I was delighted to be able to attend this conference during the last week of July. Since 2005, I have travelled most years to many and various wonderful destinations for TA conferences. The anticipation and excitement of re-connecting with colleagues from all over the world, is wonderful! This time a Swiss TA educator, Evelyne Papaux, and I decided to share a small apartment in the city. It is a great way to get a feel for the city – having to commute to the conference venue each day. We also had free time to explore the city.
Berlin is a fascinating city – a mixture of wonderful old architecture and very modern buildings, as so much of Berlin was bombed during the war. One of the most moving experiences outside of the conference proper, was a 2 hour guided walk along the Berlin Wall – as it happens it was an early evening with the rain pouring down! Even though we were really cold and wet by the end, it seemed fitting weather for the topic. Being informed of the inhumanity as well as courage and resilience shown by humans was both sad and inspiring. Hearing old recordings of both officials and ordinary people speaking, seeing the memorial to the 137 people who died trying to cross the wall, seeing images of people jumping out of windows being caught (or sometimes not) was a deep experience for me.
A delightful experience was seeing the Berlin Bears all over the city – and especially the United Buddy Bears project – bears decorated from artists all over the world “holding hands” in solidarity.
The Conference was a buzz of people (about 960 of us) from all over the world. The excitement of seeing people that I hadn’t seen for a year or two – plus meeting new people. We were spread over 2 parts of the Technical University with so many workshops running each session that it sometimes became difficult to choose – I wished I could have mastered the art of bi-locating! A special moment at the Celebration event at the end of the conference was the awarding of the European Association of TA (EATA) gold medal to Trudi Newton – one of the foundational educational Transactional Analysts in the educational field of application of TA.
Layo and I will be sharing some of the learning from the workshops we attended, in the next few newsletters. We hope you will be excited to read something about each workshop over the next few newsletters:
1) The Same but Different – the paradox of belonging – How do we hope the paradox of being in a committed relationship, keeping our own sense of self but also creating a rich shared sense of the we-ness (Presented by Lis and John Heath)
2) Boundaries as Chances: Effective and intense relationship work – TA and animal assisted interventions. (Presented by Anette Dielmann and Kathy Christina Pithan)
3) Learning imagoes and their usefulness in different types of learning (Presented by Trudi Newton & Giles Barrow)
4) Meetings – Boundaries – Learning – Teams; a workshop looking at ways to structure and run team meetings, in order to increase effectiveness and innovation. (Presented by Mandy Lacy)
5) Liminality – how we hold and work with this in change (Presented by Giles Barrow & Trudi Newton)
6) VUCA – Effects on Leadership and Organisations; An inspiring workshop about leading and making decisions in a world, that is Volatile, Uncretain, Complex, and Ambiguous. (Presented by Günther Mohr and Natalia Berrio Andrade)
7) Some key ideas from the panel discussion on the 4 fields of TA
8) Functional Fluency and Leadership (Presented by Anette Dielmann and Jutta Kreyenberg)
9) The difference between explicit and implicit knowledge (Keynote by Dr Abel)