Congress 1999

Joern Scheer (
Wed, 25 Jun 1997 08:06:16 +0000

Dear All,
but especially those of you planning to attend the International
Congress in Seattle!

During the Barcelona congress in 1995 I have been asked whether the
International Congress could not be held in Germany one of these
years. So after discussing the idea in our group, I sent a message to
the PCP email network early last year, suggesting that the German PCP
group organise the International Congress on PCP in 2001, after the
1999 one planned to be held in Haifa / Israel. As those of you
monitoring the network may remember, I got a couple of positive
responses. Now the Seattle congress will be on in two weeks' time, and
"we" will have to decide on the time and place of the next congresses.

Meanwhile I have heard informally, and then read in the Australasian
newsletter, that the next congress cannot be held in Israel in 1999.
Consequently I have been asked informally if the German group would be
ready to step in and organise the congress already in 1999. So I
informally looked for a suitable venue and found a Study and Encounter
Centre in the outskirts of Berlin. So this is our informal proposal
for the congress in 1999. As some of you may know, we have organised
the 2nd Conference of the European Personal Construct Association in
1994 (in St. Andreasberg), and personally I have organised a couple of
other nation-wide conferences and congresses both in PCP and other

I don't know of any other proposal so far. There might be some,

Normally, at the time of a congress, the venue of the next one is
already known, and the decision is about what is going to be in four
years' time. Due to the situation mentioned above, we'll have to
decide about two congress venues this time: the next one, and the one
to be held in 2001.

I'd like to add some comments about a related subject:
A point Bob Neimeyer raised last year in response to our proposal for
2001 concerned the lack of "some umbrella organization that could
coordinate the efforts of the several successful regional
organizations" like "calling for conference venue proposals from
various regions, and giving a real vote to all members of the
international community" (message to the network on 20 Feb 1996). I
have to say that in preparing a proposal for a congress, I felt that
the existence of some kind of international coordinating committee
would have been helpful.

Bob's other concern was about regions of the world without a PCP
organisation which could profit from support by some kind of
international structure. We have had a similar discussion in Europe
where people from non-PCP-ised countries can approach the EPCA
guidance panel for support. Certainly, the information provided on the
Internet now makes things easier.

During the 1989 congress in Assisi (when email communication and
internet resources couldn't even be dreamt of), the idea of an
international secretariat was rejected. And since Bob said in his
message that he was "not going to carry this banner into future
conferences", I'd like to forward the idea of a low profile
"coordinating committee" which might include representatives from the
different parts of the world.

Fay Fransella in a recent comment suggested that, like in the past,
future meetings should be agreed on at a congress itself and spoke
against the idea of an organisation to arrange things. She supposes
that "personal construct people are not very clubable" and hopes that
"long live anarchy". I feel perfectly comfortable with these views
(the German group is as losely structured as can be). But: to the
ordinary congress participant, like me, in the past it seemed that
through some sort of informal talks, in the aisles, at after-hours pub
meetings, but also through phone, fax, e- and snail mail
communication, some important people, the initiated ones or the Elder
Statespersons, in fact HAD pre-arranged things when the congress
assembly decided upon a proposal. In my view, "anarchy" in these
circumstances does not really exist, because some people in the
background will arrange things, which certainly is not very
"democratic"...albeit probably necessary.

I am definitely NOT suggesting a club, a "society" or an association
with "president", "treasurer", "travel expenses" and all that. Some
people I asked about their opinion suggested a "coordinating
committee" consisting of the "conveners" or coordinators of the three
regional groups (North America, Europe, Australasia) plus a few
others. Personally, I feel that the past and/or the next congress
organiser's assistance might be helpful (as is the case in some
scientific societies) (forgetting for a moment that I proposed to
organise the next congress...). The "committee" might also have the
form of a "central electronic forum for information exchange" as some
have suggested.

See you in Seattle!
All the best
Joern Scheer

Prof. Dr. Joern W. Scheer
Dept. of Medical Psychology
Friedrichstr. 36
D-35392 Giessen
Tel: +49 (0) 641-99-45682
Fax: +49 (0) 641-99-45689