Panel Discussion: Working against the grain. For the smaller and greater good.

Online panel conversation 19 May 11:00-12:30 CET
Fri 19 May 2023
11:00 CET (Brussels time)

We often feel powerless in the face of the momentous changes we are witnessing now in the wider world around us. We have our businesses to run, jobs to perform, families to take care off. It's all so big and so difficult to grasp. What can we do? How can we bridge between the micro-level of our personal existence and the macro-challenges around us? How do we resist the social norms that push us into acquiescence and fatalism?

We are setting up this panel conversation to open perspectives for people in professional settings navigating the tensions between their own ambitions and values, organisational goals and norms, and the invitation to contribute to broader societal issues.

Invited and confirmed speakers:

Eline Belgraver and Hanke Drop are attached to Utrecht University of Applied Sciences and approach the question from the practice of normative professionalisation. At the time, we became acquainted with this knowledge and practice domain through Harry Kunneman, who together with Hans van Ewijk laid its foundations through a research programme at the University of Humanistic Studies Utrecht. We invited Eline and Hanke because they work around this theme within healthcare. You can read more about it in the interesting book "Op zoek naar de ziel van de professional".

Henk Oosterling is a philosopher and activist (and emeritus professor at Erasmus Uni Rotterdam) and recently wrote a very interesting book on Resistance in Times of Ecopanic(which has been selected for our Systems Library). Henk's notion of 'resistance' is very multi-layered and, we feel, offers a good starting point to reflact with nuance on how one relates in the spread between micro-politics and eco-politics.

Rudy Vandamme is a Flemish coach and organisational expert. In his recent publication Deep Evolvement, he offers beacons for professionals to make the connection between individual choices and their contribution to larger wholes.

Randy Mellaerts is a shiftN colleague who is pioneering a quirky coaching practice that we in our team tend to refer to as Combat Souple in Swampy Lowlands. This involves coaching processes of transformational change in organisations, or within complex coalitions of organisations, that want to contribute positively to societal challenge. These kinds of trajectories are often a focal point of tensions between different forces, micro and macro. Randy, Rudy and Henk, by the way, are all inspired by what they have learned throughout their martial arts practice.
Op zoek naar de ziel van de professional - Cok Bakker , Remco Coppoolse (2022):