3rd International LC&C Group Relations Conference
Leadership, Contact & Conflict - Working Beneath the Surface

Cursus Leadership, Contact & Conflict – Working Beneath the Surface

  • Development: Wednesday 25 November up to and including Saturday 28 November 2020
  • Application: Monday 23 november up to and including Saturday 28 November 2020

Early bird individual

Early bird group (>2)Individual regularGroup regular (>2)
Development€ 2.200,-€ 1.900,-€ 2.500,-€ 2.200,-
Application€ 3.300,-NA€ 3.700NA

(Conference fees are exempt from VAT)


Early bird deadline: Friday 17 Juli 2020

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.

  1. ‘Developing sub-conference’ is for first time members or for those who wish to deepen their previous learning experience. The ‘Developing’ sub-conference will start on a Wednesday (Final dates in 2020 to be announced soon).
  2. ‘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 (Final dates in 2020 to be announced soon). ‘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 (Final dates in 2020 to be announced soon).

Primary task

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

Conference staff

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.

Director LCC Conference

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.

Conference AssocLCC Conferenceiate-Director

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


The staff will consist of 10 to 12 members. (names to be announced).

Pre-conference administrators

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 regularGroup regular (>2)
Development€ 2.200,-€ 1.900,-€ 2.500,-€ 2.200,-
Application€ 3.300,-NA€ 3.700NA

(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: silke@vanbeekumconsult.nl.

Exploring the conscious and unconscious dynamics that unfold within groups and within oneself

Additional information

  • 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."
    General Manager

    "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."
    Financial consultant

    "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."
    Independent consultant

    "It has made entering into a conflict easier."
    Managing Director


3rd International LC&C Working Conference – Working Beneath the Surface is organized by:

Utrecht University
School of Governance
P.R.O. Academie
TA opleidingen en workshops
Erasmus Academie
Opleidingen voor professionals
Pour la Transformation des Rôles et l'Innovation Sociale


Brochure is to be published soon.


For more information and questions please contact the pre-conference administrators:

Silke van Beekum

Pre-conference administrator

Ad Hofstede

Pre-conference administrator

  • Development: Wednesday 25 November up to and including Saturday 28 November 2020
  • Application: Monday 23 november up to and including Saturday 28 November 2020

Early bird individual

Early bird group (>2)Individual regularGroup regular (>2)
Development€ 2.200,-€ 1.900,-€ 2.500,-€ 2.200,-
Application€ 3.300,-NA€ 3.700NA

(Conference fees are exempt from VAT)

Niet van toepassing

Early bird deadline: Friday 17 Juli 2020

4 dagen
Aangeboden door
Erasmus Academie
Gedrag en maatschappij
Executive programma

Leadership, Contact & Conflict – Working Beneath the Surface is an residential leadership conference. This edition location is Boshotel Vlodorp, Boslaan 1, 6063 NN Vlodrop.

  • Erasmus Academie
  • MaTRIS
  • p.r.o. Academie
  • Universiteit Utrecht, Departement Bestuurs- en Organisatiewetenschap (USBO)


Your personal data

Your professional data

Your application

I am applying to be a member in the following subconference. Early bird fees are valid until 17 July 2020.

Earlier experience with group relations type conferences



Special dietary requirements

How did you find us?


Send my invoice to

Remarks & questions


Conditions and signature

This Privacy Statement applies to all activities of Erasmus Academie, including the activities via the website. This Privacy Statement provides the most relevant information on each subject.
Erasmus Academie treats personal data with care and acts within the limits of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). 

Confidential handling of information: An atmosphere of openness and trust is of great importance for the design of our training courses. You must be able to exchange information freely without it becoming known outside the scope of the study program. By signing this registration form, you therefore agree that no information - which could not have been obtained through publicly available information - is in any way disclosed to persons, companies / organizations outside the context of this training without the prior written approval of the person (s) involved and Erasmus Academy.

General terms and conditions: By signing you declare that you are aware of and agree with the General Terms and Conditions of Erasmus Academy. A copy of the General Terms and Conditions can be sent to you upon request.