Niel Van Meeuwen Kessels & Smit, The Learning Company

Niel Van Meeuwen
Connecting Appreciative Inquiry and Product Design

Last week, my colleague Katrien Massa and myself received the feedback of the conference organizing team for the 2012 World Appreciative Inquiry Conference on our proposal. They sended us some good news, our proposal ‘What would an AI ‘Chocopot’ do to the Conversations around the Kitchen Table?’ was selected for presenting in Ghent, April 2012. We are very excited about this and very much looking forward to it. For all those who are curious about our proposal, you’ll find it under. More information about the World Appreciative Inquiry Conference 2012 can be found here.

If we take a look around us, our life is full of beautiful things. Think about the vase you put your flowers in at your birthday, the clock in the kitchen who tells you day in day out about the time, or the quilts that cover you at night while you’re asleep. Designers and product developers all over the world are putting their creative talent to the max in making and shaping magnificent forms, shapes and designs. All with one desire: to make the world a beautiful place.

Last week we witnessed the creation of such beautiful things: brainstorm post-its on the wall, mindmaps covering a large table, computer designed ideas of a museum… A design or product development company is mostly a fancy and pretty place to hang out and enhance creativity.

At that moment we said to ourselves: Actually, we, as AI-practitioners, do the same. We create beautiful processes to make the community we work in a nicer place. We help people to be appreciative in order to develop deep relations that are generative.

Except, there is one big difference. We are used to think in processes. Creating and designing good dialogues in order to change: words create worlds. Designers and product developers create products, nice things to get to people, to touch them.

Walking back from the design space we visited we thought by ourselves: how would it be to combine these two craftmanships? How would it look like to connect the powerful AI-processes to beautiful products? Imagine how it would be to find a Nutella can in your kitchen cabinet with a powerful dream-question on it… Or how would a television night between a men and a woman look like if their Lay’s bag of Chips had a discover-question on it… What kind of powerful conversations and dialogues would come out when buying an AI-product?

In this workshop we would like to inquire the idea of what generative impact such powerful combinations could have. Together with some product developers and the participants we will create powerful examples of these AI-products: beautiful things which generate appreciative dialogues. Connecting the world of creativity, design, product development and the process world of AI practitioners together into a powerful concept and generative ideas… You can count us in!

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Name: Niel

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Bio: Social Media, Knowledge Work, Learning and Development, Organization 2.0, Appreciative Inquiry, Creative Designer, Kessels & Smit, The Learning Company