Preconference Learning Program*

*Separate registration fee applies


Thursday, April 13 from 2 – 3:30 pm (via Zoom)
Sunday, April 16 from 10:30 am – 12:30 pm (in-person at ELEVATE)

The Six Toughest Decisions Association Boards Must Make

As association boards and chief staff executives continue to navigate The Turbulent Twenties and seek the opportunity for their organizations to thrive, they will need to make a series of six tough decisions to anticipate and adapt to the unforgiving conditions ahead. While none of these decisions will be a panacea for addressing the wicked problems facing the association community, its organizations, or their stakeholders and successors, they are direct and immediate challenges on which boards, in concert with their staff partners, must focus their attention to begin nurturing the habits of mind required to guide their organizations into an uncertain future.

This high-impact masterclass invites the participation of both association board directors/officers and chief staff executives in a multi-part learning experience designed to build new individual and collective capacity and begin the process of setting a higher standard of stewardship, governing, and foresight [SGF] in the association community.

Four-Part Masterclass

Part 1  |  April 3-12  |  Advance Preparation Period (self-study/asynchronous)
During the ten days prior to the Zoom session, Masterclass participants will review a series of four 30-minute online presentations that will deliver learning content on 1) the overarching conditions association boards must confront for the rest of The Turbulent Twenties and the early 2030s, 2) critical considerations and dilemmas of the six toughest decisions, and 3) the thinking and practice of stewardship, governing, and foresight [SGF] association boards can adopt to become fit-for-purpose.

Part 2  |  April 13  |  2 - 3:30 pm (PDT):  Zoom Session
Following an opening overview of the asynchronous content, association board directors/officers and chief staff executives will have the opportunity to ask questions and raise specific issues for discussion. At the conclusion of the Zoom session, participants will receive advice and guidance on how they can begin addressing the six toughest decisions to build fit-for-purpose association boards.

Part 3  |  April 16  |  10:30 am - 12:30 pm (PDT):  In-person Session, Preconference @ ELEVATE
During the in-person session, association chief staff executives (and any interested board directors/officers) will have the opportunity to do a deeper dive into how making the six toughest decisions can build fit-for-purpose association boards. This session will be a safe exploratory space during which participants can raise any question, concern, or issue for discussion. At the conclusion of the in-person session, participants will receive a 90-day roadmap they can use to make meaningful progress in addressing the six toughest decisions and will be asked to partner with at least one other association to provide mutual support.

Part 4  |   June 14  |  2-3:30 pm (PDT):  Sixty-Day Zoom Session
The sixty-day check-in session will be an opportunity for Masterclass participants to share their progress with their learning colleagues, ask questions, and seek out additional advice, guidance, and support.


Jeff De Cagna FRSA FASAE, Executive Advisor, Foresight First LLC

 Jeff is an association contrarian, foresight practitioner, governing designer, stakeholder/successor advocate, and stewardship catalyst. He is the 32nd recipient of ASAE’s Academy of Leaders Award, the association’s highest individual honor given to consultants or industry partners in recognition of their support of ASAE and the association community. Jeff is an author, speaker and advisor for associations and non-profit organizations. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (UK) and a Fellow of ASAE.


*Separate registration fee applies  |  $75 member/non-member
Volunteer board officers/directors are complimentary for the virtual Zoom session on April 13.

Attendees must be registered for ELEVATE Conference to be eligible to attend.