New Wave: CCS Develops Strategy for Translating its Vision to Reality

CCS kicked off the new year with a two-day participatory strategic planning retreat to envision our future and map out how we are going to get there over the next three years.  

Sharon Ryan, CCS associate director of strategy and communications, and Dawn Newman of Blackhawk Facilitation facilitated the workshop, which brought together CCS faculty, students, staff, advisory board members and collaborators to share their ideas, insights and perspectives.  

The CCS team gathered at the Bonne et Belle nature retreat center in Gainesville, FL, in January to create a strategic plan to guide the center’s work over the next three years. Photo credit: Dawn Newman

Using the analogy of a wave, the team began by making an inventory of external realities, including trends and approaches in coastal hazards research, technology and policy that CCS needs to consider as it moves forward. From there, the group brainstormed what future success looks like, and co-created a shared, practical vision to guide their efforts over the next three years to advance and accelerate solutions that improve water quality, coastal ecosystem health and community resilience in Florida.  

During the second day, working teams set first-year goals and wrote action plans for the first quarter to get started immediately on top priorities. Everyone left the workshop energized and inspired to develop and deliver advanced scientific and technological solutions that improve the health of Florida’s coastal waters.  

“It was fun participating with this amazing team,” said CCS advisory board member Elizabeth Gadsby. “I am highly confident of the practical, innovative outcomes that we will achieve this year based on the solid strategy and plan!”  

Before the workshop, key internal and external stakeholders were interviewed for their input, which was incorporated into the planning process. The team at CCS is excited to roll out the plan to stakeholders in the coming months.  

Click the photo below to watch our team recite an original poem about a strategic direction. 

CCS staff members recite an original poem about one of the strategic priorities identified during the CCS strategic planning workshop. Video credit: Megan Sam