In mid-May two Portland-based XPLANErs traveled to Dakar, Senegal, to conduct a two-day Discovery session with the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Centre West & Central Africa.  The organization began in 2000 as the largest gathering of world leaders in history who have adopted the UN Millennium Declaration and committed their nations to a new global partnership to reduce extreme poverty and set out a series of time-bound targets, with a deadline of 2015. The two-day session consisted of 29 members of the Centre and was led by XPLANE Senior Consultant Stephanie Gioia and Associate Creative Director Tim May; the goal was to develop a common vision and strategy for the Centre post-2015.  Once the vision and strategy are developed it then becomes critical to be able to clearly explain that identity to key stakeholders.

The two-day session consisted of many activities, including stakeholder mapping, audience segmentation, current and future state mapping and live visualization of key messages.  At the session’s completion, the group came together to gain consensus on many major initiatives and messages, including what they do: “champion an integrated, multi-sector, multi-scale approach to sustainable development.”  The multi-sector approach represents agribusiness, heath, education and infrastructure; multi-scale means that they will initiate action on a local, national, sub-regional, regional and global level.

The group gained alignment on its future vision, as well as list of what the organization should start, stop and continue doing in order to reach that vision.  A stakeholder map was created, and perhaps most importantly a new potential name for the Centre post-2015 was developed: The Global Centre for Sustainable Development.