Building Flourishing Societies Together: Elevating, Aligning and Reflecting our Best to Create a Prosperous World for All

Appreciative Foundations

Registration 7:30 - 8:30

In Library Level 6 Auditorium

Foundations of Appreciative Inquiry: 9:00am - 12:30pm

Facilitators: Dr. David Cooperrider and Rev. Dr Anastasia Bukashe

Location: Library Level 6 Auditorium

David Cooperrider



Appreciative Inquiry (AI) has helped create a positive revolution in the leadership of change for the past 25 years. AI has helped institutions all over the world discover the power of strength-based approaches to multi-stakeholder innovation and collaborative design.

Led by the co-creator and creative thought leader of AI, Dr. David Cooperrider, and Conference Chair Dr. Anastasia Bukashe, this interactive workshop will introduce you to the foundational concepts and methods use in Appreciative Inquiry.

Through hands-on activities and stories of their work all over the world, these two thought-leaders in the field will help show you how to apply AI in your own work.

Whether you are coaching one individual, building organization teams, or engaging and building relationships with thousands of internal and external stakeholders around the world, you can use Appreciative Inquiry to create and sustain extraordinary results in strategic change, transformation and organization effectiveness.


LUNCH: 12:30 - 13:30


PARALLEL SESSIONS: 1:30pm - 4:30pm

1. Summit Innovations

Facilitator: Dr. Ron Fry  and Dr Illma Barros-Pose

Location: Library Boardroom

Barros Pose IlmaDetails:

Tools and methods for applying Appreciative Inquiry to organizational settings around the globe are continuing to evolve and advance. Exciting new experiments are being taken with the classic Appreciative Inquiry summit methodology – an approach used to bring an entire system of stakeholders together to create positive change.

In this workshop, Ilma Barros and Ron Fry, a co-creator and thought leader in Appreciative Inquiry, will showcase a variety of cutting-edge approaches being used in the field today that take the practice of AI to the next level. From summits that connect multiple sites and global audiences through technology to using AI to transform conventional conferences into dynamic events that inspire future actions through rapid design laboratories; from community open systems to organization summits for strategic alignment, engagement, operating efficiencies, safety and the like, we will explore and share cutting edge practices and success factors.

This session is designed for those who have worked with some adaptation of the AI Summit Methodology for multi-stakeholder groups (of any size) so that we can all share and exchange our best practices.


2. Appreciative Leadership – in Search of Possibilities and Potential, Discovering Who We Truly Are

Facilitators:Joep C. de Jong and Sophie Vrolijk

Location: Library Tutor Venue 1

Joep de Jong

Sophie VrolijkDetails:

Change, leadership, engagement, added (values), todays world is ‘over flowing’ with these terms and ways to implement them in ‘the right’ way. Could it be that in our race to understand and deliver (business) plans we are forgetting some of the core elements that make our organisations human? What is happening to the fundamentals of how we relate, how we interact, how well are we connected to our being? And what role could the concept of Appreciative Leadership play in all of this? Might it be that if we once more have a better understanding of the dynamics of how we are with each other, what ‘leading’ really means, that we might be able to create the successful organisations that deliver sustainable results because they honour our need to connect, to relate, to play, to innovate, to take care, etc.

In an interactive way we will explore these questions in order to pursue our journey successfully towards flourishing organisations.

Sophie Vrolijk and Joep C. de Jong will jointly deliver this workshop, whereby Sophie has a focus on ‘creating a stronger connection with the wisdom of our bodies, our systems, learning to listen and to trust the signals your body is giving you’. She has been sharing her work with people of all ages around the globe, recently being involved in leadership events in Tasmania and New Zealand.

As a former CEO and now PhD candidate Joep will share some of his thoughts, experiences and wisdom around Appreciative Leadership. He will also share some of research in the form of models and other material explaining how, as an Appreciative Leader, he facilitated change and brought about successes at the companies he served.

 3. Embodying Appreciative Inquiry

Facilitators: Neena Verma, Freddie Crous and Anastasia Bukashe

Location: Library Tutor Venue 2


Appreciative Inquiry is as much a philosophy for human and organisational life as it is a methodology for individual and whole system change and development. It's a widely acknowledged belief in Appreciative Inquiry community worldwide that innately "Embodying AI" is possibly the most organic way to "Enabling AI" on the outside. It is often found to be true in all contexts whether this be at the level of the individual, small group or organisation.

In this session, Dr. Neena Verma, Prof. Freddie Crous and Dr. Anastasia Bukashe will facilitate and look forward to being facilitated by the group around ways to "Embody the essence of Appreciative Inquiry" at a "being" level. The mainstay of our conversation will be interpretation of AI principles and process , in an attempt to unfurl ways of imbibing AI principles into core human and organisational DNA. The primary medium of work would be story-telling , especially from native cultures from various parts of the world. The group will be encouraged and professionally supported to self-facilitate as much as possible.

This session's high dream is to create a confluence of universally relevant and present AI wisdom.  

Come as an abundant river and join the confluence.



The Dream of Shahrazad

The Dream of Shahrazad PosterJoin us in the evening for a wonderful theatrical experience!

The Dream of Shahrazad, a film by Francois Verster will be screened in the UJ Arts Centre Theatre.

Weaving together music, politics and storytelling, THE DREAM OF SHAHRAZAD explores recent social and political events in Egypt, Turkey and Lebanon through the metaphor of THE 1001 NIGHTS, and looks at the ways in which creativity and political articulation coincide in response to oppression.

Drawing on Shahrazad, the princess who saves lives by telling stories, a youth orchestra conductor, a Cairean storytelling troupe, a troubled Lebanese actress and various others all put art to new political use.

This richly kaleidoscopic film, by South African film director and documentary maker Francois Verster, is "at once observational documentary, concert film, political meditation and visual translation of an ever-popular symphonic and literary classic. It is a documentary homage both to THE NIGHTS and the SCHEHERAZADE suite, as well as a rethinking of the ways in which powerful historical and cultural archetypes interact with political change".

The film was completed in September 2014.

The Dream of Shahrazad: Official Website