The Board of a non-profit community organization focused on access to child care decided to utilize an appreciative approach to their strategic planning process. The process included a 1.5 day retreat with 60 Board members, staff, and community stakeholders in attendance. A design team of staff and Board members worked with the consultant to plan the process. They learned about AI, developed the inquiry topics, refined the questionnaire, planned the interview process, and, after being trained themselves, they oriented and trained twenty staff and Board members to conduct the interviews. About 100 interviews were conducted over a seven week period. Staff, Board members, day care providers, regulators, and parents were interviewed. An administrative assistant undertook the task of separating the responses into groupings by question–thus, all the responses to question #1 were grouped together into a document, etc. The Design Team decided not to attempt to analyze the data prior to the planning retreat other than to review random chunks to see if it had enough sizzle to provoke the retreat attendees. It did. The design of the retreat was an AI Summit model without the interviews being done onsite. The first task was to have table groups study interview data grouped by topic–all four topics had at least two questions each. Each table group of 6 had one of the four inquiry topics to study plus all tables had the results of the dream question (“It’s five years from now and…”). Each topic had two table groups reviewing that data. Two other table groups reviewed the opening and closing questions from the inquiry. The next task was to search for meaning in the interview data. We asked them to dialogue at their table groups about what were we saying to each other in the interviews. They were not asked to analyze the data for patterns and themes as much as dive more deeply into the data in a search for meaning. This was an important difference from some other summits we have done. The conversations–the dialogue–were the most powerful part of the session. Pulling themes and patterns out of the data would not have allowed the same level of discussion. The design worked well and the conversations were rich and deep. (As an aside–this was two weeks after the 9/11/01 events and these people were fierce about creating, supporting, and maintaing safe, stable environments for young childern.) Each group reported out what they found most interesting, meaningful, or provocative in their table discussions. For the Dream Phase we asked people to be out-of-the-box and think about what was possible for the organization. Table groups could stay independent or join with the other table with the same topic to dream. Dreaming was prompted by these questions: “What is the community, the region, even the world calling for us to be/do? What are the most enlivening possibilities for us? What are the most courageous possibilities for us?” Dream groups selected their favorite dream (many had more than one) and created a presentation (skit, song, poem, TV interview, simple flipchart presentation) for the whole group. The presentations were a hoot–these were mostly moms and daycare people after all. All the additional dreams were posted around the room and table group dreamers explained the ones not yet presented. People were then able to select the dream statement they wanted to help work into a Proposition. Some groups had 15 and some only 2 participants but they were all working on something for which they had passion. The final act in the retreat was the presentation of the Provocative Propositions to the whole group and the discussion of next steps. The Propositions included some that changed the organization into one with a different, broader focus and even a different name. People loved it. The early fears by some staff and community people that the Board might go off and do its own thing in setting direction was greatly diminished because the entire Board was part of the 4-D process and had been part of creating some of the more risky propositions. The results of the Strategic Planning Retreat were meerly advisory to the Board as the decision-making body. However, the summit experience will result in real change–not just fine tuning the old Strategic Plan.