Learning Journeys

Welcome to the AIN Paris Learning Journey experience!

The AIN Learning Journeys are full-day explorations into a specific topic which take place before the main conference. Discover a mix of art, dance, singing, drawing, culture, adventure and innovation, all tuned to the vibe of improvisation. Our philosophy is to build bridges by valuing humans at the heart of what we do to enable each of us to be a change-maker in our world.

Join us on one or more Learning Journeys to discover an unique experience of Paris with local designers, artists, cultural guides and improvisers. Immerse yourself in our city of love, enlightenment, art and diversity where everything is possible. Get ready to meet or reconnect with great people from all around the world; the members of the Applied Improvisation Network!

The format will be one of the following:

‘We Learn from Paris’ – we visit places where you learn things you can take home and apply to your practice of applied improvisation. This is the historic Learning Journey model, where we observe how AI is being used currently.

‘Paris Learns from Us’ – we visit places where we can share and evangelize the value of Applied Improvisation. This option would require Applied Improvisation practitioners volunteering to demonstrate their specialties in different settings and can be considered a hybrid option as applied improvisers can learn from one another.

One Learning Journey day: €100
Two Learning Journey days: €140 (Save 30% by booking both days.)

You book your place on our AIN Conference registration form section for Pre-Conference Activities.

Philippe Elie Kassabi and Marine Mellado have co-ordinated these Learning Journeys under the directorship of conference chair Sylvaine Messica and with the precious support of Eve Cerisier (Conference Treasurer), Lisa Jacob (Board Member), and Angelina Castellini (AIN Administrator).

Voila! Discover Paris like never before!

Please note that we are still in process of finalizing the schedule for the Learning Journeys and the programme is still subject to changes. We thank you for your understanding.

At the moment there are ten journeys available:

For more information have a look at our Conference FAQ before contacting us at conference@appliedimprovisationnetwork.org

Rhythms of Paris: Music, Art, and Dance

Day: Wednesday, 22nd August
Location: TBC
For who: Everyone, no experience required

In this three-part Learning Journey by the Eiffel Tour we will explore improvisation and rhythm through music, dance, and art. In the morning, Kay will share what she’s learned studying with vocal improvisation masters Bobby McFerrin, Rhiannon and many others. We will sing circle songs to experience the link between the body and the voice by improvising songs through musical games, relaxation and breathing techniques. We then visit the Quai Branly museum, an enchanted place featuring the indigenous art and cultures of Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas. The most innovative museum of non-western civilisations in France will offer you a different perspective of Parisian art and culture. The afternoon then holds an African dance workshop with Bolewa Sabourin from the LOBA association which amongst many projects, promotes emancipation for vulnerable women through dance. The workshop is open to all levels of experience of music and dance, a curiousity for art is required. Your museum ticket is included in the Learning Journey price.

Facilitator Bio:

The day will be hosted by founder of En Haut de l’Affiche and conference chair Sylvaine Messica and Marine Mellado, who uses Applied Improvisation with students, actors, companies and start ups. The day is facilitated by a group of people. Kay Bourgine is a jazz singer, from NY, she has lived in Paris for a long time and is a specialist in teaching Circle song in Paris. Bolewa Sabourin founded the LOBA association which aims at raising awareness among children and adults about violence against women in France and in the world. Simo Routarinne is an Interaction Designer and Creative Director of Improvment Ltd. who comes from Finland.


The Quest: Paris Edition

Day: Wednesday, 22nd August
Location: TBC
For who: Everyone, no experience required

“The kind of attention we pay actually alters the world, we are literally, partners in creation.” – Iain McGilchrist, The Master and His Emissary

What better way to encounter this iconic city than to embark on an improvised adventure across the urban landscape of Paris? The Quest is a one-of-a kind experience where improvisation, storytelling, and urban exploration meet and transformative insights are generated as a result.

In the morning, participants will be introduced to The Quest and the history behind it, how it relates to Paris and the history of the Dérive and current and exciting research about place, memory, and empathy. Next, through a series of interactive exercises, you will become acquainted with the skills needed to embark on it. Then, participants will leave the workshop space and set off on your Quest. It will be a chance to explore Paris on a solo-journey. During that time you can get lunch or not, whatever you choose. Finally, all the participants will gather together again and share stories of their experiences. The session might carry over to a local cafe or bar.

Facilitator Bio:

The Quest will be facilitated by Jeanne Lambin of Lamb Ink. She has performed, presented, and conducted workshops and training in the US, Europe, and Asia, exploring how improv and storytelling can help us collective create better places to live, work, and play. Whether, working in heritage conservation, academia, or in her current work, a common thread connecting it all has been the desire to connect people to people, places, and things that they care about and give them the tools that they need to take meaningful action and inspire change. She has facilitated the Quest at several of our past AIN conferences.


The Art and Design of Improvisation

Day: Wednesday, 22nd August
Location: TBC
For who: Everyone

Join us for a creative morning on the path of La Boheme in Montmartre, the artist district of Paris, for a unique artistic experience. Learn how to draw and improvise with Philippe-Elie Kassabi. We will combine the art forms of improvisation, sketch noting and drawing in the city’s most inspiring and beautiful parts of Paris.

In the afternoon, this Learning Journey will explore the field of design as applied to a collective intelligence. More and more companies are realizing the benefits of a customer-centric design philosophy and utilizing the methods and core beliefs of Service Design. What is yet to be fully explored is the role of Applied Improvisation in this field. ‘Making your partner look good’ is as much a statement for improvisers as it is for designers, and we will spend this day outlining these two contexts and add them together, with a solid goal of developing a toolbox for all participants to use in their consulting work going forward.

Facilitator Bio:

Philippe-Elie Kassabi is a successful French entrepreneur, applied improviser, artistic director of En Haut de l’Affiche, graphic facilitator, professional artist and painter. He is the co-founder of AIN France. He uses improvisation techniques such as design thinking with his clients during conferences and workshops.

Alexandre Simon is the Service Design Director of Hiveworks Paris, a design studio based in France and the UK. Alexandre helps groups to solve complex issues (Customer Experience, Process Flow, Governance) through design thinking ways.

Bård Braende is a Norwegian Applied Improvisation practitioner and consultant working extensively with Concept Development and Communication for some of the largest corporations in Scandinavia.


Improv Artivism: Improvisation & Activism for Social Change

Day: Wednesday, 22nd August
Location: TBC
For who: Everyone

Art, freedom and creativity will change society faster than politics.”- Victor Pinchuk

“Well, normally I’m against big things. I think the world is going to be saved by millions of small things. Too many things can go wrong when they get big.” — Pete Seeger

Since the election of Trump in the US and the victory of the Brexit movement in the UK, there has been a great deal of social unrest and political awakening amongst people in the western world. Where exactly do the skills and practice derived from improvisation fit into to all of this activism? How can we as improvisers affect positive progressive change in our community, the nation, and the world?
Combining the status work improv structures of Keith Johnstone, the games and teachings of Keisha Zollar on improv & power relationships, a miniQuest, and good old fashion storytelling, participants will go on a journey of self-discovery, exploring how improv can affect intersectional empathy, awareness of ‘power relationships’, and sustainable social and political change. Oh—and you’ll have fun, too! Lots of improv games you’ve never seen!

Facilitator Bio:

This Learning Journey will be facilitated by Joey Novick. Joey has been a political comedian, improviser, camp counselor, editorial director, attorney, busboy, professional speaker, child actor and an elected official in New Jersey–but not necessarily in that order. He was an elected Councilman in Flemington, New Jersey, USA for fifteen years, and studied improv with Del Close and Keith Johnstone. He brought the Quest to the AIN Conference in 2014, where it has found a home ever since.


Introduction Session to Applied Improvisation

Day: TBC
Location: TBC
For who: Everyone, beginner Applied Improvisers, new to AIN, no experience required

Are you taking your first steps into the world of Applied Improvisation? Would you like to learn more of Applied Improvisation basics to get the most out of the conference?

This workshop aims to explore the skills and mindset of improv actors, discuss the WHY, WHAT and HOW of Improvisation and Playfulness giving you more knowledge and insights into Applied Improvisation and its value for you and your work practice, introduce you to the AIN organisation, provide a few key exercises, tools and concepts.

We will play with these to get you ready for the conference!

Facilitator Bio:

The session will be hosted by Raymond van Driel. As a corporate leadership and communication coach, Raymond has been practising Applied Improvisaton since 2000 and facilitates Train-the-Trainer sessions worldwide. With other AIN practitioners, he has co-authored several articles on Improvisation applied to effective collaboration and leadership. Raymond is a Board Member and the Secretary of the Applied Improvisation Network.


Instructional Moments ©: Sales, Design, Facilitation of Applied Improvisation

Day: TBC
Location: TBC
For who: Applied Improvisers with some experience

We know that Applied Improvisation has the power to change lives. What we don’t always know is how to best explain the benefits to the people who might buy our programs or to how address the misconceptions of potential participants in those programs.

On this Learning Journey, we will explore the language and concepts that help prospective clients “see” how our work produces meaningful change. We will experiment with program design ideas that create memorable experiences and try out facilitation techniques that help us overcome our perceived challenges in making the experience the best it can be. You will learn how to sell, design, and facilitate Learning and Self-Discovery Programs using Applied Improvisation techniques.

This Learning Journey is made up of two simultaneous experiences. You will be BOTH a facilitator/trainer/presenter learning how to market, customize, develop and lead using Applied Improvisation AND you will be a participant in this workshop so you will experience exactly what the people in your programs go through- the thoughts, feelings and actions that non-improvisers deal with.

The result is that you can be both empathic and directive in a shared status dynamic. After all, we never know exactly how our improvisation activities are going to turn out. You will leave with practical tips, tactics and an enhanced confidence in your ability to sell, design, and facilitate long or short Applied Improvisation programs to groups of 5- 500.

Objectives. You will be able to:

  • incorporate activities into your own work in a way that is meaningful to you and insightful to your participants.
  • Recognize which self-limiting beliefs you carry about what is possible when using Applied Improvisation with groups.
  • Apply new facilitation tools and concepts.
  • Describe how to overcome client objections, fears and misconceptions about Applied Improvisation.
  • Discuss how Applied Improvisation helps participants understand their own patterns of behavior.

Facilitator Bio:

Izzy Gesell, M.ED, CSP (Certified Speaking Professional) has led Applied Improvisation programs around the world since 1995. He has used Applied Improvisation to train NASA engineers in leadership, to help Aetna Insurance customer reps manage their stress, and Hewlett Packard global managers to communicate more effectively.


From Masters of the Louvre to Street Art

Day: Thursday, 23rd August
Location: TBC
For who: Everyone, no experience required

The Louvre is France’s most famous museum. It is full of history, art and beauty. It is so big that it generally takes a few days, even weeks, to visit it entirely. Ian Pazriot will lead you through a half-day visit of the museum that will give you an overview of the treasures that the Louvre can offer. The visit will revolve around the different ways in which improvisation has influenced the museum itself, which, as a building, has changed and adapted throughout history. We will cover the essentials of the Louvre and most iconic art pieces, and will also lead you through lesser known areas and give you insight as how the Louvre can inform your practice as an improviser or an applied improv trainer. Lunch close to the Republic Place. Your museum ticket is included in the Learning Journey price.

We will then take a journey along the streets of Paris, observing the poetic art on the walls. You will meet the world-famous artist FKDL and get the opportunity to make your own collage using the improvisational technique he created using magazines and scotch tape. Each participant will create their own improvised piece of art in the artist’s workshop.

Facilitator Bio:

Ian Parizot is an actor, director and applied improvisation trainer living in Paris. He is the artistic director of Again! Productions, an improvisation company based in Paris. He holds an MBA from ESSEC (one of France’s leading business school) and received acting training from Ecole Jacques Lecoq. Cyprien Chevillard a graduate from Ecole du Louvre and currently applying for official Art Teacher certification in France. He is also an improviser and performs regularly with Again! Productions.

FKDL is the artistic name of Frank Duval. Frank is an international street artist, famous for the Scotch tape improvisation technique based on collage, initially invented by Gil Wolman in 1963. His studies in fashion design and circus have greatly influenced his artistic identity. Le Marais, Les Halles, Belleville, Montmartre… the streets are where he tests the durability and impact of an idea, an image, an icon: “I build, I glue and I wait.”


Virtually Amazing: How to Create Meaningful In-Person and Online Interactions

Day: Thursday, 23rd August
Location: TBC
For who: Experienced Applied Improvisers, Humanitarian Sector

For the past year, several Applied Improvisers from AIN have been working with multiple Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) organisations to co-create an online, six session programme called Participate! This programme is being supported by the Placard Interchange.

Using the recent Placard programme as a case study, we will join forces with friends from the humanitarian sector to explore how to create effective, participatory, online learning experiences.

Applied improvisers interested in learning how better to support organisations in the humanitarian sector will be mixed in equal numbers with people from the humanitarian sector interested in creating more engaging meetings and trainings – so that we can learn deeply from each other.

Please note: this is not an event for anyone to treat fellow participants as potential clients. We are all here to learn.

Outcomes:

  • Learning some useful language, as well as fruitful ways to contextualise applied improvisation mindsets and practice in the humanitarian sector.
  • Introduction to practical applied improvisation activities for meetings and trainings in the humanitarian sector which can be used immediately.
  • Examples of how to promote cohesive groups in a digital (and often global) environment.
  • Design: How to select and adjust activities, assess suitability for online engagement, cross-cultural considerations.
  • Thoughts on implementation & assessment.
  • How to adjust content delivery for virtual interaction.

Facilitator Bio:

Belina Raffy has an MBA, studied with Keith Johnstone and at Loose Moose Theatre, served on the AIN Board for 6 years, co-chaired many of our global AIN conferences, and she first connected the Red Cross Climate Centre with AIN. Her global Applied Improvisation consultancy is Maffick Ltd. She created and runs a global programme called Sustainable Stand Up. And she is about to launch her book Using Improv to Save the World (and me).

Jeanne Lambin has an MS in Historic Preservation, studied at iO with Del Close and Charna Halpern, is currently serving as Vice President of the AIN Board, and helped to organize the Red Cross Climate Center/AIN/Improv for Humanity Learning Journey at the AIN2016 World Conference in Oxford. She, the owner of Lamb Ink, a co-Founder of Improv for Humanity and the Instigator-in-Chief of The Quest: Improv for Transformation.


New Human Rights & Improvisation for a fully satisfying life

Day: Thursday, 23rd August
Location: TBC
For who: Everyone, no experience required

“Your life is your most beautiful improvisation”, as Franck would say.

This Learning Journey is based upon two complementary approaches: theatrical improvisation, a form of progress and learning through play, and the nature of any transformation and the New Human Rights (2012): eight new paradigms that anyone can easily cultivate. These eight New Human Rights will awaken and shift your heart as you realise what you are really made for. It’s your turn to play!

Facilitator Bio:

Franck Porquiet is the co-founder and co-director of l’Ecole Française d’Improvisation Théâtrale (French School of Theatrical Improvisation). Franck does what he loves best – sharing learning through playing. When Franck saw what improvisation can bring to people and realised the power of the New Human Rights, he created Improvista. Improvista’s aim is to help people surpass their own expectations and become actors of their lives again. to help you to know yourself better and realise that you are able to make your dreams come true. Make your own dreams come true by changing what is important to you. This is a bilingual Learning Journey and Aurelia Coulin will be doing live translation from French into English.


On Your Feet: Tap to Tango

Day: Thursday, 23rd August
Location: TBC
For who: Everyone, no experience required

The morning of this Learning Journey highlights the importance of improvisation as a collective practice where ritual prevails over performance, and exchange over competition. Tap dance finds its roots in improvisation and ‘trance’, an experience whose condition lays in the spontaneous and ongoing interaction of dancers, musicians, and/or the audience, regardless of technical abilities. In this session. we will learn basic tap steps and jazz-based rhythms to create a polyrhythmic patchwork where everyone involved can playfully improvise short phrases while being at all time connected to the collective sound held by the group. Sessions like these have been offered in a wide variety of environments, ranging from women’s prisons to senior citizens centres to organisations focusing on children with learning disabilities. It is also offered as a preshow and popular gathering at Roxane´s monthly Parisian rendezvous: TAPmatazz. Please bring shoes with hard soles and a small heel. Bring your flamenco or tap shoes if you have some.

The afternoon explores what improvised partner dancing can teach us about two-way connection, communication, leadership & creativity. Argentine Tango is a form of an improvisational partner social dance with a rich history and ideals that mirror those of the French Revolution: Liberty, equality, and fraternity. In this program we will use Argentine Tango as the inspiration for an Applied Improvisation exploration with applications in improvisation, personal growth, and business coaching/training. PART I: Inside Tango – Participants will taste some “absolute beginner” level activities that introduce them to the world of Argentine Tango, foster basic movement and connection and improvisation skills, create a minimum vocabulary of dance moves, and use them to explore topics of self-awareness, musicality, conventions, creativity, playfulness, leader-follow dynamics, and group interactions. PART II: Beyond Tango – Participants will draw parallels with other contexts (e.g., improv, personal growth, business coaching & training) through series of small group discussions. Aneta will share how she has blended learnings from tango in her personal growth, her ‘connecting to passion’ coaching methodology, and her corporate trainings on leadership. (No prior dance experience required; no partner required; bring socks or shoes with smooth soles that allow you to pivot). Stay tuned for possible additional elements of the Learning Journey later in the evening.

Facilitator Bio:

Underground tap dance icon Roxane Butterfly is sought after for her extraordinary improvisational skills which led her to be described as the ‘John Coltrane of dance’ by the New York Times. One of the most influential figures in the contemporary tap arena for the last three decades on both sides of the Atlantic, she considers improvisation her road in life – one she did not choose, but it chose her. Her take on improvisation is reflected in her travels and collaborations worldwide, her groundbreaking work for women in her field, her teaching method (inspired by her mentors the Original Hoofers and Jimmy Slyde), and the educative choice she has made for her child: a definite way to a greater humanity. You can hear Roxane speak about improvisation in her recent interview for France Bleue radio.

Aneta Key, a Systems Science engineer turned banker, turned McKinsey consultant, turned CEO consigliere, brings 20 years of diverse experience in solving complex problems and helping others grow. Aneta has helped senior executives worldwide develop strategies and align around a plan of action and is a trusted advisor to game-changers, influencers, and up-and-comers. She has reached tens of thousands through seminars, lectures, speeches and articles.

More Learning Journey options will be made available as soon as possible. Our volunteers are working very hard to make them happen and we thank you for your patience. They will be wonderful experiences, that’s for sure!

Plan for a full-day experience from tentatively 9am – 5pm, but the time may shift slightly based upon the needs of the experience. Specific details will be sent to you after you enroll in your experience.