The Cincinnati Chapter of the
American Institute of Architects
(or AIA) has launched a new program aimed at shaping the next generation of leaders in the profession.
AIA's VISION: Architect's Leadership Forum launched in mid-November with its first class of area architects from a variety of backgrounds. The 10-person class includes young professionals from large and small firms, as well as sole practitioners.
AIA has spent the last year and half developing program curriculum and raising funds for the program. The inaugural class is a mix of architects identified as potential leaders by their employers and an open call to the region's professionals.
The program is designed to teach leadership skills to professionals in their 30s and 40s who soon will be tapped as leaders as current leaders begin to retire. About 40 percent of today's industry professionals are 50 or older, said VISION co-chair Miranda Mote.
"We recognized there was a gap in support for young architects who will have to move up in firms more quickly as CEO and in firm management than those before them," Mote said.
To qualify for the program, architects had to be licensed and able to demonstrate experience in the field.
There are only a few programs like this in the country. Some of the most recognized are in Kansas City, Boston and Atlanta, Mote said.
The 10-month program includes four keynote lectures by nationally recognized speakers, seminars, workshops, professional networking opportunities, panel discussions and a group service project. Throughout, participants will be asked to consider challenge's that Cincinnati faces including legacy, design, project delivery, politics, management practices, community, education and economics. The class takes place once a month.
Keynotes will be publicized and open to the public, Mote said. Each day following the keynote presentation, VISION participants will work one on one with the speaker and offer short presentations on the topic each speaker covers. They will also address these topics in a blog that will be available at aiacincinnativision.com. AIA is working with nationally recognized Architect Magazine
to offer blog content to a wider audience of professionals in either an online or print format, Mote said.
The presentations are key to building leadership skills, she added.
"Communication is one of the key skills lacking in the architect community, and this is where the presentation comes in developing those skills," Mote said.
Writer: Feoshia Henderson
Source: VISION co-chair Miranda Mote
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