IFI President's Update:
IFI: Transitioning for Greater Relevance

in action:
Reshaping together our professional organization


During the past 5 years, we have transitioned IFI from an International body into an ever larger global community. By so doing, we have commensurately increased the work load, expense, expectations, demands and exposure of today’s IFI – and the discipline it represents.

As we have reflected on our past 50 years and dreamt of the many possibilities for an ever relevant future, we have consistently arrived at an awareness for an urgent need for reform. Apart from the fact that this past decade brought massive change in cultural and societal behaviors with resultant change in professional processes, the changes in our global economy and digital technologies have also dictated new methods of engagement and professional practice with shorter deadlines, tighter budgets and need for multidisciplinary and collaborative approaches. These changes have impacted the purpose of both the national and world associations, which now must deliver knowledge and connectivity in ways not done before.

These changes must become reflected in a current and vital organization at IFI for us to remain relevant to our era, the profession, and the people we serve.

Introducing the IFI Strategic Planning Committee

Instinct and Reason is a full service research and engagement consultancy that helps its clients
to move forward into the future with confidence.


On a practical and operational level at IFI, our need for change was made especially poignant with the resignations of our two consecutive incoming presidents, who both underscored the fact that without a new and more sustainable structure, the next leaders of IFI are no longer in a position to take on the ever increasing demands of IFI as a not-for-profit business while maintaining their own professional practice This has required of the Executive Board to ask fundamental questions around the IFI structure of a hands-on volunteer ExCom and Executive Board modal, which performs the day to day responsibility of all IFI operations. For our continuity and stability, this cumbersome structure must be re-assessed and modified. For this purpose and after much consideration, in March 2013, the Executive Board convened and appointed an independent committee we call the IFI Strategic Planning Committee (IFI SPC).

The IFI SPC has been formed as part of the 50th year review of IFI. It is comprised of distinguished Past Presidents from our Parliamentary Council, the incumbent President, a Regional Leader from Europe, along with a long standing Business Consultant to IFI from South East Asia and Oceania. These esteemed leaders are recognized for their contribution to the profession and to IFI over the past decades.

This group will conduct a thorough review of the existing organizational structure of IFI, the current membership and the wider IFI community which also includes, the public, government, practitioners, industry and academia. The IFI SPC will explore a number of alternative models to ensure continuity and stability to arrive at a vibrant, 21st Century model that will be financially viable, sustainable and relevant for an International Peak Body for the profession. With full input from you, our members, this committee will also review the nomenclature of IFI.

David Donnelly
Director Instinct and Reason
Head of Australian Consulting

Complete the important 12 minute SURVEY to help us identify your needs and wants

Look for this in your in-box within the next few days!

2011-2013 IFI
Executive Board



Past President’s Young Baek Min (South Korea), Des Laubscher (South Africa) and Madeline Lester (Australia) – who as the Chair of our Parliamentary Council is also the Chair of the SPC. Our external members are Iria Degen (Switzerland) – a former member of the IFI Articles Review Committee and Bill Richards – an HR and business strategy expert from Australia. Supporting this effort is David Donnelly, head of the consulting firm of Instinct and Reason.

Mr. Donnelly will assist us in understanding the ways in which we can effectively position IFI for the future. To this end he has been involved in corporate brand positioning and communications research work with a wide range of Government and commercial organizations.

In the next few days you may receive a survey with the express purpose of obtaining your valuable input. With your continued support in filling out and submitting this survey you will help us to further IFI’s commitment to raise awareness, heighten excellence and expand the contribution of the Interior Architecture/Design Profession globally. Most importantly, we aspire for a nimble, dynamic and culturally sustainable and essential organization which continues to provide value and benefit to you and our profession.

Also of note is the fact that given the out-of-our-control cancellation of our November GA/ IDA Congress, in discussion and agreement with the IFI SPC, we have determined a postponed extraordinary GA in order to capture some additional time for greater thoroughness. The IFI GA will be scheduled for April/May of 2014. More on this later.

I look forward to a constructive discussion about IFI’s future and our best ways to achieve that. The board appreciates the support and positive reactions and feedback we have already had from many of our members, professional community at large and our past presidents.


IFI and the UN
The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization whose stated aims include promoting and facilitating international cooperation, economic development, social progress, human rights, and civil rights.

IFI, often considered as the “UN” of the Interiors profession, connects the international community in order to further the impact, influence and application of the design of interiors, promote global social responsibility, and raise the status of the profession worldwide.

What do you think of this association? Please me/us know your thoughts.


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