International Journal of Appreciative Inquiry


Appreciative Resources

Architect, family therapist, musician, bathed in Italian, French, and American culture, and passionate about social constructionism, Alain has graciously offered the French-speaking public the translation of many books by Kenneth Gergen, as well as many other authors. 





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Meeting Alain Robiolio – Transforming our model 

Social constructionism demonstrates that we are relational beings. When Alain discovered the richness of social constructionism, he saw it as an extraordinary way out of the traditional and unsuccessful model bequeathed to us by the Enlightenment. Appreciative Inquiry, which grew out of it, suggests that it is possible to dialogue to express our dreams and build a shared dream—another revelation. Dialogue is essential to “fill the gaps in a world where everything is separate, to connect for the living”. 

Of course, it is not a straight line, “to draw a straight line in a field is to forget the whole dimension of the field”, it is a tribute to the appreciative approach to underline the singularities and the twists and turns of each experience. 

Referring to Alfred Hitchcock, Alain shows that every story has changing and unforeseen situations, surprises caused by some while others experience them, and suspense that leaves some unaware of what will happen. A lively appreciative process contains, like a good film, these elements. 

It is all the more true in a world where anxieties abound, whether it be the economy or democracy confronted with the rise of totalitarianism, predation, and exploitation of our earth to the point of making it uninhabitable and even music that sometimes becomes inaudible! 

Faced with such anxieties, trying to reduce the catastrophe is futile. Adapting the existing model will not be enough; it will be necessary to transform it. 

To do this, organizations and groups of people must be able to express their dreams while getting to know those of others. It is the only way to overcome the opinions and beliefs that oppose each other, sterilizing thought and making action impossible. 

Discovering what is fundamental in the other person requires detachment from one’s opinions and certainties. It is a question of knowing how to abandon oneself, “by falling back, one rises again”, and of learning to strip oneself of all possessions to open oneself to the other. 

Alain, therefore, emphasizes the demands made on the appreciative practitioner, “being AI” is a lifetime’s work, but what a joy it is to progress along this path! 


Harlene Anderson  

Conversation, Language, And Possibilities: A Postmodern Approach To Therapy

Basic Books, 1997 

Frank Barrett, Ronald Fry 

Appreciative Inquiry: A Positive Approach to Building Cooperative Capacity 

The TAOS Institute, 2005 

Robert Cottor, Alan Asher, Judith Levin, Cindy Weiser 

Experiential Learning Exercises in Social Construction: A Field Book for Creating Change 

The TAOS Institute, 2004 

Kenneth Gergen 

The Saturated Self, Dilemmas of Identity in Contemporary Life 

Basic Books, 1991 

An Invitation to Social Construction 

Sage, 1999 

Realities and Relationships 

Harvard University Press, 1994 

Kenneth Gergen, Mary Gergen 

An Invitation to Social Construction 

TAOS 2004 

Marianne Mille Bojer, Heiko Roehl, Marianne Knuth, Colleen Magner 

Mapping Dialogue: Essential Tools for Social Change 

The TAOS Institute, 2008 

Peggy Penn 

Joint Imaginations: Writing and Language in Therapy 

The TAOS Institute, 2009 

Jacqueline Stavros, Cheri Torres 

Dynamic Relationships : Unleashing the Power of Appreciative Inquiry in Daily Living 

The TAOS Institute, 2005 

In the TAOS Institute’s worldsharebooks : 

Kenneth Gergen  

The Relational Imperative : Resources for a World on Edge 





Gitte Haslebo, Maja-Loua Haslebo 

Practicing Relational Ethics in Organizations 

Carina Håkansson 

Experiences from a Collaborative Systemic Practice 

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