International Association of Facilitators
The International Association of Facilitators (IAF)is a professional association that promotes, supports, and advances the art and practice of professional process facilitation. It was founded in 1994 in the United States and is now a global organization with seven regions - Africa, Asia, Canada, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, Oceania, and the United States – which holds annual regional conferences and publishes a research journal and newsletters. In 2011, IAF began creating local chapters. The organization is led by a board of directors elected annually and representing all IAF regions.
The first annual IAF conference, "The Art and Mastery of Facilitation", attracted 278 people to Denver in January 1995. Forty-five sessions in three tracks included the first sessions on Computer Supported Facilitation. The first IAF General Membership meeting was held and Peggy Bushee Services in St. Paul (Minnesota) was chosen to become the official IAF office.
The second conference, held in January 1996 in Dallas, Texas, attracted 384 participants to take part in 54 sessions in four tracks. Using participatory strategic planning, all participants developed IAF's plan for the next decade. During 1996, the IAF website was created and work began on developing the IAF journal, Group Facilitation: A Research and Applications Journal.
In the fall of 1996, a conference was held in the Netherlands– the first conference outside the United States – and links began with local facilitator groups that were springing up around the world. More than 400 people attended the third annual IAF conference, "Discovery Along Wisdom Pathways: The Art and Mastery of Facilitation", held January 1997 in Tulsa (Oklahoma). Topics discussed included facilitation as a profession and facilitator competencies, on which extensive work would be done over the next few years.
During 1997, an IAF Europe/Africa Conference was held in London (England), with 70 participants from England, Belgium, Netherlands, Scotland, South Africa, Kenya, and Israel, who shared practices and learned new techniques and models during 17 concurrent sessions. In the spring of 1997, IAF adopted Grp-Facl as its electronic discussion group, allowing facilitators around the world to communicate virtually.
- American Society for Quality’s Human Leadership and Development Division, Association for Quality and Participation, and International Association of Facilitators (2002). Basic Facilitation Skills.
- Chapman, Richard (2011). Reflections on the history of professional process facilitation. e-Organisations and People 18(3), Autumn 2011: 13-20.
- Schuman, Sandor. (ed) (2010). The handbook for working with difficult groups: how they are difficult, why they are difficult and what you can do about it. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
- Schuman, Sandor. (ed) (2006). Creating a Culture of Collaboration: The International Association of Facilitators Handbook. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
- Schuman, Sandor. (ed) (2005) The IAF Handbook of Group Facilitation: Best Practices from the Leading Organization in Facilitation. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass
- Umpleby, Stuart & Oyler, Alisa. (2003). A global strategy for human development: the work of the Institute of Cultural Affairs. Paper prepared for the annual meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences Heraklion, Crete, Greece, July 7-11, 2003
- University at Albany, State University of New York, and International Association of Facilitators (1998). Special Report: The 1996-1997 Survey of Group Facilitators.