Thursday // Afternoon: Aram

After lunch, Eliat Aram’s keynote, “On being an orphan, an untold story,” took up this invitation to look forward and backward, to be moved by the experience of childhood loss and to be inspired by visions of curiosity and learning. Her characterization of Tavistock in the Dickensian (Disney-esque) tradition of orphans as lonely, abandoned misfits seemed … Continue reading Thursday // Afternoon: Aram

Thursday // Morning II: Abraham, Stern

Indeed, this set the stage perfectly for the next event on the program, “Community Development and Organizational Change: Large scale industrial action research in the 1970s.” This consisted of a conversation between Fiddy Abraham and Elliot Stern, true pioneers in this work, as they presented what it meant to learn about organizational life in mines, on ships … Continue reading Thursday // Morning II: Abraham, Stern

Thursday // Morning I: Oswick, Monninger, White

By the time Thursday’s Symposium came around, I’d already enjoyed a week packed with learning about the history of the Tavistock and its work, hearing much of it first hand, from the giants of our tradition. Thursday was highlighted as the centerpiece of the Festival: the morning would consist of a deeper look into the … Continue reading Thursday // Morning I: Oswick, Monninger, White

Wednesday // Night: Armstrong, Rustin, Stokes

Later that evening, a panel of David Armstrong, Michael Rustin and Jon Stokes explored the topic: “TIHR and Tavistock Clinic: Historical Reflections and Thoughts for the Future of the Tavistock Enterprise.” While not directly confronting the split referred to in the title, this panel reflected the diverse work of the “Tavistock Enterprise” and some of tensions … Continue reading Wednesday // Night: Armstrong, Rustin, Stokes

Wednesday // Afternoon: Brazaitis, Noumair, Tye

The next afternoon’s panel brought home the American dynamics, as Sarah Brazaitis, Debra Noumair, and Matthew Tye came from Teachers College and held a World Café participatory activity entitled, “Democracy at Risk: How Group Relations Illuminates.” Indeed, they began by echoing Olya Khaleelee’s questions about what conditions make unconscious processes available for recruitment and abuse. … Continue reading Wednesday // Afternoon: Brazaitis, Noumair, Tye

Wednesday // Morning: Erlich-Ginor, Erlich

Wednesday morning offered a panel on something I had always been curious about: a series of Group Relations Conferences (GRC’s) from in 90s that brought together Germans and Israeli Jews around issues of the Holocaust.  The panel’s title was suggestive not just of the fraught emotional territory but also of its implications for the themes of … Continue reading Wednesday // Morning: Erlich-Ginor, Erlich

Tuesday: Woolf, Khaleelee, Amado, Child

The first panel I attended was held in an exceedingly sleek, modern, steel and glass conference room of Wedlake Bell, the Tavistock Institute’s law firm. I randomly rode the elevator up to the top floor with Cliff Oswick, the Chair of the Tavistock’s Council, and was greeted by a view of St Paul’s Cathedral out … Continue reading Tuesday: Woolf, Khaleelee, Amado, Child

Sunday: Art:Work @ Tate Modern

SUNDAY I began my week of “Reimagining Human Relations in our Time” not Tuesday at the Tavistock Institute, but Sunday at the Tate Modern. What I saw there—and the themes it brought to mine —shaped the powerful reimagining I did over the course of the week. In a week full of experiences and panels that would deeply … Continue reading Sunday: Art:Work @ Tate Modern

“Re-imagining Human Relations in Our Time”: A Report from the Tavistock Institute’s 70th Anniversary Festival

I. LOOKING BACK I went to the Festival celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the Tavistock Institute for Human Relations (T.I.H.R., aka Tavi) to learn about the past, and came back with a new understanding of the future. The Festival consisted of four days of speeches, panels, theatre and exhibits. We had gathered from all around … Continue reading “Re-imagining Human Relations in Our Time”: A Report from the Tavistock Institute’s 70th Anniversary Festival