CRA Strategic Plan

Over the last half-century of service to the computing research community, the Computing Research Association (CRA) has seen computing grow ubiquitous. What began as a field with narrow applications, computing research now underlies most of modern technology; enables everyday human interactions in healthcare, education, retail, manufacturing, transportation, and communications; and shows great promise to address significant world problems such as disease, hunger, access to clean water, and sustainability. Undergraduate and graduate interest in computer science as a career has skyrocketed.

Although there are tremendous opportunities for computing research to dramatically benefit the human condition, there are risks. Without careful attention, computing research applications have the power to accelerate bias and racism, jeopardize privacy, and accelerate economic disparities. Concerns about these negative consequences have led to reaction against the field in some quarters, which could result in damaging constraints on future innovation and application if not addressed. Ensuring socially responsible intentions and practices is critical to realizing the future potential of computing research.

In light of these transformational trends, opportunities, and risks, the CRA board embarked upon an iterative and inclusive strategic planning process that included extensive input from the computing research community, resulting in a reframed mission:

The Computing Research Association catalyzes computing research by joining with industry, government, and academia. CRA executes this mission by leading the computing research community; informing policymakers and the public; and championing a diverse, welcoming, equitable, and socially responsible computing research community.

This mission will be realized through accelerating progress in areas of continued relevance, while expanding work in new areas that are aligned with six strategic themes:

  • Prioritize and focus CRA effort
  • Leverage the capacity of the CRA network
  • Inform the field of emerging best practices
  • Expand partnerships and connections among the computing research community
  • Strengthen pathways and diversify the field of computing researchers
  • Increase awareness of CRA value