THE CONFERENCE DIRECTOR
Kimberley A. Turner, Ph.D., M. Div.
I invite you to join us in this experiential learning process where you will have an opportunity to enhance your understanding of the significance of various roles, tasks, and boundaries as you examine the impact of the diverse roles you play and how they intersect with authority and leadership within organizations in real time.
We live in a global economy where our ability to work effectively in groups and organizations often depends upon our ability to reinvent the ways that we perform our tasks and handle our business. The rapid advance of Smart Technologies (e.g. phones, cars, GPS, virtual assistants) enables communication and transactions to occur across broad boundaries. It also creates new and immediate dilemmas to be managed in organizations and within the workforce.
As a result of advancements in technology, artificial intelligence has propelled us into what some refer to as the “Smart Age”, which involves higher levels of human thinking and emotional engagement. This new age causes us to intentionally strive to overcome egos and fears that are counterproductive for critical thinking and team collaboration. We are asked to make this adjustment in the midst of an increasingly diverse workforce that presents exciting opportunities for collaboration. Such opportunities, however, equally threaten the possibilities for misunderstanding and conflict.
The impact of political, economic, socio-cultural, environmental, and other external influences has individuals and organizations focusing on survival. Trust is waning in those in positions of authority and responsibility in all sectors. While we can name these factors, there is a dynamic that occurs beneath the surface--one that we can’t name; the unconscious. To adapt the words of Schuyler in Hamilton: There are moments that the words don’t reach. There is a force too powerful to name. We push away the intolerable in ourselves. We push away the unconscious. Conferences in the Tavistock Tradition offer a unique opportunity for us to courageously go there and gain a greater understanding about organizational dynamics and the conscious and unconscious behavior of groups relative to authority and authority relations within systems and subsystems in organizations and communities.
"...Other than at the height of the slave trade, the mass movement of peoples is greater than it’s ever been. It’s a movement of executives, laborers, intellectuals, refugees, diplomats, immigrants, artists, armies crossing oceans and continents through Customs offices and hidden routes, in private jets and cargo vans, speaking multiple languages of trade, of poverty, of political intervention, of persecution, of exile, of wealth. We are sharing the illnesses and the genes and the progeny and the culture. And there’s little doubt that the redistribution, voluntary or involuntary, of people all over the globe tops the agenda of the state, the boardrooms, the neighborhoods and the street… So the spectacle of mass movement draws our attention inevitably to the borders; the porous places, the vulnerable points where one’s concept of home is seen as being menaced by foreigners. Much of the alarm that hovers at the borders, the gates, is stoked by both the threat and the promise of globalism and an uneasy relationship with our own foreignness; our own rapidly disintegrated sense of belonging..."
- Toni Morrison
This conference will provide participants an opportunity to explore the impact of nationalism as it intersects with authority and leadership within organizations and communities. Nationalism, a blending of nationality and patriotism, is a framework for examining commonality among citizens. Nationalism impacts every aspect of life specifically as it pertains to ethnicity, race, religious beliefs, political affiliations, gender, and sexual orientation. The increasing political complexity, economic uncertainty, spiritual warfare, cyber wars, social media warfare, digital divide, launching of missiles, the weaponization of victimization, tribalism, xenophobia, homophobia, misogyny, racism, ageism, ableism, homelessness, genderism, and inaccessible healthcare has contributed to polarization. This has revealed the ugliness of insular attitudes and created a backlash against the diversity upon which this country is founded, which has far reaching implications given the global nature of community as experienced in the 21st century. Through our interactions with others we are able to see our similarities and differences, which then provides an opportunity for self-reflection. By looking at the “other” one unexpectedly sees echoes of him/herself as well as what s/he is not and as a result s/he has to address how that “otherness” and “sameness” informs one’s actions and reactions.
2019 Group Relations Conference
Who's In, Who's Out?
Authority Leadership in a
Time of Nationalism
April 12-14, 2019
Morgan State University
Additional details on conference events can be found on the downloadable conference brochure:
For questions, please contact Ms. Brittany Fauntleroy, Conference Administrator at: