Update from IAF Chair

21 April 2020

April 2020 has been a challenge for all of us who make our living by bringing people together. The IAF community has united around the challenge by supporting clients and each other to make the transition too new ways of facilitation that COVID-19 has made necessary.

What has inspired me personally is how we have created webinars, virtual sessions, the sharing of best practices and content, and the creation of friendships from all parts of the globe. Your willingness to help each other and share your time and expertise is what makes our community so special and unique.

In the email of 11th March I encouraged our members and facilitation community to focus on 3 key areas (Virtual facilitation, Connect and Communicate, and Continuing Professional Development). Whilst it has been inspiring to see all of you connecting, communicating and collaborating, especially in developing virtual facilitation skills, it is important to look at your overall professional development goals.

We have had debates, discussions and decisions among the teams behind our main IAF initiatives and here are four that I would like to share with you.


Global Facilitation Summit

After many weeks of carefully monitoring COVID-19 developments, including guidance from public health authorities and also looking at the continued business impact on our members, their businesses, and our potential sponsors, it has become clear that the Global Facilitation Summit which had been scheduled for 27-30 October, 2020, must be postponed.

The global board along with the extremely hard working summit organizing team have decided to move it to October 2021. For those of you who have already registered and booked travel, we will be communicating with you separately. We have been exploring how to keep the event momentum with virtual sessions in Facilitation Impact Week that we hope will be inspiring, inclusive and impactful.

This has not been an easy decision but seems to be the most sensible one given the ongoing circumstances we all find ourselves in. We are very grateful for the support we’ve received as we thoroughly explored every option to deliver this year’s event in some form and even explored a fully virtual, multi-hub summit. We know how much our global community looks forward to coming together to learn and the board valued the opportunity to collaborate and connect with all of you and we want to keep the opportunity to socially connect and not physically distance at such an event.

From all of the IAF Global Board we would like to thank the summit organizing team for all their hard work, time and energy and look forward to a fantastic event in 2021.

The summit team have compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) which can be found here.


Facilitation Impact Awards

Facilitators around the world are adapting quickly to help organisations transform their collaborative engagement processes from face-to-face in a physical space to face-to-face in a virtual space. In these challenging and uncertain times it is comforting to know that one thing will always be certain: #FACILITATIONHASIMPACT. The International Association of Facilitators (IAF) has been promoting the power of facilitation for 25 years.

We know that facilitators who embrace our Code of Ethics and practice the IAF Core Competencies are well-equipped to help organisations harness the wisdom of groups to achieve results, change and progress. If your organisation has used facilitation to make a measurable impact in the last two years, this is a great time to submit your story for a Facilitation Impact Award by 31 May 2020 and share the impact your facilitation has made. For information on eligibility and criteria see Facilitation Impact Award Guidelines on our website.


Sharing Tools & Experiences

In my email of 11th March I had encouraged our members and facilitation community to focus on 3 areas (Virtual facilitation, Connect and Communicate, and Continuing Professional Development). Our page on Making Virtual Facilitation a Success has been guiding our industry and offering many online events – if you would like to host an event, please contact us at office@iaf-world.org.

We would also encourage you to publish methods and processes you have used into our Methods Library. There is much we can do in writing and increasing the awareness of the profession and practice of professional facilitation and your voice can help make it happen.


Our IAF Mentoring Programme

In 2019 we launched The IAF Mentoring Programme, and found that it was a valuable experience for mentors and mentees alike. Building on the programme’s success, we are running another cycle – if you are looking for support, experienced mentors from around the world are here for you.

Besides having someone on your side to discuss your challenges, aspirations, and business the programme is a step towards the IAF Endorsed™ Facilitator credential. The programme runs for a fixed period of 6 months, and applications have just opened. If you have been considering becoming a Certified Professional Facilitator (CPF) or already are one and are considering deepening your practice – without travel –you can find information on the programme on our website.

So moving forwards your Regional Directors, along with several other members (including some from the Summit team and global board), are currently working on developing an exciting series of events both virtual and possible regional and local face to face learning opportunities as the lockdown slowly starts lifting across the world.

We still have the International Facilitation Week 19th – 25th October which we will use as a significant opportunity to stay engaged, develop professionally and build our professional community.

Stay tuned for more news on this. In the meantime thank you for your patience and understanding and stay safe.

Thank you to all our members for everything you do.

Vinay Kumar
International Association of Facilitators (IAF)