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ALARA-BALT Australasian Conference 2020 Theme and Proposals

ALARA-BALT Australasian
Action Learning, Action Research Conference 2020

Discovering the Future Together:
Action Learning and Action Research at Work

Action Learning, Action Research Association Ltd (ALARA) and Business Action Learning Tasmania (BALT) are co-hosting the ALARA-BALT Australasian Action Learning, Action Research Conference 2020 in Launceston, Tasmania from 8 - 11 November 2020, with participants also joining the conference virtually from many locations around the world.

On this page: Other links:

Proposal submissions
Theme and Streams
Keynote Speakers and Presentations



About the Conference
Learning Conferences video
Our Sponsors and Advertisers
Doctoral Workshop
Conference Registration Now closed
Conference Program

Conference Proposal Submissions

Submissions have now closed. The Organising Committee welcomed submissions of proposals for the virtual components of the Conference. More submissions than required to fill the entire programme were received, and the Reviewers are now ensuring all proposals included in the Conference are suitable.

Participants may attend:

  • Virtually from their own homes or offices
  • Virtually in small groups from a location not at the main Conference location in Launceston (and potentially anywhere in the world)

Registrations are now open. Please go to the Registrations page for more information on registration and prices

As we will be recording the sessions, each person attending as part of a group will need to register and agree to the recording of the session.

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Theme and Streams

The theme is Discovering the Future Together: Action Learning and Action Research at Work. The changes we are all experiencing due to the coronavirus pandemic is allowing us to view the future. Through Action Learning and Action Research, we can work with and modify that future.

Submissions for the conference could be from a range of areas, such as:

  • Breaking down Silos with Action Learning and Action Research
    • Effective action learning and action research requires people to come together to solve problems. Individuals, organisations, communities, educational institutions and governments can solve our most urgent problems of today, and prepare for the unknown challenges of tomorrow, by working together on action learning and action research projects.
  • Reinvention and Lifelong Learning through action and reflection
    • Education does not end when one leaves school or university. The world of work is in transition as hundreds of job types disappear and hundreds are created. The same is also true of life, in general. The internet and mobile devices were not widely used just over a decade ago, but are now a part of our daily lives. Experience in using action learning and action research helps people prepare for constant change by developing skills in lifelong learning.
  • Action and reflection as a catalyst for organisational development
    • A growing number of organisations are realising that a positive organisational culture promotes innovation and sustainability. Gaining employee commitment starts with engagement, which is critical to the success of any action learning or action research endeavour. Action learning and action research (under many guises) are demonstrated as an effective means to improve organisational culture, business outcomes, productivity and profits.
  • Action Learning and Action Research in Community Development
    • In spite of political rhetoric and hype, serious challenges in the world community remain. Indigenous recognition, health and well-being, child poverty, and environmental protection, are just a few of those matters that require community involvement and collaboration. Many examples exist of action learning or action research bringing communities together to overcome or minimise impacts of current and future challenges to our collective well-being.

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Keynote Speakers and Presentations

The Conference Program is now available, with the details of each presenter being added as they confirm their attendance. See the Program here.

A keynote speaker for the conference is Christine Abbott. Christine is Director of the Centre for Action Learning and Associate of the Open University Business School UK. Christine's presentation is Intertwingling: The role of action learning in collaborating with others.


The second keynote speaker is Clyde Mansell, from the Aboriginal Elders Council of Tasmania. Clyde will be leading a presentation called Looking to the past to rediscover the future of learning, in which he will use modern technology to share ancient wisdom, to (re)discover existing knowledge and generate ideas for achieving better learning outcomes for everyone.

Genevieve Cother from Business Action Learning Australia and Monika Koncz-Mackenzie from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation UK will be presenting Building the Circular Economy through Action Learning.


Bill Woodworth will be presenting Building the Circular Economy through Action Learning.

Bob Dick will be presenting The relevance of action learning to the world’s current existential crises.


Dr Marc P. Lammerink will present Action Learning and Action Research in Community Development

Dr Judith McBride and Prof Afrouz Mobayen will share reflections on a relational learning experience as instructor/learner/teacher/participant in an online basic action research course piloted by McGill University’s Language and Intercultural Communication Department, and engage workshop participants in the creation of a métissage.
See the video here or in YouTube.


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Chivonne Algeo

Assoc. Prof Chivonne Algeo's presentation is Flying the plane while building it: transitioning to online during COVID-19.

Delivering a degree in any context is at times challenging, mostly rewarding, and sometimes, just sometimes, completely spontaneous. The rapid pace at which COVID-19 forced our academic team to adjust, while in ‘mid-flight’, our residential-style delivery. In this unstable environment, where Government and university policies were being written as we were delivering content, the academic team used a participatory action research approach to put in place a more open and inclusive approach to working with our students.

Dr John Molineux presents Soft Systems Methodology – a great technique for complex problem solving with groups.

In this active group participation and involvement, John will outline the process of using Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) by working through participants’ own problem contexts. SSM is a great tool for creating new solutions or rethinking complex problems with groups or teams. SSM uses systems thinking and other creative tools such as rich pictures, in developing understanding of complex problems or systems.

John Molineux

Bob Cother from Action Learning Institute (Australia) will be presenting Developing 21st Century Skills through Action Learning.

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