Reflecting on a Year of Progress: CENTR Chair's Report

Blog 14-12-2023

As we approach the end of another eventful year, it's time to reflect on the journey we've undertaken as part of the CENTR community. In this Chair's Report, I'll dive into the highlights and key takeaways from our 2023 activities and discussions. Despite facing challenges, we've made significant progress towards shaping the future of CENTR and strengthening our partnerships.

A Year of Productivity

Looking back at the CENTR activity report, one thing is crystal clear—this year has been incredibly busy. Even with changes in our small team, we've managed to accomplish an impressive amount of work. The scorecard for the 2023 operational goals shows solid greens for 10 out of 12 goals.

Envisioning the Future

During our recent off-site Board of Directors meeting, we dared to envision the future of CENTR. Three key areas emerged from our discussions:

1. Transitioning from Raw Data to Meaningful Insights: To prepare for the future, we recognized the importance of moving from raw data to meaningful insights. Equipping ourselves with the ability to comprehend and adapt to what lies ahead is crucial.

2. Evolving Policy Work: We observed a visible trend demanding that our policy work evolves from being reactive and defensive to proactive and constructive. This transition, though challenging, presents an opportunity for us to have a more significant influence on our future.

3. Exploring Shared Services: In an effort to conserve resources and avoid potential bottlenecks, we're exploring shared services where members can collaborate, negotiate, and develop together. This move towards cooperation will strengthen our collective capabilities.

Following community consultation, these goals have been adopted as the CENTR strategic priorities for 2024.

Engaging the CENTR Community

Over the summer, the Board and Peter reached out to gather insights from our community. We're delighted to report that we received excellent ideas, suggestions, and confirmations of proposed plans. We want to extend our heartfelt thanks to all who contributed to shaping the long-term plan for CENTR.

Strengthening ICANN Collaboration

Our relationship with ICANN had some hiccups last year, but I'm pleased to share that it has improved significantly. Byron and I had the opportunity to meet with ICANN CEO Sally Costerton in Hamburg, where we discussed our future collaboration. We emphasized the importance of coordinating ICANN activities in the EU, which would benefit both parties. Additionally, we highlighted ICANN's role in coordinating WSIS+20 activities, emphasizing the need for clear and straightforward core messages to enable ccTLDs to amplify them with national governments.

A Successful Initiative

The day before our Annual CENTR Meeting, EU TLD ISAC organized its first conference, which was a resounding success. We take pride in the fact that CENTR can act as an incubator for such crucial initiatives, contributing to the strengthening of our community and the broader internet landscape. At the moment, the EU TLD ISAC is open to all CENTR full members. Once the EU TLD ISAC turns into a sperate entity, it will open its membership to include non-CENTR members.

Acknowledging Our Team

This year has not only been turbulent on a global scale but also within our small CENTR team. Two of our dedicated staff members, Lydia and Marlene, decided to embark on new challenges. We'd like to express our heartfelt thanks to them for their valuable contributions to CENTR and wish them the best on their new professional journeys. While we're in the process of welcoming new team members, I want to recognise the efforts of the current CENTR Team who ensured the smooth continuation of our services. Your additional efforts and hard work have not gone unnoticed.

As we look ahead, let us remain committed to our mission, adapt to new challenges, and work collaboratively towards a brighter future for CENTR and the internet community as a whole. Thank you for your ongoing support and dedication.

I am wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and I look forward to seeing you in 2024!

Published By Barbara Povše
Barbara Povše is the head of Register.si and chairman of the CENTR Board of Directors.