At the end of February, sixteen of your local AIA leaders from Virginia came together in Detroit with nearly 600 of their peers for AIA Grassroots 2016. This was the first time in several decades that this event has taken place outside of Washington, D.C.

Bookended by some pretty powerful keynote speakers, the 3-day conference featured workshops on the topics of advocacy, outreach, governance, public relations, strategic planning, inclusion, and public speaking (to name a few) — all with the aim of sharpening and enhancing the leadership skills of those in attendance. In between these sessions, there were numerous opportunities for conversation and collegiality.

The event kicked off with remarks by Josh Linkner, who spoke about invention and innovation. He challenged those in the room to:

  • Get curious;
  • Crave what’s next;
  • Defy tradition;
  • Get scrappy; and
  • Adapt fast.

AIA CEO Robert Ivy gave update on the AIA’s public relations campaign and premiered next installment in the #ilookup series.

This spot is running on national TV (some of you may have seen it during Super Tuesday coverage on CNN). It asks everyone to imagine what America could look like when you partner with an architect to co-create its future.

The event closed with remarks from Jennifer Granholm who delivered an inspirational message to architects: you will be leading and creating a better future for our country. And you know what … She’s right.


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