The fortnight that changed everything

The fortnight that changed everything

Arriving at my first Leicester Conference, by Jean Cooper

It is now 16 years since that fortnight in England that changed everything. 

I remember arriving there, in that typical ‘not-knowing-what-I-don’t-know’ certitude. Thinking the fact that I was a psychologist put me in a better position than the business executives around for what was lying ahead. 

I remember having tea with a group of people, who seemed more or less my age, just before the conference started. There was a guy from Singapore, one from Denmark, a woman from Romania and one from Lithuania. We were filled with butterflies, knowing that we were about to dive into an immersion that would change us. 

What I didn’t know, couldn’t have known, was just how profound this change would be. It was that first Leicester experience, in 2008, that kick-started my journey into myself and onto what would become an unbelievably fulfilling career.

Like any life-changing adventure, there is only one way to make it happen: Decide that you want to go. Then figure out the practicalities. 

This year the conference will be in August, and I will be one of the consultants, working alongside some of the people whom I met during that 2008 conference. 

Find out more about Leicester 2024

Jean Cooper, PhD 

Jean lives and works in South Africa, where he founded The Institute for Leadership and Transformation (TILT). He consults to leaders and organisations and provides training and supervision to consultants and coaches. He directed two Group Relations Conferences in South Africa, in partnership with the Tavistock Institute. Jean recently travelled from South Africa to Spain by motorcycle, during which he encountered the ingenuity, compassion, and resilience of ordinary people, driven by hope, against many odds. 

The 2024 conference title Studying Stuckness, Movement and Hope calls Jean to find, beneath the rubble of our inner and outer worlds, ways in which to move, breathe, and re-orientate ourselves, together.

Reach out with questions to Leah Ashton-Hurst

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