Group Relations International is a unique organization. We embrace the group relations methodology, including group-level analysis, psychodynamic perspectives, and open systems theory.
And we think that being a practitioner of this methodology implies that we are involved in social justice issues. If we hold that an individual speaks on behalf of the group and a person is on the margin of that group, we try to address that. Similarly, if we hold that a sub-group speaks on behalf of a system, then we try to address what it means that a subgroup may be on the margin of a system. Even if we cannot necessarily ‘fix’ things, we can at least try to understand what the marginalization represents.
Many of us who have been part of group relations conferences, members and staff alike, have had the experience that unexplainable things happen that goes beyond unconscious connections, serendipity, or collective consciousness. It’s really beyond our understanding. These can be seen as manifestations of the More, or the Spirit. We can almost see spirit become visible in conferences.
We know that people who have gone through a group relations conference – wherever in the world - and who resonate with learning that takes place in this context, as well as social justice and spirituality want to continue to explore and grow as part of a community of people. GRI wants to foster continued exploration and growth and offers to be a home for people who are passionate about group relations, social justice, and spirituality, in the form of a community of Co-Creators.
We are exploring and discovering what that means. The international aspect is important – in part because of how we started as an organization, but also because of crossing boundaries and collaboration, including crossing our internal boundaries of what is expected, known and familiar – can we expand to and collaborate with what is ‘not me’ and ‘not us.’ We find ourselves creating groups of people – small communities, really - that meet around certain topics, a reading group or a spirituality group. We are also quite interested in making the group relations method accessible and applying it.
This blog is a concrete example of co-creation. It is a space for GRI Co-Creators and others to share their stories of how the intersection of group relations, social justice, and spirituality, affectionately referred to as “the work,” helps them make meaning in their lives and how it impacts them and others. Each post is as unique as each individual’s experience and identities. Together we co-create this blog to make a wealth of experience available to a wider audience. Amber Williams is our blog curator and welcomes your contributions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are curious about what is yet to be discovered about co-creation; to borrow words from Margaret Mead, we have no “doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world.” Let’s see what we can create together.