International Journal of Appreciative Inquiry


Call for Articles for May 2023 issue of AI Practitioner

Appreciative Inquiry for Life: Working with nature in a time of ecological crisis

Guest Editor: Joeri Kabalt

‘The more clearly we focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.’ – Rachel Carson

Life has always been at the heart of Appreciative Inquiry. What gives life? What helps this group or that system to thrive? Our current ecological crisis calls us to critically reflect upon our responsibility and potential contribution as AI practitioners in this turbulent time. What if we chose even more radically to place all of life, including the more-than-human world (Abram, 1996), at the centre of everything we do? What could that look like? What would we do differently?

Even in their original article on AI, Cooperrider and Srivastva (1987) stressed the importance of ‘reverence for life’: the wonder and awe that come from recognising we are part of a world that is alive. This enchanted and participative worldview (Berman, 1981; Bennett, 2001) that focuses on kinship and interconnectedness seems even more important now to strengthen our sense of belonging and affection for the world around us and to serve as a call to step up for our planet.

Questions we would like to explore in this special issue are:

  • If we take participation seriously and aim to ‘get the whole system in the room’, how do we include and invite the voices of the more-than-human world? How do we give places, rivers, mountains and animals a say?
  • How can we invite leaders in organisations and beyond to reconnect to their sense of wonder and felt experience of interconnectedness with nature? How do we balance the tension of urgency and grief in climate crisis with care and creativity with nature?
  • How might we help to create new possibilities and generative images for the future that invite and mobilise people to act? What practices do we have to invite long-term and intergenerational thinking and action?
  • How can we work, inspired by and in partnership with nature, to create new cultures in organisations? How might we help to shape new narratives of purpose and progress that are characterised by care for all life on our planet?
  • What could (or even should) be our unique contributions as AI practitioners in response to the climate emergency? What skills or practices do we have that can make a difference at this time of crisis and collapse?

Contributions from your research, practices and experiences

We are looking for articles that explore one or more of the questions above, in a wide variety of contexts: teams, leadership, organisations, communities. Alongside research and practices from within the international AI community, we also explicitly welcome contributions from people who work with Action Research, ecology, nature connection or indigenous wisdom. We are particularly interested in case studies and practices that put the questions above to work: experiments, methods or cases in which you have tried to work with nature, as well as your insights and lessons.

For the final written submissions, we will be making a distinction between longer in-depth articles that combine theory and practice (around 2000 words) and ‘glimpses’: short stories of moments when you worked with nature (about 500 words). Art and graphics should be in high resolution and ready for publication. Poetry should be formatted for publication. Video links are also encouraged.

Making a Proposal / Draft:

Please let us know of your interest and submit your abstract by November the 1st 2022 using this link:

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