To see how any professional field is doing, one indicator to follow may be the number of people enrolled in professional membership associations for that field over time.
In terms of the emerging global community engagement and public participation industry, one such organization is the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2).
Founded in 1990, IAP2 – whose membership is concentrated in North America and Australasia – recently published their 2016 annual report (PDF). Like every year, the report contains the latest numbers regarding their global membership.
For the period 2011 through 2016, IAP2 has been on a growth path overall, with membership increasingly concentrated in the three largest of its six or so affiliates (United States, Canada and Australasia):
In relative terms, when putting these numbers in the context of each affiliate’s overall population, a stark contrast emerges:
Clearly, something is happening in Australia and New Zealand (and it‘s been going on for quite a while).
And IAP2 Australasia isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. On Tuesday, they announced via Twitter that they have crossed the 4,500-member mark, an increase of more than 600 members (or 16%) since the beginning of the year.