¶ 1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 1 The field is served by many professional organizations and leading institutions, both in North America and abroad, whose work helps promote and sustain conservation as a thriving discipline. However, there is no coordinated effort among these groups to identify or leverage activities taking place in the digital landscape that might have field-wide implications. Nor are there any joint efforts underway that consider other digital initiatives and related work (e.g., data standards, preservation, building digital capacity) needed to make the digital landscape more functional. Conservators cite many important programs and projects taking place in the broader digital sphere that could be important for the field, but no one is taking a holistic view of these activities, or looking at the “big picture” to present a vision of what is needed to bring the current digital landscape more in line with the discipline’s needs.
¶ 2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 2 In the absence of clear guidance and leadership, conservation professionals struggle to find ways to navigate the evolving digital landscape on their own. The result is countless numbers of local solutions to community-wide problems, unnecessary and redundant expenditures of time and money, and a proliferation of digital assets that cannot be readily shared. Coordinated leadership efforts among professional organizations and leading institutions, here and abroad, are needed to guide and collectively move the field forward in the digital arena.
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- Changes in the field’s leadership environment over the last decade
- The impact these changes have had on the profession
- Ways to coordinate leadership that will lead to positive changes in the digital landscape
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Digital Strategies Advocate (Short-term)
FAIC should seek funds for a new position – a Digital Strategies Advocate – who would identify and drive coordinated digitization strategies across the community. This individual would serve as the central liaison for FAIC on digital initiatives in the profession and in allied communities. He/she would track advances in the field’s digital landscape, identify and help build collaborations in that landscape, and be responsible for promoting training and outreach for digital initiatives across the community. Funding should be sought to support the position for at least five years, at which time FAIC can reassess the position, the landscape, and the strategies needed to move it forward.
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Funders Summit (Mid-term)
FAIC should convene a meeting of the field’s leading funders to report on leadership forum discussions, explain FAIC/AIC’s plans to help drive the transformation needed in conservation’s digital landscape, and solicit the funders’ thoughts and readiness to support these plans.
¶ 8 Leave a comment on paragraph 8 0  See ConservationSpace http://www.conservationspace.org/Home.html; Lauren Robinson et al., April 6, 2015 “Conservation module in database”. [Online Forum Comment thread] MCN_L, Retrieved from http://mcn.edu/pipermail/mcn-l/2015-April/007940.html; and Integrating Data for Conservation Science, The Getty Conservation Institute. http://www.getty.edu/conservation/our_projects/science/integrating_data/related.html for some examples of interesting digital efforts underway in the field.