Following on the heels of last week’s inspiring Appreciative Inquiry conference, I came across an example of AI in action, and it relates to a personal story.
During some of the remaining last days of the pre 9-11 era, on May 25th 2000 to be precise, I participated in a special dialogue hosted by the US National Security Commission on Building for Peace (see what I wrote about my experience, Dialogue: Organizing for Conflict Prevention). The unique idea I brought into the room was inspired by Barbara Marx Hubbard’s Synergy Centre concept – to create a new Peace Room function in the White House (and in all the government houses of nation states around the world) devoted to scanning, mapping, connecting and looking for what is working of local and global developments, innovations, discoveries and processes that contribute to a co-creative society (e.g., peace, security, sustainability and a humane, regenerative world). My fellow participants considered this to be a promising and bold social innovation that a visionary new American president might adopt (the dialogue results were to form part of the report of the USNSC to the President and Congress after the election). The post-9-11 reality took the United States in a different direction.
I discovered today that a group of people through WorldChanging.com have taken up a similar idea, and are doing just that – inviting people to look for what is working in the world. Their appreciative and simple premise is this: “that the tools, models and ideas for building a better future lie all around us. That plenty of people are working on tools for change, but the fields in which they work remain unconnected. That the motive, means and opportunity for profound positive change are already present. That another world is not just possible, it’s here. We only need to put the pieces together.” They have already compiled a 600-page book of emerging innovations and solutions for building a bright green future, from disaster relief to sustainable business. What could be possible if people everywhere went looking for, and acted upon, what is right with the world?