- Development: Wednesday 13 October up to and including Saturday 16 October 2021
- Application: Monday 11 October up to and including Saturday 16 October 2021
With their participation conference staff and members commit to adhere to the health/COVID-19 measures of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM).
Early bird individual
Early bird group (>2) Individual regular Group regular (>2) Development € 2.200,- € 1.900,- € 2.500,- € 2.200,- Application € 3.300,- NA € 3.700 NA
(Conference fees are exempt from VAT)
Early bird deadline: Monday 16 August 2021
Our organisational and social lives are going through major changes. Internet and social media make it easy to connect to anyone in the world in a split second. But does that mean we are in real CONTACT? And when we do have contact, what about CONFLICT; do we avoid it or maybe create it for our own purposes? Real contact and engaging in meaningful conflict require strong LEADERSHIP, which is the third and binding element of the LC&C conference. These three elements: leadership, contact and conflict, challenge our ability to create and lead teams and organisations in a meaningful way. Work, working relations and institutional forces shape our experience and that of our organisations, both consciously and unconsciously. Both above and beneath the surface.
“Knowledge is not a thing we have, but a link between ourselves and what we know”
Wilfried Bion (1897-1997), psychoanalyst and founding father of group relations theory
It's the third time we organize the LC&C - Working Beneath the Surface conference. It is a residential, experiential conference.
Experiential learning means, learning from the 'here and now' of immediate experience, followed by reflection and eventually application. The design of the conference offers many opportunities for questioning, exploring and reflecting on experiences and on the conscious and unconscious dynamics influencing feelings, thinking and behavior.
The conference is designed as a temporary learning institution. There are no lectures to attend. Questions are explored while being experienced and not debated as in a traditional academic conference.
Developing and Application sub-conferences
LC&C consists of two sub-conferences: a Developing sub-conference and an Application sub-conference, which are intertwined and form one whole conference.
- ‘Developing sub-conference’ is for first time members or for those who wish to deepen their previous learning experience. The ‘Developing’ sub-conference starts on Wednesday 13 October 2021.
- ‘Application sub-conference’ is for members who want to learn from taking up consultancy roles within this conference. Candidates for ‘Application’ must have a previous experience of at least two ‘group relations’ conferences. The ‘Application’ sub-conference will start two days earlier, on Monday 11 October 2021. ‘Application’ members will receive some theoretical study work before the start of the conference.
The LC&C conference will end on the Saturday of the same week:
- Development: Wednesday 11 October up to and including Saturday 16 October 2021
- Application: Monday 13 October up to and including Saturday 16 October 2021
This conference is organized as a temporary institution, a “learning organisation”. It has therefore a primary task, like any organisation:
'The primary task of this conference is to explore how, persons, roles and systems interact, both consciously and unconsciously, and how people shape their roles in practicing Leadership, Contact & Conflict within this conference and thereafter.'
What to expect?
The conference design is based on the assumption that working together on the mentioned primary task gives members and staff the opportunity to discover what it is:
- to take a role in and respond to leadership;
- to have conflict and work with differences.
During the conference the following events will take place:
- 'Here and now' events, called large study system, small study systems and systemic events, which are designed to enable exploration of the intra and inter group dynamics in the here-and-now;
- Reflection and application events, which are designed to collect personal experiences from the “here and now” events and the systemic event, in order to generate insights that can be understood and connected to the everyday personal and professional life of the members.
What will you get out of this working conference?
LC&C is based on 70+ years of proven experience with Group Relations working and learning conferences and on the dedicated work of an experienced international staff brought together by Martha Mens, Conference Director, and Bruno Chevolet, Associate Director.
During this conference, you will explore your different roles, experience the dynamics, and find and take your authority within the context of personal leadership, contact and conflict within the temporary institution of this conference.
As participant you will have the opportunity to:
- Explore, through issues related to leadership, contacts and conflicts, the conscious and unconscious dynamics that unfold within groups and within yourself;
- Discover innovative ways to understand the dynamics of change and of resistance to change, and explore ways to deal with them;
- Become aware of the roles you tend to take up in different systems, and hence become more effective in groups, teams or organisations;
- Find ways to combine emotions with rationality, both during the conference and afterwards;;
- Prepare yourself for taking up (new) managerial or professional roles.
Every learning is an act of personal authority. However, during the conference you can also expect learning experiences related to:
- Refining or reshaping your leadership roles within your working environment, separate from or in addition to, the functional roles that you are currently assigned to;
- Gaining a better understanding of the unconscious mechanisms in temporary systems and in organisational structures.
- Understanding the root causes of repetitive mechanisms of resistance against innovation and change in themselves and in others, and increasing your ability to work with those defenses.
- Balancing feelings, emotions and thoughts, so that your interventions become more successful;
- Addressing 'elephants in the room' and facing conflicts.
Who should attend?
This Leadership, Conflict & Contact Conference is for anyone who wishes to enlarge their capacity to understand and work effectively with dynamics in teams and organisations and who is curious to the conscious and unconscious processes we create, which impact us as members of groups and systems. Questions around leadership, contact and conflict, and the way in which people take up or do not take up certain roles in their organisations and institutions, are universal themes.
This conference is for professionals from diverse work settings and roles, like top managers, directors, operational team managers, support staff, consultants, (team-)coaches, educators, researchers, administrators and technical workers, both within private and public organisations.
In the past LC&C conference members came from various continents and countries, and from all kinds of industries; public administrations, medical and social services, political parties and non-profit institutions.
Diversities of members in terms of background, age, education, work experience, nationality, beliefs, gender or sexual orientation and all kinds of social identities, are meaningful resources for working with group dynamics and roles in organisations.
"We are longing for contact in life and organisational life. How can we have contact without avoiding differences and conflicts? Having a conflict without contact is easy. But it takes leadership to do both."
Martha Mens, director of the LC&C conference
Participants will be working with an international staff group that is experienced in this method of working and has been invited by the Conference Director and the Associate Director. All the staff is actively engaged in the working process and in addition have their own staff team working sessions.
The Conference Director is:
Drs. Martha.C.M. Mens MPC; psychologist, senior consultant Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, co-programme developer, supervisor and study group consultant Inside Dynamics in Organisations, Utrecht University School of Governance (USG); the Netherlands.
The Conference Associate-Director is:
Ir. Bruno Chevolet; MSc Eng EMBA, INSEAD Lifelong Learning Ambassador and certified consultant in institutional transformation, Managing Partner of TeamMotivation consulting; See https://www.linkedin.com/in/bruno-chevolet-4740901/; Board member of MaTRIS; Belgium
Silke van Beekum, Administrator/Consultant (Netherlands)
MSc in Social Psychology at the University of Amsterdam (NL) /Australian National University (AU). Trained in systemic and psychodynamic coaching and consulting at Utrecht University/Tavistock Institute, Dipl. Coaching, Counseling and Consulting. She is an experienced trainer and consultant in higher education. Her expertise lies on the crossroad of education, personal development and leadership. She is Senior Partner at Reflect Academy. In addition Silke works as an independent psychodynamic coach. Based in Amsterdam.
François-Michel van der Rest, Administrator/Consultant (Belgium)
Actor, director and playwright, graduate in philosophy and theatrical sciences, consultant, with a large experience in international Group Relations Conferences, in various roles such as administrator, co-co (comedian-consultant), co-director, … The themes raised by the title and subtitle of the conference clearly sum up the daily life of a theatermaker like him. As dramaturgs, as actors, we bring to the stage a reality made of bodies and souls, ideas and emotions, that the viewer knows is image, that he or she will have to dig or dive under the surface to grasp its dynamics. He is passionately committed to unfolding the narratives and roles of the characters within the institutions he works with. François-Michel manages his artistic activity within a family cooperative company whose interests also include gardening and consulting.
Leslie Brissett, Consultant (United Kingdom)
Director of the Group Relations Programme, Principal Consultant and Company Secretary of the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations, Leslie has also been Director of the Leicester Conference for the past five years. He believes that Group Relations learning is the closest thing to a spiritual renaissance in the western mind, opening up possibilities for the experience of interconnection. He works with Boards and senior leaders, taking the role of Sherpa and companion as they navigate their journeys of leadership and followership. Leslie has worked all over the world, and is always amazed at our dual capacity for hatred and love.
Pascaline Christiaens, Consultant (Netherlands)
Bachelor in Business Management and Master in Psychodynamic Counselling. She is very enthusiastic about the impact learning by experiencing has for managers and professionals in organizational life and especially in the domain of personal leadership. She works as Head of Human Resources for the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, and for the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality in The Hague. She was a supervisor and consultant in the Post academic executive program Inside Dynamics in Organizations at the Utrecht University School of Governance. Pascaline has an extensive international staff experience in Group Relations conferences.
Irina Ponomarchuk, Consultant (Russia)
Irina is a consultant and executive coach for Business schools Skolkovo (Russia), CEIBS (China), EDHEC (France), and IMD (Switzerland), where she works with leaders and their teams. In her coaching, she uses a psycho-dynamic and systematic approach, which she is passionate about. Also, Irina is the Director of Group Relations Russia, works at a number of group relations conferences, and holds Master's degree in Psychoanalysis and psychoanalytical therapy. Irina holds two citizenships, lives in Moscow, and works worldwide.
Martijn van der Spek, Consultant (Netherlands)
M. General Social Sciences and BSc. Health Psychology. He is dedicated to the application of systems-psychodynamic perspectives, including Group Relations methodology, for the development of people and organisations. He works as an assistant professor, senior organisational consultant, coach and is program leader of the post-academic executive programme Inside Dynamics in Organisations, Theory and practice of working with hidden processes in organisations (professional partnership with Tavistock Institute of Human Relations) at Utrecht University School of Governance. He is an associate consultant of Tavistock Consulting and a member of the International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations (ISPSO). Martijn experienced the transitional space that a Group Relations conference provides, in various roles in many places.
Mónica Rocío Velarde Lazarte, Consultant (Peru/USA)
Socioanalyst with a Doctorate degree from the Tavistock and Portman NHS (UK). Founder of T-Consult Socioanalytic Practice and The Hope of the Amazon Association in Peru. From those roles, she promoted the adaptation of Group Relations Conferences into a variety of commercial and social settings. In her private practice, she has been interested into the application of the Group Relations framework into complex settings that impact society wellbeing and sustainability, working primarily across public and private energy and health sectors. Since the start of the Covid 19 pandemia she has co-developed «The Territory» - an online platform for the study of Group Processes. She is a faculty member at Esan Business School in Peru and a Professional Partner of the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations UK.
Viera Stenning Jacobs, Consultant (Peru)
Clinical Psychologist and Psychoanalytic psychotherapist. Master degree on higher education and educational management. Organizational Consultant. Viera’s work has combined both the clinical private practice and the work in group dynamics with students at UPC - Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas - as a lecturer since 2012, and with organizations through her consultancy firm Jacobs & Jacobs. She started her relationship with Group Relations in 2007 and has participated as a consultant since 2009 in conferences done in ESAN Business School (Lima, Perù), UPC and in the conference sponsored by The Tavistock Institute Refinding Leadership Here and Now
Silke van Beekum MSc; social psychologist, trainer, coach and consultant in higher education, associate partner of Reflect Academy, education and curriculum developer, trained in systemic and psychodynamic work at Utrecht University/Tavistock Institute.
Drs. Ad Hofstede: sociologist/philosopher, managing director of Erasmus Academie, executive and life long learning, leadership programmes, talent development, higher education management.
Costs of participation
Early bird individual
|Early bird group (>2)||Individual regular||Group regular (>2)|
|Development||€ 2.200,-||€ 1.900,-||€ 2.500,-||€ 2.200,-|
|Application||€ 3.300,-||NA||€ 3.700||NA|
(Conference fees are exempt from VAT)
The cost of participating in the third LC&C conference covers both the conference fee and the full boarding hotel accommodation.
Participants who need it can apply for a bursary. A limited number will be granted, depending on the individual cases and on the possibilities. Please send a motivated request to Silke van Beekum, pre-conference administrator: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a not a citizen from an EU/EEA country please check visa requirements first.
It depends on your nationality if you need a visa. When you need a visaa you'll most probably have to apply for a short stay visa (less than 90 days) for business reasons. Check the website of the Dutch Immigration and Naturalisatioon Services to see if you need a visa or not and what the requirements are.
A group relations conference is a temporary learning organization. It provides a forum for learning from actual experience about human behaviour and unconscious processes in groups, networks, systems, organizations and society. It focuses on what happens in groups and organizations. A group relations conference uses experiential (learning through experience) methods on the grounds that learning is more significant and lasts longer if all one’s senses and faculties are involved.
The confirmed assumptions are that processes occurring in the conference duplicate those in organizations in every life.
Such a conference provides a protected working space in which groups of people can collectively explore their experiences. It allows for new thoughts and paradigms to unfold and offers a safe space to experiment with transformation.
For this purpose, it accesses a frame of reference with its origins at the Tavistock Institute for Human Relations, London (Bion, Rice, Miller, Turquet and others), which was subsequently applied and developed further by various other institutions worldwide.
The working language of this leadership conference will be English. However, the staff also supports Dutch and French as conference languages. Our philosophy is that language should never be an obstacle to participate in this conference.
Staff members also work as consultants within different events. They will offer their reflections and hypothesis on what is happening.
Staff all have experience with this method of working. They are not teachers or observers. The exploration of, discussion about, reflection upon and processing of the experiences in the different roles are at the heart of the matter for all members, including staff.
The conference design includes an Application sub-conference. The Application sub-conference is open to those who have been members of at least two group relations conferences and who are interested in developing this type of learning and applying it. Participants of this subgroup will have an opportunity to strengthen their ability to exercise leadership through taking up a consultancy role. Participants will develop their consulting abilities during the conference which they can apply externally to any group or organizational setting in the work roles they occupy. The Application sub-conference has its own separate schedule, which combines experience with time for reflection. The number of places is limited.
"Quite an eye‐opener! There is a lot going on beneath the surface."
"I’ve learned that I have leadership qualities I did not know I had."
Manager HR and Facilities
"After LC&C, I’ve started to discuss items that where 'under the table' and that it takes leadership to contain possible conflicts about it."
"Amazement, awareness, reflection, unconventional experiences, opening up to the unknown, allow the process to do its work, recognize patterns."
Advisor training programs
"Since LC&C I am more aware of what’s happening ‘beneath the surface’ and able to ask people to come up with their thoughts."
Manager Shared Service Center
"I am more aware of the different roles I can have and be more able to play with that."
"It has made entering into a conflict easier."
3rd International LC&C Working Conference – Working Beneath the Surface is organized by:
Leadership, Contact & Conflict – Working Beneath the Surface is an residential leadership conference. This edition location is Boshotel Vlodorp, Boslaan 1, 6063 NN Vlodrop.
Download the brochure of the LC&C 2020 leadership conference
For more information and questions please contact the pre-conference administrators:
Silke van Beekum
Important: If you are not a citizen from an EU/EEA country please check visa requirements first!
Additional condition article 7b and 7c of the General Conditions concerning cancellation: cancellation by participants after more than 14 calendar days following the date stamp of the confirmation of registratlon can only lead to a partial reimbursement, based on the costs already incurred by the conference organisers. Participants should contact the pre-conference administration beforehand, in order to check the cancellation conditions which are applicable at that time.
Paid up fees will be reimbursed if the conference has to be cancelled by the organisers, who therefore encourage early registrations.
Please register by using the link.