Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Interested in relational approaches to science practice? Retreat? Community?

So, I've got a small bit of funding to convene a group of folks that are interested in relationship-centered approaches to professional practice across disciplines. Over the past several years in my own work, I've fortunately connected with lawyers, doctors, psychologists, scientists, and others that have similar interests. There is a core group of us that will get together sometime this spring/early summer for a couple day retreat, and I want to extend an invitation to a few more folks that might have interest but that I might not have connected with yet (or haven't explicitly talked to about this).

The basic, overly generalized background is this: In many fields, technical and scientific modes of knowing have been the primary driver in both training and practice. However, particularly in practice-based careers and regardless of discipline, it has become more clear that explicitly recognizing the role of relationships between people -- and all the emotional, subjective, unconscious content that comes with that -- is of great value. At the same time, the degree to which the culture, community, and practice in a given field supports relational work varies greatly. In law and medicine in particular, professional ethics and clinical teaching have facilitated a focus on relational approaches. This evolution is beginning to happen in my own field -- environmental science -- particularly as more people move from research to practice roles.

The goal of convening this group is to facilitate connections between practitioners and share cross-disciplinary approaches to relational work and really to just see what emerges -- maybe it's a piece of research, maybe it's a larger professional community, hopefully it's something better than I can imagine on my own. I have funds to cover travel and meals/lodging for a small group, so if you are interested that should not be a barrier.

If you are interested, please send me an email (fkearns at gmail) and let me know what sparks your interest, what you would hope to contribute and to receive, if you have any background in relational work, and anything else that you want to say. Even if it's not to participate in this small group, I know there are a lot of folks out there, particularly practitioners, who would love to be part of a community of practice and support. I know there must be some shy but regular readers that are interested and I'd love to connect with you.

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