I am so proud of Case Western Reserve University–the birthplace of appreciative inquiry–and I was thrilled and honored today by the Stiller School of Business at Champlain College with the dedication of the first academically based Center for Appreciative Inquiry, totally devoted to the advancement of the theory and practice AI’s life-centric approach to knowledge and collaborative design of the future.
This all came about because of a transformative gift by CEO Bob Stiller. I started working with Bob some 14 years ago, along with Judy Rodgers, in the days when Bob was leading Green Mountain Coffee Roasters into an era of phenomenal growth and becoming a leader in the sustainability movement with leadership in Fair Trade coffee, greening operations, and community citizenship. It was one of my first well researched examples of the concept of sustainable value. It was the first time the twin combination–the AI Summit and the sustainability agenda–were woven together in a way that created an amazing synergy. Read more
The people of Cleveland are mobilizing around a compelling vision to transform their communities into a flourishing city. They have the courage to dream a magnanimous vision for their city in the face of tremendous challenges….
Today’s Huntington Post article by Michele Hunt is about putting vision and values to work. Highlighted is the power of wholeness–and a shift from dialogical (gridlocked) democracy to design democracy: where “we the people” do not just provide input, but actually engage in the design of strategic change. This case story involves Cleveland.
The City of Cleveland: Designing a Green City on a Blue Lake: Despite media attention on federal efforts to transition to a green economy, the real change happening is a quiet revolution taking places among US cities. Over 973 mayors have signed on to the US Mayors Climate Protection Agreement. However, even with the exponential growth of effort by cities, most of the action still remains fragmented. Most initiatives are either within a specific sector or a small area of a city resulting in the absence of systemic approaches to change. Read more
Smart Grid – We have followed National Grid’s smart grid pilot in Worcester, MA throughout its evolution, and it continues to be one to watch. The smart meter installations have been completed…
Utility executives face difficult challenges in leading the industry-level change needed to secure a prosperous future. National Grid employed Strategic Convening using the Appreciative Inquiry Positive Design Summit to overcome such challenges. This article shares the National Grid experience to orchestrate two major Appreciative Inquiry Summits in Massachusetts. It also presents possible implications for the Energy Utility Industry and for the Energy Utilities that choose to lead the way. The article provides the basis for real optimism among utilities. It shows how relationships and understanding among utilities, regulators, customers, public advocates, solution providers and other key players can be strengthened to enable a profitable and sustainable transition toward a clean energy future.
I think National Grid is an extraordinary company in the utilities domain. They connect with communities and customers, better than any other company of its kind. I have seen them in operation–convening 500 people, stakeholders from every part of the system–to not just talk, but to design together. Its Appreciative Inquiry Summits–large group design labs–have taken place in Worcester; in Albany; and in the whole statewide energy planning in Massachussets with Governor Deval Patrick. Read more
Organizational Generativity: The Appreciative Inquiry Summit and a Scholarship of Transformation: 4 (Advances in Appreciative Inquiry) – Kindle edition by David Cooperrider, Michel Avital, Lindsey Godwin, David L. Cooperrider, Danielle P. Zandee, Lindsey Godwin, Michel Avital, Brodie Boland. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading Organizational Generativity: The Appreciative Inquiry Summit and a Scholarship of Transformation: 4 (Advances in Appreciative Inquiry).
Appreciative Inquiry, or “AI” is taking the strengths revolution to a new level, far beyond today’s common talent-management or individual leadership focus. Introducing the next generation AI Sustainable Design Summit—something that a recent CEO report singles out as “the best large group method in the world today.”
We are entering the collaborative age. In eras past, the focus was on preparing for organizations to be change frontrunners capable of capturing strategic advantage through disruptive innovation and by creating their own organizational cultures capable of embracing relentless change. Today, however, executives are saying that organizational change is not enough. The overriding question is no longer about change per se, but is about change at the scale of the whole. ‘How do we move a 67,000 person telephone company together?’ ‘How do we move a whole Northeast Ohio economic region in momentum building alignment and shared consensus?’ ‘How do we move a whole dairy industry toward sustainable dairy, not in fragile isolated pockets that disadvantage some and advantage others, but across an industry-wide strengthening effort together?’ Or, ‘how do we, as a world system, unite the strengths of markets with the millennium development promises of eradicating extreme, grinding poverty via collective action?’ Read more
See on Scoop.it – Business as an Agent of World Benefit
Ellen MacArthur (full title Dame Ellen MacArthur), through the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, is one of the main proponents of the Circular Economy.
Ellen MacArthur is an inspiration.
Ellen MacArthur is famous for being the fastest person to sail single-handedly non-stop around the world, in 2005. In preparing for this feat she came to realize that just as what she could take onto her yacht was limited so were the Earth’s resources finite. And with this realization came an understanding of its implications.
After her round-the-world voyage Ellen spent five years speaking to experts and perhaps encouraged by her family background in teaching started the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in 2010.
The Foundation promotes the Circular Economy largely through programmes in schools and universities, and through the Schmidt-MacArthur Fellowship at ten partner universities.
I met Ellen when I helped National Grid UK launch their sustainability strategies with our Appreciative Inquiry Summit methodology (large group, multistakeholder designing). Ellen is inspiring, courageous, and applies the same single minded determination to circular economy as she applied in her world record, utterly courageous sailing. She is a leader. And many around the world are beginning to recognize her as one of the most important sustainability forces of our time. When will we nominate people like Ellen for a Nobel Prize?
See on www.solartraction.com
“The Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, Ibrahim Thiaw, reminds us – as underlined at Rio+20 in 2012 – that the goals of the post-2015 development agenda need, at their very heart, to be sustainable.”
When the MDG goal of cutting extreme poverty rates in half by 2015 was set in 1990 many cynical observers said these kind of lofty goals are just a sign that international institutions like the UN are inept, irrelevant, and all talk. So it’s a surprise to many that not only have the targets been achieved, but achieved 5 years earlier than planned. Human cooperation and global action is possible–and it’s getting better and better. Read more
“sustainability news (sustainability news: New York City to Use Food Waste to Heat Homes http://t.co/0qtYoex0wF via @sharethis)”
While many utilities are fearful and slow to embrace a bright green energy future, National Grid stands tall in its leadership and it’s capacity to partner with its communities around local green initiatives. First there was the Appreciative Inquiry sustainability summit they sponsored with Worcester Massachusetts. Then their “whole system in the room” work with Governor Deval Patrick to help make Massachusetts number one state in the union in energy efficiency (see http://www.davidcooperrider.com/2012/05/17/an-exiting-time-for-cutting-through-complexity-appreciative-inquiry-summit-for-state-energy-planning-with-governor-deval-patrick-and-whole-energy-industry/) Read more
Carol White and Marcy Reed, executives from National Grid, in collaboration with all the energy companies in the state of Massachusetts, residents, customers, state policy makers, regulators, universities, vendors, as well as the Governor Deval Patrick, are pioneering in the use of the Appreciative Inquiry Summit for creating the state’s 3-year energy efficiency plan and a statewide energy savings revolution. This short video shows the collaborative power of “the whole system in the room” in a state that is ranked #1 by IEEE as the energy efficiency leader in the nation. We live in a world where the question is not just about change, but the question now is “change at the scale of the whole”–how do we move whole cities, regions, and even states TOGETHER? And how do we connect and magnify strengths across sectors, institutions, professions, and levels? Everyone knows we need new forms of national dialogue but not just for the sake of dialogue but for doing–for shaping our official plans, and doing the work of management and leadership together. Yes this was highly technical. Yes… Read more