Fulcrum Events - space and time to think.

Members at a 2016 event.

Debate, discussion and dialogue

Most gatherings we go to include a fair bit of debate (winning arguments), possibly some discussion (unpicking arguments) , but rarely Dialogue, a defining feature of our Fulcrum meetings.

In Dialogue we are challenged to listen more deeply, and understand more fully, another’s point of view.

"Engaging in dialogue is a struggle to positively transform our own life as well as others. It is the act of breaking out of the shell of our lesser self, surrounding the wall of our callous ego, and creating and expanding positive connections with others. When we have the courage to meet and talk with people about our ideals, we are taking the first and surest step in our human revolution" 

 Buddhist leader, Daisaku Ikeda

Typical Fulcrum gatherings.

Early evening salons

Up to 15 members come together to create a cultural hub, break bread, enjoy rich conversation and share leadership challenges and insights.

Colloquia

These are larger events and opened to guests. Previous events have touched on topics ranging from Betrayal and Forgiveness to Authority and most recently Sustainability. The sessions begin with one or two presentations to prompt reflection and discussion.

Round-table discussions

These are exclusive, invitation-only, events. These are limited to 12 and facilitated by Mitzi Wyman. Members are introduced to a form of Dialogue that builds on the latest techniques from neuroscience and systems leadership, in the context of a particular issue. As well as making significant connections, members are able to put these techniques to immediate use to enhance boardroom thinking and decision making.

Past Fulcrum events

Authority

Our first colloquium featured speakers Jim Clifford and Dympna Cunnane. This colloquium explored a number of questions on the subject of authority as we believed it to be important in many settings, including work organisations, educational settings, families and society at large.

  • Is the law simply a set of rules made by those who have power to protect their interests?
  • Whose authority do we respect, if any?
  • What kind of authority do we see in public life and what does it say to us?
  • Is education providing young people with good role models?
  • Are parents aware of their authority?
  • What has discipline got to do with it?
  • What has guilt got to do with it?

The evening brought together different academic and social perspectives as we thought about authority as we have experienced it and reflected on what this experience tells us.  We came away with a common view that authority lies at the heart of every institution and society and we believe that it is a neglected aspect of culture and society.

Betrayal and forgiveness

At our second colloquium we considered the issue of Betrayal and Forgiveness and at this event we invited participants  to consider their ‘shadow side’ and asked:

  • Can we be more compassionate towards ourselves and therefore to others?
  • Can we ask ourselves if we might have ever done what we have felt the other has done to us?

The speakers included Author and psychotherapist, Robin Shohet, Elisabeth Buggins, CBE Chair of Birmingham Women’s Hospital and Jim Clifford, OBE. We looked at forgiveness in a range of contexts: as a parent, Chair of a hospital and victim of abuse and we came back to the wise words of Archbishop Desmond Tutu ‘Forgiveness isn’t just enlightened, it is the best form of self interest’ After all, without it, how can be free?

Towards 9 billion

How do we create the conditions whereby we welcome rather than fear 9 billion and enable them to build stable and meaningful lives for themselves and their children?

At our 3rd Fulcrum colloquium we teamed up with Joss Tantram of Terrafiniti, the people behind the “Towards 9 Billion campaign”. Joss introduced big, hopeful and playful ideas as a basis to explore this tantalising question.

To begin the evening however we started on a more sombre note as we listened to award winning documentary film-maker, Shafiur Rahman who, in a piece entitled ‘From Libya to Calais’ shared footage and spoke movingly about the apocalyptic images of refugees that we see on a daily basis. He spoke about social invisibility and how the state and the supra-state engages in deportations and incarceration seemingly in contravention of international agreements, asking what kind of bleakness lies ahead, and what kind of solutions are being hatched.

Joss then reflected on how the potential population (and marketplace) of 9 billion citizens in 2050 demands a range of social, technical, industrial and ecological pre-requisites. Such citizens would need to be highly connected, well educated and economically capable.

Markets would have to prioritise stability, personal and societal wellbeing and focus on the sustainable use of scarce materials, preservation of vital ecosystem services & functions and the utilisation of abundant & renewable resources. He invited the audience to look at what would need to happen for these pre-requisites to be in place.