We warmly welcome The Social Dreaming International Network SDiN in a new collaborative partnership.
‘Social Dreaming’, the practice of sharing, associating to and working with dreams in a matrix in order to identify social trends and social dynamics, was pioneered and developed by Gordon Lawrence and his colleagues at the Tavistock Institute and Tavistock Clinic during the 1980s. The first experiment was launched by Gordon Lawrence and Paddy Daniel in 1982. More about the principles of social dreaming can be found in this paper by David Armstrong and this one by Susan Long & Maurita Harney.
Gordon Lawrence had a long and distinguished career at the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations (TIHR) as a pre-eminent social scientist in action research with a special interest in group relations. He was Joint Director with Eric Miller of the Group Relations Programme. After leaving the TIHR in 1982, Gordon devoted the rest of his professional life to developing social dreaming into a form of social and cultural enquiry, authoring several volumes on the subject and running and encouraging others to run social dreaming matrices in many parts of the world. Today, social dreaming is practised worldwide as a tool for consultancy, as an action research methodology in organisational development and culture change. Social Dreaming forms an integral part of many conferences and workshops.
In 2013 Gordon was honoured for his work on social dreaming by the ISPSO and at the ceremony honouring him, a new organisation came into being to promote his work – the Gordon Lawrence Foundation for the Promotion of Social Dreaming (GLF). Gordon died at the end of 2013. The group of Trustees of this new organisation were devoted to developing the Foundation and spreading the techniques, practices and values and knowledge that emerged from Social Dreaming practice. Over the years the GLF was active in promoting and supporting research projects in social dreaming, events, and in ongoing social dreaming matrices. The GLF in conjunction with Il Nodo, the Italian group relations organisation, collaborated in running the first year-long training programme in social dreaming, led by Franca Fubini and in which Tavistock Institute staff played a role. Two books on social dreaming
(Social Dreaming, Associative Thinking and Intensities of Affect by Julian Manley; and Social Dreaming: Philosophy, Research, Theory and Practice edited by Susan Long and Julian Manley) have been published with the support of the GLF and numerous articles have been presented at international conferences and published by members of the GLF.
In 2018, GLF as an organisation came to an end. Some of its trustees and founders chose to keep working together under the name of The Social Dreaming International Network (SDiN) and they welcomed the unique opportunity to work with TIHR. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between TIHR and SDiN was approved by Council in March. The MoU recognises the international nature and the importance of partnerships for both organisations in promoting and developing social dreaming internationally. In addition to benefits deriving from the Institute’s administrative and finance infrastructure, the TIHR and SDiN will work together and find ways to give substance and meaning to the MoU through mutual support and collaboration, e.g. in the use of the Archives, Lunch Time Talks at the THIR, social dreaming at the Wellcome Foundation, social dreaming conversations, social dreaming chronicles and more.
SDiN is currently run by:
Domenico Agresta, Italy
David Armstrong, UK
Franca Fubini, Italy (Chair)
Susan Long, Australia
Mannie Sher, UK
Judit Szekacs, UK
Alfredo Veneziale, Italy