In October, 2004, [Nepal Apprecaitve Inquiry National Network] (NAINN) organized four day First National Summit of Imagine Initiatives of Nepal (FNSIIN) from October 1 - 4, 2004 in Banepa, Budol, Kavre District, Nepal. This important achievement for the Imagine Initiatives Movement for Positive Societal Transformation was made possible by the active support of the NGO Federation of Nepal.
The Summit was the first of its kind in Nepal. More than 60 representatives of Nepal Apprecaitve Inquiry National Network, from all five of Nepal's regional AI networks, representatives of 13 district-level Imgaine Initiatives, and other networks attended. Every sector of community development was represented. The program was designed as a blending of two simple but powerful community development practices, Open Space Technology and Appreciative Inquiry. It was conducted in Nepali and English by facilitators Buddhi Tamang (Imagine Nepal and NAINN) and Michael Herman (with funding from the Open Space Institute US).
This was simultaneously a working conference and a leadership training event. It was opened by local government officials and covered by local and national media. The rest of the conference was informed by and actively demonstrated the "four Ds" of Appreciative Inquiry and the mechanisms of Open Space Technology. In this way, participants had real, direct and valuable experience with both practices AND received formal training in both, as they simultaneously completed their conference work.
Applying these two powerful approaches, participating representatives convened more than 60 working sessions to address the most important issues now facing Nepali communities. They Discovered current assets and life forces, Dreamed best possible futures, Designed practical ways to work toward these goals, and identified some immediate next steps for Delivery. The Space was Opened four times, for eleven breakout sessions, and three full days of Open Space and Appreciative Inquiry. All of their work was documented and published for ongoing reference as their work proceeds. Here is a sampling of the issues addressed:
Youth Development, Key Sectors Mapping of Resources, Health and Envirnoment, Tourism Development, HR Development, Health and Nutrtition, Conflict transformation, Cooperation in Every Sector, Natural Resource Management, Communication, Organization Development, Human Rights, Agricultural Transformation, Imagine Nepal, Technology and Development, Education, Creative Society, Good Governance, Village Tourism, Rural Urban Linkages, Children's Rights, New Democratic Party, Democratic Reform, Community Development, Women's Empowerment.
As a result of this introduction to Open Space Technology, participants expected to use the approach in their research areas, for mass mobilization on various issues, for environmental work, planning and review processes, dialogue and creativity, and community development projects -- in the cities as well as in the villages.
The Summit announced and welcomed the publication of the first-ever Nepali text on Appreciative Inquiry, authored by conference facilitator Buddhi Tamang. It also featured a visit by Dr. Chandi Prasad Chapagain, just back from the international conference on Appreciative Inquiry and from the successful defense of his doctoral dissertation.
The Summit was formally closed with a series of passionate speeches by conference leaders and a round of heartfelt and grateful acknowledgements. All of the notes from the Summit were typed and summarized in a formal declaration statement. This was reported in the national and local media and delivered to a number of important government offices and officials.
In that declaration, participants committed to...
Already, it is decided that a Second National Summit should be convened next year in western Nepal. Organizing for that will begin shortly, even as participants give primary attention to applying the learning and delivering on the commitments made at this year's Summit.