What is Appreciative Inquiry?

generic-1Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is an energizing approach for sparking positive organizational change and community development. It focuses on what is working well (appreciative) by engaging people in asking questions and telling stories (inquiry). This shift in focus to the positive generates life within the organization, community or group allowing it to move more effectively towards its goals.

AI is a way of being and seeing. It is both a worldview and a process for facilitating positive change in human systems. 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.

Since the 1980s, AI has been used to bring about collaborative and strengths-based change in organizations and communities worldwide.

Watch Jeanie Cockell presenting a Brief Introduction to Appreciative Inquiry or facilitating a large group at an Appreciative Inquiry Summit.

For more information, articles, cases, and resources about Appreciative Inquiry see the Appreciative Inquiry Commons which is a very rich resource for anyone interested in learning more about Appreciative Inquiry.

Appreciative Inquiry Practitioners Journal

AI Practitioner is the international journal focusing on positive relational approaches to change such as Appreciative Inquiry. Each issue has a number of excellent articles by leading thinkers, professionals and active practitioners in the field. See on our writing pages for articles we have published in this journal.

Appreciative Inquiry Network

The Appreciative Inquiry (AI) Network in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada meets regularly to explore skills and concepts related to AI that contribute to professional and personal development. Our circle practice creates a space for our internal selves to show up (who we are) as we share our strategies for working in our worlds (what we do). For more information contact