A Retreat on narrative – where better to meet than in Ireland

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The location of the Cynefin Retreat about Narrative in Organisations (Ireland, 18-21 March 2019) is specially chosen for its unique landscape and naturally rugged beauty. This is so as to facilitate learning, sense-making, the blending of art and science, and also to loosen constraints on the imagination with a view to releasing artistic creativity and ‘joining the dots’ of our previous experiences with insights gained at the Retreat.

Ireland is renowned for its storytelling and folklore. Long before there were books and literature, the filíochtaí (poets) and seanchaí’s (storytellers) of Ireland wandered the country and passed stories of history and folklore from town to town, and generation to generation.

Although we are in the age of information with so much of it at our fingertips via the internet, storytelling is still alive and well in Ireland with many storytelling festivals being hosted each year throughout the country, from Cape Clear in Cork to Tory Island in Donegal (and many nooks and crannies in between). Our storytelling heritage is carried on to this day by modern-day seanchaí’s who tell stories that have been passed down through the centuries…

One famous file (poet) from the 18th century was Antoine Ó Raifteiri (Raftery), whom many of us taught in Irish schools will remember for his poem ‘Mise Raifteirí an file’. Liam Clancy recites a beautiful rendition of one of Raifteiri’s poems ‘Mary Hynes’, which can be heard here. It is worth listening to with your eyes closed and your imagination ready to take flight…

A modern-day seanchaí is Eddie Lenihan, who tells stories about ‘The Other Crowd’, ’The Good People’ and ’The Wee Folk’, all descriptions used by Irish people to describe fairies. Eddie is a great storyteller and his ability to bring mythology and folklore to life are widely lauded. Eddie will give participants at the Cynefin Retreat much to ponder on as they go about their escapades and enquires during the week. Lets just say that they might have an appreciation for all that we cannot see, including ‘the other crowd’, following on from Eddie’s stories. Eddie researches the sources of his stories thoroughly and only tells ones he believes to be true…

It is fitting that we have Eddie join us for the Cynefin Retreat (centred around ‘Narrative in Organisations and Society’) in Inis Mór, which is renowned for its storytelling and music. No doubt our thoughts will be embroidered by the stories of the faculty, seanchaí, our Inis Mór surrounds, and stories shared by attendees themselves. In complexity speak, there is intrigue to discover what meaning will emerge over the week of the Retreat, and to see what that might look like…

Click to read this post on the Cognitive Edge site

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