WED JAN 15 – SUN JAN 19, 2020
An Experiential Conference in the Tavistock Tradition

Welcome from the conference director


Dr. Candice A. Crawford-Zakian

“It is in playing and only in playing that the individual child or adult is able to be creative and to use the whole personality, and it is only in being creative that the individual discovers the self.”

-  D.W. Winnicott

We’re living in a time of rapid change. Businesses and social enterprises must constantly innovate and experiment just to stay afloat. For organizations that hope to thrive in this climate, recognizing intersecting aspects of difference and leveraging them to discover new pathways to progress is critical. Yet understanding the impact of intersectionality on authority and leadership is difficult, and the landscape is only becoming increasingly complex.


This conference explores two primary layers of organizational life – one that we think we see and know, and another that is hidden out of awareness yet driving much of our activity. The ability to exercise leadership, mobilize roles and make decisions is significantly impacted by dynamics that are unconsciously held within groups.


Examining dynamics beneath the surface and learning how they take shape in organizations can lead to the discovery of uncharted possibility and reveal buried challenges. Yet the opportunity to examine the nature of organizational life, what we import into it and our collective influence on it, is rare or non-existent. This conference is your opportunity to creatively explore that work.

Working together over five days we will create a temporary institution to explore leadership, authority and intersectionality in the context of creativity at work.

  "Hands down, this was the best (and toughest!)    
professional learning I’ve experienced as a senior leader."


- Matthew Randazzo

President & CEO, The Dallas Foundation


Learning method

Authority, Leadership & Intersectionality: Creativity @ Work is a residential, group relations conference in the Tavistock tradition, designed to help participants learn first-hand about unconscious activity in social systems and its impact on organizational life.


The primary task of this conference is to provide opportunities to learn about the exercise of leadership and authority in relationship to intersectionality and creativity in organizational life.

Rather than learning in the traditional format from teachers or experts, the approach is based on learning from experience itself. This conference offers direct experience of the challenges of managing the complex forces that impinge on the work of groups and organizations, and how these interact with the experience of individuals. It is a setting in which these dynamics can be experienced and explored, within groups, between groups, and within the system as a whole.

"The conference is an extraordinary opportunity to tune
into a frequency of group and organizational life that is
always operating but virtually never accessible."


- Robin Ely

Diane Doerge Wilson Professor of Business Administration

Harvard Business School

Who is this conference For?

Anyone wanting to develop their ability to act effectively within groups, networks and institutions, no matter age or walk of life. No prior experience is necessary. A wide variety of organizations and industries have been represented in the conference membership, including but not limited to:

Creative Arts
Health Care

What you

will have opportunities to learn

  • Understanding your leadership style, how it is shaped by groups and how it affects groups.

  • Exploring "out of awareness" dynamics related to intersecting elements of social identity that have a significant impact on people, groups and institutions and the work they are trying to accomplish.

  • Recognizing the relationship between authority, creativity and leadership.

  • Developing your leadership capacity in uncertain and less inspiring environments.


  • Improving strategic thinking through a deeper understanding of how organizations are related to their social, cultural, economic and political environments.​



Candice A.
Crawford-Zakian, PsyD

Director of

Hoeflinger, MA, JD


Nyacko Pearl
Perry, MS


Aarti Kapoor, LLB, LLM, MA
Dannielle Kennedy, PhD, LICSW 
Candice A.
Crawford-Zakian, PsyD
Jan Willemoes, MSc
Matthew Tye, PhD
Sheri-Ann Cowie, PhD
Yaro Fong-
Olivares, MS
Zachary Gabriel Green, PhD


For more information,
send an email to
If you are interested but the cost prohibits your attendance, please write to discuss and identify a fee that is mutually feasible. CSGSS is a non-profit organization and we work hard to make conferences available to anyone interested regardless of their current financial circumstances.
Additional details on conference events can be found in the downloadable conference brochure.

Sponsorship & Endorsements

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Endorsed by the A.K. Rice Institute as a learning experience using Group Relations theory and practice
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We are a group of people who are inspired by and passionate about group relations work, social justice and spirituality. The three are intimately connected with each other. 

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