The Mary Parker Follett Network

Unity, not uniformity, must be our aim. - MPF

Network members Francois Heon and Emmanuel Grouton have taken the initiative to organize a a Follett-inspired gathering, with the agreed date of October 14-15, 2011, and location in the Boston area. This discussion focuses on the details of that gathering. 


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Dear Matt,

 

Just a small thing : it's Emmanuel Groutel...and not Grouton ;-)

 

Emmanuel

Ah! My apologies, Emmanuel.

That would be terrific! I'm based in Boston so I'd be glad to help.

One thing though, and I even feel awkward saying this because you clearly can't pick the dates based on trying to accomodate everyone's availability -- I already know that I'll be out of town that weekend. So, to the extent that the date ends up moving, I know I'd appreciate it.

John Sarvey

Northeastern University

 

If we want to respect the diversity we have to integrate... Another thing is, who is able to organize and what ?

If we are able to do well ... it could be the 15th or 22th October ?

We can also vote. For me I am open for the three dates.

Emmanuel

 

Hello everyone,

 

As I see "the situation" evolving, I see: John our home-base man in Boston, François not too far in Montreal and Emmnuel in France ready to take the lead. As well as Albie and Matthew as supportive members.  It looks like we have the emergence of an event!

 

I would also change the date for either October 15 or 22nd weekends. Matthew, Albie, preferences? 

 

I have never organized an event in such a virtual way but it sounds like we could organize something good. And international!

 

Francois

 

The 15th and 22nd work for me.

I probably should not reveal this, but I've been a professional conference planner in the past.  :)

Also, I'm based at a university so can secure facilities -- although there might be a charge.

I can do a lot of the logistics. If there's anyone else in Boston, it'd help to have a partner on that.

I think we need to see how many people within this MPF network would be willing to serve on a Planning Committee.

John

 

That's really great John!!!

 

We could let ourselves the month of March to let other people show interest and then find a way to communicate in real time. This gives us also some time to reflect on what kind of event we would like. This will also be good timing for Emmanuel since he completes his PhD on MPF early April.

I would still be active in seeking a choice between October 15 or 22nd.

 

François

 

Hello, I will already be in Boston and would be interested in attending. Unfortunately, I have to be in Portland, Oregon on Monday, so would have to leave early on Sunday.

Thanks,

 

Cliff

Sorry, I posted before I read the alternative dates. I will be in Singapore on the weekend of the 15 and 22nd.

Best,

 

Cliff

Some things worth thinking about at this point (although perhaps this is the purpose for a committee):

 

1- Format: Can be anywhere from people presenting papers (ugh) to one big non-stop conversation with no structure (can be fun but also frustrating). Likely something in between. One big group? Smaller interest groups? Both? Preparation before the meeting like in the "Follett Conversation" some years ago, or just come as you are?  How many people, and what they organize themselves there, will in turn affect the desired length of the gathering and the kind of space needed.

My own bias is for a focused-yet-open conversation emphasis, with some in a more intimate gathering space that allows for 24-hour focus (e.g., in a retreat setting) is the most satisfying. But a retreat is more expensive than perhaps simply using university meeting rooms.

However, if it's a very small gathering, there will be less of a need there will be for structure and less dependence on environment.

 

2 - Whether it will be designed to satisfy "academic" interests - i.e., sometimes professors, graduate students will be sponsored to go to conferences if they get to present something or there is some kind of proceeding published afterwards. Something to consider when so many Follett fans are in the academic world. Something to consider when planning structure.

 

3 - Getting the word out - If there is a desire to have something as large as possible, then advertising will be important, as soon as possible. That, in turn, can't be done until a format is set, costs identified, etc.  There are lots of channels that can be used, of course, particularly with electronic media as they are today.

This is a great idea. I look for events where it is possible to debate about Follett's contributions. It could be interesting to focus on Follett's impacts on different areas: policy making, management, action research way of doing research, innovation, etc.
I think there is not enough time to enter into a large-scale communication process. Isn't it possible to organize a two-days seminar with round table discussions on 4-5 topics (for example, "How to make 'integration' a practical concept for managers?", "Follett's contributions in public policy making", etc.) with 4-5 papers supporting discussions?

Matthew Shapiro said:

Some things worth thinking about at this point (although perhaps this is the purpose for a committee):

 

1- Format: Can be anywhere from people presenting papers (ugh) to one big non-stop conversation with no structure (can be fun but also frustrating). Likely something in between. One big group? Smaller interest groups? Both? Preparation before the meeting like in the "Follett Conversation" some years ago, or just come as you are?  How many people, and what they organize themselves there, will in turn affect the desired length of the gathering and the kind of space needed.

My own bias is for a focused-yet-open conversation emphasis, with some in a more intimate gathering space that allows for 24-hour focus (e.g., in a retreat setting) is the most satisfying. But a retreat is more expensive than perhaps simply using university meeting rooms.

However, if it's a very small gathering, there will be less of a need there will be for structure and less dependence on environment.

 

2 - Whether it will be designed to satisfy "academic" interests - i.e., sometimes professors, graduate students will be sponsored to go to conferences if they get to present something or there is some kind of proceeding published afterwards. Something to consider when so many Follett fans are in the academic world. Something to consider when planning structure.

 

3 - Getting the word out - If there is a desire to have something as large as possible, then advertising will be important, as soon as possible. That, in turn, can't be done until a format is set, costs identified, etc.  There are lots of channels that can be used, of course, particularly with electronic media as they are today.

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