Call for Contributions

Researchers and artists, business people and community organizers, educators and architects, thinkers and doers please come join us between June 1st and 5th 2016 in Olympia, WA to revisit the relationship of action and reflection in the individual as well as in groups. Each of us has access to greater quantities of data, a broader spectrum of information and experiences, and wider networks of communication than ever before, which ostensibly equips us to address the wicked problems of the contemporary world. However, when faced with non-trivial problems, simply experiencing more and knowing more does not necessarily mean knowing better what to do, and this critical link between experience and action – that of reflection – is often gravely under articulated.

This conference will provide a venue for cross-disciplinary and meta-disciplinary conversations exploring of the relationship between reflection and action. These ideas will be explored from a variety of cybernetic and systems perspectives. Joined together in cyclic processes, action and reflection generate insights and changes, and have previously been examined in particular in the context of learning and designing. Less explored is their relationship in other contexts, as well as the question of how action and reflection unfold in individuals and groups. We invite contributions addressing this general theme and related issues from the perspectives of a broad variety of disciplines and practices.

We are looking to move forward – acting and reflecting together – towards new questions. This conference will primarily take a conversational form, with participants working together in small groups and through plenary sessions, to examine, explore, describe and improve reflecting and acting. The conversational conference format will foster new insights, developed through participant interaction in a variety of settings. Context is important and the focus of that context will be the many conversations arising during the conference. We want participants to actively experience the clarification, amplification, and exploration of their ideas. To this end, we ask participants to be open to discuss the themes of the conference and to prepare beforehand by familiarizing themselves with recommended readings.