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Appreciative Inquiry & URI

Appreciative Inquiry is an exciting philosophy for change that was created by Professor David Cooperrider and his associates Case Western Reserve University. The URI has used Appreciative Inquiry interviews at its gatherings since 1996 to help create relationships which are at the heart of the URI's growth and appeal. Here is a summary of Appreciative Inquiry, and how to use this powerful tool within the context of the URI community.


Appreciative Inquiry's Dynamic 7D Process

While Appreciative Inquiry traditionally incorporates a process that has 4 D's - Discover, Dream, Design, and Destiny - Mac Odell, a vibrant leader in the Appreciative Inquiry field, has created a 7 D process! Here is a story of how a group had the fun of learning these 7 Ds.


Appreciative Inquiry Model Questions

Helpful guidelines and sample Appreciative Inquiry questions, specifically tailored for first-time gatherings.


Appreciative Inquiry Questions for Leaders of Social Change Organizations

Appreciative Inquiry questions for leaders of social change organizations, to help deepen purpose and calling.


Appreciative Inquiry Workshop - Young Leaders Program

This Appreciative Inquiry questionnaire was used to initiate the URI Young Leaders Program in the Philippines, April 2010. The questions were inspired by the Living Values Education approach and focus on a time of deep connection and inner peace, as well as what message of peace each person has for the world.


Building Bridges and Peace by Singing

A great idea from the URI-Moral Imagination Peacebuilding Seminar. Learn each other's songs and deepen cross-cultural respect and understanding with laughter, rhythm and fun.


CC Story and Lesson Idea - Cooperation

Despina Namwembe, URI Africa Sub-regional Coordinator, tells of the Interfaith Youth Partnership CC's spiritual appreciation visit to the Hare Krishna temple in Kampala, Uganda, and their sharing of a meal with the Hare Krishna believers. She recounts the talk the Hare Krishna spiritual leader gave, wherein he shared amazing words of wisdom from the Hare Krishna kids about "cooperation." Sally Mahe, URI Director of Organizational Development, uses these words of wisdom from children in a fun, practical lesson idea for children and adults alike.


Engaging the URI Charter

By Salle Mahe, URI Director of Organizational Development, this guide helps CC participate in the on-going creation and revision of the URI Charter by reading it and discussing it with others. Here are some great ideas for how to engage the Charter in group meetings.


Evaluation Survey - Young Leaders Program

This is a useful survey for assessing the effectiveness of an interfaith youth leadership program and the long-term benefits of youth participation in interfaith work. It was used first at URI - Young Leaders Program, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Region in April 2010.


Golden Rule Proclamation

The Interfaith Peace-building Initiative, a URI Cooperation Circle in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, proclaimed April 5, 2007 as a Golden Rule Day. Mussie Hailu, Regional Coordinator of URI Africa, encourages the rest of the URI community and world to use these words to proclaim a Golden Rule Day in local communities, schools, places of work, families, etc.


Headliners Activity

This is a fun, hands-on workshop which was offered at the URI youth leadership programme in the Philippines, April 2010. The activity gets participants into small groups to envision what URI will be in the future, and to craft a cover story out of their vision for a magazine or other media outlet. It promotes creativity and team-building, and builds shared vision.


Interfaith Café: An Adaptation of the World Café

This workshop was shared and shaped by Kay Lindhal, a URI CC contact person who also runs her own non-profit, the Sacred Art of Listening. She adapted the model of the World Café for an interfaith setting and provides sample interfaith questions for café dialogue. This workshop was offered at the Religious Diversity Forum 2004 in Southern California, USA.


Interfaith Candle Lighting Service

A script of an example of an Interfaith Candle Lighting service, which incorporates prayers from many world traditions.


Interfaith Dialogue and Action on the College Campus: An Inquiry

Appreciative Inquiry questions for pairs and small groups, for college students who wish to enrich their interfaith experience on campus.


Interfaith Peace Prayer Ceremony

Interfaith blessings for the people of many of world's religions and spiritual traditions, and an excerpt from a prayer from Archbishop Desmond Tutu.


International Day of Peace Activities by URI CCs

URI has made a substantial contribution to the global presence of International Day of Peace since 2000; see a sampling of the exciting and diverse events put on by our CCs in past years.




International Day of Peace Participation Form

URI is asking CCs to reach out to local houses of worship to take part in the International Day of Peace. Invite your local temple, mosque, church, synagogue, etc. to pray for peace on or around 21 September and report back to you with this form.


Intra-Faith Peacebuilding Dialogue Workshop

Presented during the Young Leaders Program in Mayapur, India in November 2008, this workshop was adapted from the URI Interfaith Peacebuilding Guide. Participants got into groups of the same tradition (Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Indigenous traditions, etc.) and looked at both what practices in their tradition contribute to peaceful interfaith relations as well as what practices or teachings of their tradition might present a challenge to interfaith understanding and harmony.


Kindness Insights: Making a Difference in People's Lives

These insights from the book Kindness: Making a Difference in People's Lives by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin, were shared with the URI community through email discussion by URI Global Council Trustee, Rebecca Tobias, from the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Ethics.


Learning and Respecting Complexities: The URI Experience 2008-2025

Diana Whitney, President of the Corporation for Positive Change, presents a series of Appreciative Inquiry questions that help URI members access the realities of the URI, and look ahead to the future.


Model Interfaith Program at Surey College Interfaith College

On October 11th, 2006, a diverse group of 20 students and staff from 11 different traditions met in the Oak Suite for the inaugural interfaith meeting on campus. Most had never met before; what they all shared in common was a curiosity about "the other" and a commitment to coming together to find out more and share their stories. Read about the methodology they used to create an ambitious, varied interfaith program on their campus.


Multifaith Prayers on the Environment

This excerpt from Religions for Peace's Project Green includes multifaith prayers on the environment.


Prayers for Peace

Read how peace is reflected throughout many of the world's religions by reading peace prayers specific to tradition.


Sample International Day of Peace Activities

We encourage all URI Cooperation Circle (CC) member groups to participate in the International Day of Peace. We hope everyone will observe the Minute of Silence at 12 noon (especially in schools, and at your Peace Pole if you have one nearby), adding your prayers, meditation or ceremony for peace. You might like to plan a special event as well, such as an interfaith meeting or a peace concert. Also, help to spread the message of peace by contacting local newspapers, radio and television. Connect with your local United Nations Information Center to coordinate plans. Web sites where you can announce your International Day of Peace observances include:

General plans:

Vigils of prayer and/or meditation:


Sample Proclamation for Public Officials

A global ceasefire is not just negotiated by governments: it is built by each person when nonviolence is chosen to solve a confrontation. Use International Day of Peace to encourage activities promoting nonviolence in your region in support of the ceasefire, including campaigns against crime, domestic violence, etc. Perhaps your mayor or other official will also want to issue a proclamation or make a speech.


Stories of Hope

Stories of Hope highlights community workshops that address urgent local concerns and develop URI Interfaith Peacebuilding Skills. These workshops were conducted by six URI grassroots leaders representing diverse backgrounds, traditions and life experiences, who studied together at the 2002 Summer Peacebuilding Institute (SPI) of Eastern Mennonite University. To help strengthen peacebuilding practices in the URI network, they each applied SPI learning in action when they retuned home to Uganda, the Philippines, Zimbabwe, and Malawi. Through these projects emerge voices from diverse religions finding ways to deepen their relationships, trust and understanding as they address local concerns together.


Taking the Environmental Initiative

URI's Young Leader Program Steering Committee members worked collaboratively with one another to develop this list of ideas for what URI members can do both individually and in their community, on the topic of the environment. It also has links to other interfaith organizations and partner groups.


Taking the Initiative on Social Justice

URI's Young Leader Program Steering Committee members worked collaboratively to develop this list of ideas for what URI members can do both individually and in their community, on the topic of social justice. It also has links to other interfaith organizations and partner groups.


URI Introduction Pieces

Tap into your creativity by using this piece in a variety of ways for website pages, PowerPoint presentations, slide shows, etc.


Ways of Peace! URI Youth 4 Unity Brochure

This delightful, illustrated brochure was created by the youth wing of the Peacemakers' Circle CC in the Philippines - Youth 4 Unity - as a way to share expressions of the Golden Rule in different religions, spiritual expressions and indigenous traditions. It also shares simple ways to practice inner peace, harmony with others and healing of the Earth.


World Café Workshop

The model of World Café was adapted for this workshop at the URI youth leadership training program in the Philippines in April 2010. Participants chose one of three kinship circles on: Building Safe Spaces for Conflict Resolution, Healing and Reconciliation; Caring for the Earth; and Social Well-Being for all Humanity. In each café conversation, they looked at how their traditions contribute healthy and useful practices to the three topics, as well as identifying potential barriers or obstacles in each of their traditions.

"We need to be the change we wish to see in the world" - Mahatma Gandhi


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