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Thought Leader Meetings

NISO convenes Thought Leader meetings with a group of experts on a particular topic to identify potential areas where NISO can lead a standards-based or recommended practice solution to recognized barriers.

In the past, standards work has often been initiated by meetings of key people working on individual projects who are focused on a particular specialty, or by practitioners experiencing a common problem. The NISO Blue Ribbon Panel highlighted this fact, saying that, "NISO's role and decision making [in choosing which projects to adopt] has been far too reactive and opportunistic." Furthermore, within the broader context of the strategic Architectural Framework, which was developed in 2006, the report concluded that, "it should become easier to strategically plan and structure these pre-standards activities."

In order to take advantage of such specialists' knowledge and experience, in 2008 NISO began holding "Thought Leader" meetings consisting of 8-12 specialists who will discuss the current state of affairs on a given issue, assess the value of the identified topics, and determine the needs that standards might be able to address. NISO Topic Committees--organizational leadership groups within NISO's standards development structure that are focused on specific topical areas (currently: Discovery to Delivery, Content & Collection Management, and Business Information)--may provide support and leadership for the Thought Leader meetings in each of their areas. In this role they will provide focus based on the needs of their field and their experience with and knowledge about the needs of libraries, publishers, and/or vendors. In addition, NISO's Architecture Committee may hold its own Thought Leader meetings focused on a topic area where NISO may need to be engaged but one that is not addressed by the Topic Committees or NISO as of yet (e.g., the 2008 E-learning meeting).

The Thought Leaders at each of these meetings will brainstorm a number of the barriers to broader adoption, acceptance, or use of the topic in the community. From that list of "pain points," the group will set priorities for the one or two specific issues surrounding the topic for which a standard-based solution could move the community forward.

NISO's Education Committee may assist with the planning for these meetings and particularly with the outreach to the Thought Leader participants and the development of educational programs and materials following the meetings.