A summary document of the first findings from this exercise on the future needs of the profession is now available online.

Landscape Institute
Landscape Institute adds website section on The Conversation

In the summer of 2012 the Landscape Institute initiated a conversation, write Kate Bailey and Ian Houlston. The aim of this was to find out what members, students and affiliates think, and try to develop ideas that allow the Landscape Institute to look to the future needs of the profession.  The Conversation was expanded in scope earlier this year when the President, Sue Illman, wrote to each of the national and regional branches of the Institute to debate the issues relevant to their local membership.

This project, which is supported by Policy Committee and by the current and future presidents, Sue Illman and Noel Farrer, has a dedicated email address futurevision@landscapeinstitute.org.uk and at regular intervals items of interest, articles, updates and member contributions will be posted on this section of the website, in the News and Reviews mailer or in the Journal.

The first stage of The Conversation posed a number of questions about the future of the profession and asked for responses from members. Many of these contributions are long and thoughtful, and Policy Committee was delighted with the numbers and the quality of ideas and thoughts put forward. Since July all the responses have been recorded and sorted into a variety of themes.  A summary document has been collated and is available on the members’ section of the LI website  and a note of thanks has been sent by Sue Illman to all the contributors.

A wide range of views was expressed and the themes that emerged fall under several broad headings.  Over the next couple of years The Landscape Institute plans to debate the issues that the membership feels are important.

The contributions to The Conversation have already influenced a potential change of direction for the institute.  In September the Board of Trustees spent a day debating ways of raising the profile of the profession and came to the conclusion that the Vision and Mission Statement should be reviewed.  A revised Strategic Plan is now being drafted. This will inform and advise the annual Operational Plans and workplans for the various committees of the institute.

Contributions from members and articles relating to the future of the profession will be added, at intervals, to this section of the website.  Only those articles supplied for this purpose and that have the consent of the author will be published.

We would like to invite members to provide brief articles outlining their views.  We hope people will come up with outstanding, thought-provoking, radically different and potentially provocative thoughts about where the landscape profession could go in the future.  It would be particularly good to read ideas that reflect the interests of younger members.

As with many of the contributions The Conversation has attracted to date, we anticipate that there will be contradictory and diverse approaches and we know we are unlikely to achieve a consensus on any of the themes that are discussed. However, it’s important that the very wide range of views held by members is heard.  Therefore we would encourage everyone to add their voice to this debate.

With your help the Landscape Institute can maintain and enhance its influential and highly respected status and be seen by others as a thought-leader for the environmental and development professions.

This is a two way on-going conversation between members, and the channels of communication will remain open for two years via Talking Landscape and via email at futurevision@landscapeinstitute.org.uk

We look forward to taking The Conversation forward with you.

Kate Bailey and Ian Houlston are members of the Landscape Institute Policy and Communications Committee

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