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23rd Meeting of the WDS Scientific Committee

The 23rd Meeting of the WDS Scientific Committee (WDS-SC) was held online on 13–15 October 2020. Owing to the continued COVID-19 pandemic, the WDS-SC's second biannual meeting of 2020 again took place virtually. In an unprecedented step, the WDS-SC devoted the entirety of its 23rd Meeting to discussing the future direction and strategy of the World Data System of the International Science Council.

The decision to dedicate the Meeting to exploring the strategic options of WDS moving forward was largely driven by the impending transfer of the WDS International Programme Office (WDS-IPO) to a new hosting organization. The discussions were led by Wim Hugo, currently employed as a strategic consultant by the WDS-IPO, who took the WDS-SC through a procedure from examining the current status of WDS, via conducting a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis, to ultimately generating the initial draft of a roadmap for the future of WDS.

These discussions were the first steps in process of developing the next WDS Strategic Plan for 2023–2028. The resulting options will be further debated and refined alongside the new WDS-IPO once it is in place.