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Leadership & Authority in a Time of Complex Identities

The 9th International Group Relations Conference in Lithuania

Friday 24th August 2018 - Tuesday 28th August 2018

Vilnius University, Lithuania

Lithuanian Group Relations Society
The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations
Vilnius University, Faculty of Philosophy

Primary Task
Role of Staff
Info & Fees
Payment Terms
Web Sites


We live in the time of complex identities. Globalization and migration are influencing the way people perceive themselves and define their roles in groups, communities and societies. Migrants identify with both their old and new countries. Double citizenship affects people’s sense of belonging and loyalty. Children increasingly grow up in bilingual, mixed marriages and have two or more ethnic, racial, or religious identities. Gender identity is no longer binary.

These changes are amplified by the new “reality” of the internet and the 4th Industrial Revolution. Social media can be used to hide or reveal aspects of identity. Traditional institutional sources of identification, such as the State, religion, family, workplace are weakened. Traditional businesses and business practices are threatened by start-ups as software and robots replace human labour.

What then are the sources of leadership and authority in this world when identity is so complex and uncertain? Who takes up leadership and authority when familiar organizational, management, and familial structures are changing and oftentimes not holding?

This conference, conducted in the experiential, Tavistock group relations tradition, will explore how groups and individuals explore questions of authority and take up leadership roles while facing the challenges related to complex identities

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Conference Aims and Primary Task

to …

study the nature of leadership, the exercise of authority, and the taking up of roles that develop through the interpersonal, intergroup and organizational relations within the conference itself, as a temporary institution that reflects the complex identities found in the larger world.

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The Learning Aims:
  • how to • manage yourself in the multiple roles necessary to successfully perform in contemporary organisations where greater inter-personal and inter-organisational dialogue and cooperation is called for
  • • find and take up authority. Taking up authority involves risk, and putting one’s authority into action involves recognizing not only one’s responsibility, but also one’s accountability to an-other, or a group of others
  • • raise a new generation of skilful leaders and managers who will develop vision and foster creativity in changing organisational and social worlds.
  • • take up formal and informal leadership and followership roles as you explore group, institutional, communal and national dynamics as they happen.

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The Development Aims:
  • • bring together understanding of both the conscious and the unconscious, hidden motivations and resistances of work and social groups as they engag
  • • become more effective in working with the underlying dynamics within and between organisations, communities and wider society;
  • • apply the roles discovered and taken up within the programme to your own organisations, communities and networks.
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This conference is based on the theoretical perspectives and methods of group relations as developed in the Tavistock ‘Leicester’ working conferences on Leadership, Authority, Role and the Organization.

The conference is designed to provide opportunities for learning for leadership. By examining, interpreting, reflecting and making sense of experiences in the programme events, participants will develop clearer understanding of their own organisations and their roles within them.

The programme allows the participants to use their imagination to explore how they are taking up leadership roles and reacting to the leadership of others.

The programme focuses on culture, structure and task, and the need for understanding the roles of participants as they relate collaboratively and competitively with each other. Such understanding involves disciplined attention to one’s own experience, openness to the experience of others, tolerance of uncertainty, the readiness to interpret what is happening, and the courage to test one’s interpretations through communication and action. This includes being alert to both conscious and unconscious aspects of behaviour and the ways in which behaviour is being shaped by the broader social, political and economic contexts in which we work and live.

The method of learning is experiential – as participants you will be invited to study your own and others collaborative and competitive behaviour as it happens in the different events. Consultancy is always available in the programme events.

The focus of learning is based on examining the ‘here and now’ of group and institutional behaviour. You will be invited and challenged to take up your own authority to accept what proves to be useful learning and reject what is not. Through this process you will be able to reconsider the way that you gain or lose power and exercise authority in your organisations.

Small Study Group Consultancy Training

The conference design includes a small study group consultancy training track. Participants will have an opportunity to strengthen their ability to exercise leadership through drawing upon the consultative stance. Using the group relations model of experiential learning, which emphasizes the value of inner experience as an important guide, participants will develop their consulting abilities during the conference which they can apply to any group or organizational setting in whatever work roles they occupy.

The training group is open to those who have been members of at least two group relations conferences and are interested in developing this type of learning and applying it to professional life. The training group has its own separate schedule, which combines experience with time for reflection. The number of places in the training group is limited.

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The programme draws participants from diverse work settings and roles: leaders, managers, consultants, educators, researchers, administrators and professional and technical workers.

Working Language: The working language of the conference will be English. However, where all the members of a group are Lithuanian, Lithuanian may be the language of usage in that group.

Attendance: As the programme of the conference constitutes an integrated whole and its events are all inter-related, participation in all the sessions of the programme is essential. If you know in advance that you will be unable to attend all the events in the conference, we suggest you defer your application to next year.

Certificate: Participants will be issued with a certificate of professional development by Vilnius University.

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Role of Staff

Staff have specific roles in the conference:

1. They act collectively as management. Collective management takes responsibility and authority to provide the boundary conditions – task, territory and time – in such a way that all participants in the Conference, the members and staff themselves, can engage with the primary task of the Conference.

2. They work in their consultancy roles to the various events, informed by their own experiences of the events and the primary task of the event and the Conference overall. The staff will offer working hypotheses based on their understanding of what is happening.

3. Staff members are not only observers of the process but can be actively involved in it. It is important, therefore, for staff to be as explicit as possible about their task and roles throughout the Conference. The way they take up these roles is always open to examination.

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Conference Director
Jolita Buzaitytė-Kašalynienė  PhD
Associate professor of Social Work, Vilnius University. Advisor, Ministry of Education and Science and the Youth Department, Ministry of Social Security and Labour; Lithuanian Sociologists Society and Lithuanian Scouting Association; Representative, Vydūnas Youth Foundation; President, Lithuanian Group Relations Society.

Associate Director
Raymond Bakaitis  PhD
Psychologist in Independent Practice, Los Angeles; President, Grex, the West Coast Affiliate of the A. K. Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems; Past-President, Los Angeles County Psychological Association.

Laimutė Laukevičienė  MA, Law
Sales area manager, Swedbank Lithuania. Member, Lithuanian Group Relations Society.

Kasparas Laureckis  BA, Social Work, MA, Social Work in a process
Social street worker at NGO Vilnius social club. Consultant and trainer, Agency of International Youth Cooperation. Member, National Board of Social work. Member, Lithuanian Association of Non-formal Education.

Consultant Staff will be drawn from the following:
Franca Fubini  
psychoanalytic psychotherapist, organizational consultant and group analyst in private practice. Senior Fellow of University College, London. Chair of the Gordon Lawrence Foundation and Vice Chair of Il Nodo Group. Member of OPUS and of ISPSO

Marcel de Groen  _Theatre in education, counselling, Utrecht University
Coaching and consulting in context; Independent psychodynamic coach and consultant specializing in working with individuals and organizations in art and education. Chair Alumni Association Coaching and Consulting in Context. Core Staff member executive program Coaching and Consulting in Context, Utrecht University.

Björn Josefsson  
M.S Licensed Organizational Psychologist, Psychotherapist and Group Analyst, Private Consultation Praksis, Proforum AB; Former Teacher, IGA, Norway; Board Member of AGSLO, Sweden.

Olya Khaleelee  MA
Corporate Psychologist, Pintab Associates Ltd; Professional Partner, The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations; Organisational Consultant; Past Director of OPUS: an Organisation for Promoting Understanding in Society.

Erika Speičytė-Ruschhoff  MA
Social Work and Social Pedagogy; MA, Consulting and Leading in Organizations. Gestalt psychotherapist. Individual, group and organizational consultant, specializing in social work, health and care areas in private practice. Lecturer in social work, Vilnius University. Associate member, the Therapeutic Community for Dependences at Caritas Vilnius. Co-founder, Lithuanian Group Relations Society.

Mike Teplitz  PhD
Psychologist, Director Psychological Services of Upper Gallilee; Co-director Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Program at Safad College; Board member OFEK; Member Israeli Society of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy; Consultation, psychotherapy and supervision in private practice.

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Info and Fees

Time: The conference will begin at 09.00 on Friday, 24th and end at 17.00 on Tuesday 28th August 2018.

Place: The conference will be held at Vilnius University, Faculty of Philosophy, Universiteto st. 9, Vilnius.

All members will be invited to post-conference review and application groups. The task for these groups will be to extend the learning achieved during the conference and to discuss the applicability of the learning in their outside lives.

Fees: The conference fee is 580 EUR.
Additional fee for participation in small study group Training Group is 60 EUR.

To register for the conference, please fill out the online form.
Registration will take effect once payment has been made.

Participation in the Small Study Group Consultancy Training Group will be confirmed by the Conference Directorate on the basis of the experience and motivation of the applicant.

For further details or if you have any questions please contact the conference administrators, Kasparas Laureckis and Laimutė Laukevičienė, at

Closing Date for Applications: Wednesday, 10th July 2018.

Other Administrative Details

Meals: Refreshments will be served morning and afternoon. Meals will not be provided by the conference.

The conference is not residential and participants from other cities or countries should reserve their accommodation at hotels in the vicinity. There is possibility to book a room in The Vilnius University Apartments (Čiurlionio st. 1) which are 10-15 min walk from the Conference venue, 22-30 EUR per night in single room. Please ask administrators for the details and contacts.

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Payment Terms

Early booking is advised as the number of places is limited and not guaranteed.

Payment can be made by bank transfer. Other administrative details will be given upon completion of the registration process.

Cancellation Policy:

Cancellation occurring on or before 14th August, 2018: 75% of payment will be returned.
Cancellation occurring after 14th August, 2018: 25% of payment will be returned.

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Reduced Fees


(i) There is a reduced fee of 380 EUR for public and NGO sector‘s workers in Lithuania.

(ii) In addition there, is an early bird discount of 80 EUR for all applications received before 3rd June, 2018.

(iii) A limited number of partial bursaries will be available. To apply for a bursary, please fill the
Registration Form and send a request with a short description of the relevant background before 3rd June, 2018.

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Web Sites

Application form: http://
Vilnius University Faculty of Philosophy:
The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations:

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