Draft June 2011 Retreat Report Out

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June 2011 – ESIP Federation Strategic Planning Retreat

Midway through the ESIP Federation’s current strategic plan and with a number of new opportunities sitting before it, members of the ESIP Federation’s leadership team along with other ESIP partners representing various constituencies, gathered to assess the state of the ESIP Federation, to identify opportunities to strengthen the organization and to develop a series of action steps to move the organization forward. During the June 2011 retreat, participants worked with a professional facilitator who led the team through visioning and planning activities. The activities focused on 10-year (vision pillars) and 1-year (strategic actions) time horizons. The end product is a more clearly articulated future for the ESIP Federation that gives reason for optimism and excitement. A summary of the retreat’s outcomes follows below.

2020 Vision Pillars

  • ESIP is the trusted community transforming the integration of science and data into mainstream use.
The ESIP Federation’s diverse community of experts along the data value chain from data providers, data managers and researchers to application developers, educators and users provides a unique network for collaboration across science, application and technology domains. The evolving network results from the ESIP Federation’s ethos of open, expert knowledge exchange developed during more than a decade of consistent collaboration. With this community approach for confronting technical problems common to many, the ESIP Federation fosters interworkability of practioners from across federal agencies, academic and private sector organizations to achieve important linkages among data, systems, people and organizations. The common denominator of ESIP Federation activities is data, information science, and information technology with a broad focus on improving data access, distribution and usability for consumers, no matter where they are on the data value chai.
  • ESIP provides the Earth science informatics intellectual commons to drive innovation.
The ESIP Federation represents a dynamic community of expertise, whose collective knowledge and experience will drive the future of Earth science data access, distribution and usability. In order to capture the collective knowledge and to facilitate knowledge transfer from the community to others who can benefit from it, the ESIP Federation will curate the contributions made by its committees, working groups, clusters and from semi-annual meeting sessions in an online repository. Extending the commons approach to intellectual contributions reflects the ESIP Federation’s ethos which fosters collegiality, collaboration and trusted relationships among partners who work at the forefront of innovating data science.
  • ESIP leads the development of the Earth science data and information field to:
  • recognize data management as a profession;
  • provide opportunities for continued professional development;
  • train the research community on data management; and
  • engage the next generation of science data information professionals.
As a society for data management professionals, the ESIP Federation recognizes that new funded research requirements for data management, the arrival of data-intensive science and the traditional lack of graduate training in data management offers an opportunity to train practitioners and scientists in the basics of data management. The importance and practice of data management will continue to grow and the ESIP Federation will develop professional certification program for scientific data management. Through training and outreach, the ESIP Federation will engage data managers in the work of the broader ESIP community.
  • ESIP achieves sustainability through diversification, global partnerships and partner recognition.
The ESIP Federation continues to grow and thrive because of the on-going involvement made by members and strategic partners. As the organization matures, it will be necessary to diversify funding sources to support the growing organization and the diversity of interests the new partnerships represent. While the ESIP Federation has successfully sustained activity for 13 years, its future sustainability will rely on its continued ability to offer value-added services to existing sponsors and partners, new sponsors and partners (both domestic and global) and by recognizing and rewarding partner contributions to the community.

The retreat's participants included:

  • Chris Lenhardt, ESIP President
  • Karl Benedict, ESIP Vice President
  • Chuck Hutchinson, ESIP Finance and Appropriations Chair
  • Rob Raskin, ESIP Constitution and Bylaws Chair
  • Annette Schloss, ESIP Partnership Chair
  • Rahul Ramachandran, ESIP IT and Interoperability Chair
  • Bruce Caron, ESIP member representative (EDDC)
  • John Scialdone, ESIP member representative (SEDAC)
  • Brian Wee, ESIP member representative (NEON)
  • Carol Meyer, staff
  • Erin Robinson, staff

The 2-day retreat was facilitated by Gary Forbes, a professional facilitator, who for more than 25 years has worked with developing countries on capacity building and on environmental projects.

Action Plans

The retreat team produced five action plans. The plans were articulated via a small group breakout. During the breakout the groups were charged to think through and recommend how to begin implementation of the strategies during the next year. Listed below are the results of that effort.

  • Develop Targeted Messaging Capability and Resources
  • Develop Collaboration Platform for Knowledge Exchange, Preservation and Reuse - Create ESIP Commons
  • Re-Energize and Expand Membership Strategically
  • Develop Data Management Training Course
  • Diversify Funding Streams
  • ESIP Organizational Development