Keynote Announcement: Prof. Dr. Ron Fry and Prof. Dr. Gervase Bushe

Scaling-up the Generative Power of AI is the subtitle of the 2012 WAIC’s conference theme. On Saturday prof. Ron Fry & prof. Gervase Bushe will take the stage together in a joint keynote session to talk about generativity as a core-concept in the theory and practice of AI: Generative Engagement: Going beyond the Positive for Transformational Change

Prof. Dr. Ron Fry

Ron is Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University and Chairman of the Department of Organizational Behavior, consistently ranked one of the best in the world by the Financial Times. He has been honored with the University Award for Outstanding Teacher in the Professional Schools and the Weatherhead School’s Distinguished Service Award. He received his MS and PhD from the Sloan School at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology after completing a BS in Engineering at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Ron is widely published in the areas of Organizational Development, Appreciative Inquiry, Team Building, Change Management, Executive Development and the role and functioning of the CEO.  He is a co-creator of the Appreciative Inquiry approach and continues to both apply and study the applications of AI in the field.  His most recent books are Appreciative Inquiry: A Positive Approach to Building Cooperative Capacity (Taos Publishing), with Frank Barrett, and Appreciative Team Building with Diana Whitney, Jay Cherney and Amanda Trsten-Bloom (iUniverse). He also recently co-edited Appreciative Inquiry and Organizational Transformation: Reports from the field (Quorum) and the Handbook of Transformative Cooperation (Stanford University Press).

With Professor David Cooperrider, Ron is co-editor of the Journal of Corporate Citizenship and conducts the Weatherhead International Certificate Program in Appreciative Inquiry for the Betterment of Business and Society in Brazil, Belgium, India, Australia, Indonesia and the USA.  He directs the Fowler Center for Sustainable Value’s World Inquiry Project. He has led and studied large scale, strength-based, multi-stakeholder change processes in a variety of systems including General Electric, World Vision, ArcelorMittal, Roadway Express, Akzonobel, Sustainable Cleveland 2019, Belgian Learning Network for Talent Development, SABMiller, ArcelorMittal Steel, and the US Navy.

We are honoured that Ron holds a keynote at this 5th World AI Conference, also because of the special relationship he has with Belgium & the Organising Committee. Since the mid 1990’s, Ron has led student exchanges between CWRU and KU Leuven University and participated in a growing network of AI practitioners through projects with STEBO, Kessels-Smit, Evenwicht, and alumni from KUL’s Certificate Program for Consulting in Groups and Organizations (CIGO). Collaborations with this network have culminated in the first ever Belgian Learning Network for Talent Development (now in its second iteration) and advising the core founding group for WAIC 2012.

Prof. Dr. Gervase Bushe

Gervase R. Bushe is Professor of Leadership and Organization Development at the Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada. His has won awards for his research on teams, collaborative organizing, and organizational change.  He has been experimenting with and studying appreciative inquiry since 1989 and published the first research assessing it.  Over the past 7 years his studies have uncovered the critical role “generativity” plays in the transformational change potential of appreciative inquiry.  He has lately turned his attention to developing an integrated theory of “Dialogical Organization Development” – processes of change that do not rely on data collection and diagnosis, but focus on changing conversations to transform human systems.

For 30 years Gervase has had a wide range of consulting assignments with organizations as diverse as General Motors, SAP, Novellus and Shell Oil as well as hospitals, schools, start up companies and government departments.  He is the authour of Clear Leadership, a social constructivist model of the skills required to lead collaborative teams and organizations that has been translated into 4 other languages.  Managers from companies as diverse as GE, Nokia, Corning, Emerson, Philips and  Swedbank, have participated in his proven, developmental, leadership programs.Through his company, Clear Learning Ltd., he licenses trainers around the world to deliver Clear Leadership, Appreciative Leadership, Clear Partnership and Performing and Learning in RealTime.

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