2017 UPCEA New England Pre‐Conference Leadership Program

Appreciative Inquiry: A Positive Approach to Change

Time: Wednesday, October 25, 2017 9:45am – 12:45pm. Check in and refreshments: 9:30am
Location: Longfellow, Westin Harborview, Portland, ME.

Price: $50
Maximum Enrollment: 35

Registration for the New England Pre Conference Program is separate from the full conference registration.
To register for the full conference, click here.

The New England Regional Conference is excited to announce our innovative pre-conference program: Appreciative Inquiry: A Positive Approach to Change.

Appreciative inquiry (AI) as a positive way to embrace organizational change. It is based on a simple assumption:
Every organization has something that works right—things that give life when it most alive, effective, successful, and connected in healthy ways to its stakeholders and communities. AI begins by identifying what is positive and connecting to it in ways that heighten energy and vision for change.

This strength-based perspective is viewed in contrast with deficit-based change which is reportedly successful less than 30% of the time. The unintended consequences of deficit or problem-based change approaches are discussed in contrast with the focus on using strengths to create shared positive images of future possibilities that underlies the AI theory and method.

Participants will learn:

  • What is Appreciative Inquiry
  • How and why Appreciative Inquiry works
  • How it is a strength-based, positive framework
  • The guiding principles
  • How it can be applied personally and professionally
  • Questions that make positive change possible
  • Engaging the whole system in change

Our workshop is designed for anyone who is a change leader. This could include newcomers, new members, and emerging leaders. This will be an interactive session with small and large group work. Participants will be encouraged to reflect on their own change initiatives and work together with colleagues to develop positive strategies. Practical tools and resources will be shared. 

Pre‐Conference Registration and Schedule

The $50 fee includes breakfast and lunch in addition to the pre-conference session.  

Participants must register in advance through the UPCEA website and are encouraged to register early as space is limited! Those planning on attending the full UPCEA New England conference on October 25‐27 must register separately for the conference.  


  • Deborah L. Mathews, University of Rhode Island

Deborah L. Mathews is a seasoned facilitator, trainer and evaluator. As the Director for the University of Rhode Island's Center for Human Services, she helps organizations identify existing strengths and energy, harnessing human capital to enhance capacity to build resilience and excellence.

  • Lori Herz, University of Rhode Island  

Lori Herz is an organizational and professional development expert with 20 years of experience providing project management, program planning, curriculum development, facilitation, training and evaluation services for a variety of organizations. As a member of the University of Rhode Island’s Center for Human Services, she enjoys partnering with people and organizations to help them maximize their potential and achieve their goals.

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