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More Non-profit technology for non-technologist ā€“ AI ā€“ Home !

It is important for the association community that non-technologist executives take a stronger and more proactive role in assimilating multiple technologies into the day-to-day operations of their associations. I write about technology not because Iā€™m a technologist, but precisely because I am not.

In earlier posts, I ask non-technologists not to fear technology, but to view it as strategy rather than simply tactical applications. As we approach the changing ecology in which the work of associations is actualized, the non-technologist executive must learn enough to ask the right questions, respectfully invest in technology, and bring the association community forcefully forward in the utilization of increasingly advanced technology.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an area that deserves thought and experimentation within the association community. No doubt many of us use Siri, Alexa, or Google Home Assistants. We watch in amazement as Amazon uses behavioral algorithms that consider and adapt to our likes and dislikes, while the association community is generally setting back on its hands. These are current examples of the impact of AI on our daily lives. You may be familiar with Elon Musk who launched a not-for-profit artificial intelligence research company, Open AI – – with a clear understanding that we must be careful about artificial intelligence yet open to how it may possibly improve the social sector.

Association executives cannot isolate themselves from the potential that artificial intelligence brings to the not-for-profit social good community. While the for-profit community is investing heavily in various forms of AI the not-for-profit community has barely begun to accept its responsibility in utilizing multiple forms of technology including advancements in artificial intelligence as a tool for good.

The association community, particularly its top executives, must learn enough to educate their boards, themselves, and their teams to invest responsibly in learning about and utilizing of AI and other rich forms of technology. We must speak about it. We must learn about it. We must promote it. We must invest in it.

It is time to ask an array of important questions about ourselves and the significant potential that AI brings to our ability to achieve our missions, become increasingly more sustainable, and determine opportunities to integrate AI for the long-term.

Here are a few questions:

  • Can we convert the large amount of information that we currently collect on our members, our disciplines, and our cause, and have that information converted into actionable data in support of our mission and goals?
  • What is the level of investment in learning about technologies, including AI, which we as association executives should take to heart and mind?
  • Can AI lead to enhanced capacities?
  • In our community, is AI a potential personnel enhancement?
  • Will AI make us more action oriented and less risk adverse?

Of course, there are many more questions, but these should help us begin this essential dialogue.

On June 27, 2017, association contrarian Jeff De Cagna of Foresight First LLC is presenting a briefing on AI for association decision-makers. You can find Jeff on LinkedIn and you can register for the briefing at This is a great opportunity for association boards and CEOs to learn more about the importance of AI and its growing impact on associations.

If you have thoughts on the subject or the importance of the non-technologist in bringing the association community to grips with the significance of technology in their operations and sustainable thinking, please let me know. I can be reached at:

It is important to be an action visionary, not just a visionary. ET asked to go home, not to just envision home. Learning the value of AI is a step in the direction of our new home. One where AI and other technologies enjoy being at home with us and we embrace their presence.