What is Appreciative Inquiry?

Posted: April 27, 2011

Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is a way of being and seeing. It is both a worldview and a process for facilitating positive change in human systems, e.g., organizations, groups, and communities. Its assumption is simple: Every human system has something that works right–things that give it life when it is vital, effective, and successful. AI begins by identifying this positive core and connecting to it in ways that heighten energy, sharpen vision, and inspire action for change. As AI consultant Bernard J. Mohr says, “Problems get replaced with innovation as conversations increasingly shift toward uncovering the organization’s (or group’s, or community’s) positive core.”

AI was pioneered in the 1980s by David Cooperrider and Suresh Srivastva, two professors at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. AI consultants around the world are increasingly using an appreciative approach to bring about collaborative and strengths-based change in thousands of profit and nonprofit organizations and communities in more than 100 countries.

What is Appreciative Inquiry?


  1. IIlene Valian Agana says:

    Hello Ms. Melissa,

    Can you conduct training in the Middle East? I am an Asst. Professor and the Training Manager a private university in the Kingdom of Bahrain. I have been reading about AI and I believe this can catch market in the region.

    How do you consider collaboration in terms of training and lecture series. I would like to send email for further queries.

    Thanks and regards.

  2. JJacklynn Holmes says:

    Hi there,

    Do you do any training in Western Canada? Calgary would be my preference.

    Jacklynn Holmes

    • Melissa RobainaMelissa Robaina replied:

      Hello Jacklynn,

      We were in Calgary about a year or so ago. We were recently in Edmonton. We get several inquiries to bring our trainings to Canada, however we need an organization or venue that is open to possibility of hosting our training. To show our gratitude for their hospitality, hosting organization can earn two free registrations once minimum enrollment is me. Do you know of an organization or venue that would be willing to work with us? If so I would be happy to contact them to talk about pricing and dates.

      Thank you,

  3. TTracy says:

    Any trainings planned for the east coast? Professional travel fund restrictions limit me to east of the Mississippi!

  4. SStephen Z. Yashim says:

    Can the certificate in AI training be taken online by developing countries residents?

    • Melissa RobainaMelissa Robaina replied:

      Hello Stephen, Thank you for your inquiry. We are working on bringing our world-renowned training to the web. As of now, unfortunately, we do not. We host our trainings throughout the world so that others may participate in it. Depending on the location of the training, we offer local discounts (often extending the geographical region) which can save hundreds. We price our trainings as low as possible so that as many people who are interested or curious about AI can attend. May I ask where you are located? I would love to work with you so that you may possibly attend on in the future. Sincerely, Melissa

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