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Last month I attended the AIA SpeakUp 2017, an advocacy leadership workshop. This workshop was a great opportunity to learn key skills necessary in advocacy as well as day-to-day work in architecture, such as effective communication, public speaking, and strategic planning and organization. The conference was sprinkled with informative sessions with Colorado state legislators, Sen. Holbert and Rep. Garnett, media and public relation experts, as well as, AIA national staff. The culmination of the workshop was working with a large team to produce an advocacy campaign plan and present it to a jury. Teams were broken into fictitious states that are similar to geographical areas of the United States. I was on the Corinth team. Our task was to develop a campaign to pass an energy efficiency code for public schools in the state of Corinth. I have to say that I was really excited about working on this fictitious campaign as it ties so well to the academic and sustainability work I do in my real state of Massachusetts. It felt a bit like being back in college as we worked late into the night to put our presentation together. This hands-on project allowed attendees to use techniques and concepts that had been presented earlier in the week. Putting something into practice is one of the best ways to learn. I thought that is was a great workshop and would recommend to others.

Topics: Resiliency, AIA, American Institute of Architects, Speak Up, User Engagement, Sustainability