ICANN’s 52nd International Meeting, its first of 3 planned in 2015, was due to be held in Marrakech (Marocco). But the meeting was planned before the Ebola outbreak.
This global situation has forced ICANN to react quickly to keep its 52nd meeting both relevant and productive. Says the organisation in a statement released yesterday (3rd November, 2014): “Community concerns that would prevent maximum participation at its next global meeting (ICANN 52, 8-12 February 2015), a critical one given the ongoing discussions around the IANA Stewardship Transition and ICANN Accountability, has prompted ICANN to postpone the meeting in Marrakech, Morocco and to relocate to Singapore on the same dates.”
ICANN 52 will be held at the Raffles City Convention Center, the same venue as ICANN 41 in June 2011 and ICANN 49 in March 2014.
In recent discussions on how best to organise the expensive (for both ICANN and participants) but crucial International Meetings, it’s been suggested that they should be rotated in the same 4 or 5 “hubs” every time. It is argued this would reduce the cost of searching for, and arranging, new venues. It would also help ICANN’s meeting staff negotiate better rates for the community (accommodation, food, etc…) as there would be more leverage for them to do so if they were in a position to pledge several years of attendance.
ICANN’s return to Singapore for the third time in 4 years, the venue probably chosen because it is “ICANN meeting ready” and therefore able to step in at the last minute, can also be seen as a signal that the “hub solution” may be the right one…