Leadership for Change
January 12-14, 2018
Leadership for Change is a three-day group relations conference held each January and July at USD.
"This workshop presents more than a set of interesting ideas; it provides an opportunity to ‘practice the change you desire'.”
--US Navy Captain and former participant
Aims of the Conference
To engage in a process of inquiry designed to provide opportunities for learning how to:
- Work in the vividness of the moment
- Probe experiences, interactions
andbehaviors as they emerge in order to uncover possible meanings, patterns and connections that might otherwise remain hidden or be mislabeled and discounted
- Shift embedded “habits of mind” that de-sensitize us to realities not named or recognized within our existing framework(s) that foster powerlessness or alienation
- Recognize, interpret and use the wisdom and insights that emerge in collective settings – even when facts are unclear and circumstances are changing
- Take risks of power and love by learning to "let go" of attachments to particular outcomes
In order to cultivate the conditions for change -- personal, community, organizational and planetary changes -- that promote healing and affirm life.
Learning on the Edge
Every facet of this conference is experiential and is purposely designed to promote dynamic interchange and shared learning among a group of diverse peers. The program doesn't teach answers to specific problems. Rather, it provides a social ‘laboratory’ for exploring the dynamics of power, leadership, authority, change
- Many of our (re)actions are driven by beliefs and patterns of thinking that lie beyond our immediate level of awareness
- We have become so accustomed to ‘doing something/anything’ to fix problems that we lack the flexibility to simply let something ‘be’ until we can understand it better
- Authentic problem solving begins with being prepared to examine our own lived experience
- Control is the problem, not the solution
This way of learning may require giving up what we think we know – allowing ourselves to experience uncertainty – in order to make space for new thoughts, feelings, and perspectives. Benefiting from it requires a willingness to surface and examine elements of personal identity and history that influence the ways we think about leadership,
"Many people go fishing all of their lives without knowing it is not fish they are after. " -Henry David Thoreau
Structure and Design
The conference is designed to serve as a temporary institution that reproduces many of the characteristic features of organizational life. It is organized as a sequence of
The experience is more intelligible if one sets aside expectations of a traditional conference or classroom and thinks more in terms of an art studio or a laboratory that provide space conducive to learning by experimentation and practice. Faculty and staff strive to create an atmosphere in which participants can surface unexamined assumptions, develop more adequate ways of seeing, and discover the lessons each is prepared to learn next.
This active learning model encourages participants to examine and evaluate their own assumptions and behaviors related to the exercise of leadership and authority in order to help them function more effectively in their outside roles.
Faculty and staff function in a variety of roles designed to encourage awareness, curiosity, analysis and deep learning. Working within the parameters of certain defined roles (e.g. director, consultant, administrator, observer), they attempt to encourage members to use various aspects of the conference as a means for learning about how groups function and how they as individuals affect – and are affected by – organizational dynamics.
The conference is designed to be a single integrated educational experience. Individuals who know in advance that they are unable to attend all sessions are discouraged from applying.
The University of San Diego awards 1 or 3 credits for graduate students enrolled in this conference. Students taking the conference for 3 units of credit are required to attend separate orientation and debriefing sessions and complete written assignments
An orientation designed to provide more conceptual background for the Conference will be held on Tuesday prior to the conference at 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. in MRH 102. All members of the Conference are welcome to attend if they wish; students taking the conference for 3 units of graduate credit must attend this session. To receive 3 units of graduate credit, students must also attend a debriefing session on Tuesday following the conference at 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. in MRH 102.
For required and recommended readings, consult the course syllabus for LEAD 504, LEAD 551 or LEAD 585. (Until the previous term's syllabi are replaced you can get a good sense of the work by
The last day to register is the Tuesday prior to the conference (January 9, 2018), at 5 p.m. or when we've reached capacity. Early registration is strongly encouraged due to limited space for this popular workshop. Participants taking the conference for graduate credit do not need to complete the Conference Registration Form.
Conference events include a few research activities that facilitate participants’ reflection on their perceptions of leadership and on the conference itself. These activities are done anonymously and reports of the research refer only to groups, not to individuals. The research activities are planned to enrich the conference experience for everyone. However, your participation is completely voluntary, and your decision whether or not to take part in the research will not affect your treatment as a conference member or student in any way.
There are several articles we recommend you read which will hopefully throw some more light on what may still seem to be somewhat of an elusive content and format of the conference. We also welcome you to view the course syllabi for the various graduate level courses we offer at USD in conjunction with this conference. The recommended readings and the syllabi are below:
- Hayden, C. & Molenkamp, R. Tavistock primer II. In Cytrynbaum, S.
andNoumair, D. (Eds.), Group relations reader 3. Jupiter, FL: The A.K. Rice Institute.
- Monroe, T. (2003). Key concepts that inform group relations work. San Diego, CA: The Leadership Institute
- Course Syllabi: LEAD 504, LEAD
551 ,LEAD 585 (Until the previous term's syllabi are replaced you can get a good sense of the work by revieiwngthe previously published syllabi).
The conference is an educational endeavor and does not provide psychotherapy or sensitivity training. Although the experiential learning available in this conference can be stimulating and enriching, it can be emotionally demanding as well. Thus, potential applicants who are ill or experiencing significant personal difficulties should forego participating in this conference and, perhaps, plan on attending one at a future date.
Accommodations and Transportation
Discounted Hotel Accommodations
The University of San Diego offers special discounted rates of up to 15% off at nearby hotels and resorts for your stay during the conference through our partner, Bartell Hotels. In addition to obtaining access to some of San Diego's finest hotels and resorts at significantly reduced rates, your participation in this program also helps to fund scholarships for USD students.
These hotels can be booked through our partner Bartell Hotels.
Other Hotel Options
The university also has a negotiated rate for USD travelers at the Best Western Hacienda Old Town. To make a reservation, call 800-888-1991 and ask for USD's rate.
The Hacienda is approximately 1 mile from USD. You may travel on the San Diego Trolley to the Moreno/Linda Vista station, then walk the remainder to the university, or use a cab to travel between the university and Old Town. On Friday only, there is a complimentary USD shuttle from the Old Town Transit station in the morning. Visit USD's Tram Service website for more information.
Guest Parking Regulations
Visit our parking website for more details.
Guest Parking Regulations
Guests to campus must pay to park in either the Mission Parking Structure (subject to space availability) or the West Parking Structure and West Parking Lot. Payment is required Monday through Friday between the hours of
- Tram Service - A Tram service is offered free of charge from the West Parking Structure up to
maincampus. The tram runs every 5 to 7 minutes. A complete tram schedule is available on the Tram Services Website.
- Restricted Spaces - You may not park in USD Only spaces, Tow-Away spaces, or reserved spaces.
- Posted Signs - Please read all signs posted on cones and/or barricades before parking to ensure you don't park in an area that is reserved or closed.
- Timed Spaces - Loading zones and time restricted spaces are enforced 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You may only park in these spaces/areas for the amount of time indicated in
- Metered Spaces - You may park in metered spaces for under the time allotted and must pay at the Pay Station.