[from book part 6 – MY NEXT AI-SUMMIT]

Part of our postgraduate AI action learning program is a two day AI summit. Doing an AI summit within an AI study program goes with extra dimensions. Firstly, as a participant, you take part in an AI summit regarding a subject – an affirmative topic – associated with the study program. The result being a proposal or action that contributes to the group learning. Secondly, our students experience two days full of AI. This is not a lecture anymore, this is practice (meant to be a lesson). Thirdly, as a student, you are tempted to think about the process and procedures of an AI-summit; a sort of stepping out. And finally, by observing and experiencing the AI summit facilitator – our Flemish friend and role model Arno Vansichen – the students are made aware of their own possible future role as an AI facilitator. So there’s a lot to learn over those two days.

With our last group, we fulfilled our AI-summit in a nice villa surrounded by a beautiful park, just outside the city of The Hague. Our question to inquire sounded like, “How can we contribute to desired value transitions, personally or organizationally and in society?” For the sake of experiencing good group dynamics, we invited more people than just our students, so I want you to know that half of the attendees were new to each other. Therefore it is more impressive to find out what an AI summit can do with people, in terms of constructive atmosphere, friendliness and connectivity. During the two days a kind of loving warmness grew in the air… as a result of a group process called AI-summit. (And lots of credits to Arno.)

You will find out more about AI summits in the following chapters, so don’t bother for now. Just imaging that at some point in the process, in the morning of day two, small groups presented their ‘dream propositions’ to each other, contributing to the central question. I recall one group – the rest were standing in a circle around them – switching on an iPod with beautiful music. On the floor was a large white sheet of paper. Colored pencils were scattered around. Everyone seemed to be waiting. It was a magical moment. And then, one of us – I don’t even know whether he or she came from the small group or from the audience – kneeled down, picked up a pencil and started to draw a picture. You can guess what happened: in a few moments, everyone of us was co-creating the drawing. We forgot time; we were strongly connected, and it felt as such. We experienced ‘wholeness’.

This stage in the AI summit process is called the Dream phase. One could say that the entire previous day was intended to create the circumstances for real dreaming; dreaming about how we want the future to be. We need dreams to be able to design and realize a desired future.

Have you had dreams that came true?

Do you have more dreams?

What do you need to share your dreams?


You’ve just read one of the 100 chapters of my book Appreciative Inquiries of the 3.0 Kind. Find out more (and a special pre-ordering offer) on www.appreciativeinquiries.eu