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Collective intelligence for social change by Karina Morales

September 14th, 2020

A friend told me that she went to this training and it transformed her mindset and she said to me “You should go! “ So, I did go and took part in the Appreciative Leadership training (25th-31st August 2020). It was a great experience taking part in MEL Europe project in Crete, Greece. It was very empowering to understand new tools, meet other people and enjoy the place.

I found it very useful to understand the principle of the appreciative inquiry and the tools that help us to define, make a plan and prepare strategies for our vision/dream/ project using tools like 4D, world cafe, open space, SOAR and the art of questioning.

Appreciative Leadership is all about focusing on the positive of the situation, of course not ignoring the negative or problems, but reframing question as “the more positive the question, the greater and longer-lasting the change”.

One of the main elements in this process was people. We worked in pairs and small group sharing thoughts, ideas, challenging and questioning more possibilities to create a dream/vision in each process. Let's not underestimate the power of conversation and sharing knowledge and practice among each other.


This training opportunity created so many memories like a trip to Botanic Garden in Crete. Where I observed a participant sharing her only bottle of water with another participant who was struggling (as everyone else in this excursion) to get to the exits of this big mountain. The weather was extremely hot. Almost half the group wanted to take the short way to get back to the main entrance of this garden. However, everyone decided to take a long way as there was more to see and experience such as a cute donkey, goats, more plants and orange trees and a lovely lake. It was the birthday of a participant and again, we as a group were there celebrating him and being present for him. These memories make me think about solidarity and how much we can do if we help each other. What could be the result of sharing what we have, so others can also succeed in their organisations, work, community, faith and family? We can create a "Collective Social Change" if we work together and help each other.

I have been to previous trainings with The Ubele Initiative, but I just feel that this one has impacted my life professionally, spiritually and personally. I met great, strong and brave leaders that have inspired and encouraged me to grow to make a difference in this world. It was powerful to be in a place where everyone is doing their best to tackle different issues that we encounter in this world. That gives so much energy and fuel and increases the fire within me to keep working with young people and communities.

I am grateful to be part of the Ubele family. I learned a lot from Ubele's great work that empowers leaders to keep making changes in their spheres. I love this quote that our trainer shared with us “Martin Luther King did not say, I have a strategic plan, instead, he shouted, I have a DREAM! and he created a movement". I feel that everyone who took part in this training find a dream to persuade and fight for.

by Karina Morales

About Appreciative Leadership course

While traditional leadership focuses on problems, Appreciative Leadership concentrates on potential. It improves organisations and individuals by helping them find out what is working well and then doing more of it. When overwhelmed by negative thinking about mistakes and responsibility, the positive approach of Appreciative Inquiry with its practical exercises and tools offers advantages and strategies to leaders coping with ever increasing demands.

Appreciative Leadership course was organised on 25th-31st August 2020 in Crete, Greece as part of our Erasmus+ funded project MEL Europe.

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