Historically, in the month of March each year, in the Riviera, just a few miles away from Nice, International Forum for Social Innovation (IFSI) – a not for profit body founded in 1976 in France, holds its annual group relations conference titled TransformAction – a seminar on Authority, Leadership, and Transformation.
Over the years, I have been very fortunate to be a member of a group of behavioral practitioners, psychoanalysts, and consultants that create a space for transformation of Self and in generating new insights on leadership, authority, power, systems, and collectively fighting the waves of fascism, totalitarianism, and rampant consumerism that impacting the global society today. Given the fact that world over, we are seeing a revival of populism, IFSI’s focus on Social Innovation as a process is critical today.
The TransformAction Conference takes the form of an intense six-day journey that has historically pulled individuals from Europe, Africa, Asia, and Americas – the consequent diversity is worked with three languages of connect and dialogue (Spanish, French, and English), and the focus is to explore and create a new way of working with self and the Other and on Social Innovation.
I have been writing about the TransformAction conference experiences since 2011, and as stated in my earlier blog:
What excites me about IFSI and TransformAction series of conferences is the sheer power and potential for anyone who would like to work with authority and leadership in a diverse setting – the latter becomes a powerful canvass for each member to work with, to paint and express, and to glean and understand. The conference with its many forums for exploration, expression, action, and transformation across ‘here and now’ events as well as reflexive sessions, invites the member to venture into the unknown and become an author of this journey by working with the denied and repressed parts of self, moving beyond projections and clichés that inhibit any transformation.
The collective unconscious, the mirroring effect of realities across various sub-systems, and the roles of member and staff may sound traditional and very much like Tavistock conferences, but where IFSI innovates and improvises is working with the ‘institution-in-mind’. The institution-in-mind as opposed to the group or the system thus becomes a container to explore role-taking and avenues of transformation.
Three languages – English, French and Spanish – build and separate the community in the beginning of the conference, but by the end, the connect gets deeper and goes beyond the limits of the language, digging into the human experience and the intensity of feelings that gets generated. Courage, love, prejudice, desire, shame, guilt, and passion just flow – breaking the shackles of the language and the consequent experience of freedom and connect.
The year 2016 has been a year of disruptive and dehumanizing violence – consequently, radical alternatives are being concocted by opportunistic bodies including organized religion and political parties. These approaches are not going to build a modern secular society but would create more divisions and schisms for the looters and the plunderers to leverage.
The TransformAction seminar does not allow a simplified way of looking at the world – it does not allow for a mono-dimensional scrutiny of leadership that some of my friends from the corporate world would prefer – it looks at building a collective and creative dialogue on integrating conflicting realities that is impacting all of us over the globe. It looks at engaging with deep and unconscious resistance that lies within each of us.
I have been thrilled that many of us from India have worked with ourselves and our own contexts at TransformAction seminars, and carry belief that this would only grow and sustain over the years ahead.
Do contact me or check out the IFSI site ‘ifsi-fiis-conferences.com’. I am attaching the T17 brochure for your reference.