Three board members from AIGA Baltimore attended this year’s
leadership retreat – ACTIVATE – an interactive, inspiring, 3-day
gathering of leaders in chapters across the US. Jennifer Dodson, Bob
Gillespie and I (Elizabeth Brady) trekked to Minneapolis for an
incredible few days where we gathered momentum for the upcoming year
in Baltimore and got to see great design, touch the Mississippi, and explore
the Walker Art Center… to name a few things.
The conference began (at the visually inspiring, Graves  hotel)
with a display of all of the fantastic design samples and products
from chapters across the country. Each chapter brought a series of
trading cards to share and exchange at events throughout the
conference, offering a great opportunity to hear what makes other
chapters “tick”. The creativity was astounding.
See some examples here:
After an inspiring kickoff about the state of the association by AIGA
executive director Ric Grefé, we divided and conquered different “Spark” sessions and shared back. At our various sessions, we learned more about the power of design to create change, rock-star board structures that work for members, the value of membership to our design community, all the while gaining inspiration for design competitions, and new partnerships and opportunities. My eyes were opened to the vast impact our chapter has and the resources we can offer, as well as, design’s capacity to benefit business and society.
One theme that kept resurfacing? Create solid events with community input! We as a team from Baltimore spent a lot of time discussing different ways to find out what our members (you!) and local designers /agencies want from us, and returned to Baltimore with a
renewed desire to hear from you.
Here are a few links to national or local initiatives that inspired me!
AIGA austin design ranch 2011
I, personally, was particularly inspired by our incoming national AIGA president,
Doug Powell and his focus on Design for Good, an initiative to motivate design professionals and AIGA members towards impact, advocacy and cause. I came back with a renewed knowledge of the power and impact of design on society, and a lot of inspiration for social initiatives in Baltimore.
Keep an eye out for other new initiatives and events this year and be
in touch with what activates you, as a student, designer or creative
professional. Or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have ideas
to share or want to be more involved in social or green initiatives!