ESA Future Visioning Project

Future Visioning Announcement from ESA President Dennis Ojima, President-Elect Sharon Collinge, and Past-President Kathleen Weathers

In 2015, the Ecological Society of America (ESA) celebrated 100 years of successfully advancing the science and practice of ecology. Following a major governance review and bylaws revisions (effective January 2022), guided by the 2019 – 2022 strategic plan and with a new perspective, as a result of the pandemic, ESA now looks to its future. With a futurist mindset and member-focused research, we believe ESA can continue its organizational evolution and ensure its relevance in both the medium- and long-range future.

To prepare for the next ten years, ESA is building upon historical progress and a strategic foundation, committing to an exploratory journey to understand and support the changing needs of ecology and ecologist. ESA leadership is committed to taking a longer-term view of the organization’s role, impact, and activities. It is time to begin work on our Future Visioning Project.

This initiative, which will span over a year, will engage students, former members, early career professionals, current members, international members, industry, government, faculty, and others in a dialogue about where ecology is today and what ESA needs to be tomorrow in response. This project is our chance to intentionally discuss and design the Society’s trajectory for the next ten years.

The goal of this project is also to engage as many people as possible in discussions of foresight and future impact.  With a focus on engagement, through individual interviews, focus group sessions, and facilitated future visioning workshops, we will provide broad and diverse opportunities for people to participate in the Future Visioning project.

The ESA Governing Board and senior staff will work with Elisa Pratt, MA, CAE, CVF from Brewer Pratt Solutions, LLC on the logistics of this complex project. Specifically, Brewer Pratt Solutions, LLC (BPS) will aggregate secondary and preexisting research and conduct stakeholder-focused discovery while providing strategic support to the process, helping ensure a data-driven and realistic future vision. We recognize that this effort is in addition to all of our work as volunteers, and Elisa will assist us in staying on track with the process through this year and into the next.

Specific to methodology, the project will include primary and secondary research, qualitative and quantitative analysis, and provide stakeholders the following opportunities for contribution:

  • internal organizational evaluation
  • environmental assessment
  • virtual focus groups
  • one-on-one interviews
  • facilitated future visioning workshops

The results of this project will feed our work to advance ESA’s strategic framework and guide our work for the next decade and beyond. This will be a collective vision for ESA’s future. We must build it together, base it on the strength of our past, and push it boldly into the future.

We look forward to collaborating with the entire ESA community on this project and are excited about our potential. If you have any questions or comments, please email