Sea Change: AIGA Leadership Retreat 2009
June 11, 2009 Filed Under: Chapter News 6 Comments
I have had the honor of attending the AIGA Leadership Retreat for past three years. After a couple years of attending, chances are that things are going to get repetitive. There are only so many leadership exercises you can go through before you start to do some of the same things. You can mix things up by leading a break-out session – as I did for developing content for chapter websites. The 2009 AIGA Leadership Retreat in Portland, Oregon however was not a rerun. In fact, it bucked any kind of trend that was going. Like its monicker, it truly was a 'Sea Change.'
I, along with my fellow attendees from AIGA Charlotte, Carolyn Colonna, president, Trent Edwards, events director, Rachel Martin, membership director, and Joseph Schlosser, chapter ambassador represented AIGA Charlotte in what will hopefully be marked as a turning point in AIGA's history to becoming not just a professional association for design, but a global design movement. What do I mean by a global design movement? Imagine an organization that relies not on a 'national authority', but on it's members, driven from the bottom up, giving members the greater voice within the organization and engaging members to a greater degree. Imagine an organization that values creativity but is a driving force in promoting design and design thinking as it relates to world of business. Imagine a cultural force felt throughout the community by providing opportunities for social responsibility, social engagement, sustainability, multiculturalism and diversity. Imagine a 'National Design Week' that gets the same kind of buzz that a Sundance Film Festival or Fashion Week garners. Imagine AIGA in 2014. Exciting, no?
The ideas and visions for AIGA in 2014 are part of the Mandate of 2014 voted on during the retreat, which we will highlight in an upcoming post. But this is where we, AIGA, are moving towards to mark our one hundredth year. The word mandate sounds a little overbearing (and maybe not the best choice of words in this case), but the ideas that inhabit it were born out of the members of AIGA through our annual membership roundtable. How emboldening is that... an organization listening to its members and responding?
There was truly a different vibe during the retreat, a shift, where it was the local chapters leading the discussion instead of the national leadership. And there also seemed to be a greater sense of community, more willingness to share than in past retreats, a yearning to connect to a greater degree. How appropriate that our new president of AIGA, Debbie Millman stated in her acceptance speech that connectivity would be the focus of her term.
I can't really capture in words all the excitement that was present at the retreat. Our hope is just to bring that same level of excitement and anticipation for the future of our organization to you in the following year. Now come the next steps. Look for more posts in the following days recapping the retreat and looking to you, our members and community, to realize this 'Sea Change.'
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