An interesting first day at the Summer Institute; we started with a Danish song about love and followed that with the normal talk with someone you don't know exercise. Now I am never wild about singing songs other than it Rugby matches, ideally in Welsh. It reminds me of the day I discovered there was still an official IBM song book! Thankfully we were no longer required to sing them with gymnastic exercises early in the morning although it came close at times.
However I lived through the experience and the get to know you exercises are always useful. Two good conversations with people from different backgrounds with mutual curiosity on both sides. Especially the second where we ignored the instruction as to subject and spent twenty minutes or so talking about mediation and conflict resolution – something I have to speak on tomorrow.
So introductory session over and with suitable levels of caffeine I went into the first of my three sessions at the event; two talks and one workshop over three days plus a client event on the side. This first talk was on Homo Narrans talking about the role of narrative and SenseMaker® in particular. The format was two paired speakers, my co-speaker was John Shotter. We had a good chat over breakfast and learnt we disliked many of the same things and had the same sense of humour – aways the best way to bond!
In the session I had exactly half an hour so ran through human metadata, more stories like this, fewer stories like that and the whole issues of managing in the present. Given the audience I strongly emphasised five things:
It went down well, lots of nods and I detected an undercurrent of concern over things like AI and Social Construction in its purest forms. That was confirmed when John Shotter spoke. He very kindly said that he found my presentation “awesome” which was appreciated and then went on to make a series of valuable points. I reproduce my notes below:
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way–in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
So a great morning, I learnt a lot and gathered a new friend and you can ask for little else from a conference. I missed the afternoon and the closing session but made the drinks! The downside, or maybe upside of missing the closing session is that I don't have a plastic yellow flower to wear around my neck ….
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I'm in Copenhagen for the rest of this week for the Summer Institute where I ...
Final day of the Summer School in Copenhagen and I had two sessions to run. ...
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