Before the Beginning and After the End

Before the Beginning and After the End

This Dialogue Event, originally created and designed by Dr Sari Mattila, drew on Gadamerian hermeneutics, Bionian concept of container-contained, Winnicottian notion of play and Buberian philosophy of dialogue, introducing new dimensions to dialogue praxis. It’s an event that has been offered in Group Relations Conferences since 2010.

The Dialogue Event connected with THEN: Transacting with the Future to reflect on beginnings, ends, continuities, discontinuities, transformations for intended and unintended consequences when natural persons and artificial juridical persons come together. The theme “Boundaries and their Functions” provided an opportunity to experience a treble primary task dialogue praxis event:

(a) to think about the mysterious prelude to the Ahmedabad experiment in the Calico Mills and the equally mysterious end after the last intervention by Tavistock

(b) to participate and reflect on functions of all six boundaries of open systems.

(c) to dwell on insights of how the functions of open system boundaries are changing to accommodate platformed ecosystems in the 21st Century.

The Dialogue Event introduced provided possibilities to dwell in wonder around a central question and raise related new questions.


The Dialogue Event anchored jointly by Ajeet N. Mathur of IIM Ahmedabad and Sari Mattila of IIM Bangalore was to provide an opportunity to a maximum of 24 participants at the Tavistock Festival to experience a triple primary task event that has been offered in Group Relations Conferences since 2010. The context chosen for the event was the nature of continuities and discontinuities experienced before, during and after what has been called “The Ahmedabad Experiment” in the Calico Mills.

You can download notes and photos of the event here.


Ajeet N. Mathur: Professor, IIM Ahmedabad, and Chairperson, Centre for Gender Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity, India; Formerly, EU-TEMPUS Professor of European Integration and Internationalisation, IFCI Chair Professor, Indian Council of Research on International Economic Relations; Visiting academic appointments at K.U. Leuven, Belgium, University of Edinburgh, Cornell University, University of California at Berkeley, University of Bielefeld, Germany, Helsinki School of Economics, Aalto University, Turku School of Economics, Royal University of Bhutan, and Fresenius University, Cologne. Published twenty eight books and over one hundred and fifty papers in scientific journals and anthologies. Staff in group relations conferences since 1978 in India, Bhutan, Netherlands, Germany and Finland. Directed Group Relations Conferences in Asia and Europe since 1991. Recipient of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Award 1992, Fulbright Award, 1993, Prestige Award 2014 and Academy of Management Award 2016. Member of the Board, Global Foundation for Integrating Spirituality and Organisational Leadership.Dr Sari Mattila is a full-time visiting faculty at IIM Bangalore. She received her Ph.D. degree from Tampere University of Technology in the field of Management and OB/HR after an integrated Master’s Degree in Philosophy from the University of Joensuu (now part of the University of Eastern Finland). She has previously taught at IIM Ahmedabad, Institute of Management, Nirma University, Flame School of Business, and CEPT in India besides Tampere University of Technology and University of Turku in Finland. Her subjects have included Organisational Behaviour, Ethics, Business Ethics, and Corporate Social Responsibility, Mentoring and Coaching, Socratic Dialogues, and Indian Values. Before her academic career, she has worked in industry in various positions of responsibility. Prior to that she was into competitive professional horseback riding. She has herself been doing mindfulness practices as part of her interest in experiential learning, counselling and therapy, yoga, mindfulness and vipassana.
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