Strengths Movement Still in Act 1

Strengths Movement Still in Act 1

Given this, some questions to consider

GHENT, Belgium - It was in Belgium more than 20 years ago that David Cooperrider and others created a fuller understanding of Appreciative Inquiry (AI), making this week’s fifth World Appreciative Inquiry Conference held in that very same country of historic significance.

David, Case Western Reserve University’s internationally renowned organizational behaviour professor and founding thought leader of the AI movement, proposes that in some ways we’re picking up on parts of that earlier conversation, particularly in thinking about ways to increase the generative potential of human inquiry.

This is an important emphasis, given that — after so many global strengths conferences and the blooming of the AI and strengths approach worldwide — we are even so still in the very early stages of tapping the full potential of the approach, according to David.

While the growth and contribution of AI and strengths-based projects are doubling exponentially and looking to do so for a while, David suggests when it comes to creativity in the field and the current learning curve, we are about 10 per cent into the implications of this positive revolution in change that AI helps make happen.

In light of that, what questions might we as conference participants, and those beyond these walls, want to ask ourselves as we consider our roles in this strengths-based movement going forward?

David offers one he says he himself is thinking on these days.

How do we ever-increasingly elevate our capacity to lead and manage change at the scale of the whole?

He’s also seeing a desperate need for questions around the next stage of democracy, proposing that what we’ve learned in the AI and strengths-based field could have some powerful clues for a new way of being in that as well.

The World Appreciative Inquiry Conference is taking place April 25-28 at the International Convention Centre in Ghent.

— More to Come at

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Michelle has been working with Axiom News for more than 10 years where she says she’s had an abundance of opportunity to try new things, bring her gifts to the table, connect with a host of incredible people worldwide and, perhaps most importantly, construct a whole new window out of which to see the world. “Working at Axiom News, I get to join in cultivating an emerging world story that I believe holds some of the greatest promise for the future of this planet,” says Michelle. “Threading through this alternative story are themes such as evolving from empire to deep democracy, from blaming and complaining to ownership and from problem solving to possibility-oriented thinking.” A question Michelle says she’s holding in tension for 2014 is: What place is there for news media in creating a space for people to act on what matters most?