Dear Colleagues and Friends,
I am thrilled to announce the 2015 World Appreciative Inquiry Conference, from July 6-10, in the beautiful city of Johannesburg, South Africa. The World AI Conference has been previously convened in the U.S., Nepal, and Belgium. In 2015, I look forward to us gathering together in South Africa – a country of transformation and inspiration – where we can join as a community of practitioners and scholars to learn from each other and advance the field of strength-based work. With this setting serving as our inspiration, we will explore the cutting edge work being done around the world in Appreciative Inquiry and other strength-based methodologies so that we can take the positive revolution for change to the next level together!
I look forward to seeing you there!
I thank you in advance for your help to make sure we share great work with the whole world.
David Cooperrider, Ph.D.
Professor, Case Western Reserve University
Honorary Chair for the 2015 World AI Conference, South Africa
Message from Conference Co-Chairs:
Anastasia Bukashe and Freddie Crous
Dear Colleagues and Friends
“The growth and application of Appreciative Inquiry... has been nothing short of phenomenal. It is arguably the most powerful process of positive organizational change ever devised.”
~ Ken Gergen
Nearly three decades ago David Cooperrider and Suresh Srivastva’s ground-breaking article, “Appreciative Inquiry into Organizational Life” forever changed the way we look at leadership and change.
It shifted our attention from the world of organizational life as “a problem-to-be-solved” to the world as an innovation, spawning a “universe-of-strengths.”
A decade later Gallup unveiled the results of its landmark research study with 1.5 million people worldwide and confirmed the basic principle: that a person, organization or larger system, will excel only by knowing and amplifying strengths, never by fixing weaknesses.
Since then, millions of people in every sector of society around the world have shifted their attention to strengths-based leadership, and many are now asking, “What’s next?” “How, exactly, do we take the strengths mind-set beyond the important talent and performance management application—focused mainly on the individual or small groups—to embed strength-based methods into everything we do across our enterprise and beyond?” “How do we forge strength-centered organizational cultures and create strength-accelerating networks where collaborative partnerships result in transformative innovations for a better world?”
The answer to these questions is now starting to become clear: we must create strength-based organizations at every level of society...organizations, including groups, families, and communities, explicitly designed and managed for the elevation of strengths, the combination and magnification of strengths, and ultimately, the amplified reflection of our highest human strengths outward into the world.
Every three years the World Appreciative Inquiry (AI) Conference moves members of the AI community from across the globe to come together and share in conversations. So, once again, we invite you to join us at our upcoming conference, set to take place for the first time on African soil. Building on the words of Gillian Tett, social anthropologist and US managing editor of the Financial Times, this event has as its aim to fulfil our desire to belong to the AI ‘tribe’, thus allowing us to affirm our network and identity, forge bonds and express our shared values.
That is what the WAIC 2015: South Africa is all about– exploring the ways that we can build exceptional partnerships across the globe to help create strength-based organizations that build a flourishing and prosperous world for all. We thank you in advance for your interest and effort to help us make this global gathering a unique event in the history of AI.
On behalf of the organizing committee, international advisory board, and all conference partners,