Course 1

Wednesdays February 2 – 23, 2022

8-10am PDT (US West Coast)

11am-1pm EDT (US East Coast)

6-8pm SAST (South Africa)

Learn how to apply Appreciative Inquiry (AI) to create the social change of our time

This moment is opportune for AI principles and tools to support our work on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) issues like #BlackLivesMatters, #MeToo and rise to the call to action.  Our course has been designed to support you through collaborative inquiry into what’s working and what’s possible to create the change we want to see in our workplaces, communities and family systems.

In order to ensure your learning through immediate application, we invite you to come with a DEI project (big or small, personal or professional) and we will help you identify the individual and collective strengths within your initiative, develop generative questions to engage in listening and storytelling for positive possibilities, and ensure you have an action plan to co-create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive destiny.

We will share our expertise working in the fields of DEI and organizational development (OD), including our spaciousness theory of change and inclusive leadership model published in Inclusive Leadership (September 2020, Routledge). However, this course will not be a diversity, equity and inclusion training, an unconscious bias assessment, nor an anti-racist webinar. We will provide links to those resources, some which will form part of the pre-work, as there are incredible colleagues who have devoted their life and work to building DEI knowledge and skill set deep dives (for longer than the duration of this course permits).

This course is designed for all Appreciative Inquiry skill levels, whether you are new to AI or you’re an AI expert and yearning to incorporate DEI into your living AI practice. As BIPOC women facilitators, AI has been central to our resilience in social change work and strengthened our call-in culture work in organizations.

Learning OutcomesAs a result of participating in this 4-webinar series you will be able to:

  • Deepen your Appreciative Inquiry practice and tools.
  • Actively contribute to a more diverse, equitable and inclusive world.
  • Work on your own DEI project at work, home or in your community using AI principles and tools.
  • Establish a learning and accountability process and community for your AI DEI work.
  • Create an Action Plan for your DEI project’s destiny.

Target Audience

AI practitioners and AI students, consultants, coaches, collaborative group leaders, DEI practitioners interested in AI and anyone seeking to strengthen their Appreciative Inquiry practices and tools to increase their diversity, equity and inclusion work at work, home, or in their communities.

As a fellow trainer, I just want to thank you for all the careful design you put into the DEI workshopYou are masters in welcoming the whole self into the learning adventure. I look forward to telling you all about my retreat’s success and where it takes us.

Barbara Lewis

Method of Delivery

This course will be delivered virtually using Zoom over 4 weeks with a two-hour webinar per week. Prior to this event, the facilitators will email you everything you need to participate in this course, including: the Zoom meeting login information and a link to a collaboration space on Google.

Webinar #1: Creating A Safe Container And Building A Community Of Practice

We will share a relational theory of change and appreciative leadership model applied to DEI. We will discuss and identify various diversity markers and explore the term intersectionality, coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw, with an additional AI lens, e.g. “how might the term serve as a meaningful metaphor for bringing out the best of women by exploring layers of strengths and wisdom developed by living with multiple forms of inequality and disadvantage” (Thriving Women, Thriving World. 2019, Taos*). We will build understanding and trust through paired work and group shared agreements. The discussions will be informed in part through DEI pre-readings and personal experiences of positive change.

Webinar #2: Project-Based Work

We will review and integrate AI principles, tools, and or process into each person’s identified personal or professional DEI project. Small groups will learn and practice a strengths-based peer mentoring and coaching mastermind process to build, brainstorm and peer feedback on each project. The process involves amplifying and dreaming into what is possible.

Webinar #3: Learning, Accountability, And Inspiration

We will review and explore how the projects, following asynchronous project building, can go further with deeper reflection and breakthroughs on limiting beliefs. We will craft and use generative questions to center living AI and DEI ethos and values in your professional and personal processes. Understanding the wholeness principle, embodied knowledge will also be explored as a catalyst for breakthroughs. What is emerging that informs our DEI future? How can this be practically applied? Where do you need further support? How can we share, learn and grow as an AI DEI community? What are the generative questions we need to consistently and persistently be asking to grow our DEI strengths-based practice?

Webinar #4: Ai Action Plans In Individual, Collective, And Systemic Dei Initiatives

We will conclude harvesting the projects review and exploration. We will reflect on and converge all our key insights and emerging wisdom in order to apply the course practices, tools and processes to multiple arenas in our life beyond the project. Further application of AI in DEI work will be discussed using a multilevel systems framework of inclusion.

To strengthen our community of practice, supportive materials, resources and recommended readings will be made available, as well as between-session sharing of practices, questions, and reflections (e.g. new ways of thinking).


Please note: these virtual webinar sessions will not by recorded for asynchronous viewing due to the experiential nature of the session and the extensive time working and learning in small groups. Asynchronous learning will focus on DEI resources and Appreciative Inquiry resources from the AI commons.

Additionally, the course is designed as project-based learning, so plan on initiatives thriving with 3 hours of asynchronous group work.

In order to accommodate varying timezones for our US, EU and Asia audiences, we have several upcoming cohorts run at various times to accommodate the timezone differences.