The Institute’s CEO, Eliat Aram, gave a key note address at the AK Rice symposium in Chicago, Illinois in October 2010.
The symposium is a bi-yearly event which on this occasion was celebrating 40 years of work of the AK Rice Institute, the USA’s Group Relations organisation offering an annual international conference, a number of shorter conferences and other GR applications across the country and a training course in Group Relations consultancy.
Eliat’s title, Aesthetics of Group Relations brings the two concepts together for the first time in the discourse of Group Relations (GR) as a learning method. She reflects on the artistic ethics of the GR method to understand its appeal, long lasting impact and rigour. In her talk she identifies three key elements that intersect in the here-and-now of the conference and bring about the aesthetic experience of learning: the ‘form’/ ‘artefact’, or the conference design; the ‘attitude’ of the staff to the conference work; the ‘experience’, its application and implication. She concludes by suggesting that the GR work of art is the pursuit for social relevance and the quest for impact and applicability passionately and thoughtfully thereby evoking the aesthetic experience that we can then call Group Relations conference and method.