Report on the 1st Summer School in Group Analysis

Belgrade, 6th-9th August 2013

The main efforts of the International Development Committee were directed towards bringing to life the first International Summer School in Group Analysis. This took place as a joint venture with the Serbian colleagues in Belgrade from 6- 9 August.

This summer school had 34 participants. Two-thirds of the students registered locally, partly due to the fact that there had been another international event at the end of June. This great preponderance of Serbian students might be also due to the fact that colleagues from the neighboring countries of former-Yugoslavia didn’t want to participate in a Belgrade event; 20 years after the war the wounds are still bleeding.

We were encouraged by our Serbian colleagues to operate a fee structure that would allow as many of their students to participate as possible and this turned out to be a good strategy. The challenge for future events will be to find a financial structure that allows colleagues with little money to participate whilst at the same time minimizing GASI’s losses.

We decided to operate a 2-tier fee system and to invite applicants who were able to do so to pay the higher fee. We were pleased to find that many chose to do so and this system may be used again, in future.

The school program is still on the GASI website, to get a sense of the daily format. The staff team was divided between the ‘international’ contingent – 3 UK, 1 Greek and 1 German – and the 4-woman Serbian; a 5th Serb withdrew immediately before the school began. The staff team was augmented by the presence of the President of GASI who attended to give an opening speech to inaugurate the school and was present for the first 2½ days.

Overall, feedback from both students and staff members has suggested that the school was well-received and highly valued. The staff team drew on the considerable experience of its members, to contain and work with some complex dynamics.

However, from first to last the organisation of the Belgrade school suffered as a result of roles and authority being ill-defined. It is important to draw lessons for future events.

Regine Scholz & David Glyn

October 2013