Dear Prospective Member
How can we be human beings and citizens in this diverse complex world? Our brains take short-cuts to produce actions in real time. Groups also take short-cuts in making decisions about social outcomes. In this age of information, the size of the groups we connect with and the speed of information we exchange contribute to increased complexity. Diversity and inclusion have become our aspirational goals, but how do we achieve this in large groups across distances and with the speed of technology? Paradoxically, these technological developments have left us with fewer opportunities to take in each other through our senses, faces, voices, and within the natural environments where our minds and behaviors evolved.
We are continually presented with many million bits of information, but we collectively and consciously process only a tiny fraction of information per second. How do our developmental and cultural experiences shape what we assume to be real and valid? What do we not see in group life? Similar to how we rarely notice the background of a canvas or the air we breathe, we fail to see the assumptions of the organizations around us unless they are highlighted or smell noxious. In groups, we parse and size each other up in many ways. As a consequence, we often struggle to find our voice with our many parts including our identities of gender, ethnicity, race, age, education, profession, religion, financial status, network affiliations, and other fractions of the whole.
Group Relations Conferences explore our collective experiences, specifically the conscious and unconscious ways we function together. As a participant, you have the opportunity to co-create a temporary organization that has the task of learning through experience about group membership as well as leadership and followership. This conference is a unique space to explore the system dynamics of authority and how power is accessed, limited, or flows through our roles and in our changing group environments. How do we become members? Are we only citizens through our location of birth, by oaths we take, or the choices we make? Can we be whole human beings with all our good, bad, and ugly as mirrored by organizations to which we belong. If you are concerned about these issues of modern group life and want to develop your capacity to function and work in complex systems, then join us.