Intimacy of IACP Forum Leads To Special Connections

Intimacy of IACP Forum Leads To Special Connections

Written by My Collaborative Team member, Brian Galbraith

Wow. The IACP Forum in San Diego was a great event. How did the IACP pull that off during this world-wide pandemic?

Normally, we have 350 to 450 people attend the Forum but this year things were different. Most people living outside of North America were not able to attend the Forum in person and many others were just reluctant to travel. In recognition of our community’s limited ability to attend in person, the IACP held a virtual forum simultaneously. About 150 people from around the world attended the virtual forum. It was a huge success. If you registered for the virtual or in-person Forum, you will have access to recordings of the virtual presentations so you can watch them at your convenience. I was so busy with the in-person events I was not able to attend the virtual Forum. I look forward to reviewing the recordings.  

For those of us lucky enough to attend, we enjoyed the same high level of Pre-Forum Institutes and Workshops as usual. It is always just amazing to me that world-class presenters are willing to give up their time to share their wisdom with those in attendance every year. In addition, we had two amazing keynote speakers. Reverend Naomi Tutu appeared via Zoom from South Africa and shared with us her country’s experience with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It was amazing and inspiring to hear how many were able to find forgiveness through the process. At the conclusion of the Forum,  we were entertained and challenged by Caroline Casey who shared many creative pearls of wisdom about the world and how we engage with it.

The IACP launched the second iteration of the Leadership Academy at this year’s Forum. Leadership Academy participants from around the world began their quest to become better and more effective leaders for our Collaborative communities everywhere. We had an Introductory Collaborative course at the Forum adding new friends to our local California Collaborative community.

Sometimes the best learnings for me is when I sit down with someone for a drink or a meal at the Forum. This year felt more intimate due to fewer in attendance. We had more opportunities to really get to know each other’s personal stories and to share experiences of our Collaborative work at this year’s Forum. For example, after the dine around (at the dine around, you go out for dinner with about 8 people who sign up to participate) we came back to the hotel and discovered the IACP had hired two professional musicians (playing the piano and electric guitar) to accompany our very own Stu Webb on the sax. We had tambourines and shakers for some of us to use and we indeed used them. My leg is still showing a bruise from my vigorous tambourine playing! Most of the songs were old songs we knew (or could pretend to know) the words to, so it became a sing-along. What a great end to a wonderful evening.

We ended the Forum transitioning from Anne Lucas to Lori Gephart as the IACP president. Anne did a marvelous job as president, and I am confident that Lori will do so as well. We also thanked our Executive Director, Anne Tamar-Matis (fondly known as ATM) who will be moving on to a new job in the next few months. The search for a new Executive Director is well underway. Thank you goes to ATM who did an excellent job as our Executive Director. Good luck in your new adventure ATM.

The next Forum is in Orlando, Florida at the Gaylord hotel. It will be so much fun. Hopefully, everyone from around the world will be able to attend safely. We missed you this year! I cannot wait to “up my game” again through great learning experiences and hanging out with “my people” – the Collaborative community – in Orlando. I am looking forward to Orlando immensely. I hope you will attend….. sigh… now back to work… dreaming of the next Forum!

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