A New Decade – with ”New” yet Old Challenges

Emotional anxiety creates democratic dilemmas. An increased awareness about how we ourselves and others function in different context is a first step towards smarter decisions and a constructive building of relations.  

The choices we make today will impact our future – no matter where we live on our globe. But what is it that really determines which choice we make? 
International research clearly proves that our belonging to a group will impact what we do and how we think.  Facts can be considered to be without interest and may even be seen as provocative if they are perceived as a threat against my belonging to the group. This will of course limit the available choices we can see when it comes to finding solutions to important problems in society. 

During the 3rd International Bowen Conference Managing Relations in a Changing World – Bowen Theory in Organizations, Families and Communities several seminars will address the mechanisms of groups from various perspectives.  A basis for Bowen theory is how individuals like us build relations and act in different relations. We are far more predictable and emotionally driven than we might think.  An increased awareness about how we ourselves and others function in different context is a first step towards smarter decisions and a constructive building of relations.  

Bowen theory visualizes among other eight different concepts which we use when we interact with other people. Since I, for many years, have had leading positions and also been engaged in rural development on all levels from local to international, I have become tremendously interested in the Togetherness Force – ”the power of group belonging”.

Something that has amazed me is how difficult it is to even talk about the open opposition which exists between urban and rural areas when it comes to political priorities and national spending. In a situation where 80 percent of the rural municipalities face great problems with the financing of health care, schools and social service – should it not be completely obvious that local politicians form a coalition to influence the politicians on a national level?  

Emotional anxiety creates
democratic dilemmas

But this has not happened so far. The answer given by several local politicians is that they feel a discomfort simply by the thought of challenging their own political groups. 
To actually represent the local citizens who voted them into office becomes emotionally charged, in spite of the fact that there are clear motives and obvious facts to support it. This is a democratic dilemma and yet “normal” and predictable since the belonging to our group is the very foundation of our existence. On a daily basis we will handle challenges in our families, associations and organizations.

The International Conference in Sörbyn, the third of its kind after Philadelphia and Hong Kong, will give insights and input on the existing challenges which we face in various relations. Apart from many speakers there will be participants from all over the World. For us Scandinavians it will be a unique opportunity to listen to some of the most distinguished lecturers and researchers within the field of Bowen theory

A new though is the beginning of all change. If we, all and everyone begin to make more conscious choices during 2020 our possibility to also handle local and global challenges improve during the upcoming decade. 

Looking forward to meet you in Sörbyn at Bowen2020!

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