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Transformation 2.0

Leading at the Boundaries of the Unknown

Monday 4th December 2017 - Friday 8th December 2017

GIBS, Johannesburg, South Africa

TILT: The Institute for Leadership and Transformation
Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS)
The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations

Primary Task
Info & Fees
Payment Terms
Web Sites


Dear prospective member,

Africa and the world need leadership. But how shall we lead when everything is shifting? When our deepest notions of who we are, how we fit into the world and what we regard as true and just are uncertain and changing?

Providing leadership in such a context often brings us to the very limits of our in/competence: realizing that our past experience is insufficient for the unfolding situation facing us. But are we merely lost at sea? Or are there ways of being and leading at the boundaries of the unknown that are authentic and reassuring? Not pretending to know when we don’t. Not pretending to be in control when we aren’t.

I invite you to join our 2nd annual residential Group Relations conference in the Tavistock tradition. This methodology, pioneered by the Tavistock Institute since 1957, is fully experiential. This means that, over the course of five days, no content is being presented. Instead, the conference forms a temporary institution that is born during the opening moments, studies its own conscious and unconscious dynamics as these emerge in the here-and-now, and dissolves at the end. There is, to my knowledge, no better way to learn about the complex dynamics of groups and organisations.

This year the conference title is Transformation 2.0 –Leading at the boundaries of the unknown. The primary task of the conference is to provide opportunities to learn, through experience and in the here-and-now, about exercising authority and leadership in the taking up and transformation of roles within the ever-shifting relational context of the conference as a temporary institution.

If the way in which you lead your institution in its shifting African and global context is important to you, join the conference. Together we will create a most unforgettable learning experience.

In anticipation,

Jean Cooper
Conference Director: Transformation 2.0 – Leading at the boundaries of the unknown

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Conference Aims and Primary Task

The primary task of the conference is to provide opportunities to learn, through experience and in the here- and-now, about exercising authority and leadership in the taking up and transformation of roles within the ever-shifting relational context of the conference as a temporary institution.

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A context for studying complexity and change The conference, as a temporary institutional system, consists of various sub-systems and events. Also, this year the conference consists of two sub-conferences, namely the Beginning Sub-conference (for members in their first residential Group Relations conference) and the Immersing Sub-conference (for members who have experienced residential Group Relations conferences before). Over the course of the conference the ever-shifting relations within and between these sub-systems are open for scrutiny.

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Conference Director & Director of Beginning Sub-Conference
Jean Cooper  PhD
(South Africa)

Associate Conference Director & Director of Immersing Sub-Conference
Eliat Aram  PhD
(UK, Israel)

Associate Conference Director: Administration
Thembi Kgengwenyane  BA
(South Africa)

Assistant Conference Administrator
Manolagayatri Kumarswamy  PhD

Consulting staff will be drawn from the following list:
Frans Cilliers  DPhil
(South Africa)

Zahid Hoosein Gangjee  MSc Applied Psychology

Nhlanhla Mabizela  HR Dip
(South Africa)

Matome Enias Mafokoane  MBA, MM Public & Development Management
(South Africa)

Michelle S May  DLitt et Phil
(South Africa)

Vijay Naidoo  MCom, EMCC – INSEAD
(South Africa)

Daybel Pañellas  PhD

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Info and Fees

The conference begins at 13:00 onMonday, 4 December 2017
and ends at 13:00 on Friday, 8 December 2017.

The Johannesburg campus of the University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS),
26 Melville Rd,
Johannesburg, 2196
South Africa.

Accommodation is in the Illovo Lodge on campus. The residential nature of the conference is an important component of the conference design.

R26 000 per person. This includes all accommodation and meals.

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Payment Terms

Please download the Application Form and the conference Terms and Conditions from the conference webpage transformation2017

All applications must be accompanied by a deposit of R6 000.

Applications must be received no later than Monday, 20 November 2017. Acceptance to the conference is not automatic and places are limited.

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Reduced Fees

R4 000 for applications received before 1 August.
R3 000 for applications received before 1 October.
R2 000 each for two or more people from the same organisation, individual practitioners, academics and students.

R2 500 additional discount for all members of TILT. For information on TILT membership, visit
Additional partial bursaries are available
upon request.

TILT strives to invest in leaders’ ability to become aware of and work with the not-so-obvious and often unconscious dynamics affecting their leadership, institutions and society. Due to the venue and staff requirements (approximately one staff member for every 5 participants) a learning experience such as this is very costly to present. Still we would love to make this experience as accessible as possible to a diversity of leaders and thinkers.

Please contact our Associate Director for Administration, Thembi Kgengwenyane if you are able to assist us by making
a donation.

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Web Sites

Conference website: transformation2017
Group Relations:
Tavistock Institute Group Relations: group-relations
Group Relations:

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