NEWSLETTER 11/15/2017

A Note from our Director

Lindsey Godwin
As we turn our eyes to the winter skies here in Vermont, with snow flurries beginning to fall and sunsets coming earlier and earlier, Peter Seeger’s classic lyrics, “Turn! Turn! Turn! To Everything There Is a Season" have been reverberating in my mind.  Knowing the ebb and flow of seasons is a comfort as the nights get longer and longer, because we know spring will come again and the days will stretch long into the summer yet to be.  Sometimes we are in a season of growth, much like our Center is as we are excited to expand our team with the hiring of a new Managing Director (the job posting for this position is below and we encourage you to share it with others).  Sometimes we are in a season of loss, as I, like so many of you in our AI global community, have mourned the recent loss of our dear colleague, Wick van der Vaart. While Wick’s season with us was all too short, he had a wonderful impact on our global AI Community, which you can read more about below.  “Turn! Turn! Turn! To Everything There Is a Season," and the seasons continue…For now, we invite you to share your own stories of Wick and his impact on you and our AI Community…What stories or inspirations from Wick do you have? What quotes or insights did he share with you? Share your stories and insights with us on social media (our twitter is @DLCCenterforAI) using the hashtag #WickInspirations
~Lindsey Godwin, Cooperrider Center Director

The AI Community Mourns a Great Loss

Our AI Community lost a great light last month with the passing of Wick van der Vaart.  Many of you knew Wick as an AI thought leader, a writer, a trainer, a consultant, and Iron Man participant, the editor-in-chief of the AI Practitioner Journal, a colleague, a friend, an inspiration.  We invite you to share your reflections and condolences on the website set up in his honor: In September, after Wick had moved into hospital care, our colleague Joep de Jong had a profound opportunity to capture Wick’s spirit and reflections on what is really important to him and how he was experiencing what was happening with a mix of sadness, humor, and above all love..  If you have not yet seen this video, we invite you to:
The November issue of the AI Practitioner Journal is a special issue celebrating Wick and his work (  Wick’s first issue as publisher and Editor-in-Chief of AI Practitioner was February 2016. Although his tenure at the journal was not been long, his contributions will leave a legacy of thoughtful, engaged and engaging articles for those in all his varied communities to benefit from.  As Wick said even through his illness, 'Always something new emerges, something that is worth the effort of investigating’. We know Wick’s spirit will always be with us.

Job Opening in AI Center

AI Center Managing Director

Are you interested in elevating Appreciative Inquiry around the world and helping the Cooperrider Center grow and expand?
We are excited to invite applications for a Managing Director, a person with a passion for transformation of entrepreneurial organizations and the experience, expertise, and energy in developing and implementing whole-systems thinking including business planning, development, and strategic planning.
Click here for more details and how to apply
Building Vermont's Future From The Child Up
In fall of 2016, Building Bright Futures (BBF) – Vermont’s early childhood public-private partnership – was tasked by the Blue Ribbon Commission on Financing High Quality, Affordable Child Care with engaging diverse stakeholders in a statewide effort to explore and develop recommendations for a comprehensive integrated early care and learning system. To meet this charge, BBF partnered with the David L. Cooperrider Center for Appreciative Inquiry at Champlain College to engage diverse stakeholders in a statewide collaborative design process to identify what works best in the current early care and learning system, and how to leverages these strengths toward our future system. Central to this process was the two-day “Building Vermont’s Future from the Child Up” summit.
On October 3rd and 4th 2017, 250+ Vermonters offered their time, energy, and expertise to take a huge step forward in the design of Vermont’s 0-5 early care and learning system. Having a broad range of stakeholders (legislators, parents, teachers, providers, business owners, higher education representatives, and beyond) allowed for rich conversation, fresh perspectives, and true collaboration. Summit attendees used Appreciative Inquiry to bring forth their collective expertise, build on the strengths of the early childhood system, and identify new opportunities rather than focusing on problems to be solved. They built off of the dreams collected from Vermonters, research shared by issue experts, other states, and partners, and the work of Vermont’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Financing High Quality, Affordable Child Care in order to identify concrete strategies to move us forward. The room was packed with energy and excitement for what our future early care and learning system could look like over the next ten years. Building Bright Futures is finalizing a Summit Outcomes Report and looks forward to supporting the implementation of the incredible ideas harvested at the summit.

Photos courtesy of Building Bright Futures

StrengthScope in Vermont

On October 26th, we welcomed our friends from Strengthscope to Champlain as they led their Mini-Workshop "Upgrade Your Energy." Attended by faculty, staff, community members and attendees of the AI Certification Program, the workshop included activities about Dealing with Energy Drainers and assessing your Strengths in Overdrive. 
This workshop is just a taste of Strengthscope, but the team will return to Vermont in 2018 to teach their Strengthscope Practitioner Training course.
Stay tuned for more details on how to register for this program in the coming months!
To learn more about Strengthscope click here!

Leadership Lessons from a 4 Year old:
Ask more questions

Our youngest learners are the most gifted question askers. On October 12th, Center Director Lindsey Godwin invited attendees of the 45th Annual Early Childhood & Retreat to re-examine this notion in her keynote address, Leadership Lessons from a 4 Year old:
Ask More Questions
. The conference, organized by the Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children and the Vermont Head Start Association, brings together hundreds of early childhood educators and professionals from across Vermont - teachers, program administrators, students, researchers and teacher educators - to explore the latest research and learn from one another.

Upcoming Learning Opportunities

Champlain College - Burlington, VT 
Our monthly AI Introductory Workshop is free of charge and open to anyone in the community, so please feel free to forward it on to others as well. It will take place in room 101/102 in our Lakeside Miller Center building.
Our Fall Semester schedule is:
Wednesday, November 29, 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM

You can RSVP this workshop via the following links:
Register Here!
Basic Mediation Workshop
Champlain College
November 15 - 18, 2017
Wednesday: 6 — 9 PM, Thursday, Friday: 9 AM—6 PM, Saturday: 9 AM—6 PM
If you must handle conflict in your work, are exploring mediation as a possible future vocation, or want to learn about mediation as a resource for clients, this workshop in basic mediation techniques is for you. A mediator guides difficult discussions, encouraging people to find a satisfactory outcome. Mediation can help resolve disputes among co-workers, neighbors, landlords and tenants, business partners, or business owners and clients.

Participants in this dynamic four-day workshop learn and practice skills in
  • Identifying and framing issues
  • Listening for interests
  • Controlling the process
  • Helping disputants solve problems
  • Finalizing agreements
  • Handling special problems in mediation.
For more information, visit
AI Community JAM
Burlington, VT
September 7-9, 2018
Hosted by The David L. Cooperrider Center for Appreciative Inquiry and 
the Taos Institute with dedicated planners and dreamers.

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David L. Cooperrider Center for Appreciative Inquiry · 246 South Willard St. · Burlington, VT 05402 - 0670 · USA

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