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The Mirror Game: changing practice through reflection

An international one-day workshop on the methods and experience of articulating practices to produce transformation

Warwick Business School

3rd June 2008

10 am – 5 pm


We know very well that errors are better recognised in the works of others than in our own; and that often, while reproving little faults in others, you may ignore great ones in yourself. ... when you paint you should have a flat mirror and often look at your work as reflected in it, when you will see it reversed, and it will appear to you like some other painter's work, so you will be better able to judge of its faults than in any other way.
Leonardo da Vinci

The workshop will bring together a number of scholars, researcher and change practitioners who are interested in the use of practice articulation as a way of triggering individual, group, and organizational transformation. Although they come from different backgrounds, the presenters are joined in the belief that reflection should be interpreted as a public and social conversation with one’s practice aimed at opening new opportunities for action. Articulating practice through discourse, writing, video analysis and other innovative techniques becomes thus a way of generating surprise, dissonance, and contradictions which in turn create an opening where new possibilities for action can emerge.

While the idea of reflecting back practices to the practitioners as a way of triggering of change and discovering directions for the expansion of the practice is extremely intriguing, its translation in practice is not without problems. Articulative reflection poses in fact a variety of theoretical, technical, and ethical challenges that can undermine the benefits of the approach and to which different traditions of intervention respond in different ways.
The main aim of the day will be to address these challenges by presenting, comparing, and discussing side by side different methods for producing change and supporting development through reflecting back practices to the practitioners. The ethos of the seminar is to stimulate discussion and argument among people who share an interest in how to use these methods. All presentation will include an introduction to the method, an illustration of its application, and some critical reflection on the experience of use. There will be ample space for participants to interact with the presenters and to ask questions and engage in conversations. To this end, the number of participants is limited to no more than 50 and the cost of participation is kept as low as possible.


  • 􀂉 Katia Kostulski, CNAM, Paris

  • 􀂉 Jaakko Virkkunen, University of Helsinki, Finland
  • 􀂉 Arlene Katz, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA
  • 􀂉 Annette Stanfield and Judith Hurcombe, IDeA, Jean Hartley, Davide Nicolini (Warwick Business School)
  • 􀂉 Angie Titchen, Fontys University of Applied Science, The Netherlands
  • 􀂉 Dvora Yanow, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam
The workshop will take place at the University of Warwick, Coventry, UK and is organised jointly by the IKON Research Unit of Warwick Business School (Davide Nicolini) and the Royal College of Nursing Research Institute, School of Health and Social Studies (Prof Kate Seers).
There is a small fee of £39 to cover the hospitality costs and a reduced fee (£29) for students. Further information and a registration form are are available in this document. (PDF Document) 
Further details about the programme and a list of recommended readings will be sent to the participants prior to the event.


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Download further information about the event (PDF Document)