Engaging the Current Generation of Emerging Professionals

I’m an advocate for intensifying the priority assigned to addressing current disincentives to early career American Institute of Architects (AIA) membership. Supporting emerging professionals in AIA and community leadership roles will benefit everyone. First we have to focus on getting a greater percentage of emerging professionals into the AIA, and then we can encourage broader community service.

The barriers are relevance and cost. Competition for personal time can be addressed by funding more national and component staff support to assist with administrative tasks. As with anything in life: if the value is evident, the time will be made for it. It’s up to us as AIA leaders to demonstrate that value.

The YAF and NAC are promising platforms with potential.  I support channeling more AIA staff support resources to these knowledge communities, including grants to help build the local networks as the greatest opportunity for successful engagement is at the component level.  The AIA must assist its older, established members and the firms they own and manage understand and adapt to the dynamic world of hand-held technology and program applications that is second nature to the emerging class of professionals.  We’re sunk if we’re perceived as being stuck in a “your dad’s AIA” world.

To view James’s thoughts on other issues facing the AIA and the architecture industry, click the below links.

The Role of Architects and the AIA for the Public Good
Promoting Pay Equity, Gender Equality and Diversity Inclusion in Architecture 
Prioritizing Sustainability throughout the Architecture Profession
The Importance of Group Political Action to Architects
Promoting Architectural Innovation in the AIA
Influencing AIA’s Role in Influencing Architectural Education
We Need to Reinforce the AIA Pipeline
Live or Die: Overcoming the Architecture Industry’s Biggest Challenge
Striving for Greater Inclusivity in AIA of Non-Traditional Architects