Review of the ARVO Mission and Vision Statements

The Strategic Planning Group and the ARVO Board of Trustees agreed that ARVO's mission and vision statements should be combined. The new mission statement is more concise and attentive to ARVO's internal and external audiences. The mission statement is:

  • To advance research worldwide into understanding the visual system and preventing, treating and curing its disorders.

Strategic Planning Discussion Sessions

In August 2012, a representative group of members and staff met in Denver, Colo., to develop a draft strategic plan for 2013 and beyond. Facilitators from The Kushner Companies [TKC] presented findings from an environmental scanning process consisting of telephone interviews with more than 30 members and key supporters, as well as the results of an online member survey. Over the course of the session, participants agreed that the strategic plan should be developed around four pillars: Science, Advocacy, Global Presence, and Education and Meetings. 

The group discussed the areas to be considered when formulating the objectives for each pillar. They agreed to follow the same approach used in the previous plan, delegating the drafting of objectives and recommendations for activities to steering committees with staff liaisons. They agreed the new plan will cover a four-year period and incorporate an in-depth Board assessment of progress at the two-year mark.

Pillars of the Strategic Plan


Pillar 1. Science

Goal: ARVO will promote worldwide scientific communication and collaboration in vision research to reflect the dynamic nature of biological, technological and clinical sciences.

Areas to be considered when formulating objectives:
  1. Enhance strategic collaborations in new scientific areas;
  2. Enhance ARVO as the leading international forum in eye and vision research;
  3. ARVO’s governance structures will maximize its mission; 
  4. Re-examine the structure of the meetings to maximize multi-disciplinary interaction including industry representatives; and 
  5. Communication enhancements. 

Pillar 2. Advocacy

Goal: ARVO will advocate for vision research worldwide.

Areas to be considered when formulating objectives:
  1.  Increase the capacity and effectiveness of the membership to speak on behalf of global vision research:
    1. Develop a series of forums to demonstrate the value of vision research in society and, possibly produce tool kits for dissemination of this information to the public;
    2. Train ARVO members to be effective advocates for vision research;
    3. Create and enhance partnerships with other organizations, where appropriate, on strategies to achieve our advocacy goals.
  2. Serve as a trusted source for issues and information.
  3.  Increase public awareness:
    1. Develop pro-active strategies for positioning vision research in the public arena;
    2. Engage patients and the public in advocacy efforts. 
  4. Impact public policy and regulations.

Pillar 3. Global Presence

Goal: ARVO will have a strong global presence in vision science.

Areas to be considered when formulating objectives:
  1. A strategy for and a network of global chapters and affiliated organizations;
  2. Collaboration with governments, companies and other organizations;
  3. Successful regional and/or online scientific meetings and/or education;
  4. Creation of strategic global partnerships;
  5. Strategic membership growth;
  6. Membership diversity in the leadership and governance of the association; and
  7. A network of international mentorships and collaborators.

Pillar 4. Education and Meetings

Goal: ARVO will be the premiere resource for scientific knowledge and education for the global vision research community.

Areas to be considered when formulating objectives:
  1.  Knowledge sharing and education:
    1. Scientific knowledge regarding discovery, translation, application, and techniques and methods;
    2. Professional and career development; and
    3. Information of importance to the basic and clinical research community. 
  2.  Processes/mechanisms through which scientific knowledge and education are shared: 
    1. Carryout a comprehensive evaluation of all ARVO meetings and educational programming to include the annual meeting, other meetings (regional, online) and educational programming;
    2. Cross-sectional groups;
    3. Effective use of print and web-based communications; and
    4. ARVO scientific journals
 Approved by the ARVO Board of Trustees, November 14, 2012. 

Next steps

  • Winter 2013: The Strategic Planning Group gathered member feedback on the plan through a survey and identifed pillar steering committees.
  • Spring - Autumn 2013: Steering committees prioritize objectives and identify working groups will draft recommendations for implementing each of the four pillars of the plan.
  • 2014 onward: Launch pilot programs; monitor and report on progress; evaluate and adjust programs as needed.