New from Dryad: Strategic planning at the Banbury Center

For open research, this is a moment in time. The convergence of policy, practice and preparedness we’re experiencing is unprecedented, in my view, and marks a step change in our journey toward accelerating the translation of research into benefits for society worldwide.  

It certainly feels that way at Dryad, where our community and platform – 15 years in the making – stand ready to support researchers, institutions, funders, societies, publishers, and others as initiatives in multiple corners of the world call for open access to the data underpinning results in all kinds of research.

Dryad executive team and Board at the Banbury Center.
Dryad executive team and Board at the Banbury Center.

The feeling was palpable at our retreat this past week. For the first time since the pandemic, the Dryad Executive team and Governing board met together in person to reflect on the state of open data and how we can best support our community to navigate the changing landscape. 

It was wonderful and grounding to have been hosted by the Banbury Center at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, by invitation of our Board chair, Jason Williams. Not only a world-class facility for convening scientific meetings on intractable issues, the Banbury Center is a gorgeous estate on the edge of Lloyd Harbor, New York that was donated to the lab in the 70s. The isolation, beauty and special care of the team there were deeply conducive to our work, to being able to deep-dive into the topics at hand and – at the same time – relax and restore ourselves. It’s easy to imagine the breakthroughs that have taken place at Banbury (including the launch of the Human Genome Project), and that Dryad’s next phase could be one of them. We’re so grateful that this opportunity was made accessible to our small non-profit.

We are really well-poised for what’s ahead. We’ve reviewed the growth and readiness of our organization in every facet, from business operations to community engagement, and find we are absolutely ready. The expansion of our talented, experienced and dedicated team is the main ingredient here, and having them meet together with the Board was the best way to showcase their abilities and co-design our path forward.

The retreat was time for us to take on some of the key questions facing Dryad, to do with community engagement and activation, enabling the reuse of data, and ensuring alignment with researcher needs as policies, practices, and tools continue to develop. The outcome of our gathering was, of course, to set goals for Dryad for the next three years so that we can build our strategic plan from July. We’ll share more as we have it, and spend some time talking about our plans at the next community meeting.

It feels very much like a moment in time for Dryad. We sit at the center of the convergence in open research, and open data in particular. We are ready, we are supported, and we are excited about exploring the next frontier together with you. We’ll be in touch again soon.

For now, please enjoy a little Banbury magic in these photos.


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