The first major international meeting as Chair of ICANN’s Business Constituency was a busy one for AMGlobal’s Andrew Mack. On June 25th, the day prior to the conference’s opening, Mack spoke at a BC outreach event with African private sector leaders where he led a panel on Big Data, Internet of Things and other trends, and participated in another panel with ICANN’s VP for Africa Pierre Dandjinou and “Father of the African Internet” Dr. Nii Quaynor.
Together with the BC’s Vice Chairs for Policy Steve delBianco and Finance Jimson Olufuye, Mack met privately with ICANN CEO and President Göran Marby, where Mack urged ICANN’s leader to focus more effort and resources on engaging the private sector in ICANN’s work – putting more focus on expanding the participation of global south businesses. Mack also led his first full in-person BC at an ICANN meeting, and, with BC leader Marie Pattullo, organized the BC’s first “BC Francophonie” gathering to speak with potential BC members from French-speaking nations.
Finally, no ICANN meeting would be complete without a reunion of the GEMS Band – a jam band of conference attendees from across the ICANN community playing a variety of blues, rock, and jazz numbers. The group, which has now assembled over the years at meetings from Marrakech to Helsinki to Hyderabad, packed the Joburg Hard Rock Café, and featured none other than Andrew Mack on blues harmonica and congas. There’s a rumor that this meeting’s renditions of “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” and “Johnny B. Goode” might actually be worth a listen.