Storying Sheffield

Appreciative Inquiry: seminar in March 2013


Appreciative Inquiry:
A method of working with disadvantaged people

Tuesday 19th March 2013 2.00pm-4.30pm, St Mary’s Community Centre

Graham Duncan, Director, St Mary’s Community Centre
Dr Rory Ridley-Duff, Sheffield Hallam University
Prof. Brendan Stone, University of Sheffield (chair)

Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is a radical method of working with people. It is distinctive because rather than focussing on problems it looks for the strength and solutions present in every situation. This approach releases energy and creativity and offers new insights to intractable problems in both individuals and communities.
For the last 3 years St Mary’s Community Centre and Sheffield Hallam University have been researching the way that Appreciative Inquiry can apply to the lives of marginalised women in the Pakistani community. The research demonstrated that AI was extraordinarily effective, enabling participants to make significant and unexpected changes to their lives. We think that this may have implications for other groups of disadvantaged people, and for the organisations who work with them.
We have arranged a seminar to
– share our experiences of Appreciative Inquiry
– seek feedback and comment
– explore the relevance of Appreciative Inquiry to other groups of disadvantaged people.

The seminar will take place on Tuesday 19th March from 2.00pm-4.30pm at St Mary’s Community Centre.
It will involve a mixture of presentations and discussions and will be relevant to people and organisations who are concerned with
– any field of chronic disadvantage in either the statutory or voluntary sector
– equality and empowerment of marginalised groups
– work with ethnic minority communities
– mental health

The seminar will result in greater understanding of Appreciative Inquiry and identify ways in which other organisations can become involved in using this method. For example, many Council and NHS services are concerned about the difficulties that sections of minority populations have in accessing services. The seminar will provide an ideal opportunity to consider why this might be the case for one section of the minority communities.
Please email Graham Duncan – – if you wish to come to this event or for more information.