This is the time of year when we often reflect on past efforts and make plans for future ones. Last year marked the successful transition of the National Charrette Institute (NCI) to Michigan State University (MSU)—continuing NCI’s legacy of high-quality charrette trainings and consulting services. As the new director of NCI, I am looking ahead to 2018 and beyond and making plans for a bright future. But, before I do that I would be remiss not to look back at where NCI has been and come from, and acknowledge the efforts that led to this point.
Thanks to Bill Lennertz, Aarin Lutzenheiser and the NCI Board of Directors for laying such a strong foundation for the organization and programs moving forward into the future, and for their diligence in ensuring success through the transition to MSU. Many thanks also go to former interim director, Wayne Beyea, and administrators and faculty within the School of Planning, Design and Construction and MSU Extension who guided NCI into MSU this year and set it up for success.
In 2017, NCI and partners conducted 10 trainings with 249 participants, resulting in 177 new certificate holders and 10 potential new trainers. All of these trainings consistently receive high evaluation reviews. In the summer, the Charrette System online course was launched and nearly 20 persons have taken advantage of this new format to learn the NCI Charrette System. Several partnerships were continued, including work with the American Planning Association (APA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to pilot a charrette-style process for floodplain management and the General Services Agency (GSA).
As I take the helm of NCI and usher it into a new era, I am excited about the coming year and the new possibilities ahead. Now situated in a land grant university, NCI has the opportunity to more easily collaborate and partner with the Extension network and reach broad impact. With MSU being a top-notch research institution, NCI can be involved in research that validates the theory and practice of the NCI Charrette System, while enhancing research program efficacy.
And as always, NCI will continue the legacy of high-quality training products and services with expanded opportunities to tap into new markets. We are excited to continue existing partnerships that enable us to offer our annual trainings in Miami (Mar. 22-24, 2018) and Harvard (July 23-25, 2018), with additional training opportunities to be announced soon.
As we move into 2018, I look forward to continued relationships, as well as fostering new ones, to help move our communities towards Collaboration by Design.