Category Archives: Case Studies

Read success stories and case studies submitted by individuals who have undergone our trainings and workshops.

Call for Articles for AI Practitioner

Editors: Jeanie Cockell and Joan McArthur-Blair
Working Title: Inclusive Spaces: Using Appreciative Processes to Transform Social Structures
For AI Practitioner ~ August 2012 Issue

Focus of the Issue:
The August 2012 issue of the AI Practitioner will focus on how the practice of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) fosters and opens inclusive spaces in organizations of all kinds. We invite Appreciative Inquiry practitioners to share articles, stories, case studies, reflections, art, images, poetry, research, models and theory regarding creating inclusive spaces. We are particularly interested in how Appreciative Inquiry has generated those inclusive spaces with emancipatory and social justice frameworks such as transformative education or critical theory.

Challenging and Transforming Social Structures:
Jeanie Cockell used AI as a research methodology for her doctoral dissertation (2005), ‘Making Magic Facilitating Collaborative Processes’ (available on the AI Commons). One of the primary findings of that research was the notion of ‘Critical Appreciative Processes.’ These processes combine Appreciative Inquiry, transformative education and critical theory. The critical element recognizes and challenges oppressive social structures and the appreciative element is the means for dialogue to transform those structures.

As both Jeanie Cockell and Joan McArthur-Blair have worked with Critical Appreciative Processes they have renamed it ‘Critical Appreciative Inquiry’ (CAI) to more clearly focus on the power of the inquiry. CAI attempts to blend the powerful work of AI with a deep understanding of the issues ofpower, privilege and diversity.

Seeking Inclusion and Understanding Difference:
These concepts from transformative education and critical theory which seek inclusion and an understanding of difference can deepen our practice of AI. Transformative education suggests the need for a critical lens that surfaces the impact of social structural differences on people’s ability to participate and be included. Transformative education and critical theory recognize that we come from different social constructions based on race, gender, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, ability, religion and class; and Appreciative Inquiry lends itself to creating inclusive spaces where people feel respected and connected to each other.

Creating Inclusive Spaces
The editors have a passion for creating inclusive organizations and seek to engage AI practitioners to share their passions for working with AI through social justice and emancipatory lenses. One brief example of using Critical Appreciative Inquiry was facilitating ‘team building’ for all of the staff in an aboriginal community school. The critical piece was acknowledging the power differentials due to race. The people with positional power, the teachers, were 75% non-aboriginal and all the teaching assistants were aboriginal. After two days of Appreciative Inquiry in early September with a follow-up day in January, the teaching assistants moved from hiding in the back of the room to full engagement, speaking confidently about their views of team work at the school. All voices were now contributing to how to the school could be a more inclusive space.

Preparing Your Proposed Contribution:
Here are some questions that may be useful to reflect upon as you think about your contribution to the issue.

  • How and where do you practice awareness of and respect for the diversity of others?
  • How do you positively address the issues of who has power?
  • Who gets included in AI processes and what processes facilitate that?
  • How do you create spaces that foster transformation?
  • How do you use re-framing and dialogue to move from a problem focus to a possibility focus when working with the profound issues of exclusion?
  • What have you considered, as an AI practitioner, as you have blended critical theory and AI?
  • How do you reflect on or find space for your own differences and worldviews?

Some possible topics:

  1. AI and creating inclusive spaces
  2. AI across differences – culture, ethnicity, gender, race, sexual orientation, ability, religion, class
  3. AI and power and privilege
  4. AI in highly diverse organizations
  5. AI and conflict transformation
  6. AI and social justice
  7. AI and holistic organizations
  8. Critical theory, AI and organizational change
  9. Personal reflections on diversity and being an AI practitioner
  10. Others related topics

Proposals for the August 2012 AI Practitioner issue are due by December 1, 2011. Full proposal details can be found here.

Success Stories/Case Studies

The documents found below are just a few of the practicums that have been submitted by individuals who have undergone our 4-day Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator Training (AIFT) program. We celebrate in their achievements and enjoy learning how Appreciative Inquiry has influenced their lives – personally and professionally. We are so appreciative of the clients we serve and the joy they bring to our work. New stories are posted frequently, so check back often to see what new stories have been posted. Enjoy!

Bermuda College - Strategic Planning Using AI

Bermuda College – Strategic Planning Using AI

Quinn Practicum Cover

Kirtland Community College – Strategic Planning Using AI

COE Anniversary EditionCompany of Experts Anniversary Collection


Inspiring Parents and Teachers to Collaborate in Developing Dynamic, Strengths-Based Relationships

Delta College Ai Success Story

Delta College – Appreciative Inquiry (Ai) in the Classroom

Excelptional Classroom Learning Experiences: Breaking Down Language Barriers

Exceptional Classroom Learning Experiences: Breaking Down Language Barriers

Taking a Stand Against Corruption in the Red Zone with Appreciative Inquiry

Taking a Stand Against Corruption in the Red Zone with Appreciative Inquiry


Developing the Meaning and Value of Institutional Research


Using Appreciative Inquiry to Re-Imagine our College Strategy


Networking for a Mission: A Special Gathering of Notre Dame Educators


Building Capacity for Quality Improvement at Southeast Inc.


Coming Together: Envisioning the Future of Communication at the Univ. of MD


Creating Patient Centered Care through Inquiry

cna-qatarAppreciative Inquiry at College of the North Atlantic – Qatar
luke-youngeAppreciative Inquiry at UNIMA South Africa

kyle-hannah_ai-practicumMotivating Teachers to Create Positive Change within Learning Environments

ai-in-the-salamanca-city-central-school-districtAppreciative Inquiry in the Salamanca City Central School District

southeast-inc-appreciative inquiry practicum_Company of ExpertsProviding comprehensive behavioral healthcare at Southeast, Inc.
creating-revolutionary-change-through-the-process-of-appreciative-inquiry_4wordCreating Revolutionary Change through the process of Appreciative Inquiry
Becoming the Most Frequented Restaurant through Extraordinary Hospitality & Culinary Excellence

Creating a Vibrant Learning Group Conducive to Transformation and Growth

Creating a Compelling Image of the Future Being Our Best Together Discovering You at Your Best Using Appreciative Inquiry
Exploring a Relationships using Appreciative Inquiry Empowering Off-Campus Students by Providing Opportunities that Enhance their College Experience Appreciative Inquiry into Math Success Factors
Incorporating Interprofessional Education (IPE) into the Health Sciences Programs Building Organizational Capacity: Moving Adjunct Experience from “Good” to “Great”