Volunteering: what's it like on the IAF Board?

01 Agosto 2017

Later this month, we'll be inviting nominations for IAF members to serve on the IAF Board in 2017-2018. We're looking for candidates for the following global positions:

  • Secretary
  • Director of Marketing and Partnerships
  • Director of Conferences and Events
  • Director of Communications.

New Regional Directors will be elected for Asia, Canada, Latin America and Europe & Middle East.

Ever wondered what it’s like on the IAF Board? We asked Mara Svenne to share her perspective.

What I love about it

I have been on the board for 2.5 years now, currently serving as Secretary. I’ve met great people - dedicated, professional and driven to serve our members. My fellow members live and breathe the power of facilitation worldwide.

Through getting to know my board colleagues - I’ve learned a little more about the diverse facilitation practices, and gained more insight in the diverse perspectives of members around the world. 

Ours is a working board and through the support of my board colleagues I have stretched myself to get involved in many initiatives, which has built my own confidence in my skills and talents.

Some of the challenges

All board members at times struggle to achieve the right balance between home life, work life and board work. I tend to go overboard with IAF work at times, because I am so interested in seeing our plans come to fruition. I am fortunate to have the loving support of my husband, who is always there for me, and our two kids.

It can be a challenge to honour the diverse perspectives of board members from across the regions - as the needs of members are different all over the world. However, we practice what we preach, and have moved into a good rhythm, where thoughts are shared, honoured, and consensus reached.

Because we are volunteers and achieving consensus across our diverse regions, it takes time to get our ideas implemented. I continue to learn to be patient, and I hope our members are getting value from the initiatives we have been able to implement in the last couple of years.

How can you help?

As the cliche says: ‘many hands make light work’. If you are interested in helping promote the power of facilitation worldwide, reach out to our office or your regional director to offer up your strengths and talents. You could serve on a committee, provide newsletter articles, serve your local chapter (or start one up), or consider running for a position on the board. You will find yourself along like-minded individuals - and your growth as a volunteer leader will pay itself back many times over.

IAF Editor