By Gisele Hamm
The Community Development Society Annual International Conference held in Lexington last month truly lived up to its ‘Creativity and Culture’ theme, thanks to the outstanding contributions of the Local Host Committee, artists, presenters, and participants! If you were able to join us in Lexington, I hope you came away from the conference re-energized and excited about the opportunities in the field of community development. We have posted the Powerpoint presentations, President’s Remarks, and links to photos from the 2015 conference on the CDS website so I would encourage you to check them out.
As the new President of the Community Development Society, I appreciated the ideas, feedback, and words of encouragement that so many of you shared, and am inspired by the desire expressed by many, including our new and international members, to get involved in the Society. CDS is YOUR organization, and member involvement is key to making CDS an enriching and engaging network for the membership. I would like to encourage every CDS member to join at least one of our committees this year. Participation in a committee does not require a great deal of time or effort, but is a rewarding experience, a great way to network with other members, and serves to strengthen the Society. Please take some time to review the CDS Committees information and contact the chair of the committee(s) of interest to join.
For the 325 participants who attended the 2015 CDS Conference in Lexington, a conference evaluation form is available here. Your input will provide valuable insight for the 2016 Community Development Society and the International Association for Community Development Joint International Conference to be held July 17-20, 2016, in Bloomington, Minnesota, USA. Next year’s conference theme is: Sustaining Community Change: Building Local Capacity to Sustain Development Initiatives. The Program Planning Committee and Local Host Committee are already in the midst of conference planning and preparations, and next year’s conference promises to be one you will not want to miss. If you have not already, I would encourage you to “like” the 2016 Community Development Society Conference Facebook page to stay informed of exciting 2016 conference details as they develop.
I look forward to my term as CDS President this year, and would love to hear the ideas, concerns, or comments you might have for the Society, so please don’t hesitate to contact me. Also, I would encourage you to get engaged in the various CDS social media sites if you have not already to network and increase your level of involvement in the Society. We are on Facebook (Public Group (here) / Community Page (here)), LinkedIn (here), and Twitter (here).
Let’s make this the Community Development Society’s best year yet!