The Future of Membership:
A Cohort Approach
An 8-week cohort that equips, inspires, and connects membership leaders + their teams to reimagine membership for young professionals.
Young professionals are not sticking around
Young professionals join professional associations less often, engage less deeply, and leave more frequently than older generations of professionals. These trends are well-established and consistent across virtually all professions, and are driven by a combination of macro-trends and association-specific behavior.
Coming together to address a systemic challenge
Highland has been consulting with professional associations and conducting research with young professionals. We believe aspects of this systemic challenge are better understood and solved by multiple leaders and organizations working together.
Cohort Purpose and Goals
The Future of Membership offers a distinctive, 8-week cohort-based experience that equips, inspires, and connects leaders of membership in the complex challenge of re-imagining membership for young professionals. It will consist of leaders of membership in large professional associations + their teams.
Clarify macro trends and unique circumstances
Sharpen your point of view
Explore proven methods from innovation for breaking down and solving complex challenges
Learn from leading Millennial & GenZ researchers
Engage with leaders of membership orgs succeeding with young professionals
Dialogue with other forward-thinking, specialized leaders of membership in professional associations
Tap into the learnings, ideas, and successes of others
January 25 & January 26, 2023 • In-person session
The cohort launches with a one-day, in-person intensive in Chicago from 1 pm Wednesday, January 25, to 2 pm Thursday, January 26.
Participants and their teams will meet other leaders and engage together to:
1. Frame the challenge
2. Explore why it has been so complex
3. Solve past attempts and current efforts
4. Set learning objectives for the next seven weeks
We will conclude by sharing dinner.
February 2, 2023 • 10–11:30 AM CT (Virtual session)
Explore the macro trends among young professionals with a researcher and expert on Gen Z and Millennial behaviors and mindsets.
February 9, 2023 • 10–11:30 AM CT (Virtual session)
Draw connections from the success and learning of leaders of new kinds associations experiencing massive growth with young professionals.
Method for Reimagining Membership (Part 1)
February 16, 2023 • 10–11:30 AM CT (Virtual session)
Learn the key principles of uncovering the unmet and under-met needs of young professionals in your industry using the Jobs To Be Done framework, created by Clayton Christensen at Harvard Business School and used in corporate innovation over the last 20 years.
Method for Reimagining Membership (Part 2)
February 23, 2023 • 10–11:30 AM CT (Virtual session)
Learn reliable methods for evaluating value propositions through rapid experiments, and engage in real-time membership value prop tests with young professionals.
Cohort Learning (Part 1)
March 2, 2023 • 10–11:30 AM CT (Virtual session)
Engage with the other cohort leaders by facilitating deep-dive discussions on topics selected during the in-person intensive. Potential topics include the student-to-young-professional journey, chapter models and membership, packaging and pricing, member benefits, member acquisition, and more.
Cohort Learning (Part 2)
March 9, 2023 • 10–11:30 AM CT (Virtual session)
Continue to engage in deep-dive discussions on topics such as student-to-young-professional journey, chapter models and membership, packaging and pricing, member benefits, member acquisition, and more.
Reflect and Plan
March 16, 2023 • 10–11:30 AM CT (Virtual session)
Reflect and share on learning and insights from The Future of Membership cohort and discuss how we might continue to advance the capability and commitment of our organizations to reimagine membership for young professionals.