The Conferences of Our Lives: Group Relations in 2019 and AKRI’s Annual Residential

The first six months of 2019 have been rather remarkable for AKRI.  Re-affiliation and AKRI’s Levels of Support framework have facilitated new connections between individuals, events and organizations, resulting in many diverse opportunities to learn at Group Relations Conferences. AKRI has supported nine Group Relations conferences so far this year, and Conference Committee (AKRI’s newest committee and among its hardest working) is in dialogue with many more events for the second half of 2019 and beyond. 

While this is inspiring and there’s much to celebrate, we continue to have to recruit for AKRI’s flagship event, its 55th Annual Residential Conference.  I frequently hear legends about The Annual Residential (née, The National) at its prime.  With a staff composed of representatives from each affiliate and a membership reflecting the AKRI community, it was an event that both reflected the larger organization while at the same time being instrumental in its development and identity.  Much has changed, but it’s my hypothesis that this year’s conference returns to this tradition.  Dr. Patricia Kummel, a therapist and organizational consultant (and former attorney and long time chair of AKRI’s Training and Certification Committee) has designed a conference that reflects the organization she knows so well.  She’s reached out to the affiliates to recommend a diverse staff.  In her theme, I hear resonance of recent (and not so recent) debates within AKRI about various roles, identities, biases, and power shifts.  Patricia and her staff offer an amazing opportunity to  learn about ourselves from our flagship event.

Here’s my challenge to the AKRI community.  Let’s remember the value of our core learning technology—the Group Relations Conference—and let’s drive membership to our flagship event.  If you haven’t been in a while, then go—learn anew from the role of member and help AKRI learn about itself.  If you’ve been to a weekend conference and not a residential, it’s time for you to experience the difference and deepen your learning.  And if you’ve been thinking about others who would benefit from a conference experience, now is the time to redouble your efforts to recruit them.

Here’s the thing: there’s plenty of scholarship funds available.  AKRI wants to make GRC learning available to everyone and will offer generous support to anyone for whom money is an obstacle.  If you know someone who’s been putting off getting to a residential conference, now is the time.  There will never be more support available.  And just a few months before AKRI’s 50th Anniversary Dialogues, there’s no better time to (re-)connect with AKRI and learn together with the AKRI community.  

I hope many of you will join us, and I count on you all to recruit others so that the conference can thrive.  Thank you for all your efforts, and I look forward to seeing all of you at the Dialogues!
Share this post:

Comments on "The Conferences of Our Lives: Group Relations in 2019 and AKRI’s Annual Residential"

Comments 0-5 of 0

Please login to comment