It takes input from everyone to make the institute work better for the profession

Some five years ago the RIBA embarked on a nationwide member consultation, and in December 2011, the RIBA Council agreed an ambitious vision that by 2017 the Institute would be recognised internationally as the leading authority on architecture and the built environment. In particular it would be known for excellence in the promotion of architecture, setting standards, stimulating innovation, sharing knowledge and demonstrating the economic, social and environmental benefits of good architecture. The resulting strategy, ‘Leading Architecture’ would gear up our impact over the five year period to 2016. Its five priority areas – clients, members, leadership, knowledge/innovation/culture, and business services – have informed our detailed business planning each year in fulfilment of the strategy.

I believe the strategy has enabled the promotion of architecture to a wider public, including through our re-built website, ­, and helped connect clients and architects via the new Find an ­Architect and RIBA for Clients. It has sustained and strengthened our policy work with local and national government and supported our members through the Local Initiative Fund for branches, ongoing education and membership reviews and our international work. Five year strategies are always subject to some shifts as organisations respond to changing circumstances. I recognise that more work is needed in respect of member communications and demonstrating the value of working with an architect; this work is continuing.


What would need to happen for the Institute to move from where we are now to where we should be in 2020?

Looking ahead
This brings me to the RIBA’s new strategy, which will take us to 2020. More than 20 workshops have taken place to gain opinions, insights and information regarding our members’ expectations, including international consultations in Hong Kong, Shanghai and the US. There is little doubt that our profession is likely to face significant change and opportunities over this period with the growing need to address climate change, digitalisation, increased internationalism, greater inclusivity, demographic changes. How should the RIBA respond to these challenges in support of the membership and the needs of the profession?

What would need to happen for the Institute to move from where we are now to where we should be in 2020? These are searching questions.
For those who were unable to attend the workshops, a structured online consultation remains live and I would urge you to contribute via

Grass roots contributions are essential if the future strategy is to establish the right priorities and achieve our shared ambitions.

First stage outcomes based upon insights from members, staff and students from the consultations will be debated in Council on 23 June. During July and early August, a working group comprising Jane Duncan, Harry Rich, Board and Council members and I will draft the new strategy for discussion and agreement by the Board and Council on 3 and 24 September respectively, and for subsequent dissemination and implementation.

I would like to thank all those who contributed to lively discussions in the consultation process and to the future of the Institute.

Resilient cities

Later this month the RIBA and the Commonwealth Association of Architects is running a two-day summit on Designing City Resilience. The event brings together speakers from architecture, academia and business to discuss the key role that architecture and urban design can play in helping create more resilient communities in the UK and around the world. 

16-17 June, 66 Portland Place. Details at