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While the RDS may be best known as a venue, it is also a members’ club and philanthropic society. Founded in 1731, the organisation has an outstanding historical legacy of philanthropy having created a number of major national institutions including the National Museum of Ireland, the National Gallery, the National Library, the Botanic Gardens and the Radium Institute. Today the RDS continues its philanthropic work through its Foundation which operates a number of programmes across science, the arts, agriculture, enterprise and equestrianism. In June 2021, Genesis was appointed by the RDS to facilitate the development of a new Strategic Plan for the organisation which reflected the vision and ambition of the Society’s founders, adapted to the 21st century environment. The RDS was at an important inflection point in its history as its 300-year anniversary was approaching (2031).

Genesis designed a process that ensured collaboration, and efficiency. We worked closely with the Council, the governing board of the RDS, Voluntary Officers and the Executive throughout the project, leveraging the significant expertise and insight within the organisation. A ‘discovery’ phase of work explored the wide-ranging and complex internal and external stakeholder environment, and identified key strategic challenges and opportunities that the organisation faced. Using a series of structured, facilitated workshops, the critical components of the strategy were developed and refined. The result was a new purpose and ambition for the organisation, supported by an evolved set of core values that defined the organisation’s beliefs. Key priorities were identified to enable the organisation to begin its transformation, and a detailed execution plan was developed to guide the immediate actions.


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