AMED 2020 - What do you see?

Welcome to e-O&P Autumn/Winter 2017 in which we are asking everyone:

  • What have you loved about AMED? 
  • What lies ahead for us? 
  • How shall we move into the future?

Our Appreciative Inquiry will roll on over the next three years enabling AMED and its journal to evolve along with the communities of which we are a part.  Please keep returning for new content as the edition emerges and evolves.

For a start, we have collected some views from old and new friends and invite you to add your own.  

  • From Council, Ned Seabrook, current chair, has been campaigning for wider recognition of AMED's contribution to enhancing careers and Bob Mackenzie anticipates "nimble, flexible, temporary alliances and partnerships with other like-minded networks"
  • Rob Warwick, long-term supporter and occasional journal editor, prefers to emphasise interdependence, and asks about CPD (continuing professional development) and technology.
  • Belina Raffy on Sustainable Standup and Penny Walker's sustainable development group
  • Roger Niven always brings a poetic touch to his reflections
  • The Writers' Group remains a bright spot for Shelagh Doonan and many others 
  • AMED in Scotland was appreciated by Sheila James and Iain Graydon
  • Fond memories of the early days from Tony Page and Bruce Nixon
  • Has AMED had its day? ask Jack Martin Leith and Terry Gibson

We are also scanning our ecosystem:

And we have book reviews:

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Comment by Bob MacKenzie on January 14, 2018 at 4:42

Our thanks to Pete Burden for giving permission to include a copy of the following e-mail:



I like what you have written. And I also like Tony Page's question: how can we recover our power of agency through reflection, action and writing, from which other possibilities arise?

I also think that everybody will have their own way of expressing what is important about AMED. Mine is perhaps best summed up by C Wright Mills' idea of sociological imagination, and my interpretation of it.

Which is something like: how we use our imagination and full experience to think and feel our way out of the situations that we otherwise seem to be almost inevitably creating.

I think this process is so important (given climate change, nuclear weapons etc etc) and is yet given so little prominence by traditional educational organisations.

As we said at ODiN the dominant narrative pushes this alternative out of sight. I think some young people get this way of being, and always have - but it's not just about young people. It's about the process by which young, old and middle aged interact to explore alternative narratives, and thus make those narratives available to others.

So in my view there is no easy or single answer to the question you are enquiring into. There never has been a single or easy answer and there never will be. But there is a process. So that is what is important about what AMED does - it gives people of all ages an experience of that alternative process. It's very availability is what's so great about it!

What does that mean in practice? Well, of course, as you well know it means exactly what you are doing: practicing the (dance of the) sociological imagination. By practicing reflection, action and writing which you are doing. By practicing appreciative enquiry. By practicing action learning and action research and turning those enquiries into advocacies. That is, identifying actions and next steps that can be taken both internally - in ourselves, in personal development. And with other people in management and organisational development.

I think the power that Tony calls for comes from the process of enquiry then advocacy, enquiry then advocacy, and so on.

So I wouldn't want to intrude into your groups own process but it looks to me as if you are doing all the right things. You simply need to continue the process and take the action steps such as contacting the right people and pushing the message out that this alternative exists and is available and that it is important (nay vital).

If you can write something short - two or three paragraphs - that summarises the invitation that I have described so clumsily above I would be very happy to send and take that to as many people as I can think of.


Comment by Tony Page on January 2, 2018 at 7:06

Thanks Bob and David for putting this together. With the Christmas break over and the new year starting up, I’ve just got round to reading it. You’ve described the AMED 2020 inquiry as a work in progress, and already the contributions here are coming across as lively, inclusive and raising all kinds of useful questions. 

I guess these early responses contain some hints of which way is forward for AMED over the next 3 years. 
It’s also good news that there’s a programme of dates, events and eO&P for 2018 giving us active parallel streams, not pinning everything on the navel-gazing.
With best wishes to you both, and to all in AMED for 2018!

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