From the President…
The Cascade Chapter in Oregon just held its eighth “PI Works” conference Bend, Oregon, in Mid-June. I noted at this conference that the chapter’s successes have paralleled the craft brewing industry’s rise in the last 15 years Coincidence? Maybe.
Or maybe it’s the coffee, or maybe it’s the water, but there’s no doubt that shared time amongst Northwest practitioners — beers among peers, in some cases — has certainly spurred conversations that have advanced the public engagement practice here. Is it so bad that we talk about public involvement and India Pale Ales in the same breath? It isn’t that much of a stretch? Say these out loud: (1) I’m a member of IAP2; then (2) If you’re having an India Pale Ale, I’ll have an IPA, too.
Joking aside, this organization faces challenges that all national organizations face, in having these conversations when we’re spread across the country and busy in our jobs every day. The technologies are here, but the wide-spread understanding of how to use them is not…yet. How will we move our practice forward nationally? IAP2 USA now has annual conferences, local events, training and webinars; and we’re working to expand these offerings. IAP2 USA’s presence on LinkedIn and Facebook offers our members additional opportunities to connect. We’re working with U.S. mayors on what cities and counties need to further promote a healthy and productive culture of engagement with community members. We’re working with the White House on best practices for federal agencies. How would you like to hear about these? How would YOU like to be involved?
Knowledge of IAP2 Core Values and guiding principles is already a “sought” attribute in job and proposal applications. A team is working on the development of a certification program that we think is a next giant leap forward for our field. 119 practitioners weighed in with their thoughts on what our field core competencies need to be. That’s a great start.
In the upcoming months, we will conduct a survey of members. Give all of these questions some thought and help to shape the future of this organization. I estimate that at any given time, we have at least 50 volunteers contributing to the organization and advancing the practice. That’s outstanding, and our field would not be where it is today without this dedication. A lot is happening, but you’d expect that, since our field is evolving rapidly. We all need IAP2 to come together; and for that to happen, we need you. Step up. Join us for a virtual beer … or coffee … or an IAP2 IPA, too.
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We are a nonprofit membership association with more than 750 members from across the US. We envision a country where public participation is deeply embedded and widely applied, and where equitable, efficient, and informed decision-making processes improve the quality of our democracy.
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