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Check out the speakers and the topics they bring.


You can see the programme overview or download it as a PDF document. You can also download the complete schedule (programme.ics) and import it into your calendar application (you need to manage programme updates manually, e.g. reimport the updated file).

Jean-Pierre Pelletier


The Applied Improvisation Laboratory: An intensive experiment in developing the skills of the future in teacher training

It all started with an intuition, confirmed during my post-graduate studies. Then, I conducted a research project testing an improvisation training scenario (inspired by Lobman, 2005, and my thesis) for teachers undergoing professional integration. It was made up of improvisation exercises and reflective activities to generate feedback on the experience. The results, published in 2021 in the Swiss Journal of Educational Research, enable to update a referential of interactive classroom management skills for dealing with the unexpected. It also documented teachers' perceptions of the development of their skills following the laboratory experiment and revealed the most effective exercises for building those skills. This study gave rise to the Applied Improvisation Laboratory, a novelty in teacher training on Quebec territory, now offered in Montreal. A whole new world is opening up for this practical training tool, well suited to an educational world destined to undergo major changes in the future.

Laura Berkemeyer


Unveiling the Transformative Power of Improvisational Theatre: Effects of Training Improvisational Theatre on Creative Self-Efficacy and Self-Esteem

At the university of Münster, Germany we conducted a study of the effect of improvisation theatre in the field cooperating with over ten different improv schools in Germany and Switzerland compared to people who train sports. Our longitudinal study, involving 202 participants, unveils the journey of individuals as they immerse themselves in improv training. While immediate effects post-training were not apparent, a deeper analysis reveals compelling patterns. Participants engaging in improv exhibited significant enhancements in creative self-efficacy and self-esteem over time compared to a control group engaged in sports training. These findings not only highlight the enduring positive effects of improv but also pave the way for innovative educational and therapeutic interventions. This talk will present the results of the study and discuss the difficulties in doing research about improv.

Joris Roelofs


Improvisation and Politics: A Double-edged Sword

My goal in this talk is to re-think improvisation as a democratic-political phenomenon. While improvisation has been theorised as a model for democratic politics, these conceptions raise more questions than answers. It remains unclear exactly how political practices can be modelled on performance practices such as theatre or jazz improvisation. Moreover, improvisation might just be the right tool for anti-democrats: Donald Trump was notorious for going off-script and disregarding official policy – he even presented himself as a defender of improvisation by proposing a teleprompter-ban. I want to revisit the question: how does improvisation relate to democratic politics? But instead of looking to modern on-stage improvisation as a model for democratic politics, I take a historical approach and recapture earlier political conceptions of improvisation that we have forgotten about. First, I consider a manifesto for improvisation in Athenian democracy written by Plato’s contemporary Alcidamas, who thought that politicians should invent and deliver their speeches at the moment when they are facing their audience. Democracy, he thought, demands improvisational speech and is in tension with the delivery of written speeches. After that, I point out that improvisations, then and now, lack a script, cannot be read prior to performance and are therefore uncontrollable. This uncontrollability makes improvisations potentially disruptive. I will show how this disruptive dimension becomes most apparent in the opposition to improvisation by those in power, especially the 18th- and 19th-century censorship of German-speaking theatre and the Viennese anti-improvisation law of 1770. It is here that improvisation obtained its modern Western meaning as civil disobedience and political liberation – a meaning we now take for granted.

Michelle Clarke


Applied Immersion: What Can AI Learn from VR / (Virtual Reality)?

Join me for an immersive  exploration as we pull back the curtain to delve into Virtual Reality and the strides it is making in education, learning, fitness, therapy, coaching, and improv!Through sharing of personal experiences, research insights, and real-world applications we'll discover together the intersection of AI and VR. How might this lead to enhanced and innovative training and facilitation practices?Let's ignite our curiosity and tune into this evolving landscape of immersive education, learning and development.  What can we learn from it? How can we participate in it?

Gabe Mercado


Using Applied Improvisation in A Youth Maker Space: What I Learned in Four Years

In the AIN Conference in Avila a few years back, I had shared about how I have been using applied improvisation in our newly opened creativity accelerator and maker space for the youth in the Philippines. Two years and thousands of kids later with a growing network of Vivistops all over the world, applied improvisation remains as precious as ever as I share stories of how effective it is in developing a great culture, enriching collaboration between stakeholders, refining a prototyping atmosphere and inspiring a new generation of changemakers.

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