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The Media-Crew Miracle

Sparking change by providing stories

Started as an experiment, the media crew succeeded wonderfully in creating a constant stream of news throughout the World Appreciative Inquiry Conference (WAIC) held in Ghent, Belgium April 25-28.

Sixteen pairs of eyes and ears, wandering curiously through the happenings of the International Convention Center of Ghent, generated lots of beautiful stories. Every hour, new stories were added to the website. Every morning, a WAIC print newspaper found its way to the 600 conference participants.

The 2012 WAIC media crew included people representing five countries and 12 organizations.

Sixteen people, not knowing each other before the start of the conference, became a generative news team from the first minute on. A shared aim and lots of space to contribute to that for each member seemed to be successful ingredients.

This fusion of strengths created an uplifting energy, which resulted in more than 50 articles on the website, hundreds of tweets and re-tweets, four daily newspapers and one special closing edition, as well as hundreds of pictures. The editorial team of a special WAIC edition of the AI Magazine has also made good use of all this beautiful content and fresh perspectives.

It sure was an experiment, started with the question: “What could happen if we invite some participants to become journalists for four days?” We saw that  the making and providing of WAIC news added something meaningful. It helped  the connecting, learning and celebrating of the participants. It generated significant content, providing it to the participants and outside world for a long period after the conference. 

Making news is all about sharing, usually without knowing what happens next with the provided stories. If words really have the power to create worlds, and if sparkling, personal and open stories can spark change, news-making can become a vivid servant to the change we want to see in the world. Seen from a generative perspective, maybe that’s exactly what journalism has to contribute to society.

This blog is posted here with permission. It is intended for a special edition of The AI Magazine featuring the 2012 WAIC. The magazine will be released in June as a PDF, available off the 2012 WAIC website.

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Griet Bouwen's picture

During preparations for the 5th Appreciative Inquiry World Conference, held in Belgium in 2012, Griet Bouwen bounced into the work of Axiom News and recognized her mission in its vision, themes and tone of voice.
This encounter, and the friendships that came out of it, led her to start up her own generative news agency in Belgium in 2013. Her small organization is called ‘Nieuwmakers’ (new makers) — because working with generative stories creates the capacity to see our world with new eyes, to spark new conversations, to make things new.
She experiences every day that asset-based, “appreciatively inquiring” stories do contribute to the development of organizations and the society in the direction we hope for. Since words create worlds, telling stories about peoples' hopes, actions and resources is already making a change, she says.

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