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Home > About ICSU > Strategic priorities > Strategic Plan 2006-11

Strategic Plan 2006-11

History and process

The Strategic Plan 2006-2011 represents a significant milestone for the International Council for Science: it is ICSU’s first strategic plan in its 75-year history. The Plan signalled both a new vision and a new mode of operation for the Council. Initiated during the 27th General Assembly in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, in 2002 and approved by the 28th General Assembly in Suzhou, China, in 2005, the Plan represents the collective strategic vision of ICSU’s worldwide, multi-disciplinary membership.

The Plan has its origins in an external review of ICSU’s practices and policies that was commissioned by its Members in 1996. This assessment advised the Council to be more strategic in its scientific planning and more nimble in its operations. In response to the assessment, ICSU significantly modified its structure. To facilitate strategic thinking, a new Committee on Scientific Planning and Review (CSPR) was established  and charged with working with the Executive Board to chart future directions and priorities.

This new committee, took the lead in developing the first ICSU Strategic Plan. With guidance and input from the Executive Board, two successive CSPR committees conducted a broad foresight consultation and managed three forward-looking assessments of specific scientific programmatic areas. These priority area assessments considered both the efficacy of existing ICSU activities and their relationship to future needs of science and society. CSPR’s efforts were complemented by several other strategic reviews and planning activities that were carried out directly under the aegis of the Executive Board. Throughout this process, the entire ICSU membership was consulted closely.

The first Strategic Plan is the culmination of these extensive consultations and planning activities. It was envisioned from the outset  to be a living document, one that would continue to evolve as new opportunities arose and other activities were completed.

During the planning process it became clear that all of ICSU's activities can be categorized into three key areas:

  • International Research Collaboration
  • Science for Policy
  • Universality of Science

These areas are highlighted throughout the website and form the basis for the What we do section.

Strategic planning activities that fed into the Strategic Plan

  • Review of the Committee on Science and Technology in Developing Countries
  • Identification of Key Emerging Issues in Science and Society: an International Perspective on National Foresight Studies
  • Foresight Analysis: Report of the CSPR
  • CSPR Priority Area Assessments
    • Environment and its Relation to Sustainable Development
    • Scientific Data and Information
    • Capacity Building in Science
  • Science and Society: Rights and Responsibilities – a Strategic Review
  • Universality of Science in a Changing World (position statement)
  • Harnessing Science, Technology and Innovation for Sustainable Development
  • Energy and Sustainable Societies
  • A Framework for the International Polar Year 2007-2008
  • The Value of Basic Scientific Research (position statement)
  • Review of Membership and Structure

Each of these activities resulted in its own published report or position statement, which are available in the the Publications section.

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