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What can the LI do to promote its aims without much spending?

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Act as a meeting place: by allowing its members to communicate. Why not enable branches to communicate with all their members: currently they can only email the proportion of their members who have chosen to receive email via My Landscape on the LI website. I am told London branch emails only go to 300 or so of the 1000+ members in Greater London and those emails have to be checked by an LI employee before they go out. The LI Northern Ireland branch reportedly has not been formed for the past three years. Furthermore, the Institute tells us that Branch representatives represent their region and may not discuss certain matters with Institute branch committees. Look at branch websites and they contain very little information. LI Connect has reduced numbers of members contributing  (360) compared with Talking Landscapes and has far less functionality. Why? No engagement of LI Officers, why not?

Advisory Council could work effectively: since governance was given to the Board of Trustees in 2009 Council has been rarely listened to by the Board of Trustees. A typical tactic is for Board members to abstain from a vote and then ignore a motion passed by Council. The three Standing Committees should report on their work to Council as happened to about 2016. Too often it seems the Council is broken up to consider items with little of no preparation. The group then report an off the cuff opinion and then nothing happens. 

Set up overseas branches in the Middle East and Far East. The RIBA and RICS have branches world-wide. ASLA has an International Practice Professional Practice Network. The Landscape Institute used to have a branch in Hong Kong (which led to the present HK ILA). A Middle Eastern and Far Eastern branch could support members in those regions and in particular support Associate members on the Pathway to Chartership. 

Support the Pathway to Chartership more effectively:  for instance introduce candidates, who don’t work with a CMLI, to mentors. The former Talking Landscapes regularly used to receive requests from members based in China and the Middle East to find mentors. LI Connect has reduced numbers of members contributing  (360) compared with Talking Landscapes and has far less functionality. Why? No engagement of LI Officers, why not?

Act on the independent review: carry out its recommendations. The Institute website states " The Steering Group will be providing regular updates throughout 2021 and 2022". The first progress report was to be made in late August 2021. Nothing appears on the LI webpage. What has happened since. Has the Independent Review been forgotten? Catherine Brown made 37 proposals for change on 19 January 2021: two years later little appears to have happened. 

Promote education: The RIBA recognises nine Masters apprenticeships, and two Bachelors apprenticeships (and is in conversation with nine other universities) the LI recognises one A level standard (i.e. H.E. level 3) Technician apprenticeship delivered with Capel College. Is there a shortage of landscape architects in the UK or not?

No public sector network, no specialisms, nowt on LI Connect? LVIA was proposed by Paul Reynolds on LI Connect on 11 August 2021: with a response from the LI Connect administrator and the setting up of an LVIA group and a flurry of activity which seems to have ended in June 2022? Charlotte Williams proposed a group on Landscape Character Assessment on 11 August 2021:no response. Why nothing for ethnic minority Landscape Architects? Look at the LI Connect for March 2023 (or for April and May) and it lists no events. 

Be transparent: the Institute is far far too secretive.

Promote the Landscape Institute collections: the Institute donated its Library and Archives to the Museum of English Rural Life at University of Reading in 2013. The MERL has done a good job of supporting and enabling the material (ref. https://merl.reading.ac.uk/collections/landscape-institute/ ) but its annual grant to The MERL has fallen to £10,00 par annum from £30,000 ten years ago. When it maintained its collection before 2009 it used to spend c.£70,000 a year on its collections. But some actions would cost the Institute nothing, for example give permission for The MERL to place Landscape Design and earlier versions of the journal on JSTOR, why not?



Edited by Robert Holden
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LI Connect is not being promoted by the LI, no link on the website or in Vista. I bet some people don't know it exists, and it's very hard to engage with. I've tried to sign up to be notified of new content but that seems hit and miss; I haven't been notified of this post just stumbled upon it when signing in for another reason.

Completely agree about branches needing to be able to email members - their hands are behind their backs at the moment. I understand we have to think about GDPR, but surely 'opting in' to the LI should be enough to opt you in to local branch comms automatically, the local branches are one of the benefits to membership. At present, hardworking volunteers are being asked to jump through more hoops than necessary, and their work is less rewarding because they can't get in touch with the majority of their membership! LI central needs to cut some red tape and trust branch committees with their own email lists.

@Jane Findlay @Ruhela Begum @Paul Lincoln @Elizabeth Blackledge @Ahlyah Ali @Benjamin Brown I tried to tag to tag Sue Morgan and Noel Farrar, also various of the relevant LI staff team, who don't appear to be on here, which is telling.

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