“My PCCA” experience is now a bit more than 3 years old – so rather young in comparison to other PCCA members, and probably most subscribers of this newsletter. I was initially attracted to PCCA’s work, because I have been working for economic development in Eastern Europe for most of my professional life; and so the conference „A house divided against itself“ 2016 in Poland became my first experience with PCCA. Apart from the useful experience of learning and exploring the dynamics in a group relations conference, I got in touch with the issue of past atrocities, especially the holocaust, and how its aftermaths continue to work painfully in individuals and effect our todays societies. For me, an economist, group relations conferences provide for very important tools for a better understanding of social systems, which is very useful for my work. I see the methodology as complementary (or contradicting) to the individualistic “homo economicus”, which serves typically as a model for economists. So, group relations conferences „calibrate my antennas“ and make me a more conscious and better manager, I am convinced. 

The work being done on the Holocaust became a very important experience in itself, but also very helpful to understand and work on current societal challenges, such as xenophobia, the return of nationalists/populists and vast changes in times of globalisation, digitalisation, climate change, and multiple crisis. As the last 30 years since the fall of the Berlin wall can be described as a major success for humanity in Europe, it is more than irritating that democracies, our European house, free markets are being challenged (again). The dangerous work of people who undermine the fundaments of the recent successful development by making use of people’s fears needs to be addressed. 

Today, having joined PCCA and assuming the role of the treasurer, I am happy (and a bit proud as well) being useful for this project. I can say that I continue to learn and better understand through the cooperation with other PCCA members. A particular intense experience has been to assume the role of the administrator in the last conference in Cyprus 2019. Helping to organise this event was a great pleasure and being there a fantastic experience. Yet, being at a pivotal spot between conference members, conference management and conference staff created also difficulties, resulting in a certain exhaustion. So, the work can be hard – but always rewarding.

Going forward, I wonder how PCCA will remain connected to the topic of the Holocaust, Israel, and Palestine, and at the same time continue to explore current problems in Europe. I certainly hope that Eastern Europe remains in our focus.”