While the IA Conference has only been around for two years, it draws on 19 years of rich tradition from the IA Summit. One of the great traditions is the volunteer work from the IA community to plan and staff the conference.
While this gives the conference an accessible and homegrown feel, it is also a challenge for organizers who are part time volunteers. The conference provider, led by Vanessa Foss of Kunverj, is making efforts to give the organizers more resources to make the conference better. One of these is the formation of the IA Conference Advisory Board.
The IA Conference Advisory Board is meant to be the long-term counterpart to the conference co-chairs. The co-chairs serve for one year to organize the conference for that year. Two of the challenges for the co-chairs and the conference in general, are the lack of continuity year to year and long-term conference development.
Here are a few answers to questions:
Who are and how are the Board members selected?
For the first go around of the Board, the members have been picked by the conference provider, Vanessa Foss. She chose people who she felt understood the conference’s ethos, and who had the right skills and experience to set up the Board for the future. One of the Board’s first jobs is to think about how to select future members in an open and inclusive way. We’ll be discussing how we can achieve that with people attending this year’s conference and the wider IAC community.
Will the activity of the Board be accessible?
The Board will provide regular updates about the issues it’s dealing with, and the work it’s doing through the IAC blog, as well as through sessions at the Conference itself.
What authority does the Board have?
The Board is purely advisory. It gives guidance to Kunverj and the co-chairs, and it helps to create policy and long-term governance for the conference. The board does not resolve disputes or have a decision-making role.
The members of the board are:
- The chair, Giles Colborne
- Vanessa Foss
- Donna Spencer
- Peter Morville
- Ren Pope
- Alberta Soranzo
- Kevin M. Hoffman
- Samantha Bailey
What questions is the Board looking at?
The Board’s first focus is on tackling issues that the co-chairs and Kunverj request us to address as the conference planning unfolds.
The Board has been initially supporting the excellent work this year’s volunteers have been doing on Diversity and Inclusion. We’re also discussing questions around choosing co-chairs, scholarships, marketing, sponsorship, and how we ensure a good hand-over of knowledge from year to year.
There are many exciting things to come. The Board is eager to make the IA Conference a great experience.