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The Magic and the Mess: Planning and Sustaining the Promise of an AI Summit is a Course

The Magic and the Mess: Planning and Sustaining the Promise of an AI Summit

Sep 28 - Nov 2, 2020

Spots remaining: 20

$1,036 Enroll

Full course description

The Appreciative Inquiry (AI) Summit Methodology entails far more than simply planning an event. 

Summits are a journey of a 1,000 steps tied to a vision, a gathering of diverse stakeholders, and an elevation of new energy.  Summits honor the best of what has been/what is and a forward push into the future, and, at their best, they cohere a clarity of purpose that is sustaining and invigorating.  And…they are a boatload of work full of both mess and magic.   

Preparing for a summit, hosting one, and actualizing post-summit outcomes is not unlike planning for a long, wondrous, not-always-predictable trek. And in today’s world, we have the added challenge of leading this process without the ability to have everyone physically in the same room together. This course is offered to enable you, whether this is your first summit or your 14th, to examine and apply the conditions for success in laying out the summit as a potent tool for organizational and system-wide change, including exploring how to translate AI summits from “on land” to online. As experts in this field, we seek to enable attendees to develop capacities necessary to structure summit planning and delivery that enables the design of unique, impactful summits; ones best suited to particular systems or organizations.  We also seek to support a growing community of practice, creating an opportunity to share hard-fought wisdom and best ideas evident in your experiences around the globe. 


Learning Outcomes:

As a result of participating in this 6-webinar series you will be able to:
  • Describe what an AI Summit is, and what it is not.
  • Distinguish an organization/system’s fit & readiness for an AI Summit.
  • Determine the essential success factors for each phase of the AI Summit planning process: Pre-Summit, Summit, and Post-Summit.
  • Design your own AI summit that unleashes future opportunities for an organization, system, community and/or country.
  • Join a growing community of practice that increases wisdom sharing and support across the globe around the practice of AI Summits


Webinar Info:

  • Webinar #1: What is a Summit and Conditions for Success? We will explore what an AI Summit is and conditions for its success as a tool for organizational change.

  • Webinar #2: What are the Success Factors for the Pre-Summit Phase?  We will discuss the Pre-Summit factors for success, including how to develop a road-map, gather the champions and how to handle the chaos this phase naturally incurs.

  • Webinar #3: How to Manage the Micro and Macro Moments During an AI Summit? We will examine the choice points during Summit facilitation, generative problem-solving, and learned wisdom about what to look for, what is mandatory, and what to avoid in hosting the summit event.

  • Webinar #4: How Do Design and Implement Sustained Post-Summit Actions? We will investigate how to support the sustaining of Post-Summit outcomes, how to track progress and keep commitment and connection high, and what to do with failed outcomes.

  • Webinar #5: How can we lead AI Summits in Times of Physical Distancing? We will describe how to translate the key elements of the AI Summit Methodology from on land to online. 

  • Webinar #6: What is the Latest Wisdom from the Field? A Dialogue with AI Practitioners around the World We will dialogue with practitioners around the world, lifting up stories of learnings in global and/or unique settings.

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).

Webinar Dates:  

  • Oct 1  11:00 - 12:30 pm ET
  • Oct 8  11:00 - 12:30 pm ET
  • Oct 15  11:00 - 12:30 pm ET
  • Oct 22  11:00 - 12:30 pm ET
  • Oct 29  11:00 - 12:30 pm ET
  • Nov 5  11:00 - 12:30 pm ET

Webinars are 90 minutes and will be recorded for asynchronous viewing.


This Course is For: 

AI practitioners and AI students, consultants and coaches and anyone seeking to ignite positive change on behalf of companies, systems, communities. While you should have some foundational understanding of Appreciative Inquiry, no prior summit experience is necessary. 


Discount Codes:

In honor of this year that has given us so many opportunities to deeply practice appreciative thinking and generative conversations, we are pleased to be able to offer this course at a 20% discount off the regular $1295 price. Save an additional 20% with the code EARLYBIRD when you register before August 15th.



Please contact the Cooperrider Center at






Lindsey Godwin

Lindsey Godwin

Dr. Lindsey Godwin is the Robert P. Stiller Endowed Chair of Management at the Robert P. Stiller School of Business and the Academic Director of the Cooperrider Center for Appreciative Inquiry at Champlain College. She has facilitated Appreciative Inquiry processes with organizations around the world, including Hershey, Ben & Jerry’s, the city of Tampa, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, the Vermont Federal Executive Association, World Vision, the Houston Independent School District, the California Teachers Association, Imagine Nepal, the United Nations, the American Society of Association Executives, and the Leahy Center for Lake Champlain.

Molly McGuigan

Molly McGuigan

Molly McGuigan brings more than 15 years of experience in designing and facilitating collaborative innovation, strategic visioning, and strength-based, whole system approaches to organizational change, strategic planning, and team development. As a facilitator and consultant, Molly's talents have been tapped by a variety of organizations, including: The Cleveland Clinic, Goodyear, Kinetico, Parkland Management Company, EDEN Inc., Medina City Schools, The Museum of Contemporary Art and The Cleveland Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Maria Sirois

Maria Sirois

Maria is a master teacher, facilitator and author. As a positive psychologist (Psy.D.) and international consultant, she focuses on the resilience of the human spirit when under pressure and/or during significant transition. Her work builds capacity and engagement around difficult moments using such moments to leverage sustained positive shifts in ability and perspective. As a speaker she has been called, "An orator of great power and beauty." Maria is a consultant with the Cooperrider Center for Appreciative Inquiry at the Stiller School of Business, LeaderMom, and Wholebeing Institute, and is on faculty at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. She is also the author of two books: A Short Course in Happiness After Loss and Every Day Counts.