We Exist on Meritocracy: 2013 AIGA Leadership Retreat Philly

Written by
Amber Atkins
June 12, 2013

The past week and all that was the 2013 AIGA Leadership retreat has left my mind drunk on knowl­edge, hun­gover from bub­bly inspi­ra­tion, and my liver slightly dam­aged. Jokes aside, this was such an honor and oppor­tu­nity for me and some of AIGA Colorado’s Board Members to bet­ter grasp why AIGA as a whole is phe­nom­e­nal because of all of the parts we play. There’s too much to cover so I will try my best to keep it short and sweet.

The Retreat was kicked off by Ric Grefé and the national staff and board with an update on mem­ber­ship and finan­cials, and I was impressed by how well struc­tured AIGA is. Let me break down some dol­lars and sense:

  • 36% of Membership goes back to each chap­ter to sup­port pro­gram­ming needs and mem­ber assets
  • 23,000+ mem­bers with a hope to grow to 50,000

Membership was a big topic of dis­cus­sion as AIGA enters its 100th year as the nation’s largest asso­ci­a­tion for design­ers. Learning of the hum­ble begin­nings where the orig­i­nal 14 mem­bers didn’t have enough space or chairs for their inau­gural meet­ing so they lit­er­ally rolled their office chairs through­out the streets of NYC just to meet and begin the dis­cus­sion of how design can impact, sus­tain, and improve the lives of our fel­low Americans.

One of my favorite exer­cises dri­ven by Ziba tasked groups of com­min­gled chap­ter mem­bers to exchange pro­gram­ming ideas, best prac­tices, and asked us the fol­low­ing ques­tion, “if you were to run AIGA, what would you do dif­fer­ently and why?”

We all joined AIGA for a rea­son, do you remem­ber what yours was?

Most con­sumers or in our case mem­bers “buy” in, not because of the prod­uct but rather the user and why that user bought in the first place. I joined because I got Syriac-ed (if you were an AIGA Colorado Member you’d be lucky enough to know what that means)!

P.S. I Wouldn’t change it for any­thing in the world because my role as a mem­ber of AIGA has dras­ti­cally increased my abil­ity to make change for good in the com­mu­nity I live and work in and I couldn’t thank AIGA Colorado more…

Next year marks 100 for AIGA and our own Chapter’s 25th anniver­sary, we are hon­ored to be host­ing the next Leadership Conference but there is so much to do to pre­pare! There wasn’t a break out ses­sion, lunch, or gen­eral ses­sion where other chap­ters weren’t gawk­ing over our board struc­ture, our lead­er­ship, our phe­nom­e­nal results in Colorado so we don’t have to get on the map, we need to live up to our legacy!

If you are think­ing about join­ing our cre­ative com­mu­nity of AIGA Colorado just read the fol­low­ing list, if at least two of these sound like you then join us a mem­ber and be the change:

  • We seek work that is intrin­si­cally rewarding
  • We make stuff often and there­fore fail often
  • We have lit­tle tol­er­ance for bureaucracy
  • We expect to be fully uti­lized and con­stantly optimized
  • We con­sider open source tech is ours
  • We think net­work­ing is sharing
  • We Exist on Meritocracy

Shout out to all of our friends out there who attend, enjoy, and enhance their lives through our AIGA Colorado pro­gram­ming, JOIN US.

We are oneAIGA and we exist on Meritocracy.

Happy Hour

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  • Carrie Martin

    Great report from Philly! Thanks Amber :))

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