On September 24 and 25, Swedenborg Foundation board and staff held a strategic retreat to determine our direction as an organization over the next three to five years.
Our last strategic retreat in 2012 resulted in a completely new direction for the Foundation as we expanded into the online world, initially through Facebook and then quickly expanding into videos on YouTube. Those ventures bore more fruit than we could have imagined: Today, our YouTube channel receives more than 200,000 views each month, and in that same time frame we reach more than 3 million people with posts on our Heaven and Hell Facebook page.
At the recent retreat, the board reaffirmed our mission: to foster an affirmative, informed, and increasingly broad engagement with the theological message disclosed by Emanuel Swedenborg. Our greatest hope is that by spreading his ideas as widely as possible, we can help to make a better place by giving people a path to peace and hope.
From that very lofty vision, the group identified four aspirations: To continue to work toward engaging with as many people as we can possibly reach; to try to facilitate breakthroughs based on Swedenborg’s thought across many different disciplines; to ensure that our messaging is balanced between the many different Swedenborgian viewpoints in the world; and, from an internal perspective, to ensure that we have good systems in place for board and staff to work together.
The discussion also included more specific goals toward achieving those aspirations, and part of the board and staff’s work over the coming months will be to refine those goals and determine what we need to do in order to achieve them. Among the possibilities that were discussed were exploration of new media channels such as apps and virtual reality, the continuation of the New Century Edition beyond its current scope, and creating more core study materials such as an annotated Bible.