Pre-conference Exploration Labs

Pre-conference Exploration Labs additional fee

Kick off your Annual Meeting learning with one of five highly interactive and collaborative learning workshops. These timely sessions will help you put your organization and your professional development journey on the right path forward.

additional fee = Separate registration required. 

Innovating in Tough Times
Innovation for Purpose
Building Your Anticipatory Governance Capacity
The Association C-suite: Is it Really in Your Future?
Innovation and Generative AI


Innovating in Tough Times: An Afternoon for CEOs  

Saturday, August 5 
1:30 - 4:30 p.m. 

In a time of economic challenge, contracting engagement, and tremendous political and social division, the temptation to hunker down and avoid potential conflicts can be strong. And yet these are the very times when innovation and the ability to lead change are most needed. However, mature organizations, including many associations, struggle to innovate as core audiences suffocate new projects, we try to scale projects too quickly, and innovation theater (as opposed to meaningful innovation) proliferates. The key to avoiding these traps is building a sustainable, integrated system for running business experiments at pace and scale, and, as leaders, mastering a new set of leadership skills.

In this interactive session, you’ll learn about the nonobvious causes of innovation failure, the principles leaders can use today to turn their organizations into apex innovators and why it is more important now than ever. Surprising and entertaining examples from Apple, Amazon, Best Buy, Harley-Davidson, Lego, and the US military are used to illustrate these principles. Safi will answer any questions you may have about how your association can apply these ideas in practice.

PLEASE NOTE: Included in your registration is access to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights (NCCHR) - which is a 5 block walk from the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC). ASAE will also provide transportation to/from for attendees who prefer not to walk. Please see the following shuttle bus times below:

  • Depart GWCC to NCCHR at 12:30 p.m. and 1:00 p.m.
  • Depart NCCHR to GWCC at 4:45 p.m and 5:00 p.m.

Safi Bahcall 

safi bachall

Safi is a second-generation physicist, a biotech entrepreneur, and former public-company CEO. 

He received his BA summa cum laude from Harvard and his PhD in physics from Stanford, where he worked with Lenny Susskind in particle physics (the science of the small) and the Nobel laureate Bob Laughlin in condensed matter physics (the science of the many). He was a Miller Fellow in physics at UC Berkeley (the school of the many). 

After working for three years as a consultant for McKinsey, Safi co-founded a biotechnology company developing new drugs for cancer. He led its IPO and served as its CEO for 13 years. 

Loonshots, Safi’s first book, has been translated into 21 languages and was selected as a best business book of the year by Amazon, Bloomberg, Financial Times, Forbes, Inc., the Washington Post and more. 

Safi advises CEOs and leadership teams on strategy and innovation, and has delivered keynote presentations at industry conferences, investor events, leadership retreats, medical meetings, and leading academic institutions around the world. He lives with his wife and two children in Washington, DC. 


Innovation for Purpose: Strategically Engage Your Industry to Drive Social Impact!

Saturday, August 5 
1:30 - 4:30 p.m. 

In a discerning marketplace, your members and other stakeholders may be evaluating how your association meets their needs and delivers social impact to the industry, profession, and/or discipline your association represents. Strategically positioning your association as a leader in your industry and helping to navigate disruptions are crucial to delivering unique value and distinguishing yourself from similar organizations.

Framed by the ASAE Research Foundation study, Becoming an Effective Innovation Catalyst, this session will address “external innovation,” or how associations can help their industry effectively manage change and become more resilient to disruptors. To do so, associations must understand the role(s) their association plays, the necessary organizational culture and capabilities, and the effective strategies and practices needed.

Learn what it takes—the Culture, capabilities, strategies, resources, and tools—to innovate for purpose and leave with an implementation plan to propel your organization to the next level.

Preet Bassi, CAE, chief executive officer, Center for Public Safety Excellence Inc
Josh Goldman CAE, director, consulting services, Tagoras
Elizabeth Lucas, MBA, CAE, Alta Vista Group


Building Your Anticipatory Governance Capacity: A Foresight Integration Master Class

Saturday, August 5 
1:30 - 4:30 p.m. 

You’ve heard about foresight as a critical leadership competency and understand the philosophy behind futures-thinking. But how do you move from concept to practice? Working from case studies, walk through practical exercises to lead your association from awareness of potential changes to actively engaging with your volunteer leaders, staff, members, and other constituents to create the positive outcomes you desire for your association. Explore where to begin your foresight journey, how to move through integration, and how to establish routines to drive regular future-oriented discussions to inform your strategic and operational planning cycles.

Kristine Metter, CAE, president, Crystal Lake Partners
Lindsay Currie, CAE, executive officer, Council on Undergraduate Research
Denise Roosendaal FASAE, CAE, executive director, Institute for Credentialing Excellence


The Association C-suite: Is it Really in Your Future?

Saturday, August 5 
1:30 - 4:30 p.m. 

The past three years have resulted in significant shifts in the world of work, leaving many association professionals reconsidering their career paths. Have you considered finding a position in the C-suite? Careful introspection and networking with experienced leaders can help guide you to your next fulfilling and successful career move. Learn about the important questions anyone should consider before entering the C-suite by assessing your readiness to lead and pulse on your own social-emotional self-understanding. Uncover what you need to compete successfully, and understand how "know thyself" is even more important than knowing about the organization with whom you interview.

Content Leaders:

Tammy Dillard-Steels MPH, MBA, CAE
Richard Yep, CAE, client partner, Ocean Vista Advisors


Lynn Linde Ed.D., chief of professional practice, American Counseling Association
David Jackson MBA,CAE, executive officer, American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
James Zaniello, president, Vetted Solutions
Wendy-Jo Toyama CAE, CEO, American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Association Management Center


PRECON: Innovation and Generative AI: An Immersive TEC Workshop

Saturday, August 5
1:00 - 5:00 p.m.

The intersection of AI and innovation opens up a wide range of possibilities and challenges. This pre-conference is designed to provide you with an innovation framework/methodology with which to evaluate and take advantage of those opportunities, an ideation session where you work with your colleagues to highlight specific areas in your association are ripe for automation and/or AI-infused innovation, and discussion of those use cases while addressing the concerns that Generative AI surfaces. You don’t want to miss this!


1:00-2:30 pm 

What makes Amazon so successful? It’s laser-focus on our mission to be the earth's most customer-centric company and how we work to achieve that mission. It all comes down to our culture of innovation. It’s ingrained in everything we do, and we see innovation as everyone’s job. To achieve this, we created a process called Working Backwards. It’s the repeatable mechanism which allows everyone to innovate in a consistent way. In this hands-on workshop, learn about Amazon's unique Working Backwards methodology. Then you will work in teams to apply this methodology to key association business challenges. Dig deep with the process and leave with a workbook to repeat this process within your own organization.

 Following this exercise, you will shift your focus to explore what generative AI is, and how your association can use it. With a combination of presentations, open discussions, and a modeling practice, discuss what senior level executives need to know about generative AI, what ethical implications apply when using generative AI, and what cultural shifts are coming to use with the broadened use of generative AI.

You won’t want to miss this immersive discussion on innovative thinking and the bleeding edge of generative AI.

Content Leaders: 
Josh Arbaugh, Digital Innovation Leader, Amazon Web Services
Alexandra Mouw, CAE, Principal Strategic Advisor, Amazon Web Services


2:30 - 2:45 pm

Networking Break – Hosted by Visit Frisco

2:45 - 3:45 pm 

In this collaborative ideation session, we will challenge ourselves as a group to answer the question: using AI and automation, how might we do our jobs 30% more efficiently and effectively? And what might we accomplish with all this extra time to lean into "the good stuff"?

We will gather the collective input of fellow workshop attendees to see what processes are already being automated in our respective orgs (and what could be!) You will walk away with several ideas to implement yourself - all in a handy takeaway document being co-created in real time.

Michelle Brien, VP, Marketing, Matchbox Virtual Media
Arianna Rehak, CEO, Matchbox Virtual Media

Sponsored by Matchbox 

3:45-3:50 pm

Short break

3:50-4:50 pm 

In this interactive session, leaders will gain a comprehensive understanding of the transformative power and applications of Generative AI. Our panelists will delve into cutting-edge capabilities and their potential to revolutionize how associations operate and engage with members.

During the session, we will explore specific use cases of Generative AI within the association context, such as content creation, personalized member experiences, data analysis, and predictive modeling. The session will highlight how Generative AI can help associations automate labor-intensive tasks, drive innovation, and enhance member engagement. 

By the end of the session, you will be equipped with valuable insights to leverage Generative AI's potential within your association. Leaders will be empowered to make informed decisions while addressing concerns related to guidelines, data privacy, ethics, legal concerns, and potential biases that may arise from AI-generated content.

Don't miss this opportunity to stay ahead of the curve and unlock the full potential of Generative AI for your association.

Kelly Fisher, Practice Partner, Wipfli LLP
Reggie Henry, CAE, Chief Information and Performance Excellence Officer, ASAE

Ryan Risley, Principal and Chief Technology Officer – Business Solutions Group, Wipfli LLP
Prabhash Shrestha, Group VP and Chief Digital Strategy Officer, Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA)

Sponsored by Wipfli 

4:50-5:00 pm





Back to Top