IEA President’s Letter Post 2017 Conference September, 2017
Hello! I find myself still thinking about the recent Conference in San Antonio with a smile on my face. The IEA Board has heard from numerous people that it was the most enjoyable and life-giving Conference that they ever attended. And this in no small part is due to all those who attended. Their presence. Their collegiality. Their openness. Their curiosity. And my thanks to the IEA Board, to Belinda Gore and Jan Shegda, the Conference Chairs, to Sandy Hatmaker, our indominable administrator, and to all the presenters, including Philip Shepherd, Sheva Carr, Sandra Maitri, Terry Saracino, and Marika Borg.
During the Conference, I mentioned that the IEA needs to re-invent itself. And I meant it. The landscape of the Enneagram world is different than it was 2 or 3 years ago. With the Shift Network, IEA Regional Conferences, other ‘independent’ Enneagram-related conferences, and the major teachers traveling the world to teach, the IEA needs to offer something that can’t be obtained elsewhere. Along those lines, the IEA Global Conference offers you the opportunity to see many major teachers in person, in one place, with the opportunity for conversation and discussion. Join us in Cincinnati, Ohio next year from July 19 – 22 at the Westin on Fountain Square. Mark your calendars now!
The IEA Board sees the need to reinvent itself as an exciting opportunity, and we have a lot of innovative ideas. Some we’ve already begun to create and implement. Others will require a little time. And perhaps your help. New forthcoming innovations include:
- A newly revamped Nine Points website that will allow IEA Professional members to self-post articles readable in any of 9 or 10 different languages. Those posting articles will have the option of starting discussions about their article on their own Facebook page. Nine Points will also become a place for sharing and viewing videos.
- We will be introducing new benefits for Participating and Professional members over the next 6-12 months. This will create more year-round value for members. For example, we will be making conference audio recordings 5 years and older available to all members for free, and we will post selected newer audio and video content from time to time as an additional member-only benefit.
- We will explore ways to help members who don’t live near a Chapter or Affiliate find and connect with other Enneagram enthusiasts. And we will try to facilitate connection and discussion among members looking to find others using the Enneagram in ways that interest them.
- We would like the IEA to become a place for dialogue about areas of similarity and difference in Enneagram concepts and teachings. Whether this will happen at Conferences, on-line, or elsewhere is yet to be determined.
- There’s more, but this is a hint of things to come. If you have other ideas about how the Board can increase the value of member benefits, please let us know.
As for IEA Conferences, we also have some new and exciting ideas in the works.
- The Theme of the 2018 Conference is Building Bridges. The Pre-Conference Day will involve panels discussing bridges that have and can be built between the Enneagram and business; how the Enneagram is being used around the world to build bridges; and how the IEA can build bridges to diverse populations. The keynote speaker will be Peter Block, the author of Community: The Structure of Belonging and other books. You may not know him, but he’s as likely to impress you as much as Philip Shepherd and Sheva Carr did this year.
- In addition, we have plans to begin streaming portions of all IEA Conferences, the Global and all Regional Conferences. This will take time and planning, but we believe it is a “must do”. Members will have access to the streaming at a reduced cost.
- Third, we have an idea for a major “surprise” regarding the 2019 IEA Global Conference to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the first IEA Conference that was held in 1994. Stay tuned!
- And finally, we’re exploring the possibility of not having a Global Conference in the US in 2020 but instead supporting our Affiliates in hosting Regional Conferences around the world. This would enable our non-US members to travel to conferences closer to home and give US members a chance to experience the wider IEA community around the world.
I also want to announce that our Scholarship Fund is off to a resounding start. We were able to help 5 people attend this year’s Conference – people who otherwise would not have been able to attend. And Conference attendees generously donated $1,653.60 to the Fund. To keep the Fund growing, visit our website and contribute what you can. Thanks.
All of these changes are the result of what you told us you want and need. More than 450 of you responded to our Membership survey and this was incredibly helpful. Thank you!! And many, many thanks to Anna-Lena Wihlborg in Sweden for her professional assistance in creating the survey. Without her help, the survey would not have happened!
And finally, as I mentioned at the Conference, WE NEED YOU! The IEA is an organization of its members. Without you, we can’t do anything. So if you’re willing, you can help make these changes happen by:
- Renewing your membership, even if you won’t be attending the Global Conference. And by doing so, you won’t miss out on the great Member-only benefits that we’ll be rolling out over the coming months.
- Adding the President’s letter to your list of contacts and check out the information that will be shared each month.
- Updating your profile on the IEA website so that others can find and network with you through the “Find a Professional” or the Member Directory.
- Continuing to send us your thoughts and ideas, including thoughts you might have about what else we might consider doing.
- Responding to forthcoming requests for volunteer assistance. Remember, Board members contribute their time on a volunteer basis. Most of them have other full-time jobs. So we need your knowledge, skills, ideas and energy. Please contribute to the extent that you have time.
President IEA Board of Directors
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IEA’s mission is to support our members by providing opportunities for:
- Engagement with an international community of shared interests and diverse approaches
- Education in theory and application of the Enneagram
- Developing greater excellence in the use of the Enneagram