The Next, Biggest, Best Thing(s)

The AIA is a wonderful blend of regions, chapters, sections and individuals.  We are involved in sustainability, advocacy, design, component services, technology and the needs of small firms, large firms and those in between.  Our concerns are focused on the economy, on methods of delivery and on how we attract new talent to the profession. We seek growth and we seek profitability.  As you can imagine, we are not all concerned about the same thing.  While we may embrace the needs of advocacy, our true passion might lie in design or climate change.  The more than 94,000 members of the AIA is a blend of individuals who are as unique and different as the buildings we design.

While our energy and passion might focus on a variety of needs, there are certainly many items that we mutually embrace.  We need to have an organization that listens to us.  We need to be part of a network that shares our interests and our passion.   We need to be able to find information that allows us to prosper.  And, we need to have the ability to, through a strong network, connect with each other to champion our own interests.  The AIA, like any company, needs to be great at the basic things we do.  We need to meet the expectations of our members, stakeholders and those with whom we collaborate.  We are part of a connected network that thrives when we work together and suffers when we go alone.  And finally, we need to make sure that we reach out to those outside of the architectural community to let them know we exist, and why we bring value.  Once we do all these things well, we will be the organization that our members and public can embrace.

But what next?  The what next is about us elevating those issues that our members are passionate about.  We can’t be all things to all people, we know that.  But we can look at two or three issues that most of us, will have passion to embrace and support.  As a large, international organization, we understandably have different needs and concerns.  But somewhere in the middle are matters that we all find important to the profession, our communities and the understanding of architecture.   This is who we are, and this is what we do.  

Bruce Sekanick