NCDD    Home    Join    Search    Invite    Help Login

10:19 AM Jan. 5, 2008 - 0 comments



Loretta Donovan, Gabriel Shirley and Sue Anderson

, , and


How do we "hear" in the quest for Discovery?  What do we notice?   What surfaces in the verbal and visual symbols of communication? How do we discover capacity and make meaning through reflective practice in conversation? How do we both transcend and respect boundaries to achieve new levels of understanding?  

This issue of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) Practitioner will venture into the domain of technology to find the answers to these questions. We intend to explore the possibilities for collecting, sharing, visualizing, reflecting, and collectively understanding stories of success uncovered in the Discovery phase of AI. The aim is twofold: first, to support the ways in which people variously perceive, communicate and learn; second, to add rich texture to the insights gleaned about the best of what is.


The integration of online and computer-based software for one-to-one and broadcast messages is a vital link among people. For some AI consultants and practitioners, the touch-points of meaningful inquiry in a wired world have inspired exploration with new digital tools and schemes. If you are one of those adventuresome practitioners, we are looking for your experiences, suggestions and lessons learned. Join us in creating an issue of AI Practitioner that encourages novices to begin to use technology, helps occasional users to deepen or enrich their experience, and supports early adopters to see the full-range of options as they lead or engage others in positive change initiatives.

We invite you to send a proposal of not more than 300 words for an article for the May '08 edition of Appreciative Inquiry Practitioner Journal (AIP) by Friday,
February 1  to: Loretta Donovan and
Gabriel Shirley .

We are looking for articles that highlight technology uses which:

-          Focus on delivering an experience online, rather than adhering to a model required by the technology.

-          Integrate planning for a parallel online stream to the face-to-face AI process.

-          Foster the social relationships of AI by connecting people before and after an event.

-          Offer the opportunity to reflect, individually and as a group – for people who have interacted directly in the inquiry process or others outside the immediate story sharing.

-          Help us understand the work of stewards of technology who model and support online relationships, reflection, and sharing of insights.

-          Use alternative or multiple media (sound, graphics, photos, video) to convey stories and themes.

-          Apply social web / Web2.0 techniques and technologies for co-creation in an online environment.

When you send us your proposal for an article, please be sure that you can meet the other dates in the timetable, if your article idea is selected. The timetable is

Proposal for an article (300 words max) by February 1, 2008

Final article due by March 7, 2008 preferably before

Any further edits to be completed by March 21, 2008

An October 2006 posting to the AI Annotations Blog asked:

" . . . what would happen if the positive question was not only answered in words.  What would happen if stories were shown as video clips (caught on cell phones?) or sketches, or shared as song, or expressed in dance?  How would that impact the mind and emotions of the storyteller?  Would there be new insights?  Less constraint?  More transparency?  And how would this be received by others who listen/watch/take in the story?"

That question has been the catalyst for this issue of AIP. Over the last 20 years, deep understanding of the principles and practices of Appreciative Inquiry have largely come from working in close proximity. Enhancements to AI have included visual and sound media built into the in-person experience. The shift of web-based communication media to more generative, democratic models has inspired new levels of participation. And so, we are poised to find the convergence of AI within this context.

This issue is for: AI practitioners and consultants who are using or are interested in understanding technologies that enhance the AI process. Secondly, it is for designers and hosts of online environments who are interested in the application of AI online.


Loretta Donovan has interwoven a passion for exploring the human spirit with an understanding of how organizations thrive as they create value. She explains,

"I advocate for and facilitate engaged processes via action-oriented inquiry for businesses meeting critical challenges. With globalization, a maturing workforce, and free agent workers, my imperative is involving managers in focused dialogue." She is a co-owner in Appreciative Inquiry Consulting, founder of the Worksmarts Group, and an adjunct at Teachers College, Columbia University.,


Gabriel Shirley is an organization designer and technologist interested in the convergence of people, technology, and nature. He seeks solutions to complex issues through local action and collective learning. Currently, he is asking the question, "What do organizations and employees need to be and do in order to be relevant to the world in the next 20 years?"


Sue Anderson operates her own consulting practice, Clockwork Communications in Toronto specialising in organisational communications. Also a partner in The SuMo Experience, Sue helps organisations engage stakeholders in possibility focused dialogue to create and sustain momentum. Sue is an associate faculty member at the Schulich Executive Education Centre, York University.

The AI Practitioner, formerly known as the AI Newsletter, began in May 1998. The publication is for people interested in making the world a better place using Appreciative Inquiry theory and methodology.

The publication carries articles, case studies and examples highlighting where and how Appreciative Inquiry has been used to bring about positive change. The articles highlight various aspects of the thinking and methodology of Appreciative Inquiry such as the life giving forces in a system, compelling images of the future, designs for living that future and ways to sustain the relationships and systems necessary for positive change.

Subscribers receive four issues a year in February, May, August and November. Subscribers and purchasers of single issues have a choice of downloading a high-resolution copy for printing or a lower solution copy for screen reading.

Any questions about the AI Practitioner can be directed to Anne Radford

With best regards,
Loretta Donovan, Gabriel Shirley and Sue Anderson

Contact details:

Loretta Donovan in New York

Skype: worksmarts

Gabriel Shirley in Seattle

Skype: gabrielshirley


Sue Anderson in Toronto



Loretta L. Donovan
Worksmarts Group
Strategic collaboration for business results

Co-owner, AI Consulting

141-A Main Street
Tuckahoe NY 10707

tel: 914-779-3246
mobile: 914-309-3952

Curious about using Web2.0 tools in your facilitation?  Drop in to