Tackling a state's energy-efficiency goals with Appreciative Inquiry
Deval Patrick, governor of Massachusetts, with executives from energy provider National Grid, has enlisted David Cooperrider, PhD, Fairmount Minerals Professor in Social Entrepreneurship and Professor of Organizational Behavior, to help shape the state's three-year energy efficiency plan.
Dr. Cooperrider invented Appreciative Inquiry (AI) with Ron Fry, PhD, Chair and Professor of Organizational Behavior. They based the AI method on the principle that by concentrating on its strengths, an organization can make its weaknesses irrelevant. During a two-day AI summit held at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA, May 15-16, business and civic leaders, as well as stakeholders from government, higher education, and many utilities, met to generate energy-saving ideas for the next three years and beyond.
More than 300 organizations and communities were represented at the summit. Governor Patrick himself was on hand to deliver a keynote speech, proving that his administration takes energy efficiency (and public involvement in the planning process) very seriously.
Cooperrider wrote of the event, "My sense of hope about what we are capable of together goes up every time I participate in something like this. Planning really does depend on creating a rich and complex web of conversations that cut across previously isolated knowledge sets, experiences, and skills.
Watch a video summary of day one of the summit.