IAF Update April 2016

Chair's corner

What were you thinking and feeling after the Brussels attacks? As my best thoughts and prayers go out to those mourning their personal bereavements and loss, I could not help but think that our world is engaged in what the US political theorist Samuel Huntington in 1992 referred to as a clash of civilizations. At the heart of this clash is really a confrontation of ideas and beliefs, that ultimately carries a deep impact on how we will live as fellow humans.

There are forces at play in the world which threaten to destroy democratic values and their foundation of inclusion and participation. What’s common about these forces is that they privilege one way of life, one dominant pattern of thinking and one belief system at the expense of all other views and perspectives.

Against this backdrop, the IAF represents a force for good at this time because of our values of inclusivity and openness. At the heart of what we do as facilitators is to help organizations, communities and groups make breakthroughs in their respective gridlocked situations. Our stance as ethical and neutral facilitators enable us to be accepted by different stakeholders. Our process design skills and eye provide these stakeholders with the opportunity to be heard and seen, where previously they may have been censored and ignored. Finally, our facilitation skills and tools give the basis for different ideas to emerge from diverse voices in conversation and for mutual learning to surface that can inform further collective action.

The need that the world has for skilled facilitation is clear and present; the challenge is whether as an association we can be in time to meet this need over the coming days, months and years. As Chair, I am aware of the many good things that members in our different regions and chapters are doing to promote awareness and benefits of facilitation through their work.

The board and I are working to develop a strategy map for the IAF that will guide the alignment, development and review of strategic thrusts and programs that will maximize and grow our association’s capacities for a bigger footprint and deeper impact in this troubled world. When the first version of that map is rolled out, we will be looking to engage your best thinking on it this year and through the rest of 2016-2017, to invite your participation in various task forces and working groups as we move into implementation of some key thrusts and programs.

As we prepare for action, this time is about learning and growing in strength and one way to do so is to be in community. Reach out to a chapter near you and participate in its activities. It is my conviction that together, we can help sustain each other and help make the breakthroughs that our world needs!


Noel E K Tan, CPF
IAF Chair, 2016-2017

In this issue

Upcoming Assessments

Considering to become an IAF Certified™ Professional Facilitator? Here are our upcoming assessment dates:

  • April 6 in Port of Prince, Trinidad & Tobago (application closed)
  • May 23-24 in Melbourne, Australia (application closed)
  • June 20-21 in Singapore (application closed)
  • August 30-31 in Hualien, Taiwan (in Mandarin; apply by May 30)

All assessment dates

Facilitation Impact Awards 2016

Which facilitative events have you seen or been part of recently that deserve recognition? Your nominations are important to the success of the IAF Facilitation Impact Awards – the most prestigious international awards honouring excellence in facilitation and its positive, measurable impact on organizations around the world.

The nomination window will begin in June. To implement the FIA 2016 initiative, we will also need volunteers in a variety of capacities including marketing, application evaluation, award design and management, etc. For further information, please contact Don Kerper.

IAF Chapter News

The IAF now has 35 chapters around the world! These organizations offer invaluable opportunities for face-to-face networking and professional development. See the complete list of chapters. 

IAF Finland Chapter approved

We are delighted to announce that the IAF Finland Chapter is now established. The chapter chair is Piritta Kantojärvi and supported by Mirjami Sipponen-Damonte, the Chapters Co-ordinator across the EMENA region. The Finland Chapter activities plan for 2016 includes social media participation, pop-up events, business visits and promoting facilitation in Finland during International Facilitation Week. We wish Piritta, Mirjami and the rest of the Chapter every success in promoting the power of facilitation in Finland and beyond.

Registering with a Chapter is easy!

Go to www.iaf-world.org and log into the member’s section (see purple tab in the upper right corner of the global website.) Then open the “my profile” tab and click on address information. You will find the Chapter listings under IAF Region.

Interested in creating a chapter? Contact your regional director or memberships@iaf-world.org

New issue of the IAF Journal

Group Facilitation: A Research and Applications Journal is a multi-disciplinary publication focused on the art and science of group facilitation. The aim of Group Facilitation is to advance our knowledge of group facilitation and its implications for individuals, groups, organizations, and communities. Issue 13 is now available for free for IAF members. 


  • The Virtuous Cycle of Social Support and Trust In Network Facilitation
  • Mindfulness for Group Facilitation: An Example of Eastern Philosophy in Western Organizations
  • Walking the Tightrope: A Case Study of Church Leadership Team Facilitation
  • Facilitator Withdrawal from Organizational Change Initiatives: A Review of Strategies and Guidelines
  • Deliberative Methods for Complex Issues: A Typology of Functions That May Need Scaffolding
  • Online Facilitator Competencies for Group Facilitators

Download the IAF Journal

Other new publications in IAF’s Knowledge Centre

Article: Agile Teams and Value Management by John Sloggy
Resource: Facilitation Tools Compilation by Jo Nelson
Article: How to be happier at work by Dr. Bee Leng Seo
Book: Change Or Die, The Business Process Improvement Manual by Terrence Metz
Article: Globalization - Japanese Style by Mr. Nobuyuki Ota
Book: Casting Call in the Theatre of Corporate Americaby Barry Shapiro
Article: Joining the patient on the path to customized prophylaxis by Helen Leask
Article: The Genesis of ideation and the places we go to have our best ideas by Giuseppe Boscherini

IAF Calendar April-May 2016

7-9 April | IAFNAC2016: Festival of Facilitation (Port of Spain, Trinidad)

Even if you can't fly in you can get a piece of the action by:

8-9 April | Russian Facilitators Conference 2016 (Moscow)​

18-21 April | IAF promotes the Power of Facilitation at IMEX Frankfurt

After last year's synergetic collaboration we will again be present at IMEX, the worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events.

Sean Blair will facilitate an Open Space on the future of associations on April 18th. IAF Germany will represent us with a booth at the exhibition. Help to increase the buzz by tweeting and liking everything #IMEX16 and #Facilitation or come along and visit booth B546 if you happen to be in Frankfurt from April 19-21!

21 April | Virtual Meeting Technology Center of Excellence meeting (6:30am CDT)

To participate, send an email about your interest, your experience in virtual technology, and what kind of role you’d like to play in this project to  Donald Kerper.

25 April | IAF US Region Virtual Meeting (1:30pm PDT, 4:30pm EDT)

  • Presentation “Clarifying Your Offer” by Larry Philbrook
  • Update on activities in the region and IAF globally by Donald Kerper, US Representative

25-27 May | IAF Oceania Conference: Pushing the Boundaries

Upcoming Conferences

1-4 September | IAF Asia Conference: From mountain to sea

30 September-1 October | IAF Kenya Conference: Participatory & inclusive development in Africa

7-10 October | IAF EMENA Conference: The urge to facilitate
Location announced! Kontakt der Kontinenten, Soesterberg