About ICAI

The Institute of Cultural Affairs International (ICAI) is a global community of non-profit organisations advancing human development worldwide. ICAI is about empowering an authentic and sustainable transformation of individuals, communities and organizations. 

Our “wedge-blade” logo: Two halves of the circle symbolize history and the future, with the line at the center representing where we stand now – the present.

Processes of social change often engender conflict between those who want to perpetuate the past and those who want to change the future. We stand in the center in order to facilitate a transition, both honoring the past and building consensus for future change. The wedge-blade integrates the wisdom of the past in order to move toward a new future.


Our Mission

The word cloud above shows the most common words used by ICAs themselves to describe their shared mission, in their responses to ICAI’s recent global membership survey. For details of each ICA, see also ICA Worldwide.

The role of ICA International is to facilitate interchange, learning and mutual support across the ICA worldwide network, for greater and deeper impact in line with our mission and values.


Our Values

In 2010 the ICAI General Assembly resolved to hold the following core values:

  • Fostering creative organic growth through serving core change: we will grow in an organic way based on the reality of what our ICAs can sustain at this time. We understand that we are about core change in society, rather than a band aid approach
  • Transparency and accountability to our highest ideals: we are committed to transparency throughout our organization in the areas of finance, decisions, communication and operations, and accountability to our agreed values
  • Balancing our autonomy, self-sustainability and mutual support: in our relationships with one another we will hold the balance of mutual support with autonomy and self-sustainability
  • Embody & role-model participatory culture: we will balance leadership and teamwork; creating a participatory environment, and demonstrating being a participatory organization, both face to face and virtually using online technology
  • Recognize global-local identity: ICAI members are recognized as global-local entities with global-local identities. ICAs use a common brand of methods, logos, and language, like a hologram – we are each individual cells that shine through a holistic paradigm
  • Caring for and discovering our living legacy: we will honor and integrate our historical wisdom, values and methods through our individual and collective ICAs; and create anew the systems, structures, curricula and projects for future generations to carry forward the ICA legacy


Our Global Network

Our Global Network comprises members and associates in 35 countries worldwide.

For details and profiles see ICA Worldwide and below.

National and Associate Members demonstrate that they meet all the ICAI membership criteria, and have been accepted into membership by the ICAI General Assembly.  Members are encouraged and supported to complete and maintain their own ICAI Worldwide profiles, to post news updates to the home page and to contribute to ICAI publications.

It is a role of the ICAI Board to encourage and support all those in our global network to achieve and maintain their membership by demonstrating, and continuing to demonstrate, that they meet the membership criteria.

To learn about the membership procedure click here.

Our Global Structures

Legal Status

The Institute of Cultural Affairs International (ICAI) was first established and registered in Brussels, Belgium in 1977.  ICAI relocated to Canada in 2006, and is now registered as a charity in Canada, no. 849849161RR0001.

General Assembly

The charity is governed by a General Assembly comprised of (voting) National members and (non-voting) Associate members of our global network. It is governed according to revised ICAI Bylaws adopted in 2014, following ICAI’s ‘Continuance’ under section 297 of the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act.

Until 2010 the ICAI General Assembly (GA) met face-to-face every two years – for one or two days in conjunction with each  quadrennial ICAI Global Conference, and for a week or so each intervening two years.  These intervening GAs were held in Bilbao Spain 1986, Taipei Taiwan 1990, Lonavala India 1994, Brussels Belgium 1998 & 2002, Toronto Canada 2006 and Talegao India 2010.  Since 2012 in Nagarkot Nepal, an informal ICAI Global Network gathering instead is held in conjunction with the ICAI Global Conference.

Since 2010 the ICAI General Assembly has met online, normally twice each year in June and December.  Two or three online meetings are scheduled for different time zones for each GA. Regional and other gatherings before each GA, both online and face-to-face, are used to build consensus on any resolutions before they are put to the GA. Consensus on GA resolutions are confirmed and symbolised by a vote of National members by asynchronous online poll over 10 days following the GA meetings.

Board & Trustee

Members of the ICAI Board are elected by the General Assembly, currently every two years in December for a four year term.

The Board has appointed Bill Staples of ICA Canada as a volunteer Trustee, without fixed term, authorised to represent ICAI in its legal and financial affairs in Canada.

Global Teams

Global teams are convened by the Board and General Assembly from time to time, as a means for member ICAs to collaborate together on issues and tasks that require global engagement.

Currently these include:

Our Global Board

The General Assembly(GA) is the final authority of ICA International. The ICAI Board is elected by the GA is to execute the plan and decisions of GA.

The Role of     the ICAI Board

Commitments of the ICAI Board agreed at the 2010 General Assembly in India are:

  • To maintain the legal framework of ICAI, working with colleagues in Canada and the USA
  • Monitor and solicit commitments from ICAs to care for envisioned global functions including:
    • Global Conferences
    • Communication systems: the website, publications including Winds & Waves and the Global Buzz, regular emails
    • Peer to Peer support
  • Maintain personal contact with all member ICAs Worldwide on a regular basis and
  • Work with ICAs to meet all membership requirements:
    • Support new or struggling ICAs to find a mentor ICA to support their capacity building
    • Expand the network by including non-member ICAs

The Board operates by consensus, and when a consensus is not reached (if urgent) decisions may be forwarded to the GA.

Board Elections

Candidates for the ICAI Board may be nominated by any national member.  Board members are elected by the ICAI General Assembly to serve a four year term.  Currently Board elections are held every two years in December for a term starting January 1.

  • Archana Deshmukh, ICA India, archana1706@hotmail.com
  • Charles Luoga, ICA Tanzania, cluoga@yahoo.co.uk
  • Derek McAuley, ICA UK, dmca123@aol.com
  • Don Hinkelman, ICA Japan, shizuyo@icajapan.org
  • Eric Tseng 曾士民, ICA Taiwan, erictgaudi@gmail.com
  • Gerald Gomani, ICA Zimbabwe, geraldgomani@yahoo.com
  • Gerd Luders, ICA Chile, gerd.luders@gmail.com
  • Henry Ikatukhu Mpapale, ICA Kenya, Vice-Chair, mpapalehenry@gmail.com
  • Ishu Subba, ICA Nepal, Treasurer, subbaishu@gmail.com
  • Juan José Roca Escalante, ICA Spain, presidencia@ica-es.org
  • Karen Snyder, ICA USA, Secretary, karen.snyder10@gmail.com
  • Kassimou Issotina, ICA Benin, issotinakas@gmail.com
  • Kevin Balm, ICA Australasia, Chair, balmkevin@gmail.com
  • Kouame Konan Eugene, ICA Cote d’Ivoire, konaneug@gmail.com
  • Lisseth Lorenzo, ICA Guatemala, lissethlorenzo@gmail.com
  • Virginia Kanyogonya, ICA Canada, virginia@icacan.org
  • Yawo Gator Adufu, ICA Togo, blessing.adf@gmail.com

Board Meetings


The Board meets online the third Saturday of each month.

Our Global Strategy

The role of ICA International is to facilitate interchange, learning and mutual support across the ICA worldwide network, for greater and deeper impact in line with our mission and values.

Our Global Affiliations


ICA International maintains relationships with key United Nations bodies as follows:

  • Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)
  • Liaison status with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO)
  • Working relation status with the World Health Organisation (WHO)
  • Consultative Status with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

ICAI is a member of CIVICUS, the World Alliance for Citizen Participation.

ICAI has a Memorandum of Understanding with the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) to promote mutual support and collaboration among our members worldwide.  IAF was founded in 1994 by a global network of 70 ICA ToP facilitators.