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Neither Peace Nor War: Unconscious alliances and conflicting impasse in public and private institutions

22nd International Group Relations Conference in Italy

Thursday 28th March 2019 - Sunday 31st March 2019

Grado, Gorizia, Italy

Il Nodo Group
Societa Psichoanalitica Italiana
The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations
AK Rice Institute

Primary Task
Info & Fees


Dear Participants

The 22nd Italian International Group Relation Conference ALI 2019 – Authority, Leadership and Innovation – will take place near Trieste, in the Grand Hotel Astoria (Grado), from 28th to 31st March. The conference is designed as a residential workshop in which the learning is experiential. The title is Neither peace nor War and the subtitle refers to the choice of the subject. The subtitle narrows the field of observation from conflicts around the world, to those in the area origin of the First World War: Alliances and conflicts in contemporary institutions of Western and Eastern Europe.

Why this conference now? Why in the gulf of Trieste? And why do we suggest to analyse this precise subject? ALI 2019 will take place exactly 100 years after the end of the war that opened the “age
of extremes”, as Eric Hobsbawm named the XX century: the war that reshaped the world and transformed it into what we know today.

Begun in the Balkans in the 1914, the First World War had quickly and unexpectedly spread to the whole world. It was officially closed at the beginning of 1919, in Paris, where the delegations of the belligerent countries convened to establish peace agreements. Yet, it was in this city that the politicians and diplomats from all over the world discovered that it was much easier to make war than to establish peace – as the French Prime Minister Clemenceau said. At the end of exhausting negotiations, the centre of Europe had become the scene of a nationalistic fragmentation and of
a great political hole.“The Austrian-Hungarian Empire has vanished – has recently written the historian Margaret McMillan –, the Ottoman Empire was almost finished, the imperial Germany had become a Republic, some old nations as Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia had re-emerged from the fog of the history, while new nations – such as Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia – were struggling to come to life”. In 1919, Trieste became the Mediterranean epicentre of this great hole.

A century after the negotiations that changed the face of the world, many of the problems that the peacemakers had difficulties to deal with, are still open. The great cultural and economic differences
– differences between eastern and western, northern and southern, countries and mentalities all in a way Europeans – are very much there. When the economic cycle becomes stagnant and the social
development slows down, these potentially valuable differences tend to be perceived anew as patent conflicts. The search for strong national and ethnical identities hampers, then, the possibility to take advantage from diversities in mentality and social structures.

Within this matrix of long, slow and complex processes and nurtured by permanent contradictions, we propose to the participants to work on few inescapable questions: How is leadership built and maintained? What’s the institutional role of the followers? Where are the sources of authority?
Why do conflicts erupt and how are they usually dealt with and eventually resolved?

The focus is on the intertwining of conscious and unconscious psychic phenomena, on the puzzling and inextricable combination of reasoning and phantasies that influences the individuals’ inner life and the group functioning. It’s only reflecting on the complexity of our experiences and working towards imagining the future that we will try to build, that we can understand the interlacing of
the most influential factors on our lives and on history. On the one hand we will find the power of emotionally-laden, unconscious factors; on the other one, the role of rationality and authority which are needed to face personal choices and collective decisions.

I’m looking forward to working with you.

My best regards

Giovanni Foresti, Conference Director

We are living in a world where wars are without real winners, and the peace agreements are not peaceful indeed. The Italian poet Valerio Magrelli named this state “guace”: neither war (guerra) nor peace (pace), but an hybrid and deadly combination of the two.

Brackish water, neither sweet nor salty,
rather salty and sweet.
This is what happens when the rivers
of war and peace
flow in the same marsh,
in a stagnation of life
contaminated by death,
in an effervescence of death
polluted by life

V. Magrelli, Disturbi del sistema binario (2006)

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Conference Aims and Primary Task

To learn from experience the conscious and unconscious aspects of authority and leadership that enable understanding of unconscious alliances and conflict impasses.

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To imagine humans at first as isolated beings, rather than embedded in a social matrix, is a rooted and still present tendency in western culture. The Group Relations Conference ALI 2019 offers the participant the opportunity to experience connections between individual, group and organization, and the boundaries of time, space and task.

The experience allows us to observe in action conscious and unconscious
dynamics of competition and cooperation, the nature of authority experienced
through different roles and the reciprocal influence that each of us has on others.

The focus unconscious alliances and conflicting impasses directs the
participant's attention to the dynamics that characterize the culture of public
and private institutions in this particular historical phase in public and private
institutions / organizations

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Il NODO Group is a scientifi cultural not-for-profi Association which historically originated from a professional team formed in Turin in the nineties. It has developed study, training and consultancy activities in cooperation with the Tavistock & Portman NHS Trust in London and
other national and international scientifi institutions. The Primary Task of Il Nodo Group is to promote the exploration and understanding of conscious and unconscious relational processes in individuals, groups, organizations and the society, as instruments of change management, support to the development and wellbeing. Today ALI is a fi established member of the Group Relations international network and has become “the Italian formula of the Tavistock Method”.


The Italian Psychoanalytic Society (SPI) was founded in Teramo 7 June 1925 and was recognized in 1936 as a society of the International Psychoanalytical component (IPA) established in 1910 by Sigmund Freud. Currently SPI is present in almost all the national territory through
eleven centres that bring together more than a thousand members between psychoanalysts and students who are active in major Italian cities. It aims to train analysts through personal analysis and a theoretical and clinical course of fi years, including the supervision of clinical cases with a senior analyst with years of experience. The SPI analysts, during their whole working lives, typically conduct both clinical and theoretical activities, thus ensuring the continuous progression of their analytical capacity.

The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations (TIHR) was formed in 1947 to address the social and organisational dynamics of contemporary life in complex systems. Using the lens of system psychodynamics and applied social sciences, TIHR is still at the forefront of studying,
researching consulting and thinking about human relations in social systems. Group Relations Conference methodology, fi delivered in 1957 at the University of Leicester in England, sits as one of the pillars of the Institute’s contribution to scholarly practice and social action. Group Relations Conferences are now delivered all over the world in “The Tavistock Tradition”, this Conference is one of those. Additionally, the Institute advises leaders and systems in governmental, corporate and NGO sectors at all levels locally, regionally and globally.

For over 50 years, the A.K. Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems (AKRI) has helped individuals and organizations understand the complexity, beauty, power and importance of groups. Its mission is to support and advance the study of group relations through
educational initiatives. Using a model originated at the Tavistock Institute in London, the approach facilitates learning within experiential ‘group relations conferences’ which help identify the often hidden, unexamined, and unconscious aspects of groups and organizations. AKRI also helps train practitioners and skilled consultants in this fi through its training the certifi program. The ALI2019 Conference is endorsed by the A. K. Rice Institute as consistent with its educational standards for Group Relations training in the Tavistock tradition.

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The Conference is a temporary organization with the aim of exploring and learning from experiencing conscious and unconscious processes as they manifest in the “here-and-now” of group dynamics. The intention is to generate new thoughts and new learning and to review our knowledge and values; we have the opportunity to experience ourselves in multiple and diff roles. Assistance is provided for an actual and sustainable change in interpreting the different roles in one’s organization and in life, particularly the roles that require an exercise of authority and leadership.

The organization of the Conference and the activities proposed to participants generate an experiential learning. This means learning from its own live experience of group and organizational processes, which promotes self-reflective skills and encourages a spirit of inquiry.

Participants, along with the staff can critically examine diff experiences, working behaviours and interpreting the roles of leaders or followers.

This type of training has no therapeutic intent and can sometimes be stressful. For this reason it is recommended to people at a time of emotional stress or difficulties in their personal lives to postpone their participation to next edition.

A consultant will take up the role of interpreter.

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Taking part in Group Relations Conference can be particularly useful for those who work in business organizations, public services and not-for-profi organizations, for those who are interested in understanding and managing organizations and group dynamics within complex situations and want to enhance their competence and effectiveness in dealing with them

All organizational processes include an emotional, irrational and unconscious
dimension. When this component is not recognized and managed, the system’s
effectiveness decreases or comes to a halt, therefore implying both an emotional
and financial cost for the organization itself. Participation in the Conference
allows you to observe, recognize and manage this dimension, essential for the
functioning of each system and organization..

For this reason the Conference can be particularly effective when two or more members from the same organization register, especially in the case or prospect of prominent changes, crises, mergers, takes-overs, etc. Therefore, if more people from the same organization participate, each will benefit from a discount.


This edition provides a training program. Participation is reserved for those who have attended at least two group relations conferences.
The training is to deepen the study and the methodology and to refl on the possible applications in the professional life.
We advise those interested to point out as soon as possible the intention to our
Administrators Daniela Cabibbe and Rosanna Rulli, or to the Directorate, via email to

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Giovanni Foresti  
M.D. and psychiatrist, he is training and supervising analyst of the Italian Psychoanalytic Society (SPI) and the IPA, associate member of OPUS, London, and member of the scientifi committee of IL NODO group, Turin. He teaches at School of Psychatry, Milano-Bicocca University, and at the Department of Psychology of the Catholic University. He woks as supervisor and organizational consultant in several institutions

Vice Director
Carla Cremonese  
Psychiatrist, psychotherapist, Head of Mental illness prevention Service (15-24 years), Psychiatric Clinic of Padua. Adjunct professor in the School of Specialization in Psychiatry University of Padua. Board member of the PSIVE. Member of the NODO Group, Turin. Member of the staff of the Italian ALI GRCs. She works in various institutional contexts as supervisor and trainer.

Director of Training Program & Associate Vice Director
Luca Mingarelli  
Chairman Foundation Rosa dei Venti. Social entrepreneur, Psychotherapist (ECP,WCP). Director of Therapeutic Community for adolescent, Organizations consultant. Faculty of Psychosomatics. Chairman Il NODO Group. OPUS member. Creator and co-director of innovative GR events such as “Energy Cocreation and wellbeing in organizations” and “Learning from Action”. Basketball coach. Member of the Order of Journalists.

Senior Advisor
Julian Lousada  
Former clinical director of the Tavistock Clinic Adult and recent Chair BPC. Psychoanalyst in private practice of clinical and organizational counseling. He has directed and was a member of the Group Relations Conferences staff in the UK and many other countries.

Daniela Cabibbe  
Mathematician. Twenty years of management experience and in the Board of commercial companies, she has worked in Italy, Europe, America and India. Today she is a business consultant in innovation and performance and organization change projects. Six Sigma Black Belt professional in the management of complex and functional projects, in Lean Management, and auditor in quality certifi Member of OPUS, London, she is part of the Management Committee of The NODO Group and Treasurer of the Mito & Realtà Association.

Rosanna Rulli  
Psychiatrist, SPI / IPA member, lives and works in Bologna as a freelancer. Until 2000 she worked as an assistant at the Paolo Ottonello Psychiatric Clinic of the University of Bologna. She is part of the Work and Study Group on Emergency Psychology of the Psychoanalytic Center of Bologna, and is a member of the PER Group, for asylum seekers. She is one of the founders of the Centro Bolognese of the Group Psychoanalysis Institute. Trainer and supervisor for social and health workers.

Germano Alberti  
Marketing and Sales Manager at Igb, a growing packaging company. Member of the IGRO group in Ireland, Consultant for conferences GR. Former training consultant and former member of the AIF committee, the Italian association of trainers; he worked for large public and private companies

Elisa Bertana  
Work and Organizational Psychologist. Nodo Group member's and scientifi secretary. Academic background in Psychoanalytic Psychoterapy at individual, group and istitutional level (C.O.I.R.A.G). HR consultant and trainer in fi organizational wellbeing, development and career guidance, outplacement, recruitment.

Claudio Cassardo  
Clinical psychologist at the gathered hospitals of San Paolo and San Carlo (Milan); ordinary member of the Italian Society of Psychoanalysis and full member of the International Psychoanalitic Association; Member of Il Nodo Group (Turin).

Chiara Ghetti  
M.D., psychiatrist, member of SPI and IPA, psychoanalyst and psychotherapist. She worked in psychiatric care, addictions and, as person in charge of a Day Hospital, rehabilitation services. She is referent of the study and work Group on Psychology of Emergency in the Psychoanalytical Centre of Bologna, member of the PER Group for asylum-seekers. Training and supervisor for social and health workers.

Jolita Buzaitytė-Kašalinienė  
Associate Professor at the Social Work Department of the Faculty of Philosophy, Vilnius University. Consultant of the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Social Security and Labor, member of the National Board of Social Work for the Lithuanian Sociologists Society and the Lithuanian Scouting Association, Representative of the Vydūnas Youth Foundation, President of the Lithuanian Society of Group Relations.

Manuela Martelli  
M.D., specialized in Neurology, Medical Psychology and Psychotherapy. Member of SPI and IPA. She works as psychoanalyst, supervisor and professor for health and social workers. Currently she is a collaborator for the Health Public System in Bologna as Group supervisor for caregivers (psychologists, health educators and social workers) in the refugee and asylum seekers program. She is a consultant for refugees.

Francesco Noseda  
Psychologist, psychotherapist, psychoanalyst IFPS expert in group, psychodrama and adolescents psychoanalysis. Co-Founder of SIPRe branch offi in Parma. Group psychotherapy and psychodrama and Family psychotherapy Lecturer. Board member of Il Nodo Group. He works with creativity and innovation as supervisor and psychotherapist in several centers and institutions for mental health problems

Fabrizio Pavone  
M.D., Consultant psychiatrist on the Psychiatric ward of the San Matteo Polyclinic in Pavia. Psychoanalyst SPI / IPA. Adjunct Professor, University of Pavia, Faculty of Medicine: School of Neurology-Psychiatry; Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Group and Family Psychotherapy. He has also been teaching and supervising in the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera (Art Therapy master’s) for the last ten years.

Amra Saleem Rao  
Clinical psychologist and Organisational consultant. She was born in Pakistan and has a South Indian heritage. She leads psychological services in London and is Director of Psychological Horizons- an organisational consultancy. She is the chair of BPS Leadership and Managment Faculty and is leading national programs on wellbeing and supporting future leaders. UK.

Miki Rozenstine  
M.A., Psychologist and Organizational Consultant; Mannager - partner Mifgash - Individual, Team and Organizational Development; Faculty Member and Codirector for The Program in Organizational Consultation & Development: A Psychoanalytic-Systemic Approach, sponsored by Tavistock Institute and Ofek.; Former Commander of the School for Leadership Development – IDF; Member, Ofek.

Alfredo Veneziale  
Organizational consultant and Project Manager, Social Dreaming Host, Balint group and Large group leader. Staff member of Group Relations Conferences in Italy. Degree in Communication Studies. Master's degree in Human Resources. Member of Il NODO Group, Trustee of The Gordon Lawrence Foundation.

Isabella Negri  
MA (Political Science), is an experienced interpreter and translator in the humanities and in training settings. She has been part of numerous editions of GR conferences in Italy and abroad both as a staff member and as a participant.

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Info and Fees

The fee includes participation to the Conference plus full board and lodging for the event duration. Registration is considered valid upon receipt of the application form duly signed and accompanied by the confi of the payment of the booking fee of € 345 VAT included. In the case of non- attendance the deposit will not be refunded.

EARLY BIRD before 16/01/2019
A & B GROUP 1.403 € (1.150 + VAT)
T GROUP 1.830 € (1.500 + VAT)

REGULAR after 16/01/20191.708
A & B GROUP 1.708 € (1.400 + VAT)
T GROUP 2.074 € (1.700 + VAT)

Single, twin or triple rooms are available at the hotel subject to availability. Request for any additional nights must be submitted by participants via email: or by phone to the n. +39 (0)431 83550 and the payment due will be settled directly to the hotel upon check-out.

Like all group relations seminars, ALI 2019 is a limited-capacity organization. In the last editions those who registered at the end of the established period didn’t participate. If you are interested please fi in the online registration form as soon as possible on

Grand Hotel Astoria is located in Grado about 25 minutes drive from the airport or train station.

Participants who arrive by car are allowed to drive the limited traffi zone set up in the historic center of the island of Grado.

Thanks to the recent restructuring of Trieste Airport (TRS), a 25-minute drive from Grado, and the construction of the new Trieste Airport Intermodal Center, the hotel is easily accessible for those arriving by train or plane.
Possibility of personalized and collective transfers from Trieste Airport. If interested, please contact well in advance the Hotel:

Grand Hotel Astoria Largo San Grisogono, 3 34073 Grado (Gorizia) Italy
+39 0431 83550 | 0431 83355 | | www.

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In order to facilitate participation, some bursaries and other economic solutions will be provided (discounts for students and people coming from the same institution).
Who intends to use it must apply to the Administrators, Daniela Cabibbe and Rosanna Rulli, by December, 1st, fi in the online form available on

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