I’m Running For A Seat On The IA Institute Board
Here is my position statement. If you’re a member of the IAI you should have received your ballot via email last night or this morning.
Position Statement: IA and IAI Could Be Much Muchier
I’ve spent the first third of my career (depending on how you do the math) as an information architect enjoying the benefits of membership in the Institute, having inherited a fertile field within which to grow and develop my practice and point of view.
As I look ahead to the next third, and to the third which follows, I’m confident that people like me can continue to do interesting and rewarding work that’s deeply informed by and tantamount to information architecture. That being said, I have a number of concerns about the current disposition of the field of IA. I believe that many clients, analysts, business leaders and even other “web professionals” have lost the thread when it comes to IA. I believe that IA began as and can continue to be something “much muchier” than what it is widely understood to be and mean today. I’m very fortunate to have an “iSchool” teaching gig that provides me with some influence to shape individual practitioners’ perceptions of what IA is, where it came from, and where it’s going. And I’m currently developing the plans for an IA archive, symposium and exhibition at the University of Michigan School of Information, all of which is predicated on the idea that it’s good and important to raise the profile of IA and enhance its influence in academia and beyond.
Boldly, I will confide to you the voters that I desire additional influence.
I aspire to be instrumental in the leadership, policy-making and programming of the IAI for the next two years, and to steward this responsibility in ways that bring meaningful and enduring benefit to the field of IA and to practicing and prospective information architects. And while I believe that the IAI’s forums and events ought to be compelling enough to draw interest and attendance from related disciplines and acronyms, I think a(nother) seat on this board that’s always asking “what’s in this for information architects” and “how does this advance the profession of information architecture” can make a significant difference in how the Institute presents itself, serves members and positions its events and annual conference. Mr. Unger and the departing boardmembers have made operational improvements and have laid or strengthened the foundations for a number of important initiatives. I believe that the time is ripe (given the unprecedented number of open seats) for bold action to leverage this excellent foundation and then tighten the focus of the IAI to be… wait for it: Information Architecture. Bridges to related disciplines are good, but I have to admit that JJG’s remark in Memphis still stings me:
“the IAs are so busy declaring peace that they don’t even realize that they’ve already lost the war.”
This doubling-down on IA for IA’s sake is something that I would seek to make happen via respectful discussion and democratic voting processes among the members of the board. If the majority of the board is content to keep the rudder approximately where it’s been for the previous term with regard to the IA-centricity and posture of the Institute, I would be content to act as respectful troublemaker, requiring the majority to at least see and possibly understand what an IA-centric way forward would look like when it’s poised to move in a different direction.
Full disclosure: if you elect me to this board and the other directors collude with me to advance this Much Muchier IA platform, I think we should expect that the Institute will lose some members who’re put off by a bolder IA-centricity and posture on the part of the IAI.
I’m OK with this.
I sincerely appreciate being nominated to and being considered for election to the IAI board.