The Covid-19 crisis has brought into sharp relief much of what we take for granted, are losing or fear losing. It has also at times heightened awareness. This could not be more true for ‘touch’. For Aristotle, touch was not the only the most basic sense for sentient beings, but also critical to practical intelligence and indeed, thought itself, which depend on tactility. In his lunchtime talk, Lucian J. Hudson recalls through the perspective of touch some abiding memories and desires in his own life.
He also draws on particularly his experience of being a participant on three Tavistock programmes, The Leicester Conference, Dynamics @ Board Level and currently Coaching for Leadership: Psychodynamic Approaches, and consider what was touched and what left untouched.
Attendees were invited through break-out groups and a plenary session to explore how — now of all times — a ‘Tavistock Touch’ could make a difference in helping people and organisations to move from crisis response to recovery.
Recording of the talk
For further information:
Feist, Richard. “Thinking About Touch.” Touch in the Helping Professions: Research, Practice and Ethics, edited by Martin Rovers et al., University of Ottawa Press, 2017, pp. 33–50.
Segal, Naomi. “Touching and Not Touching: The Indirections of Desire.” Touch, edited by Caterina Nirta et al., vol. 3, University of Westminster Press, London, 2020, pp. 29–88. JSTOR. (Download PDF here)
Lucian J. Hudson is an experienced board chair, strategic communications specialist and executive coach. He is an old friend of the Tavistock Institute and very familiar with Tavistockian thinking, having held the position of Chair of Trustees . He is currently Chair of Earthwatch Europe and, most recently, he has led a successful transition at the University of Oxford, putting public affairs and communications on a more strategic footing. He is lead author of the Policy Exchange report, Universities at The Crossroads, addressing governance, leadership and communication.