Special Keynote Announcement: Playing for Change

This is more than a keynote announcement: it is an announcement to give you a first glimpse on a stunning WAIC closing ceremony. We are so happy to announce that we will bring people from the heart of Playing For Change to the World AI Conference. Playing For Change is a movement created to inspire, connect and bring peace to the world through music.

The idea for this project arose from a common belief that music has the power to break down boundaries and overcome distances between people. No matter whether people come from different geographic, political, economic, spiritual or ideological backgrounds, music has the universal power to transcend and unite us as one human race. Their baseline is: connecting the world through music. Is their a better way to end this conference about the connecting power of AI?

Besides bringing to you the story behind the movement, we will close the 5th World AI Conference on Saturday afternoon with a vibrant concert of the Playing For Change Band featuring some of their most renown musicians and singers.

Visit their website or read more.

Practical information on Pre-Conference

We are very happy to welcome a large group of participants on our pre-conference with David Cooperrider. We’ll take 1,5 day to dive into Appreciative Inquiry together. More information on the program can be found here.

The pre-conference starts tuesday 24th of April at 9h30 until 17h00. Lunch will be foreseen between 12h30 and 13h30. On wednesday 25th of April we work together in the morning from 9h30 until 12h00. The pre-conference will take place in Ghent also.

Detailed Conference Program Online

We uploaded the detailed conference program on the conference program page. You’ll find a more detailed program with titles and short summaries of workshops, symposia, papers and posters. Please noted that this is still a preliminary program and it can be subject of changes throughout the coming days and weeks.

Also nice to share is that we reached a participants total of 500 last week. We are very excited about that. There is still place for more generative people, so keep on inviting friend, colleagues or other persons in your network. See you all in Ghent!

More Information on Paper Submission Guidelines

Authors of accepted Research-based papers and Experience-based papers are invited to submit a full paper of max. 6000 words. Deadline for submission of the full paper is March 15, 2012. Only authors of submitted full papers will be scheduled for presentation in the final WAIC program. More information and guidelines for these papers can be found in the following document.

Awakening within, Awakening without – blog by Annet van de Wetering

I like to bring the E-book with the title ‘Awakening within, awakening without’ to your attention (the book is free to download here). It is one of the results of the EEC Grundtvig funded project: ‘ Co-Creating a Learning Society: From Improvement to Innovation in adult education’.

The title of the E-book ‘Awakening within, awakening without’ is in line with the theme of the AI world conference ‘Interconnectedness’. Awakening in my opinion is fundamental to be able to create interconnectedness within yourself and with others. The moments of awakening within myself and others during the project brought me energy and the effort to continue, although we have our differences. It created insights instead of complaining and being judgmental about for example, the other person’s behavior, we learned to inquire within ourselves and ask what do I contribute to this situation? Are we able to let previous experiences and perceptions go, to really open up to the other person? I experienced that when I and the team members are able to do so, we could really meet each other which created a deeper connection between us. We learned that to create the interconnectedness we seek means starting to apply it yourself. As Ghandi famously said “Be the Change you Seek”.

My wish for this E-book and the AI worldconference is, that it inspires people to act out of the awareness that the inner and outer awakening are strongly connected; this is nice illustrated in the quote by Marilyn Ferguson:

‘The greatest revolution in our generation is that of human beings, who by changing their inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives’.

Annet van de Wetering
Project Coördinator

The aim of the project is to advance in and spread the use of strength based change and learning approaches in adult education in Europe in order to foster widespread motivation, initiative, participation and empowerment of adult learners. Therefore we collected best practices within adult education during the conference at the beginning of November 2011 with the theme ‘Awakening within, Awakening without’. After the conference those best practices formed the start of the development of this E-book to be able to share those learning’s with others.

Media-Crew making plans for Appreciative News (by Griet Bouwen)

Wow. Last week, a group of enthousiastic people gathered in Antwerp (Belgium) for the kick-off of the 2012WAIC Media-team. These people gathered around common dream to create a dynamic crew that covers the highlights of the conference at the WAIC website and social media platforms. The M-crew, that’s a bunch of AI-inspired professionals, who are driven to dig up stories en connect them to te community. At the conference, for sure, but also to the outside world.

So, we will be life-publishing online articles, movies, interviews… and, as mentioned before: AIRadio. What’s also very exciting is that we welcome a group op 14 year old youngsters. They will digg up what our AI-pactice can mean for their own future. Every morning, we serve a fresh newspaper with highlights of the day before.

We are brainstorming, dreaming and prepairing at the moment. And wondering if en how many of the participants are going to connect with the Media-crew. Imagine what resources we can bring together when participants help us to record movies, taking pictures, writing blogs or drawing their personal view on what’s happening at the conference.  Do you feel invited? Yes? Well, you are!

Technical Problems in an Appreciative World

Today we learned that even in an appreciative world you still have problems. The e-mail address info@2012waic.org is currently not available. This is a problem for everyone who had to send in the final title, abstract and short biography for his/her workshop or symposia. You will have received an error notification in trying this today. We are currently working on this problem and are planning to have the address up and running again by thursday 12h00 (Ghent Time, GMT +1). This means that you still have time untill sunday night 24h00 (Ghent Time, GMT +1) to re-send your information.

Under the motto ‘a problem never comes alone’ we also face a second problem. All presenters received an e-mail today with a link to registrate their personal contact information in an online application. A few hours ago, we received a notification from the host website that they encountered some technical problems (in an appreciative world). Apparently they are having an issue with the domain, and all forms on this domain have stopped working. They suggest a workaround, and existing forms are now on an alternative domain. Unfortunately this happened right in the middle of collecting the social data for WAIC. We already collected some information before the break-down. If you tried to fill in your contact information during the breakdown, you’ll have seen that it is impossible. We’ll send a new link tomorrow morning (thursday) to all presenters to make it possible to fill in the new form.

Our apologies for the (double) inconvenience.


Keynote Announcement: Anastasia Bukashe and Ilma Barros

From different parts of the planet, but linked by the thread of positive conversation amongst multi sector/level stakeholders for the good of the whole: we’re so proud to announce an amazing joint keynote by dr. Anastasia Bukashe and dr. Ilma Barros. They will highlight extra-ordinary cases of AI inspired large scale processes in regional development & nation building, both in South-Africa and Brasil.

Dr. Anastasia Bukashe
Dr. Anastasia Bukashe (nee White) currently serves as the Executive Director of The Wilgespruit Fellowship located in Roodepoort, South Africa. She has been active in the Appreciative Inquiry community since the early 1990’s. She is also a graduate (2004) of Case Western Reserve University, Weatherhead School of Management OB programme, where Prof. David Cooperrider was her Supervisor.
Anastasia is a true scholar-practitioner who is passionate about participating in the birth of a new global order. With this as her inspiration she works primarily in the field of transformation and specialises in peacebuilding. Having travelled extensively and published a number of articles and book chapters, Anastasia is increasingly being drawn into global movements.
She currently serves as the Liaison Officer (SADC Region) for the United Religions Initiative, and interfaith global movement. She is also an active advisor to the Association of Lay-Training Centres in Africa (ACLCA), an African initiative focused on growing lay-leadership for transformation. She has recently been invited to serve on the Interim Board of Citizens in Partnership with Government (CPG) a South African based initiative intent on transformation of the country. To all of this Anastasia brings to bear her experience and expertise in Appreciative Inquiry.
As a member of NTL and co-founder of the Centre for Excellence (an initiative to bring the AI track of NTL to Africa) Anastasia continues to fuse practice and scholarship. She is a skilled facilitator, trainer and speaker who has been blessed with many opportunities to participate in growing the AI community globally.

Dr. Ilma Barros
Dr. Ilma Barros is a Distinguished Fellow at Fowler Center for Sustainable Value, at the Weatherhead School of Management. She has worked on some of the largest strategic planning summits in business and social change over the last 12 years. She is an ELIAS Fellow (Emerging Leaders for Innovation across Systems) and a member of the Presencing Institute. Most recently, Ilma facilitated the Global Forum Latin America, an encounter that gathered 1200 people to think about sustainability in a systematic manner, including business leaders, academic researchers, the government, and the civil society.
As part of her activities in Brazil, Ilma coordinated five B.A.W.B. (Business as an Agent of World Benefit) conferences and today she is a member of the research team at the Fowler Center for Sustainable Value. She was responsible for the methodology and content used at the Future 10 Parana Forum, a platform of proposals for the strategic planning of Paraná State, and the document created and officially turned in to President Lula, the Governor of Parana State, and all the cities mayors in the state of Paraná.
Ilma worked as a senior consultant for the Federation of Industries of the State of Parana and, in that role she led the strategic planning for the Federation and industrial segments. She also delivered, for four consecutive years, the Appreciative Inquiry Certificate Program in Brazil in partnership with Case Western Reserve University.
Ilma earned her Ph.D. in organizational behavior from Case Western Reserve University and was an Assistant Professor of Business at the State University of New York and L´Moyne College.