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Appreciative Inquiry at its Best
Submitted by Chris Bennett on May 29th, 2012
Sue James and I have returned from the World Appreciative Inquiry Conference held in Ghent, Belgium. We were part of 600 participants representing 45 countries. Sue co-presented with Matt Moehle from the USA in a workshop on ‘intergenerational conversations’. I helped out with the photography and conducted early morning Tai Chi sessions – for those who were able to surface that early. I also attended the keynote speeches and various workshops.
There were the usual highs you get from successful conferences, such as further strengthening relationships. It was great to catch up with the many friends we made at the 2009 World Appreciative Inquiry Conference held in Kathmandu, Nepal. You can get a glimpse of that conference by visiting the Flash shows listed in the sidebar “Memories of WAIC 2009″) at World Appreciative Inquiry Conference 2012.
During that first day at the Ghent conference there was an avalanche of smiles, handshakes and hugs. It was great meeting old friends, making new ones, sharing stories and having many profound conversations throughout the conference. And I thoroughly enjoyed working with the organisers who included Filip, Arno, Bert and the media team including Jan Somers, the other photographer.
It was also very worthwhile listening to the keynote speakers and attending workshops to discover new trends, success stories and challenges in the world of appreciative inquiry. Reflecting on the experience, I can’t help but ask myself an appreciative question – what was the one thing that made it such an outstanding and special experience?
For me, it was the positive Chi (energy) throughout the conference that made it an incredible experience. I could see it, hear it and feel it throughout the four days I was there. And you can get a glimpse of that energy by watching the WAIC 2012 Flash presentation. Sue and I created of the conference itself.
Now that I’m home I can just imagine what 600 energised participants from 45 countries are doing for their own individual communities, from the same appreciative perspective. It’s only three years from the next World Appreciative Inquiry Conference, which will be held in South Africa. I’m already saving my pennies and, if I can’t accumulate enough, I have a backup plan to get there …
… by row boat!
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