As COVID-19 forced Nominet into an entirely virtual working environment last year, we had to adapt how we connect with members. In the first 12 months, we hosted more than 20 virtual events ranging from webinars to CEO/Chair Zoom calls. Despite this, it is clear that some members feel their views have not been heard, and this is underscored by the upcoming EGM.
We are naturally disappointed that we have reached this stage. But we are also committed to ensuring every member’s voice is heard and so, we believe a new way to engage with a broader spectrum of members is needed – one that directly influences the direction of Nominet.
That’s why in January, we announced plans to create a Registry Advisory Council (RAC).
Through the Council, we want to engage more consistently and effectively with all of our constituencies.
Our vision – closely aligned to the ideas in the Lyons review of 2015 – is that the RAC will play a key role in delivering on Nominet’s wider purpose, helping us to understand how to create a secure, inclusive and connected future for all.
The idea is a collaborative group, organised to have real impact, that can make specific and concrete recommendations to the Board, similar to the way that ICANN communities provide input on key issues. We will look for specific guidance on domain policy and pricing, but we think the influence of the Council could go further to shape our wider purpose – for example crowd-sourcing public benefit funding ideas aligned to our purpose, or testing areas of potential technical innovations (DNS, cyber etc).
We want to hear from you before we settle on a structure for the Council, but our current thinking is that it would include two members each from the large, medium and small registrars, and one each from the domain and IP protection communities. Each community would choose their representatives through a vote.
The RAC Chair would be a member-elected Non-Executive member of the Nominet board, who would also sit on the Board’s Remuneration Committee.
We’re getting some good input from members on the five questions raised for the RAC and we are picking up the pace to get the RAC in place in the near future. To this end, we will soon be setting out how nominations and elections for the RAC will work, leading up to a launch in June.
For now, we’re keen for your suggestions and ideas. Please send them to us, and keep an eye out for more information about the RAC in the coming weeks.