Call for Contributions – Celebrating 70 years: Reimagining Human Relations in our Time

Taking place over four days, Reimagining Human Relations in our Time will be a multi-sited event taking place in the public domain. Its aims are:
To engage and expand research interest in the Tavistock Institute’s archive material that is being catalogued at the Wellcome Library.
To invite creative participation in our programme of work; our philosophical approach; applied methodologies and their potential in tackling current societal challenges.
To offer activities consistent with the Tavistock Institute’s history and practice that will support an improved understanding of wellbeing- in its individual, organisational and societal dimensions.
The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations (TIHR) applies social science to contemporary issues and problems, in relation to group and organisational behaviour. The Institute is currently in the process of uncovering and cataloguing its extensive and rich archive at Wellcome Library, which is being released in batches to open up research possibilities.
The archive provides a comprehensive record of the formation, establishment, and development of the Tavistock Institute, charting the emergence of integrated multi-disciplinary research in the social sciences and organisational design in the twentieth century.
These papers document the working methods and processes of this pioneering group of social scientists, including anthropologists and psychoanalysts. The archive contains lively and reflective traces of their methodological workings and practices in key industrial and organisational projects. From the coal face and cotton mills, to studies on the psychology of pleasure foods, the collection is a vibrant and diverse sideways look at life in Britain in the late twentieth century.
We are inviting your responses under the following themes:
NOW: Letters from the new social ecology
This theme invites contributions that explore the world we live in. It is about the research that informs emerging and evolving practice. Contributions under this theme will be the ‘Now’ of Reimagining Human Relations in our Time. Concepts to explore include ‘boundaries’ (their nature as borders and/or bridges?); ‘culture’; ‘environment’; ‘knowledge’; ‘ecology’ and the relationship amongst them.
HERE: Evolving practice in our informed society
This theme is about how we practise in the ‘Now’. We invite contribution from practitioners across the spectrum of the Tavistock Institute’s programme of work, including theorists, deliverers and those on the receiving end: the clients’ voices. Under this theme we are interested in what the implications of being ‘Here’ are for contemporary practice; in new approaches to working in an uncertain world; in our changing relations with data; in evaluating in a complex world; in new cases of socio technical practice.
THERE: In the Shadow and Light of the Archive
This theme takes a historical lens to reflect on the meaning of the Tavistock Institute’s work including the ways in which our archive contributes to organisational development practice; moving from the seminal work as shadows towards standing on the shoulders of giants. We are interested in a wider range of contributors and (inter-) disciplinary experimentation. Contributions to this theme might be about the Tavistock’s work then and now; methodological threads running through the archive and their developments; explorations of the origins of the Tavistock Institute and the Tavistock tradition; inter and intra generational conversations.
THEN: Transacting with the Future
This theme is about ongoing practice; what we give forward and who we will be working with. This means contributions that consider the future or ‘what then?’; it could mean working with and innovating methodologies such as search conferences; considering the role of young people at work and in co-creating our future. Sub themes in ‘Then’ are interactions with neuroscience in understanding groups and society; stepping out of the past; envisaging the future; new organisational forms and work design.
All themes can be explored in the context of the archival material and/or the Tavistock Institute’s spirit of applied theories; if we can’t answer the questions ‘what then?’ (or ‘so what?’) we are not interested!
We are interested in receiving proposals in relation to the themes above and the overall theme of the festival. Your proposals can be for workshops; participatory sessions; talks; performances; poetry readings; art works and other interventions. They can include a virtual or a physical dimension.

Deadlines for submissions: Wednesday 3rd May 2017.