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The Center for Applied Rural Innovation (CARI), an outreach effort of the Department of Agricultural Economics, is committed to being relevant and responsive to the needs of Nebraskans. Under the leadership of Dr. Alan Baquet, a trained facilitator in Appreciative Inquiry, CARI and the University of Nebraska - Lincoln Extension are working with communities using an appreciative inquiry approach.
Communities have primarily used community development methods that look directly at the needs or problems, rather than on what is working well. This often leads to a focus on a certain project or program. Technical resources may be brought in to address a particular issue or situation; a conflict may develop that activates community members to change, or; communities may create a collective vision addressing needs. Appreciative Inquiry builds on strengths and looks at what is going well. Through an inquiry process a community can find out what it wants to be, based on the high moments of where they have been.