What is Appreciative Intelligence®? <p >I coined the term appreciative intelligence in 1996 after studying the phenomenal growth of entrepreneurship in the Silicon Valley since the late 1980s. <p >What was the reason that talents of all sorts congregated around a small region in Northern California? What allowed entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, academics, and immigrants (primarily from Asia) to take unusual amounts of risks that led to the rise of the networked world as we know today? I believe that appreciative intelligence is the individual ability that contributed partly to the success of the Silicon Valley. <p >University of California professor and researcher AnnaLee Saxenian pointed out that by 1990 one-third of the population of engineers in the Silicon Valley was foreign born, primarily from China, Taiwan, and India. According to her, Chinese and Indians run 13 percent of Silicon Valley companies between 1980 and 1984, and 29 percent between 1995 and 1998. What did the area provide to attract such a disproportionately high number of high-talent immigrants? <p >My research about Indian American entrepreneurs in early 1990s suggested that they (and Chinese Americans) felt welcomed, accepted, and were given the opportunity to experiment in Silicon Valley in a way they could not have in another country or region. The venture capitalists looking to fund the right ideas were asking the question “how can I make this work” as opposed to “what are the chances this idea will fail? A climate of opportunity recognition, resilience, and high anticipation of positive outcomes existed in the region that became contagious and an organizing force. <p >Appreciative Intelligence is the ability to perceive the positive inherent generative potential in a given situation and to act purposively to transform the potential to outcomes. In other words, it is the ability to reframe a given situation to recognize the positive possibilities embedded in it but not apparent to the untrained eye, and to engage in the necessary actions so that the desired outcomes unfold from the generative aspects of the current situation. <p >The entrepreneurial environment in the Silicon Valley facilitated the full expression of appreciative intelligence. Seeing a situation from multiple perspectives allowed the Silicon Valley entrepreneurs to deal with obstacles with courage and resilience. They reframed situations to recognize opportunities and acted decisively to transform their dreams to reality. Because they could see how the desired future unfolded from the present (perception of possibilities), they had the capacity to face adversity. High appreciative intelligence predisposed them to see the larger picture and the connections between diverse elements. They could shift their cognitive frames to see possibilities, not just boundaries. Due to their higher capacity to embrace ambiguity they had the patience to persevere without knowing all the answers. <p >The construct of appreciative intelligence is embedded in the theory of multiple intelligences proposed by Howard Gardner in the 1983 (Frames of Mind: the Theory of Multiples Intelligences). Gardner demonstrated that intelligence was not a single ability but a number of capacities. Based on findings from the fields of anthropology, psychology, brain research, cognitive science, and biographies of exceptional individuals, he concluded that there were at least seven types of intelligences: linguistic, bodily-kinesthetic, spatial, musical, logical-mathematical, intrapersonal and interpersonal (Gardner later added naturalist intelligence to his original seven). The intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligences were later popularized Daniel Goleman as emotional intelligence and most recently as social intelligence. Appreciative intelligence may eventually be seen as the 9th type of intelligence within the multiple intelligence model.