When a wild idea becomes a reality!

Once upon a time, two years ago on the high mountains of Kathmandu in Nepal, Luc Verheijen & Luk Dewulf (Kessels & Smit), Erwin De Bruyn (Stebo) and Arno Vansichen (Evenwicht) participated at the previous WAIC. Inspired by the conference, working, talking, living for 4 days in a AI context, anything became possible. “What if the next conference is organized in Europe and more specifically in Belgium?” With that wild idea the men came back to Belgium.

Belgium had all the necessary ingredients to become the next host of the conference. First of all there was a strong community and a lot of innovative expertise in working with AI amongst the partners and within Flanders. Second, there was a long term relationship between the university of Leuven and the university of Cleveland. Finally there was an structure that could organize such an event: ‘De werf’ (in English: ‘The yard’)

The wild idea became a reality from the moment that the participants of ‘the werf’ expressed their personal engagements. Different working groups were set up, each with distinct ambitions. to create the wonderful feeling of being at a world conference of appreciative inquiry as in Nepal…
• to develop an inspiring programme with space for sharing personal stories, making personal contributions and looking for unusual combinations of keynote speakers
• to manage an effective project with short decision lines
• to aim to organize a conference for at least 420 people
• to experiment with generative news making on the spot

This conference will be the beginning of something we don’t yet know or fully understand Let it be a” birthline” for creation, and a journey to get to know ourselves better using this international environment!

Cathy Camertijn
@cathycamertijn – ccamertijn@kessels-smit.be

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