EGU vision & strategy
The European Geosciences Union (EGU) is the leading organisation for Earth, planetary and space science research in Europe. With our partner organisations worldwide, we foster fundamental geoscience research, alongside applied research that addresses key societal and environmental challenges. Our vision is to realise a sustainable and just future for humanity and for the planet.
The EGU is a member-led organisation, dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in geoscience research, upholding and promoting the highest standards of scientific integrity, open science and open access research. We facilitate dialogue and the exchange of information between scientists, the media, policymakers and the public, and are recognised as a trusted source of impartial, evidence-based geoscience information.
Guided by our diverse scientific community, the EGU provides a means to share, publish, promote and collaborate on the latest geoscience research. We are committed to, and are a leader in, open access scientific publications. Our annual General Assembly provides the largest and most prominent forum in Europe for sharing geoscience knowledge and understanding, and building a collaborative community of scientists.
The EGU is committed to developing the next generation of geoscientists through the provision of world-class education, training and resources to secondary school teachers, university geoscience educators and to early career scientists, thus ensuring equitable access to the latest scientific knowledge and expertise.
EGU strategic priorities 2019–2025
- Organisational robustness
- Outreach, education and engagement
- General Assembly
- EGU member services
Already underway, and continuing throughout 2019 and beyond, are activities to strengthen the robustness, resilience and capacity of the Executive Office team and IT systems, to ensure we are able to withstand planned changes or unplanned disruption. To strengthen our operational capabilities and ensure that the EGU is sustainable over the long term, we are undertaking strategic action in the following key areas:
Strengthen the capabilities, capacity and resilience of the EGU Executive Office
The EGU Executive Office has a very small professional team that provide key services to members. We are planning to gradually strengthen the team to provide additional capability, capacity and resilience over the next few years. In particular, we anticipate building our team to support: IT, strategic and financial planning, events and education, policy development and outreach. This growth will be measured and aligned with the organisation’s financial capacity to take on additional operating costs.
Improve the EGU organisational memory and knowledge management systems
We have developed and will execute a knowledge management plan to significantly improve the way that EGU members, divisions, committees, the Executive Board and the Executive Office store, share and can find documents, and communicate more effectively with each other. This will include the creation of a central organisational archive and upgrades to our communications platforms and to the EGU website.
Develop our strategic and financial management
We have developed a long-term vision and a strategic plan (2019–2025) for the EGU, which clearly sets out the ambitions and key actions we will be taking over the next few years. By strengthening our strategic planning and financial management, we will ensure that we deliver on our strategic and financial ambitions, and remain responsive to any significant shifts in the market for scientific conferences and publications.
Undertake a governance review
We will establish a governance review of the decision making and structures of the EGU, to ensure we retain appropriate scientific and professional diversity and equitable representation of scientific disciplines on EGU committees and boards. The EGU Council will retain oversight of this review, and any recommendations for change will be subject to approval from the Council.
Strengthen our strategic partnership with Copernicus GmbH
We already work in a close partnership with Copernicus GmbH, who manage the General Assembly and the EGU publications. To strengthen and protect this relationship, we will work with Copernicus GmbH to co-create a new partnership agreement, and establish an annual review mechanism to ensure an ongoing, productive, high-trust partnership.
Outreach, education and engagement
Outreach, education and stakeholder engagement are core activities. To ensure that we continue to develop these areas, we will:
Position the EGU and its members as the “go to” experts in response to Earth science / space science events
Our ambition is for the EGU to be viewed as the “go to” place for experts by EU and national policymakers, the media and other stakeholders. To achieve this, we will:
- develop capacity for rapid responses and EGU positions on current issues and/or events;
- identify and highlight societal and environmental challenges that are being addressed by the scientific work of the EGU membership, and share this information with relevant media and policymakers;
- strengthen links to media outlets and policymaking institutions across Europe to facilitate increased public awareness of EGU membership scientific work and contributions to understanding and addressing current issues.
Expand geoscience education and training
We will expand the EGU Geosciences Information For Teachers (GIFT) workshops and also promote informal geoscience education and training. To support this, we are expanding our delivery capacity through the appointment of education officers both within our Executive Office team and as Education Field Officers.
Promote the public understanding of geoscience
We will develop and execute a strategy to expand the public understanding of geosciences through an expansion of the EGU public engagement programme, and through identifying and addressing key areas of the public understanding of geoscience where EGU is likely to have most impact.
Strengthen external relationships and policy engagement
We will strengthen our relationships with national and trans-national funding bodies, policymakers, institutions, national governments, scientific societies and other relevant associations so that the EGU becomes known as a community voice for the geosciences. This will involve:
- identifying and resourcing engagement and/or an EGU presence at national and trans-national events, meetings and conferences;
- deepening policy engagement at trans-national (EU/institutional) levels;
- developing policy and scientific society engagement at national levels;
- developing and encouraging a scientist-policymaker pairing scheme.
The EGU General Assembly is our largest scientific conference, attended by over 19,000 scientists, policymakers, journalists and geoscience educators from around the world in 2023. This annual meeting is a central part of the EGU’s focus each year. To ensure that the General Assembly continues to be successful we will:
Review the structure, format and content of General Assembly
Given the evolving landscape for scientific conferences, we will review the structure, format and content of the General Assembly, and establish an ongoing annual review process, to ensure that it remains relevant, appropriate, optimised and attractive to EGU members and other attendees.
Create a long-term strategic plan for General Assembly
Building on our review, we will create a long-term strategic plan for the General Assembly, to determine if or how the meeting should be expanded, incorporate virtual/remote participation, and ensure that the content and activities of the meeting are visible beyond the event itself.
The EGU publishes peer-reviewed open access scientific journals covering various topics of the Earth, planetary and space sciences. To ensure continued growth and success of our publications, we will:
Develop and execute strategy to improve resilience and scientific standing of EGU journals
The landscape for scientific journal publications is changing. We are responding to this by developing and executing a strategy to ensure EGU journals remain resilient and maintain a high scientific standing internationally and against competitor journals.
Review branding to strengthen EGU brand recognition for scientific journals
We will conduct a review of EGU branding and the brand awareness of EGU publications and identify if any actions or improvements are needed to strengthen the identity of the EGU with each publication.
Establish open access journals as the preferred publication mechanism for geoscience research
We will review geoscience publications (and establish an ongoing annual review) to determine what percentage of papers are published in open access journals, and what key factors are influencing change in the publication landscape. We will use the results of this review to publicise open review and the transparency of the review process as key benefits and unique characteristics of EGU journals.
EGU member services
The EGU is a member-led organisation, with around 19,500 members from all over the world. To ensure that the EGU remains responsive to what our members want, we will:
Establish what current EGU members value and want from their membership
To strengthen the benefits to members, we will survey our membership to elicit what they value and their views of current and desired services and benefits to members. We will use these data to identify alignment or mis-alignment between what members value/want and what the EGU offers/provides. Following this initial survey, we will establish ongoing monitoring of member attitudes over time to ensure that member services continue to deliver what members value.
Strengthen the communication with, and benefits to, EGU members (beyond attendance at the General Assembly)
We will take steps to improve communication with our members, establishing which communication channels and processes work best (get highest engagement), and those which do not work so well, then adapting our methods accordingly. Based on input from our members, we will review all member benefits and resources to ensure that we are continuing to provide what our members want. One specific area of member benefit is the provision of EGU information and resources, hosted on our website. We will review and improve the website structure, and add a search capability to make resources easier to find by members. Following this, we will create a series of member communications, focussing each one on a key EGU resource.
Improve equality of opportunity and diversity amongst EGU committees and boards, and more broadly for geoscientists
We have a clearly stated ambition to increase diversity at EGU events and on EGU committees and boards. To realise this, we will:
- monitor diversity of event attendees, nominees/awardees, conveners, invited speakers, and abstract authors, identifying any sub-populations that are significantly under represented;
- encourage deeper involvement in all EGU activities from under represented sub-populations;
- publicise EGU travel grants to scientists in under-represented geographies who would most benefit from them;
- review diversity on an annual or bi-annual basis.