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August 19, 2005

Conversations that Matter

Mary Ghikas from the American Library Association submitted the following report.

"No one wants to feel like they're a problem to be fixed, but they do want to matter."

Conversation was a major theme at this year's ASAE and the Center for Association Leadership Annual Meeting. The tone was set from the very beginning of the meeting last Saturday with the Future Leaders session featuring David Gammel, Kristi Graves Donovan and Betsy Boyd-Flynn. Springboard papers -- published in the Journal of Association Leadership -- provided thought-provoking starting points for discussions that took off, sometimes in surprising directions. Many of the most active conversations were focused on associations and social responsibility.

XtremeASAE Bloggers Note: What is the role of associations in promoting social responsibility? This seems like a particularly pertinent question now, given ASAE & the Center's new cause: helping associations transform society through the power of collaboration. But transform society in what ways? Will the work of transformation be done to serve the interests of association members or of the greater good?

Posted by X-Blog Contributor at August 19, 2005 08:16 PM


If you're not currently doing or considering including some for of volunteerism or service project into your annual conference, why not give it a try? So many of your members are already giving of their time and energy in their personal lives that they get the concept, and the right program, integrated well into your meeting, could hit that sweet spot for many association members.

It doesn't have to be preachy, or forced, or uncomfortable--it can be a natural way for attendees to give back to the meeting's host community. If you're interested, get in touch with the folks at Voluntourism for ideas (http://www.voluntourism.org/). (I'm not affiliated with them, but I do like what they're doing.)

Posted by: Sue Pelletier at August 22, 2005 09:24 AM

To the XtremeASAE Bloggers note on the point of the Role of Associations in promoting social responsibility ---- I would challenge every organization despite the sector that they represent to think what are they doing to make the world a better place, versus what are they doing to serve their members. I would argue that we can do both. One small example of this is the Associations Advance America program. With the adoption of this new cause for ASAE & The Center, I am hoping that meaningful conversations regarding the role of associations in society will take place in multiple settings by many ASAE/Center constitutency groups.

Posted by: Cathy Brown at August 21, 2005 03:58 PM

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