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Friday, August 9 • 4:00pm - 5:00pm
AINx Talks

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  • Dare to be Human: Courage through Improv - Kat Koppett & Livia Armstrong
In a fast-moving, unscripted world how do you Dare to be Human? How do you show up as your full authentic self, flaws and all? How do you reach out to other humans and connect? How do you reach your goals and fulfill your potential?
These are the question we ask in each segment of our Dare to be Human podcast and we think the answer – at least some answers – lie in the world of applied improv. “Improv is the gym for life”, we say. In this talk, we will share “Dare to be Human” stories from a wide variety of experts and guests and offer tips from the world of applied improv on how you can expand your awareness and range of options for your own exceptional and adventurous human life.

  • Relational Intelligence: Play as a Way of Being - Saliha Bava
Living is an improvised activity. Drawing on 20 years of experience of play/workshops across the world and research in performative practices (in leading, coupling, teaching & research), I will introduce the idea of play as relational intelligence. I introduce the notion that everyday improvised interactions is how we construct our lives and illustrate how AI is more than a tool or a mindset. It is a way of being. Being human is to be improvisational. In my practice, I expand the everyday notion of play as an improvisational way of being with the people to engage across our differences. I will share practices on how to draw on applied improvisation as a way of being for a more engaged relational space and how a play-oriented presence is critical not only for tomorrow's unknowns but also for the serious stuff of life, like mental health. Participants will take away ideas on “How might we approach our lives as the biggest stage of all applied improvisations?”

  • Improv, Love, and the Paradoxical Theory of Change - Jon Trevor
The Greeks recognised six kinds of love - Improv embraces at least five of them.  But love implies acceptance without the need to change the Beloved - yet Applied Improvisers are hired by organisations specifically to bring about change.  How to square this circle?

This talk offers an answer - - through the lens of Arnold Beisser’s “Paradoxical Theory of Change.” Companies often wish we could change them to how they think they should be. If we take our lead from Beisser, then the first step is to help organisations see who they actually are right now. Applied Improvisation is arguably the best way to do that …

  • An AIN Love Story - Eric & Aden Nepom
In improv, we talk often about the relationships between characters. In facilitation: the relationship between a presenter and their audience. With corporations: the relationship between customer and client.  No matter what the context, relationships matter. They can lead to future business partners and mentoring, can foster growth and support, and if you are really lucky, they can become something more. Aden & Eric met at an AIN Conference and their journey involves many of these relationships, from a chance meeting in a crowded room, to partnering on potential business opportunities, to actually dating…and marriage! Join A&E as they share their relationship journey, built (fairly) in the world of the Applied Improv Network.  The good, the bad, and the magic of a relationship built on communication and collaboration.

  • Cultivating Psychological Safety Starts With You - Kristy West
We are hearing more and more about Psychological Safety as it relates to organizational development and team performance through advocates like Dr. Amy C. Edmonson, Harvard Business School Professor and the highly publicized research in the 2015 Google Study called Project Aristotle where Psychological Safety was ranked the highest driver for top performing teams. Anyone working to shift cultures, mind-sets or behaviors knows that initiatives can sometimes fall short of making their way into the day to day employee experience. Let's empower ourselves to be the change we want to see in others by cultivating psychological safety within ourselves.The parallels between Improvisation and Psychological Safety cannot be denied and anyone familiar with the principles of Improv can easily link them. At the heart of Psychological Safety is our ability to be vulnerable. Ultimately it is our choice to be afraid and try it anyway.  In this session, we will explore how to embrace a Psychologically Safe mindset for yourself and drive change by example.


Livia Armstrong

Livia Armstrong, is a senior facilitator and coach at Koppett. She studied theatre and psychology at Ithaca College and SUNY Fredonia. Livia has delivered programs for diverse clients, including the NYS Governor’s Office for Employee Relations, multiple clients in the SUNY system... Read More →

Kat Koppett

Kat Koppett is the Eponymous Founder of Koppett. (www.koppett.com) a consultancy specializing in the use of improv and storytelling techniques to enhance individual and group performance. She is the author of Training to Imagine: Practical Improvisational Theatre Techniques to Enhance Creativity, Teamwork, Leadership and Learning, and has worked... Read More →

Eric Nepom

Eric Nepom have been improvising for over 50 years between the two of them. They have been playing together for roughly five years, and have been married for three blissful years. Recognized for outstanding skills in theatre, speech, collaboration and development, these two share... Read More →

Aden Nepom

Aden Nepom is a Senior Facilitator for On Your Feet Improvisation for Business and President of the Art of Change - Skills for Life, and Eric is a formal and informal Educator in science & theatre classrooms, a Science Communication expert, and Artistic Director for Infinite Improv... Read More →

Kristy West

Kristy West is a Certified Applied Improv Practitioner, Speaker, and Founder of BraveSpace.  She has been performing, studying and teaching improv for almost two decades. Along with her improv experience, Kristy spent over 15 years in B2B Sales and Corporate Training. Today, she... Read More →

Jon Trevor

Jon Trevor is the founder and Chief Improvocateur at Improv Initiative (www.improvinitiative.com), an Applied Improvisation organisation. He was a theatre director for 25 years, and has been a trainer/facilitator for 17. He also runs Let’s Talk, an interpersonal communications... Read More →

Saliha Bava

Saliha Bava is a couple and family therapist who teaches full-time in the Marriage & Family Therapy Program at Mercy College, NY where she annually offers playshops for students to orient them to their clinical internship and the power of improvising with our uncertainty and anxieties... Read More →

Friday August 9, 2019 4:00pm - 5:00pm EDT
The Wang Center - Theater