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Towards an Organization that Truly Embraces Change

On June 10th from 1-5pm ET the American Institute of Architects will hold is election during the Annual Business Meeting. Below is the video and transcript for my Final Candidacy Speech for Director-at-Large.



I’m Ricardo Rodríguez, candidate for Director-at-Large. These past weeks, I’ve heard the issues affecting AIA leaders and members nationwide. A constant theme raised was the need to drive institutional change at many levels. Although change is discussed in the Strategic Plan, Knowledge Communities, and referenced in the Institute’s statements, there's little progress visible. I believe I am equally passionate and uniquely suited to help overcome these challenges.

Buckminster Fuller said, “You never change things by fighting against the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete.” The historical moment we are living in requires us to rise to the occasion now. The “we are working on this” discourse only puts more pressure on local leadership. Components expressed not having the adequate support required to face our goals around climate action, EDI, and providing value. In short, business-as-usual is holding us back. We can't expect to change the world for the better if we are not open to change our mindset towards member engagement and business transformation.

I believe the AIA is a powerful organization for professional growth, yet we could also shape it into a platform for business empowerment by:

  • Adopting a culture of open innovation, where we could invest in intellectual property and establish revenue-sharing opportunities.

  • Rethinking how we advocate beyond just policies by amplifying the underrepresented voices and formally recognizing alternative career paths.

  • Navigating change requires us to think beyond static toolkits and provide firms the digital resources urgently needed.

  • Demolishing the institutional roadblocks preventing access to the education and solutions required to bridge the gap in digital literacy.

I’ve spent several years now implementing partnerships and innovation programs globally. Being a bridge between two worlds requires me to lean on my 15+ years of architectural practice, AIA|DC leadership roles, and Strategic Council experience. Given my expertise in executing strategic and digital transformation efforts globally, I’m committed to advancing our organization in this evolution. Let’s signal an alternative to the traditional approaches that bind us to many disadvantages and demand an organization that genuinely embraces “the many.”

Again, I'm Ricardo Rodríguez, and I hope to count on your vote. Reach out to me via or LinkedIn for more.

Muchas gracias!

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