The Mary Parker Follett Network

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

To organize a new Follett Conversation (Conference)?

Back in 2002 the Follett Foundation organized a modest conference around a format of research, dialogue, and creativity - a "conversation on creative democracy" built around self-selected inquiry teams. Participants collaborated months in advance on a topic of interest, came together for three and a half days of work with their teams (but meeting as a conference group for meals and occasional evening gatherings). The event concluded with a plenary session wherein teams presented their ideas, insights, or initiatives. This format was modeled after the Asilomar Conversation, which has gone on for many years near Monterey, California and actually goes on for five days. Proceedings are attached below.

At the 2002 event, I believe we had 16 participants. We might have had greater participation with a more convenient location (although participants seemed to enjoy Boise's amenities), and by planning longer in advance. The format was, I think, a success, and a quite refreshing contrast from the typical "presenting of papers" conference.

What do you think about planning another "Follett Conversation on Creative Democracy" for 2010? Location suggestions? Any organizations/institutions (aside from the Follett Foundation) that might take a turn hosting it?

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As I was writing that paper and attempting to reconstruct an intellectual path from Follett to Schein, all of a sudden it occurred to me that I should just ask Schein. So I did. He said he was familiar with her work but would not count her as one of his main influences. However, as I examined this further I learned that many of Schein's influences were themselve influenced by Follett -- including Douglas MacGregor, one of Schein's mentors.

As for the conference, let me know what I can do and when we might decide to proceed or at least pursue the idea further.
Who wants to plan a Follett conference for Fall, 2011? I'm thinking that if we form a committee - Ah! A committee??!!! - yes, a committee - to plan it...

Last we talked about it, we were leaning toward the Boston area.

We could use this forum to discuss formats and themes. Two or three volunteers could research locations, availability of space, and costs for lodging and food. Other volunteers could eventually craft and submit an announcement to go out to the world.

Can we do all that by sometime in January? Would that be enough advance notice?
Dear Matt.

It will be a great pleasure to joign you there. Of course we could considere Boston is the right place especially if we could have some helps from the academics located there.

Emmanuel

This is weird ... I see no notification of this latest post in my email ... Ah ... new answer to an old post which I was not "following" ... we'll get there.

 

Anyway ... yes Fall 2011 seems like a good target, and I would support it any way I can.

Ian

Matthew Shapiro said:

Who wants to plan a Follett conference for Fall, 2011? I'm thinking that if we form a committee - Ah! A committee??!!! - yes, a committee - to plan it...

Last we talked about it, we were leaning toward the Boston area.

We could use this forum to discuss formats and themes. Two or three volunteers could research locations, availability of space, and costs for lodging and food. Other volunteers could eventually craft and submit an announcement to go out to the world.

Can we do all that by sometime in January? Would that be enough advance notice?

I would be more than happy to support in any way from Montreal. Great initiative Matthew! Boston area is also a great idea. I'm in!

 

Speaking of creating a committee...

 

“The object of a committee meeting is first of all to create a common idea. I do not go to a committee meeting merely to give my own ideas. If that were all, I might write my fellow-members a letter. But neither do I go to learn other people’s ideas. If that were all, I might ask each to write me a letter. I go to a committee meeting in order that all together we may create a group idea, an idea which will be better than any of our ideas added together. For this group idea will not be produced by the process of addition, but by the interpenetration of us all. This subtle psychic process by which the resulting idea shapes itself is the process we want to study.” MPF

 

François

Ian Glendinning said:

This is weird ... I see no notification of this latest post in my email ... Ah ... new answer to an old post which I was not "following" ... we'll get there.

 

Anyway ... yes Fall 2011 seems like a good target, and I would support it any way I can.

Ian

Matthew Shapiro said:

Who wants to plan a Follett conference for Fall, 2011? I'm thinking that if we form a committee - Ah! A committee??!!! - yes, a committee - to plan it...

Last we talked about it, we were leaning toward the Boston area.

We could use this forum to discuss formats and themes. Two or three volunteers could research locations, availability of space, and costs for lodging and food. Other volunteers could eventually craft and submit an announcement to go out to the world.

Can we do all that by sometime in January? Would that be enough advance notice?

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