Appreciative Inquiry in Community Organizing

Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is an approach to organizational development that builds on the idea of using inquiry to drive change and on focusing on what is positively working rather than what is not working.  This is an alternative to the problem-focused and traditional models of organizational development and improvements.  AI focuses on the important of asking affirmative/positive questions and using positive language in the process. 

The goals of the workshop are the following: 

  1. For participants to experience the different components of the Cycle of Appreciative Inquiry:  Discovery, Dream, Design and Destiny.  
  2. In the discovery process, participants will identify the best of their communities as reflected on the environmental scans they administered prior to coming to the US; 
  3. In the dream cycle; they will imagine their community to what it could be through creating environment art; 
  4. In the design cycle, participants will construct what their communities should be; 
  5. In the destiny cycle, participants will explore and innovate ways to bring their community into a reality and sustain these new innovations. 

Participants will experience the following AI activities: 

  1. Appreciative Storytelling – This is an opportunity for every participant to share one positive story about his/her life in the community or an encouraging story of others in their community 
  2. Appreciative Roleplay – This is an exercise on peaceful dialogue and strategic interaction using scenarios and case studies of communities and leaders 
  3. Appreciative Planning and Action – Using video clips, participants will apply demonstrated perspectives and concepts in building themselves and their communities  
  4. Appreciative Art – using visual art, participants will work together to create one art of their dreams about their communities 
  5. Appreciative Acknowledgment Bag –This is to build appreciation of each other during the training, participants will be asked to write notes of appreciation to each other and will continue this in the next 3 weeks.  Participants will have a chance to read these during the Debriefing in Washington DC 
  6. Appreciative Community Planning – Using small village structures, Legos, houses, etc., participants will create their own dream community, one city black for each group. 
  7. Appreciative Commitment – This will give each participant a chance to openly pledge commitment to valuing their communities now and tomorrow while others acknowledge that commitment with cheers of affirmation. They will also sign on this commitment on a canvass.  (This activity is continuation from ABCD Workshop) 

Themes: Civic Education, Community Service, Social Responsibility 

Youth Leadership Development   

Presentation Materials