At the very heart of the 2009 World AI Conference was an exploration of the factors that promote global health, peace and welfare! What more could one wish to explore?
While a global economic crisis and continuing stories of violence dominate news headlines on a daily basis, you are probably well aware that something very positive is also happening in the world. We are on the verge of a global shift in which there is a renewal of hope and optimism. Some of us have already begun to see this shift, both in subtle and large ways. Everyday others are beginning to experience it as well. What is this movement? It is a ‘strengths revolution’ that is well complemented by Appreciative Inquiry and other strength-based positive change models of organizational change.
While the seeds of this global revolution are very much taking root around the globe, all the possible fruits of a strength-based approach to change have not yet been fully realized.
The driving question behind the conference was: Can we find better ways to create the vibrant, peaceful, sustainable, and flourishing communities we all want?
The answer propelling us forward is: YES WE CAN!
The fuel for these positive changes is: Appreciative Inquiry and other Strength Based Approaches
During this conference, we shared and explored together the many innovative applications of Appreciative Inquiry and other strength-based approaches for change and development that are currently being used to address the developmental challenges of 21st century - livelihoods, health and hygiene, environment and climate change, education, inclusive development and many more!
The conference addressed challenging questions such as:
- How can Appreciative Inquiry and other strength-based approaches support the present day developmental challenges of the world?
- How can AI and other strength-based approaches contribute to bringing social justice, addressing equality and reducing gaps between rich and poor?
- How can we leverage the lessons about the transformative power of AI that have already been experienced in businesses and organizations to address the pressing environmental needs of our planet?
- How can we link the power of AI and other strength-based approaches to the most pressing issues of a global change agenda-from improving health and education to creating sustainable communities and deeper personal development?
Themes and exciting application areas featured included:
- Health, Human Development and Education
- Leadership and Coalition-Building for Peace, Justice and Good Governance
- Business, Economic Empowerment and Social Entrepreneurship
- Climate Change, Environmental Renewal and Sustainable Prosperity
- Inclusive Rural and Community Development
- Spirituality and Positive Change
- New Applications and Advances in the Practices of AI and Other Strengths-based Approaches to Change
As you are probably aware, Nepal is a country that has embraced a nation-wide, positive transformation process through a peaceful people's movement that has ended a decade-long people's war. This small but extraordinary country has empowered its citizens - including tens of thousands of women from over 100 ethnicities - bringing a decade-long conflict to a close, ending Royal rule, and restoring Democracy to its citizens. It is now in the process of drafting a new Constitution through democratically elected Constituent Assembly Members who proportionately represent almost all ethnic groups in the country.
We cannot imagine a more appropriate or inspiring setting in which to come together as a community of practitioners and scholars to learn from each other and advance the field of strength-based work!
Moreover, Nepal is an extraordinary place to visit! It is renowned for its extraordinary cultural diversity, Pagoda style temples, the rich histories of Hinduism and Buddhism, and exciting trekking opportunities in some of the highest mountains in the world. Kathmandu is one of the most beautiful and historic cities in the world. A number of tourist attractions are also within easy reach from Kathmandu.
Founding thought leader
of Appreciative Inquiry
Founding thought leader
of positive psychology movement
Founder and president of
Imagine Chicago and
|Jane Magruder Watkins
International Appreciative Inquiry
Consultant and co-author of the
world’s best selling AI books
| Jim Hartzfeld
Global innovator for creating
Director of the world’s largest
AI-based women’s empowerment
Justice on the
of South Africa