceedings that appears to be like C-Span to the untrained eye. No, this is not like the typical conference with keynotes and workshop speakers providing inspirational talks and training breakouts, though there’s a few of those in the mix.

I would have thought that there’d be more representation and voices from young entrepreneurs, social media thought leaders, Internet startups, e-commerce heavyweights, community leaders, development shops. Instead, the attendance is largely domain industry professionals, lawyers, and some policy-makers and government sector. Just saying, things do appear well-structured for an open collaborative participatory effort to keep this Internet open and accessible and serving all of humanity, as far as digital connectivity can reach even the developing world and the ends of the earth. But people do have to show up here (or participate remotely), and learn the ropes of processes and terminologies, to shape the future of the Internet. And this is one very unique place to potentially change the world.