Saturday morning – parallel sessions

You can now choose between these five interactive learnshops

1. Lars Sudmann

Governance & Innovation: enabler or barrier

An interactive learnshop designed to deepen our understanding and application of some of the concepts mentioned in the earlier keynote by Lars.

2. Christopher Cooke

From the Soil to the Stomach to the Soul – The Craft of Governance from an Holistic Stance

The holistic worldview – what it means and how it shows naturally in ebbf and how it forms part of a process of the human species re-cognizing the path of spirit and the invitation of communion with Spirit, not as and end but as a start of our species viability; How a process oriented, holistically informed, form of governance provides the opportunity for the release of significant human creativity. How this takes us into a space where no best practice yet exists, yet there are many examples of where an ethical alignment with all aspects of life, has led to outperformance and a regenerative social, economic and ecological legacy. The session will include an interactive whole group experience to allow the audience to explore their own analysis of the deeper dynamics of worldviews and the necessity for new thinking. The learnshop will go deeper into an appreciation of the 4 ecosystem processes that describe how all-life sustains, and how the ability to sense and monitor ecosystem processes may be used to navigate effectively towards ecological outcomes that recover and regenerate life on Earth. Christopher suggests that this work offers a most profound addition to all forms of Quality Assurance.

3. Jelena Hercberga

What business can learn from radical democracy?

The economy of the common good as an alternative to neoliberalism has been highly praised for its just, humane, cooperative, ecological and democratic principles of running and organising business.

However, is it really democratic? Is the politics of the common good the way to go if we want to create a more just workplace? What is good?

Your definition of it might be dramatically different from your colleague’s, let alone from the company’s top management’s vision. If we to develop companies that place common good above profits, we need to take into account complexity of this concept. How do we go about it?

The school of radical democracy might be of help. It argues that the common good is not possible as it can never be completely inclusive. Radical democrats suggest that any consensus, that the common good is an example of, is always political, i.e. it represents interests of a certain group of people and excludes others.

Radical democrats put difference and contingency that comes with it at the heart of a political debate. Their approach to creating a just society is through enabling different voices to be heard without prejudice and judgement. Radical democracy sees any knowledge as socially constructed, which challenges the validity of any strict definition and calls for seeing this world, our relations with it, as well as ourselves in it as in an ongoing state of becoming. As such, it is not so much about defining what the common good is, but creating conditions when this common good could be contested and therefore complemented from various positions. And it is not so much about creating new forms of governance and ways of organising, but shifting our perception of how we see the different and the other, both in society, but also in business.

By drawing on the concept of radical democracy, I will explore together with the participants of the conference how principles of contingency and becoming can be applied in the corporate world.

4. Kurt Specht

Governance in distributed social and economic networks

Traditional command & control top down management styles and approaches do not work well in a decentralized world. New forms of economic and social networks are emerging such as Distributed Autonomous Organizations (DAO). In a more and more networked environment with distributed organizations we need to apply decentralized governance structures & tools. The governance of these networks and organizations is based on advanced technologies such as the Blockchain technology. Blockchain can disrupt traditional governance structures, and challenge the way we currently think about governance as there will be no more centralized legal entity. This keynote is exploring governance in the dawn of these disrupting types of organizations and networks. The session is aiming at igniting the discussion about future social interactions in organizational models that are yet to be fully defined, understood and used in practice.

5. Eoin McCarthy

How Quakers use Theory U in group decision-making today

Leveraging over 300 years of Quaker Business Method, and using conference Participants’ own real current decisions as tools, to get Theory U and other decision-making support tools off the page and into practice.

6. Garance Choko

Reversing the Decision Making Process

I’ll present lessons from the application of a unique participatory management strategy in 1) the redesign of a national health care system in a European country and 2) the overhaul of the national administration for a large sub-Saharan country that results in increased efficiency, trust and team engagement, and improved outcomes.

This values-based strategy is predicated on three principles: a systemic approach, participatory problem solving, and harnessing the power of the collective intelligence of a group to drive design and strategy. It subverts more traditional management and decision making processes that position the nominal leaders of private and public institutions as the strategists and enforcers and staff and middle management as the executors of orders from above.

By applying these principles, we engage everyone with an active stake in the long-term sustainability of its solution. By vigorously mapping the groups, agents, and elements that are crucial to a system’s functioning, dynamics, and structure we equalize formal and informal knowledge – expanding the potential for inventive ideas exponentially.

Finally, we extract, harness, and incorporate local knowledge at all stages of a project’s life cycle to develop and deepen concepts, analyze problems, prototype and implement actual solutions, and evaluate their success.

I have witnessed a positive shift in internal governance that occurs when decision-makers give staff the charge to lead the design and strategy process predicated on their in-depth knowledge of the relevance of organizational strategy to the day-to-day operation of the enterprise.

When the staff is leading the problem solving process and decision makers become ambassadors and support these ideas as opposed to dictating them, it engenders a culture of trust and inspiration that leads to greater corporate and organizational resilience over time.