By Sam Olbekson, AIA, NOMA, AIA Minnesota President

As a community of design professionals we learn every day, often when we least expect it. The curiosity that drives us to be designers and problem solvers offers endless opportunities to gain valuable knowledge and insight into how we can grow individually and as a profession to better serve our communities. Our collective knowledge comes from a vast range of experiences from working on projects in our own neighborhoods throughout Minnesota, to projects of all types and sizes throughout the world. We serve a wide range of clients from small non-profit organizations excited about the seed of an idea but with no idea where to begin, to experienced developers with a clear set of expectations for process and results. Our varied professional and personal experiences create an important and valuable knowledge base. 
The real value of this collective wisdom is when it is shared and when that knowledge directly impacts and inspires our actions. Lessons learned through our success and failures offer an important opportunity for our profession to have meaningful conversations about how we can better serve our communities, build stronger firms, and create a more connected professional community. How do we create more effective opportunities to share this knowledge and learn from each other? What resources can AIA Minnesota offer to create space for important conversations and meaningful dialogue that can help us leverage our knowledge? 
I invite all of you to be part of this conversation through active participation in our professional community. As AIA Minnesota president I have had the opportunity to engage more deeply in the work of the organization and have seen that our strength depends on the commitment, participation, and collective leadership of our members. Coming together as a community of design professionals and turning individual experiences into shared knowledge through important committee work, community events, conferences, and other service-based work is critical to the success of the organization. We are all related as design professionals, and there are many opportunities to share, teach, listen, and collectively lead to better serve our communities.

View the March 2023 edition of Matrix.