[from book part 2 WHEN THE BEGINNING STARTS TO BEGIN]
Ghent, Belgium, 28th April 2012. The World AI Conference is shifting towards its completion. In Plenary Session 4, Prof. Dr. Klaas van Egmond argued that sustainability is synonymous with human dignity.
Standing ovation for his wisdom combined with his motivational eloquence. Shivers on my back. He defined his circle, this island where we can find trust and safety, where pure freedom keeps us balancing within the boundaries of the dialectic, which helps us to stay away from the extremes, where connectivity becomes unsure, and the sea of the unconsciousness awaits us. What to do? Whether it was Icarus or Parsifal, they left their safe harbor in search of their Grail. And in doing that, they developed great personal potential and impact. (Yes, Icarus had impact too, because his story is still being told today.) When they returned, the island seemed bigger. The travelers had developed the Grail within their selves. And the word Grail includes AI…
Then there’s me, as spectator looking for congruency in people’s behavior (and as co-creator trying to be congruent myself… quite a quest): How did Klaas stay so well within his self defined circle, at the same time being able to talk about the outer parts of it? His answer might be: “Because we are Part and Whole at the same time.” I think I saw Klaas exercising this principle. From giving deep insights he switched fluently, with a bit of humor, to connecting with us … and back again. In fact, he reached out from his circle, travelled around the auditorium, and… stretched his circle in a way that we found ourselves back on his island. Geweldig! (This is the Dutch translation of ‘awesome’.)
During the conference week, participants have become parts of a new whole. The ICC in Ghent has grown into AI-land. No extremes to be found here. This afternoon, the moment we step outside, we dive into the sea. Have a good swim; it may be a struggle from time to time. Remember the circle where you came from, where you are part of. We will stay connected. Let’s promise to meet again in AI-land, and let’s try to keep scaling up our circle day by day. Imagine where we, and all those others, will stand in two years from now… Amai! (This is the Flemish translation of the Dutch ‘geweldig’.)
How does your ‘AI land’ look like?
Are you ready to enter?
Are you prepared to leave?
You’ve just read one of the 110 chapters of my book Appreciative Inquiries of the 3.0 Kind. Find out more (and a special pre-ordering offer) on www.appreciativeinquiries.eu.