Sharing stories is a practice as old as time. From ghost stories around a campfire to the most recent viral news on your phone-screen, storytelling has always been an essential part of human communication and connection.
Throughout my two years interning with the David L. Cooperrider Center for Appreciative Inquiry, I have had the privilege of hearing individuals’, communities’, and organizations’ stories through interviews, which I then turn into bite-sized videos to share their stories with the world for the AI World Inquiry Project (AIWI).
AIWI emphasizes the human-interest component in a way that can embrace people outside of the AI community. This vital element can often get lost in more formal scholarly resources. Creating connections of the heart keeps AI on one’s mind and hopefully encourages further exploration of the topic as it did for me.
Having truly been shaken to the core by many of the accounts, I have witnessed the power of sharing stories of impact first-hand and believe in AI’s potential to change the world. I could have never imagined how deeply or profoundly I would be affected by my time with the Cooperrider Center and the AIWI project. AI has become a part of my own mindset, really honing in on the strength-based focus and principle of wholeness. As a budding young professional, I am excited to take this mindset with me throughout my career and personal life, illuminating the value of Appreciative Inquiry for all.
AIWI videos can be found in a variety of locations, with the main hub of videos on YouTube. The videos consist of group and individual interviews conducted by Sallie Lee, Ada Jo Mann and the Cooperrider Center. The interviewees include AI practitioners from across the globe and from a variety of AI backgrounds and experiences. The multiplicity of contributors to the project aligns with the overall goal of AIWI to highlight stories of impact amongst the AI community in order to project the value of AI for everyone in a new inclusive light. While the videos depict stories from vastly different scenarios (ie: individual, organizational, corporate, community), there are three common themes throughout the project:
The power of inclusivity, inquiry, and generative conversations are at the core of Appreciative Inquiry and positive change. AIWI might not directly teach the five principles or the 4D cycle of AI; however, it gives the audience a fundamental understanding of Appreciative Inquiry and the versatility of its application and impact. From hospital protocols to children on the streets of Africa, AIWI covers a spectrum of inspiring Appreciative Inquiry stories that would be of value to anyone and everyone with a beating heart.
Brianna is a Communication major with a specialization in Public Relations and a minor in Event Management at Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont, USA. The two years interning with the David L. Cooperrider Center for Appreciative Inquiry has greatly benefited her thinking process in all aspects of life. As a budding young professional, she strives to embody this mindset throughout her career, focusing on how we can best lift up each other and our communities.