Sharing and building Solution Focused practice in organisations

SOLWorld 2016 international conference

The 14th SOLWorld international conference

“Emergence in action” 

Liverpool, UK, 19-21 May 2016

Supported by ASFiO - the Association for SF in Organisations

It’s back!  The SOLWorld international conference, the premier gathering of Solution-Focused practitioners in organisations from around the world, will meet in Liverpool, UK from 19-21 May 2016. 

The event features a full programme of plenary sessions, open space workshops and conversations, conference dinner (included), cabaret, networking opportunities and social time, as well as the chance to get together with organisational SF practitioners from around the world. 

Outline programme



Travel and how to get there

Walking tour

Participants already confirmed

To register, go to  

Conference format and concept

To make the event as simple as possible (but no simpler!), we are trying a different format, to help keep the cost low (£300 including all taxes for bookings before 31 March 2016).  Rather than have pre-planned workshops, the conference will largely consist of Open Space working.  In Open Space, anyone can convene a discussion on any topic about which they are passionate, curious, puzzled or just interested. This means that you can bring along all kinds of different topics and questions to share and discuss: For example

  • Reports of interesting cases and work 
  • Activities to try out and share
  • New developments to hone
  • New applications to ponder
  • New connections to explore …

Among the topics likely to be on the agenda are: 

  • Coaching
  • Team development 
  • Performance management
  • Strategy development
  • Leadership
  • Connections to positive psychology, appreciative inquiry and other fields

The conference will also include opening and closing ceremonies, plenary sessions on emergence and research/knowledge sharing, lunches and coffees, a conference dinner, cabaret and social time – all the classic ingredients which have made the previous 13 SOLWorld international conferences so successful.  There will also be room for several short 18 minute SOL-talks, to be scheduled and planned in advance. 

Eventbrite - SOLWorld 2016 International Conference

Outline programme 

Wednesday 18 May 2016

15.30 Optional walking tour - book via

19.00 onwards: Pub meetup, food available to purchase, registration in pub

Thursday 19 May 2016

9.00  Registration

9.30  Opening Ceremony - with Liselotte Baeijaert, Anton Stellamans, Petra Muller-Demary, Annie Bordeleau and John Brooker

10.15  Plenary on Emergence – with Nora Bateson, Mark McKergow and other special guests

11.15  Coffee

11.45  Set up open space

12.45  Lunch

14.00 Open Space 1

15.00  Open Space 2

16.00  Open Space 3

17.00  SOL Talks (2-3)

18.00 Close, Association for SF in Organisations (ASFiO) information meeting and AGM

19.00 Drinks

19.30  Conference dinner (included in registration)

 Friday 20 May 2016

9.00  Plenary on Research and sharing knowledge - with Carey Glass, Kirsten Dierolf, and others

10.00  Reset Open Space – new sessions

10.30  Open Space 4

11.30  Open Space 5 (45’)

12.15  Open Space 6 (45’)

13.00 Lunch

14.00  Open Space 7

15.00 Open Space 8

16.00  SOL Talks (3)

17.00 Close

17.15 Steering group meeting

Dinner (not included)

20.30  Cabaret

Saturday 21 May 2016

9.30   Plenary - What have we learned, how will we use it in future - with Jesper Christiansen and others

11.00  Coffee

11.30  Closing ceremony - with Liselotte Baeijaert, Anton Stellamans, Petra Muller-Demary, Annie Bordeleau and John Brooker

12.30 Close and lunch


The venue is the iconic Adelphi  Hotel in the heart of Liverpool in the northwest of England.  The Adelphi was built to serve transatlantic liners departing from Liverpool in the early 20th century, and the main meeting rooms reflected the grandeur of the Titanic and other first-class ships of the day.  While that grandeur is now somewhat faded, the hotel remains a historic landmark in the centre of Liverpool, close to the main railway station (Lime Street) and a short walk from other central locations including Albert Dock (Beatles Museum, TATE gallery etc).  The spirit of the Beatles and other Merseybeat heroes is still very much alive in the city, with many landmarks including the site of the Cavern club, Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields etc firmly on the tourist trail.  The city is known for its sparky and independent vibe (rather like John Lennon) and a distinctive feel which is not to be missed. 

Meeting before the conference

We have nominated a pub where people can gather on the evening of the 18th May.  It’s the Richard John Blackler, a Wetherspoon’s pub which has the advantage of being very big, serving decent ales and inexpensive and OK food.  It’s at 53, Great Charlotte Street, very close to the Adelphi hotel.  We’ll be there from about 7 pm – but it’s open all day so you can arrive at any time!


Accommodation is NOT included in the conference registration.  This is to allow maximum choice and flexibility for participants.  The Adelphi Hotel, where the conference will be held, is offering special rates to participants of £60 per night single/£75 per night double or twin, including a generous full English breakfast buffet.  Many other hotels, B&B’s, hostels, guest houses are available and there is always AirBnB. 

To book accommodation at the Adelphi at these rates please phone 0871 222 0029 (from the UK) or +44 151 709 7200 (from outside the UK) and quote booking code SFWO190516.  Or you could try their website - the code doesn't work there but the rates may be nearly as good.  The Adelphi is atmospheric and old, so not all mod cons may be available.  It's quite fun and a bit ramshackle.  Other less characterful but more 21st century places are nearby if that's more your thing.

Nearby options include Holiday Inn Liverpool City Centre and Adagio Aparthotel Liverpool City Centre.  For other options check out, or try and search on the Adelphi's postcode, L3 5UL for nearby options. 

Remember that it is your responsibility to book your accommodation, and we suggest you do it as early as possible.  

Getting there

The closest airport is Liverpool John Lennon airport, which takes some flights from European destinations, and of course you can connect en route by changing planes.  You may find it easier to fly to Manchester airport, which is only one hour away from Liverpool by direct train.  Liverpool is about a four hour drive or two and a half hours by train from London.  If you are coming through London, please note that UK long-distance trains are much cheaper when booked in advance

Liverpool walking tour

We have arranged an optional walking tour on Wednesday 18 May (the day we are gathering before the conference).  An official 'Blue Badge' guide will lead a 2 hour tour discovering Liverpool's maritime and sea-faring history (it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site) as well as introducing the city, its history and its highlights.  You can join the group at the Adelphi hotel at 3.30pm or meet at the Pier Head at 4pm, and the tour will conclude at 6pm.  The cost is £10 per person. More details and booking at


Registration for the conference

Many SOLWorld community members have expressed a desire to support us in making this a successful event.  The first thing you can do is to REGISTER NOW!  There is also a booking button at the bottom of this page.  Or just go to

When you register, think of three other people you think might enjoy and benefit from the conference, and invite them to join you! 

Eventbrite - SOLWorld 2016 International Conference

Book stall and promotional materials

There will be an opportunity to bring books to sell on the conference book stall – cash sales only.  We will manage the selling and give you the money.  Please bring books with you – we cannot accept advance deliveries.  There will also be a table for promotional materials open to all. If you have books you’d like to sell, we can do that for you, as long as you’re willing to accept cash and that you price your material in multiples of £5: £5, £10, £15 …. £100 …  And there will be somewhere to display any promotional material or give-aways you want to bring.


Among those notable SF practitioners and authors who are confirmed and booked to participate are (in alphabetical order):

Liselotte Baeijaert (Resilient People - Resilient Teams, The Art of Giving Feedback), Nora Bateson (International Bateson Institute, An Ecology of Mind), John Brooker (The Creative Gorilla), Susanne Burgstaller (Lösungsfokus in Organisationen), Jesper Christiansen (Solution Focused Future Forums), Jenny Clarke (57 SF Activities for Facilitators and Consultants), Kirsten Dierolf (Solution-Focused Team Coaching), Dominik Godat (Lösungen auf der Spur), Paul Z Jackson (The Solutions Focus, Positively Speaking), Alan Kay (Fry the Monkeys), Shakya Kumara (Brief Mindfulness), Sue Lickorish (SOL singer), Mark McKergow (The Solutions Focus, Host), Petra Muller-Demary (SOLWorld stalwart), Peter Röhrig (Solution Tools, 57 SF Activities), Klaus Schenck (SF Vocational Scouting), Laurent Sarrazin (Rupture Douce), Guy Shennan (Solution-Focused Practice), Anton Stellamans (Resilient People - Resilient Teams, The Art of Giving Feedback), Peter Szabo (Brief Coaching for Lasting Solutions, Coaching Plain & Simple), Janine Waldman (Positively Speaking)...and many more

Full list of participants booked at 29 April 2016

Agneta Castenberg
Alan Lyons
Alan Kay
Alex Steele
Andrew Gibson
Ann Lukens
Annemie De Winter
Annette Gray
Annica Eklundh
Annie Bordeleau
Anton Stellamans
Bart van Loon
Bruce Woodings
Carey Glass
Chee Seng Cha
Christiane Kosub
Christine Kuch
Colin Coombs
Dominik Godat
Dr. Peter Röhrig
Eileen McCabe
Elfie Czerny
Els Mattelin
Eva Persson
Ewan Muirhead
Frank Hedestig
Gaby Wallström
Gesa Niggemann-Kasozi
Guy Shennan
Hannelore Volckaert
Hannes Couvreur
James Barrett
Jan Christiaenssen
Jan Marklund
Janine Waldman
Jeanette Johansson-Ånmark
Jeffrey Parker
Jenny Clarke
Jesper Christiansen
Joan Kinnunen
John Brooker
Jonas Wells
Josephine Malm Clase
Judith Stephan
Kirsten Dierolf
Klaus Schenck
Liselotte Baeijaert
Luc Maystdt
Marco Ronzani
Mark McKergow
Markus Eulenkamp
Monika Jacobi
Monique Mager
Patrik Nyström
Paul Jackson
Paut Kromkamp
Pernilla Forsberg Tiger
Peter Szabo
Petra Muller-Demary
Reiko Ito
Rita Klemmayer
Ruth Allott
Sandra McCutcheon
Shakya Kumara
Sieds Rienks
Sofie Geisler
Stefan Kreil
Stephanie von Bidder
Steve Flatt
Sue Lickorish
Susanne Burgstaller
Suzi Curtis
Tim Newton
Ulla Mortensen
Yoram Galli

Last updated by Mark McKergow Apr 29, 2016.




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