ICANN’s Board of Directors met yesterday evening and decided to cancel the upcoming meeting in Cancún, Mexico. The meeting will be held instead online, though this has never been done before.
“This is a decision that the ICANN Board has been considering since the outbreak was first announced and it is one that we haven’t taken lightly,” said Maarten Botterman, ICANN Board Chair. “We know that changing this meeting to remote participation-only will have an impact on and cause disruption to our community; however, this decision is about people. Protecting the health and safety of the ICANN community is our top priority.”
Other international events have been cancelled in the last couple of weeks including the INTA annual meeting in Singapore, which is now being rescheduled for a location somewhere in the US:
So what will happen with the ICANN meeting? ICANN will be making announcements about how they intend to handle it in the coming days. ICANN is used to running working group meetings remotely all the time, but that’s a very different situation from co-ordinating multiple meetings running in parallel where all participants are virtual.
In the last few hours ICANN staff have been sending out emails to impacted attendees with basic information, though it’ll probably take a couple of days before they have answers for all the questions people are likely to ask. For now the meeting’s official site has been switched over to this one.