A very successful conference
Thank you to everyone who participated in a very successful and enjoyable conference a couple of weeks ago. Thank you too to everyone who responded to our online survey, which has made for very interesting reading. If you haven’t yet done so but still have views on any aspect of the conference format, content and organisation, there is still time to respond! There is also a separate survey for anyone who didn’t attend this year but nonetheless has an opinion about OPUS conferences they want to share. Just click on the buttons below…
Next year’s conference…
In the meantime I can confirm that next year’s conference will be on 10-11 November 2017 at a new venue: The Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists, 27 Sussex Place NW1. Brace yourselves for more space, higher ceilings and (wait for it) natural daylight. We are already in touch with potential speakers and hope to be able to confirm the line-up soon.
As the first phase of my attempts to restructure the way OPUS is managed and organised, I have formed a new general management committee, drawn from the OPUS volunteers working under the old committee structure, to help me share the task of running OPUS and to ensure better coordination between its different strands of activity.
The Management Committee members are:
Further members may be appointed in due course as the committee’s role and function becomes more established and roles within it more defined. I hope, like me, you welcome this first step not only towards greater accountability and transparency within the governance of OPUS but also towards greater collectivity in the way we participate as a community.
We are pleased to welcome a number of new associate members who have joined in the past couple of months:
I look forward to seeing you all at an OPUS event in the next few months.
We have been working since August to upgrade the booking and payment facilities on the website but without spending too much money! We know that some of you dislike Paypal so we have added additional ways to pay, including credit card and (for UK residents only) direct bank transfers.
It should also be much clearer what to do when you want to book a place at an event or renew your membership. If it’s not, then please let us know what’s not working or not clear and, if we can do something to fix it, we will.
One of the issues that emerged from the Members’ forum at the conference was a desire for greater opportunities for OPUS associates to engage with each other. At the moment, we do not publish a list of members or their contact details but we could do so if this was wanted – perhaps in a secure password-protected part of the website.
To see what else we could do to facilitate a better network for communication, we are trialling two initiatives: the first is an online messageboard on the OPUS website – visit www.opus.org.uk and click on ‘OPUS Forum’ in the main menu. If you want to contribute you will have to log in (or register on the site if you have not already done so). There you will find that I have started a few ’threads’ to which you might like to contribute, or, even better, you may like to start your own.
As well as setting up an online forum, we are trialling an app called Slack. This is a private space for group conversations with an additional facility for private messages between users. It works on your phone, tablet and desktop.
Membership of the group is by invitation only but you are all welcome. It could be very useful as a meeting place for special interest groups, pop-up online listening posts, the sharing of blogs or details of events, and also discussion of current societal or organisational dynamics. It is an unmoderated space with no right and wrong answer as to what it may be useful for – it is for us to experiment and find out. We can create sub-groups and enable conversations not just in English but in other languages too.
There are more than 20 members already of our group at www.opusinsociety.slack.com so, if you want to join them or are just curious to see what it looks like, reply ’JOIN” to this email and I will send you an invitation. The greater the number of people who join, the more useful it may become as a potential space for furthering our understanding of society and of organisational dynamics.
Special Interest Groups
I have already had a few proposals for Special Interest Groups, including some local groups for those in and around the South Coast and Scotland and others around particular areas of focus, such as residential care and Group Relations. I would like to start one focusing on finding more accessible language to explain psycho-social ways of thinking to a ‘lay’ audience.
If you would like to join any of these groups or set up your own, either get in touch with me or post your suggestion on the online forum.
2017-18 Membership fees
Membership fees for the year from 1st April 2017 will increase from £65 to £75 for UK Associates, and from £50 to £55 for International Associates. We are also reintroducing the ability to pay by direct debit, which will hopefully make the collection and renewal process much simpler going forward.<
Online Journal Access
We have simplified the process for OPUS associates to gain online access to current and past editions of Organisational and Social Dynamics: you can now access the registration form directly via the OPUS website.
Thanks to the perseverance of the Editors and the Journal Management Committee, Organisational and Social Dynamics has been added to the ‘Emerging Sources Index’ by Thomson Reuters, putting it firmly on the map for academic recognition and increased citations in other works. The Journal has come a long way in a relatively short time.
I hope you all find moments to pause and enjoy the festivities amid all the busyness of the season and wish you a peaceful and prosperous 2017.