Recently I accepted a nomination to run for the upcoming IAI Board of Directors elections.
Our decision to run on a platform, instead of individually - which most candidates have done in the past, is based on the idea that while ideas are good, alignment and openness are also key components of helping to make things better. Welcome to the Open IAI Platform.
We're running against a number of exceptional peers, many whom I consider to be brilliant thought leaders and practitioners, as well as good friends.
As much as I would love to give back to the IAI by becoming a member of the board, my primary motivation for injecting party politics into the IAI elections was to help to bring more discussion to the issues concerning the IAI rather then focus on the candidate positions themselves. The process was a bit too 1.0, and we need to start looking at the opportunities for the IAI that can be realized if it starts to operate as a 2.0 type of organization. 2.0-ing the election is as good a place as any to start in my mind.
This is also the reason why my personal position statement is relatively short compared to others. In the 1.0 election process, your position statement was your identity, your brand, your definition of what you stood for. In the 1.5 process you might have written a blog post to augment this. In the 2.0 process you engage with the community, create artifacts and encounters, and hopefully raise the entire level of conversation around what the Institute ought to be. Your position is always in beta, and you aren't afraid to change or expand your thinking if you feel the need to. My position statement was the start, but not the end of what I'll have to say during the election process.
This is why we formed the Open IAI, and why I'd encourage other candidates to join our cause, as well as persue a similar approaches. I look at things like Austin Govella (another candidate running for IAI Board election) listening on Get Satisfaction on behalf of the IAI as a great example of this kind of thinking.
As much as I'm excited about the board elections, I'm even more excited about how the elections themselves this year can contribute to a step forward for the IAI. I hope you share my excitement and optimism around what the IAI can be for its members and the Information Architecture community.
I've included our platform position statement below which has a few additions of my own over our common platform (we all did this).
I'd encourage you to check out what Livia and Russ have written as well as the other candidates. Please also feel free to check out and join the Open IAI Platform Facebook group. And tell us what you think we the candidates should be talking about. We're your representatives and we're accountable to you. Open IAI is about turning the IAI into a true members organization. I hope we can count on your input and your vote.
Here's my position statement as submitted to the IAI.
I'd like to recognize the IA Institute and the people who have nominated me, as well as the many community members who have helped me over the years. This is an exciting opportunity, and I wouldn't be here without your support. Thank You!
I've been involved with the web for 10 years and the Information Architecture community for the last 5 years, working in both practitioner and management roles. I've worked for companies large and small, been an Innie and an Outie, and have led teams of 20+ people as well as worked as the lone IA. You can check my past experience on LinkedIn if you're interested in the details.
I'm a co-founder of the UX Irregulars, a Toronto area user experience group with over 200 members. I've been a mentor and an instigator, and love both roles. I present and speak at conferences and workshops on the subject of Information Architecture and I have a strong set of opinions as to what the future of the Information Architecture field ought to be. If you'd like to get a deeper understanding of what I've been exploring, my SlideShare account is a good place to start.
As a practitioner, I've literally grown up with the IAI. I joined the Institute during graduate school and immediately fell in love with the strength of the community. I was one of the first Progress Grant recipients; if you've been to one of my Backcasting presentations or workshops at the IA Summit over the last couple of years, you've seen the results of this investment by the Institute. At many points in my career, the IAI and its members have supported me. I'd like to return the favor by taking an active role in helping the Information Architecture Institute to be the best resource possible for the members of today as well as tomorrow. I believe I will make an excellent addition to the board and I hope that you will consider me as one of your elected representatives.
Position Statement: Vision, Empowerment & Transparency
Russ Unger, Livia Labate and I are running on a common platform in the hopes of being able to make a more meaningful impact to the Information Architecture Institute if we are elected.
We believe that the IAI needs to be a more transparent organization. We need to open a dialog with our members, encourage their involvement and find improved methods of making people aware of what is happening within the organization.
We believe the IAI should take a leadership role in educating our membership, people who are new to the workforce, new to working within our field and the companies that will hire them.
We believe that the IAI needs to get better at marketing and selling Information Architecture. We need to, as an organization, provide the services to companies who want to hire our members and begin practice areas where our coaching would be invaluable. Likewise, we need to train our members how to do this within their companies.
Finally, we strongly believe that the IA Institute should have a clear vision of its role within the User Experience community and more importantly how it contributes to the advancement of the field of Information Architecture. With strong vision comes strong capability, and we have a duty to our membership to provide this role.
We strongly believe in our platform, and the value that a unified perspective can bring to the IAI Board. Your duty as members is to elect a board that will serve you best. We hope that our platform demonstrates our commitment to understanding and addressing your needs.
If you elect me, I will commit to helping the Institute achieve these goals. I believe that one of the increasingly vital roles of the IAI is to act as a vehicle that creates a valuable future for its members. The next two years are critical to the long-term sustainability of the discipline and practice of information architecture. There is an opportunity for the Institute during this time to not only to protect Information Architecture from marginalization but also to help it grow and adapt to serve the future needs of its members. If elected, I will not shy away from these challenges, but help the board to meet them head on so that we can truly begin to realize the promise of our field. I hope that you share my conviction and support our goal to make the IAI one of the best member organizations in the web industry.
I am happy to further explore our position in greater detail. Please feel free to connect with me at any of the following points of contact.
Personal points of contact:
Platform points of contact: