Relational Thinking Week

We are delighted to announce four days of events in Cambridge from 12th-15th September. These will be an excellent opportunity to meet and hear from some of the top thought leaders active in reflecting on and applying Relational Thinking, to discuss implementation of the relational agenda in different societies around the world, and to build relationships with a growing global network of Relationists who are committed to improving and strengthening relationships at every point in society.

Buy tickets here

Members and partners of the Relational Thinking Network can receive a 20% discount on all events using the discount code they received. Join as a partner today and receive your discount code.

Accommodation and travel ideas can be downloaded here.

  • Programme for the week
  • Relational Cities for Sustainable Development
  • The Relational Agenda for Transforming Society

Tuesday 12th September

A Christian Perspective on Relational Thinking

The Jubilee Centre

£40pp

The Jubilee Centre will  be hosting a training day for those interested in looking at  Relational Thinking from a Christian perspective.

More information can be found here.

Wednesday 13th September

Relational Cities for Sustainable Development

Corpus Christi College

£55pp

This day conference will give those joining the Relational Thinking Week in Cambridge a chance to hear from others thinking about these questions and join the conversation about policies which can make cities more relational. The conference will also consider both how organisations within the city and the city as a whole can be assessed in terms of the strength of their relationships.

The whole programme can be seen on the tab at the top or here.

If you would be able give a 10 minute paper in the one of the sessions, relating to one of the themes in that session, please contact Josh Hemmings at j.hemmings@relationalresearch.org.

Thursday 14th September

Interest group and regional group meetings

Free

13:30 – 15:30: Special interest groups to discuss applying Relational Thinking in areas such as Relational Companies, Relational Peacebuilding etc.

16:00 – 17:30: regional groups (e.g. Asia, Europe, Africa etc.) to discuss strategies to promote Relational Thinking in the region.

If you are interested in attending, please email Josh Hemmings at j.hemmings@relationalresearch.org

Friday 15th September

Thought Leadership Day: ‘The Relational Agenda for Transforming Society’

St. Catharine’s College

£125pp

Relational Thinking seeks to understand better the nature and value of relationships, how relationships can be measured and how a relational focus can improve performance of companies, schools, public and private sector organisations and government itself.

Our thought leadership day will make it possible for you to access this new framework of thinking and measurement, and the way it is being applied already across a wide range of sectors and organisations.

The whole programme can be seen here or on the tab at the top.

Relational Cities for Sustainable Development

The theme of sustainability has been interpreted up to this point mainly from the environmental perspective. The primary issues addressed have related to air quality, access to sufficient water, consumption of scarce mineral and other natural resources, level and types of energy use etc.

However, arguably, an even more important aspect of sustainability is the quality of relationships between communities, organisations, households and individuals. Without mutual understanding, commitment and respect, cities can cease to be sustainable due to[1]:

  • Inter-ethnic or inter-racial violence;
  • High levels of crime;
  • Excessive demands on the welfare system;
  • High levels of unemployment;
  • Levels of corruption which sow distrust;
  • Hostility arising from wealth and income differentials.

Thus a city’s sustainability depends on the nurturing of relationships through[2]:

  • Strong commitment to family and community;
  • An education system which develops relational skills;
  • Governance of business and public sector bodies which allows sufficient time for employees to fulfil family and community responsibilities;
  • Faith communities which foster positive value systems;
  • Political arrangements which engage communities.

This day conference will give those joining the Relational Thinking Week in Cambridge a chance to hear from others thinking about these questions and join the conversation about policies which can make cities more relational. The conference will also consider both how organisations within the city and the city as a whole can be assessed in terms of the strength of their relationships.

If you would be able give a 10 minute paper in the one of the sessions, relating to one of the themes in that session, please contact Josh Hemmings at j.hemmings@relationalresearch.org.

09:00 – 09:30 Session 1 – An Introduction to the Relationally Sustainable City
09:30 – 10:45 Session 2 – Building Relationships Within and Between Households and Communities:

  • Importance of family structure and stability
  • The role of schools
  • Policies to create strong neighbourhood and community relationships
  • Overcoming ethnic and racial tensions
10:45 – 11:15 Coffee
11:15 – 12:30 Session 3 – The Role of Town Planning, Infrastructure and Housing in Building Relationships Within and Between Households and Communities:

  • The role of town and city planning in balancing housing with social amenities (parks, leisure facilities, retail etc.)
  • The case for and against high-rise housing
  • Ensuring that high-ways and rail links facilitate relationships between communities and do not divide them
  • Are relational cities always small cities? How small is “small”?
12:30 – 13:45 Lunch
13:45 – 15:00 Session 4 – The Role of Business, Finance and Politics:

  • Employment creation to involve young people in productive work
  • Local sourcing in supply chains
  • City-based growth and employment strategies
  • The role of local government in developing local business and NFPs
15:00 – 15:30 Tea
15:30 – 16:45 Session 5 – Measuring Relational Sustainability of Cities:

  • What metrics are appropriate
  • How can relational indicators in different sectors be combined into an overall index
  • How to compare relational sustainability of one city with another taking account of cultural factors?
16:45 – 17:15 Concluding Comments 

[1] The underlying factors which drive trust and “relational proximity” have been spelt out in Ashcroft et. al., ‘The Relational Lens: Understanding, Managing and Measuring Stakeholder Relationships’ (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017).

[2] See Baker (ed.)‘Building a Relational Society: New Priorities for Public Policy’ (Aldershot: Ashgate, 1996).

Thought Leadership Day:  The Relational Agenda for Transforming Society

Government and business are rapidly evolving due to the social impact of information and communication technologies. The focus on historical data to predict future performance and risk factors, for example, are increasingly irrelevant as the pace of change accelerates. Time pressures on managers continue to increase due to access to information and communication possibilities, so that relationships within and between organisations ironically are coming under greater and greater pressure.

Relational Thinking is a social philosophy which seeks to understand better the nature and value of relationships, how relationships can be measured and how a relational focus can improve performance of companies, schools, public and private sector organisations and government itself. Relational Thinking also speaks to job creation, the Brexit decision, the future of Europe, international peacebuilding and global finance.

What changes if relationships become an end as well as just a means? Our thought leadership day will make it possible for participants to access this new framework of thinking and measurement, and the way it is being applied already across a wide range of sectors and organisations.

Below is the outline for the day. Participants will not be tied down to one track but will be able to go to sessions from both tracks. The sessions will be designed to be highly participative so that those joining us for the day have the opportunity to contribute their thoughts and reflections.

08:30 – 09:00 Registration and Coffee
09:00 – 09:10 Introduction to the dayBeris Gwynne
09:10 – 09:45 Where is the Relational Thinking movement going?Dr Michael Schluter CBE
09:45 – 10:45 Plenary: Introduction to Measuring Stakeholder RelationshipsTim Young (TBC) and Clive Parry and  

Chronomics

John Ashcroft and Michael Schluter

10:45 – 11:30 Coffee
Track 1 Track 2
11:30 – 12:30 Relational CompaniesJonathan Rushworth (TBC) Relational SchoolsDr Rob Loe and Professor Colleen McLaughlin
12:30 – 13:30 Lunch
13:30 – 14:30 Relational Finance and Job- Creation Tim Jones Relational EuropeDavid Lee
14:30 – 15:00 Coffee
15:00 – 16:00 Relational Government John Ashcroft, Michael Trend and David Strang Relational PeacebuildingBeris Gwynne and Jeremy Ive
16:00 – 17:00 Plenary: Feedback and Panel Discussion: Next Steps to Grow the Movement