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World Appreciative Inquiry university in development
Global planning team drafts mission, values of proposed institution

The dream of a world Appreciative Inquiry (AI) educational institution moved closer to reality at the 2009 World Appreciative Inquiry Conference in Nepal Nov. 16-19.

During the conference, the 300-plus delegates contributed to a dreaming and design discussion on the subject of a global educational institution grounded in the strength-based philosophy.

From that discussion, an international planning team of almost 60 interested people, including AI thought leader David Cooperrider, was created to move the vision forward.

The group has since drafted a mission statement and values for the institution, according to the team lead, Gana Pati Ojha, a resident of Nepal and co-chair of the recent conference.

The institution, tentatively called the World AI Multiversity, will have a threefold mission of “appreciative learning, research and community services” through collaboration and consultation amongst the “membership of the entire AI community,” according to a post-conference document.

Ideas for the institution’s structure are being explored, with both a physical location in Nepal and online learning system being considered.

A Nepalese initiative, Imagine Nepal, which is geared to creating a positive future for the country, drafted a white paper on the proposed university prior to the conference.

The group suggests that having the institution based in Nepal is ideal as the country already has hundreds of individuals and groups trained in and using AI across multiple sectors.

“The popularity of AI among the Nepalese societies is one of the fastest-growing on the globe,” states the white paper. 

“This has produced a positive core of capable leaders who are committed to work for the establishment of a global AI multiversity.”
 
Next steps for the project include formulating the institution’s governance. The international planning team will continue this discussion virtually in the short-term and through a potential face-to-face summit in the future.

With the global proliferation of the AI and strength-based approach into nearly all sectors of society, multiple businesses and many academic institutions, the time is right for an international learning centre on the subject, says Ojha.

“The ever-expanding number of organizations and individuals using AI and benefiting from its contribution has given high hopes to shifting the paradigm from a deficit-based belief system to positive societal transformation,” he states, noting this shift could be significantly strengthened by a world-wide educational system focused exclusively on learning more about and advancing the methodology.

“Establishing the World AI Multiversity is a permanent bold step towards expanding and deepening the AI knowledge base that the world will require to move toward a vision of .  . . the positive, vibrant civilization of the future.”

The vision is to establish the multiversity by the year 2014.

To learn more or contribute to this initiative, contact Ojha at gpojha(at)gmail.com.

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