Appreciative Inquiry is an approach and process which turns problem-solving on its head. Instead of finding the best ways to solve a pressing problem, it places the focus on identifying the best of what already is in an organization or community, and finding ways of enhancing this to pursue dreams and possibilities of what could be.
Appreciative Inquiry can be used in several ways – as an AI summit where an organization, community or any system comes together for 2-6 days to go through the full AI process with the aim to engage in a large scale change or developmental process. It could be strategic planning, community development, systems change, organizational redesign, vision development, or any other process in which there is a genuine desire for change and growth based on positive inquiry, and for allowing the voice of people at all levels of a system to be heard and included. Appreciative Inquiry can also be done without an AI summit as an on-going process of interviews and dialogues that take place throughout a system organization, community, or city.