The conference is designed as a temporary institution for learning, that is co-created by its members — participants and staff. Together, the staff and participant members create an organisational culture unique to this institution.
By design and unconsciously, members take up differentiated roles to perform the primary task of the conference. Staff support participants to explore their experiences of working together, of taking up multiple roles, of exercising leadership and authority, and of collaboration and competition. In facilitated reflection groups, participants gain a deepened insight into the overt and hidden influences upon working together in groups, organisations and communities, and enhanced understanding of the dynamics of collaboration and competition.
The conference is structured as a series of events. Each event aims to build awareness of conscious and unconscious dynamics that emerge when people work together. Participants will experience being a member of different groups, of different sizes and complexity of relations, each with its own specific task.
Events include: discussion plenaries, here-and-now events for studying small, large, inter-group and whole-of-organisation dynamics, a dreams matrix, and sessions for participants to reflect on their experiences, review and apply their learning.
Three Learning Groups are provided for in the conference design. They form part of the organisational structure for studying collaboration and competition in the shared endeavour that is the conference.
Learning Groups A & B
Participants become a member of one of these two groups based on prior experience of group relations conferences.
Learning Group A: for participants with no prior experience
Learning Group B: for participants who have attended one or more conferences
Advanced Consultancy Skills Training Group
For those who want to advance their praxis, the conference offers an opportunity to extend skills in psychoanalytic-systemic observation, consultancy, and application of group relations methodologies to organisational experience.
Training Group participants will have opportunities to:
- Design and consult to some Training Group events.
- Take up consultancy roles in some conference events.
- Engage with staff in exploration and systemic thinking of emergent dynamic behaviour.
The Training Group is open for application by participants who have attended at least two group relations conferences.