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    Newsletter Overview | January 2016
  • Feature Article: Valuing IFVP's Global Growth
  • News from the Board
  • Member Spotlight: Meet Claudia, Gerauld and Tanja!
  • Conference News & Updates
Feature Article

Valuing IFVP's Global Growth

When you ask people who have been members of the International Forum of Visual Practitioners (IFVP) for many years what makes them proud of the IFVP, many will answer: its global growth.  Over the past 20 years, the IFVP has grown from a conference for visual practitioners in northern California to a global professional organization with hundreds of members.
The global nature of the organization shined during AustinTX 2015. At IFVP's 20th annual conference, over 150 people gathered from 6 continents and 17 countries. The evidence of IFVP's rich diversity lined the walls and filled the conference rooms as members recorded and conversed in multiple languages. 

While inspiring, the global growth of the IFVP provides members with more than pride

The diversity of the IFVP offers members professional benefits. According to Ekaterina Walker in Reaping the Benefits of Diversity for Modern Business Innovation"Diversity is essential to growth and prosperity of any company...Because diversity breeds innovation. And innovation breeds business success." Walker goes on to list the following evidence for the link between diverse organizations and successful organizations:
  • Forbes study has identified workforce diversity and inclusion as a key driver of internal innovation and business growth.
  • Lu Hong and Scott Page showed that groups of diverse problem solvers can outperform groups of high-ability problem solvers.
  • According to McKinsey, companies with diverse executive boards enjoy significantly higher earnings and returns on equity.
  • According to Harvard Business School, multicultural networks promote creativity.
Innovation - growth - effective problem solving - financial stability - creativity - all strengthen our businesses, whether they are large or small, new or established, for profit or not for profit.

There is strength in numbers

As Stephen Covey said,"Strength lies in difference." A global body of members gives credibility and legitimacy to the profession and to our individual businesses. Identifying your membership in an international professional organization for visual practitioners and then saying that you are one of "X" number of visual practitioners in a particular city or country who offer these professional services, helps justify you rates and establish your value.

Increasing global visibility for the profession

A global organization also provides increased visibility for the profession, which leads to more clients and more work for us as individuals. As members take advantage of opportunities to share content on the IFVP website and social media, to network and learn from other visual practitioners at the annual conference and at local gatherings, and to find mentors or take on leadership roles, members develop their individual professional reputations.
Perhaps the most apparent benefit of a diverse community to those who attended AustinTX 2015, however, is the improved learning environment. A diverse, global organization provides more opportunities for mentorship and support, for establishing best practices and helpful resources, as well as for creating connections that will lead to business development and referrals. Quite simply, there are more people to learn from, to be inspired by, and to admire.

Don't be intimidated. Be inspired!

In sum, the IFVP's global growth is more than a source of pride. Global growth provide us as an organization and as individuals with benefits such as improved innovation, growth, problem solving, financial stability and creativity; it lends us credibility and legitimacy; it increases our visibility and business opportunities; and it improves the quality of our learning environment and our work. We come together as a tribe because we share similar skills, interests, and business models, but we benefit from our differences, from our diversity.
IFVP President, Jenny Trautman, board members, and other leaders are focused on bringing the value of the IFVP's diversity to members by improving our internal and external communication, supporting our geographic growth, and clarifying our professional identity as visual practitioners to our clients. "Now is our time," Jenny said during her address to AustinTX 2015 conference attendees. Now is the time to remember that "strength lies in difference." 

News from the Board

Your IFVP board held an intensive strategic planning session in December. Building on the strategic vision the IFVP created in 2012, the board spent 15 ½ hours in meetings - sharing ideas, developing inspiring goals, and generating a surge of energy that will propel the organization well into the future. Your board is now dotting the i's and crossing the t's as we prepare to roll out the plans we drafted.
As we planned, we kept in mind that you are the heart of IFVP. IFVP is more than an awesome conference. IFVP is an international organization that represents the diverse profession of visual practitioners - you. So keep your eyes open and your tools at the ready. We are going to be asking you for help. You are not just the reason for the IFVP's success to date; you are also the reason why the IFVP will be successful in the years to come. IFVP is growing. IFVP is global. IFVP is visual practitioners. IFVP is you !

A big thank you to  Mark Korsak, our graphic recorder,  who did a fantastic job on very short notice recording the second day of the retreat and to Dayou Lu, our bookkeeper, who stayed with us through both days of planning.
Are you ready for your best year yet? Join us and let's make it happen. 

Member Spotlight
Claudia Lopez, New York City, USA 

What do you enjoy most about being a visual practitioner? 

The AHA! moment it creates when you (and others) are able to see things.

What inspired you to join the IFVP community? 

Being part of a community that is excited about creating change, positive impact, and helping others turn on their visual/right mind switch on! Plus, who doesn't want to be part of something this cool!?

What was your favourite food when you were a kid?

Quesadillas. And they still are. If I was told that I could only eat one thing for the rest of my life, it will be quesadillas, no doubt about it. 

What is one of your favourite quotes? 

"There is treasure everywhere" - Calvin, from Calvin & Hobbes

Gerauld Wong, Singapore

What do you enjoy most about being a visual practitioner? 

T he experience of putting to paper a visual, a concept or thought, or an experience, I could really explain any better with just words. And when the participants go, "Oh! so that's what it meant!", I knew I got it there.

What inspired you to join the IFVP community?

An opportunity to be in a community of like-minded people, who understands the power of visuals and want to bring the art form and "science" behind it to another level.

What was your favourite food when you were a kid?

The Yam Abacus Seeds! It's a chinese dish, traditionally eaten during the Chinese New Year (a rough equivalent of Thanksgiving and Christmas) amongst the ethnic Hakka dialect groups. Though I'm a Singaporean, and my roots are based in Singapore, the chinese traditions were still pretty strong in my generation growing up. The dish is sweet and savoury at the same time, and signifies wealth and abundance when eaten during the celebrations. (My mouth is watering as I'm writing this. Yum!!)

What is one of your favourite quotes?
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

- Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles"
Tanja Wehr, Gleichen, Germany

What do you enjoy most about being a visual practitioner?
I enjoy the moment, when people realize that visualization is not only nice looking, but also of benefit for them, their understanding and memory. I also like to reduce complexity to improve sustainability of information, when customers call weeks after the event and say: "I only see the little icon and the whole story is back in my mind." I adore the playful way we do it and the different people and topics I meet every time when I go for a new job. And a thousand more reasons!
What inspired you to join the IFVP community?
In Germany I am member of a team who organises two- or three monthly Vizthink Meetups in four cities so far but we don't have an "official network". When I started to be a visual practitioner I of course knew about the IFVP but it was always far away on another continent. But I knew from other German members how helpful and nice it is to be a part of the IFVP so I joined as well. This community is nice, creative and a friendly group of individuals. I've already made some great new contacts :)
What was your favourite food when you were a kid?
I really could eat mashed potatoes and carrots with the special german meatballs called Frikadelle all day long.
What is one of your favourite quotes?
The quote by Leonardo da Vinci: "The human being, creature of eyes, needs the image".

IFVP Conference News & Updates
Registration f or the IFVP Conference - DC 2016 is now open! No matter where you are from, how you apply visual techniques, or how long you have been a visual practitioner, the 2016 IFVP Conference is an event you will not want to miss.
There is nothing like being in a room full of people from around the world who work visually, who give generously, and who continuously raise the standard of professional excellence. 

Mark Your Calendar for IFVP DC 2016! 
July 30, 2016  August 2, 2106

You will leave with new ideas, new possibilities, new relationships, and new inspiration. 
Plus, the 2016 IFVP conference will take place in Arlington, Virginia, and the conference hotel is just three Metro stops from museums, monuments, and other Washington, DC attractions. Lonely Planet named Washington, DC its top destination worldwide for 2015: "[With] its hip neighborhoods, incredible eats, venerable performing arts scene and iconic museums,...the US capital is looking more epic than ever."

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