We had a blast at this year’s 2017 AIA Conference in Orlando with seven staff members speaking about six different topics. We were also honored to accept an AIA COTE Top Ten Award and AIA Honors for Interior Architecture for our George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, and thrilled to see Andrea Love receive the 2017 AIA Young Architect Award!
In addition to our sessions, we enjoyed attending many of the other great sessions organized at the event this year. Michelle Obama’s first post-White House speaking engagement did not disappoint! She spoke about her transition to private life after leaving the White House, the importance of investing in our cities, supporting education for children and flexibility for women in the workforce. She shared her personal story of advocating for herself in terms of an increase in salary and flexible work hours as a working mother trying to balance it all. One thing she said which stood out to us was, “Education, to my mind, is key to giving women the voice, the structure, the strategy, the tools to improve their conditions. Because if you change the life of a woman, you change the life of a community, a family, a nation.”
As the closing keynote, Amy Cuddy ended the conference on a strong, inspiring note with her talk on power. She explained the thinking of the power-pose which teaches people to be present and confidently affects their behavior. Amy told the audience her story of her biggest challenge and how in the critical moment she gave the worst Elevator Pitch in the history of elevator pitches. She explained how this taught her the need of power and how approaching a challenge with self-doubt and anxiety is not being present. Presence reveals itself when we believe our story, convey confidence without arrogance and communicate harmoniously.
It was an exciting, fun and invigorating few days. We’ve pulled together some our top tweets from sessions we led to sessions we loved and everything in between. How was your conference experience?