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ESA Future Visioning Project — Outcomes & Next Steps

At least year’s Annual Meeting, we announced the Future Visioning Project to think ahead to what ESA might look like 10 years from now. After seeking general member input at the membership booth and then in a campaign over the fall, we held a held a series of stakeholder meetings (with support from Brewer Pratt Solutions)—with focus groups of ESA members, the Society’s leadership and staff, plus some individual meetings—to gather perspectives both on *what* our members aspire for us and *how* we might achieve our goals.

All members of our community are invited to review the report* [PDF]. Highlighted recommendations include:

  • We must deliver on our historic promise to be the professional home of all ecologists.
  • We must make smart strategic investments that bolster our aspirational membership model and enhance our programmatic supports for ecologists.
  • We must engage, equitably and respectfully, with a broad array of stakeholders to further our science and its correct application.

While ESA must change if the Society is to grow and thrive, and we are also at an opportune inflection point in history and society: Changes we are mostly likely to make are changes that happen to reflect contemporaneous developments and would allow us to satisfy a new global demand for ecological expertise and nature-based solutions. As the report states in the summary, “There has never been a better time to elevate the science of ecology and its potential to understand, address and solve.”

There is no fast track to organizational change, but by considering the report’s recommendations as guidance and getting further feedback from our members in this town hall event in Portland, the Governing Board and ESA Council will be able to define a new strategic plan for the Society that we will implement beginning in 2024 with short and long-term visions in mind.

*You are welcome to review the full report; SWOT and PESTLE analyses begin on pp 24-30, and the summary and recommendations begin on p 31.