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Created: January 27, 2003.
Notes on the conference:
The conference began on Thursday evening with a brief introduction by a representative of Lady Rosensteil. Lady Rosensteil is a patron of Polish culture and related activities and donated funds to the conference. This was followed by a presentation by Marge Battaglia based upon her PhD thesis. Marge gave a very passionate and wonderful talk about Dabrowski's life. After this presentation, all of the original students of Dabrowski who were in attendance got together on stage for a photograph and also each person gave a brief impression of Dr. Dabrowski. These students included; Norbert Duda, Czeslaw Cekiera, Michael Piechowski, Dexter Amend, Andrew Kawczak and myself. A great photo of the group was taken by Elizabeth Mika and I have posted it to the Dabrowski web site as: http://positivedisintegration.com/2002students.jpg
Following the discussions there was an informal wine and cheese get-together.
The beauty of the setting that Norbert selected for the conference was apparent on Friday morning. The Holiday Inn (Boulevard) Fort Lauderdale, is right across the street from a very nice stretch of South Florida beach. As far as the eye can see to the North and South, the sand and surf was beautiful. Participants enjoyed swimming and relaxing in the ocean whenever they had a chance.
Friday and Saturday where a blur of sessions and included excellent presentations from all of the participants. The only trauma was trying to decide which presentation to attend on Saturday afternoon during the concurrent sessions. As usual, spirited discussions of Dabrowski's concepts were heard. I am not going to try to summarize the presentations I attended, I would simply note that they were all excellent. A proceedings of the conference will be made available by Norbert and I'm sure he will let us know as soon as it is ready for purchase.
On Saturday night, a group of us got together and discussed the future of the theory and the conferences. We felt that the hundredth anniversary of Dabrowski's birth would be an ideal time to propose a new Dabrowski Institute. In addition, to accept Lady Rosensteil's contribution, Norbert had to set up a nonprofit association in the state of Florida. We decided to make a submission to the group on Sunday morning. To this end, a brief presentation was made to the attendees and various proposals were voted on. The group accepted the proposal to form The Institute for Positive Disintegration in Human Development. It was further voted and decided that a board of directors should be sought to administer the Institute. The attendees present discussed the naming of past conferences and decided to amalgamate the "biennial" and the "international" conference series. It was emphasized that this was to be an International Institute and that future international gatherings should be referred to as "international congresses." The designation "conference" was assigned to national meetings in a given country and the term "workshop" or "meeting" will designate a regional meeting. It was further voted that the next gathering in two years from now, be referred to as the Sixth International Congress of the Institute For Positive Disintegration in Human Development. Bill Tillier indicated that he and Dr. J. Dabrowski will host the congress in the summer of 2004, to be held in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
During the month of February, Norbert, and several others will hammer out more details about the Institute and its administration. I would expect to hear more in March or April. Ideally, the Institute can help coordinate the different activities currently going on in isolation. A major focus of this will be the international congresses. Another focus will be the dissemination of Dabrowski's material both in English and in Polish. In addition, translation of key material remains a priority.
Finally, the Institute will help foster an open dialogue about Dabrowski's ideas. Many of Dabrowski's ideas remain vague and more theory building and research needs to be undertaken to further flesh them out. Also, as more material is translated, Dabrowski's ideas will come into sharper focus. At the conference, Dr. Kawczak handed out a page of discussion points related to the theory and I have reproduced this list on the web page under the following address: http://positivedisintegration.com/kawz.htm
Thank you, Bill Tillier