January: Invited by Said E Dawlabani to be a keynote speaker at the Spiral Dynamics Summit on the Future conference in Dallas, Texas 20-22 April.
Commentary: In format at least, this was to be modelled in part on Don Beck’s Annual Confab. (I had been to the first in 2000.) Said intended it to be both a tribute to Don’s legacy and a major gathering of Gravesians to consider the current state of the world and what the Graves approach could offer it. The excerpt left is from Shipley College Star #41 which ran a short piece on the invitation.
January-March: Ran Psychology Topics #5: Memory, Prejudice & Discrimination evening classes at both Shipley College and Rossett.
Commentary: Both were great classes that really gelled – though I managed to get the Rosset class into 2 quite hostile and competitive groups to demonstrate Social Identity Theory! That didn’t work quite as well at Shipley as one of the groups insisted on being inclusive towards the other. Big GREEN! But that led me to a greater personal appreciation of Theodore Adorno et al’s (1950)concept of Rigidly Unprejudiced. As a result, I amended the following workshop for both classes and posed the question: Is it always wrong to discriminate? – using examples of female genital mutilation, persecution of homosexuals and child labour to stimulate huge amounts of discussion. It’s usually Adorno’s concept of the Authoritarian Personality that gets all the attention – so it was an important piece of personal development for me to look more closely at Rigidly Unprejudiced.
The big issue we tackled was understanding racism (a natural by-product of PURPLE discrimination against those not-of-our-tribe) and looked at ways to minimise racism. See: Is Racism Natural..? We proposed accepting that is the way the PURPLE vMEME thinks – rather than castigating that way of thinking, as GREEN all too often does – but then looking for common causes for the tribes (white, black, Asian, etc) to work together to achieve. Muzafer Sherif et al’s (1961) Robber’s Cave study gave us a model for much of that .
Although Prejudice & Discrimination was the controversial ‘big hitter’ topic, I was pleasantly surprised in feedback how many people found the Memory section really practical and useful.
April: the upcoming trip to Dallas for the Spiral Dynamics Summit on the Future picked up and featured in local Bradford newspaper Telegraph & Argus. (Screen capture from the online version of the paper.)