Wow! Victoria…what a place! We were blessed with beautiful sunny weather and a crowd of friendly hosts. Even on the day it rained, our lucky whale watching field trip attendees were surprised and excited to see multiple whales on what the boat crew deemed, “perhaps they best sightings they’d ever had.” The meetings and sessions held indoors were no less exciting (or perhaps just mildly so)!
Many thanks are due to our Canadian hosts and the 2018 Conference committee for their hard work and warm welcome. Additional thanks go to the record-breaking 390 conference attendees and the speakers who really made this a fantastic conference. I enjoyed the breadth of offerings this year and attended sessions ranging from a panel of municipal P2 practitioners tackling a broad range of engagement issues and topics to a panel of energy sector practitioners discussing very specific processes and goals. Most intriguing for me this year was a workshop designed to test a proposed Indigenous Engagement Spectrum against the IAP2 Spectrum, which prompted a wonderful conversation – both practical and philosophical in nature. There were excellent keynote speakers and amazing insights from practitioners everywhere I turned.
In the days leading up to the conference, the IAP2 USA Board held its face-to-face meeting and discussed organizational sustainability, the new Ambassador Program, the 2019 IAP2 NAC Conference in Charlotte, NC and looked to the future as we prepare for board nomination period opening on October 17. We are excited to continue growing the organization (membership has nearly tripled in the last 5 years!) and looking forward to continuing to provide excellent member services like the webinars; conferences, trainings and symposia; and connecting more closely with members and chapters across the US as well as our international colleagues.
Any organization as widespread as ours must continually assess the way we work together to meet member needs and advocate for good practice. This process has been ongoing since 2017 and with the input of the regional boards and the international board, the change committee came up with seven strategic priority areas and a series of recommendations that will enable us to reshape our international collaborative network that lives and abides by the IAP2 core values. Earlier this year, members were asked to give feedback on those and that input fed into high-level discussions with representatives from each regional board in Victoria the day the conference began.
We now have seven endorsed strategic priority areas and 36 endorsed recommendations. There is plenty of work to be done around these priority areas and recommendations and we’ll need your help to continue supporting and shaping the organization to be what we want it to be. This will be an incredible opportunity for members looking to get engaged with their international peers and to look at the organization in a more global perspective. Read the letter from Federation Presiding Member Kylie Cochrane to find out more.
More locally – a number of US chapters will hold elections this fall, and six seats are opening up on the US Board. We are looking for P2 folks from areas of practice, all regions of the country and with all levels of expertise. The Board should reflect the US membership, so consider this your personal invitation to participate, whether you have 3 years’ or 30 years’ experience in the field, whether there is an established chapter in your area or not. We recognize that member needs are always in flux and hope to continue leading by example. Self-nominations are accepted, so please consider the special skills and competencies you might have to offer. Nominations open October 17.
And, if you missed out on this year’s conference, we hope to see you at next month’s webinar – “Building P2 Into Your Organization” (October 9), improving your toolbox at the 2019 Skills Symposium, February 25 – March 1 in Austin, TX and enjoying a big dose of southern hospitality in Charlotte, NC next September.