Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this blog are entirely our own and not necessarily those of our employer or any other occupational therapist.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Of Radical Views and Real friends.......

Yesterday was the first full day of conference for us, the first WFOT Congress to be bi-lingual with simultaneous translation at all sessions. Slightly hairy moment when had to hand over passport to get gadget for translation particularly as this is possibly the only thing that Sarah owns at the moment (still no suitcase). All was well however and they have now been returned to us - won´t be stuck here (famous last words springs to mind!).

Whilst queuing for registration (Sarah was of course invisible and they had to work hard to find evidence of her registration adding to her feelings of insignificance and pathos) we were spotted by Anita Hamilton - our facebook friend and co-presenter from Canada who came across with a big hug for us -and then proceeded to be amazed at the tallness of Sarah for most of the day. Merrolee Penman (Aotera/NZ) another fb friend and co-conspirator had saved us a place for the Key note lecture. Karen Jacobs (USA) our third co-presenter was then introduced to us - what a whilrwind! Given that we had only ever met in cyberspace we immediately fell into a warm and relaxed camraderie and spent many hours together through the day and evening.

The Key note speech was given by an eminent ecomonist (Manfred Max-Neef)who had some rather radical anti neo-liberal views on world and personal ecomomies for example the recent crash of banks (due to "greed and stupidity")required 17 trillion dollars to stem the problem - this sum would have stopped world hunger for over 500 years.
He was advocating a stem of globalisation and presented myths about this and that unlike both Blair (globalisation is irreversible and irresistable) and Thatcher (there is no existing alternative) he believes that we should replace greed and competition with solidarity and compassion stating that economic growth is not the answer to everything.

The day overall provided us with much food for thought. An hour of so spent chatting with Frank Kronenberg (a newly appointed Honorary Professor at Salford) has possibly turned much about how we think of our profession on its head - but that´s for another post - we need time to reflect and assimilate before going public with this very radical view! Frank will be vsiting the University in October - watch this space for more details.

Sarah, as usual, did a sterling job at networking- in fact almost every 10th person came upto introduce themesleves as facebook friends. We also stumbled upon a poster presentation that has given Sarah some links with Canada who have been working on a similar project to Sarah´s Ning thing with a local trust so this was a very fruitful stumble.

On the news front, still no case, ok for cash (so far). Managed to borrow mac lead so Saerah could be seen plugged into the wall at various times of the day to seruptiously charge the laptop - which now charged will not give access to internet so we are now limited to 5 mins access a day at conference.
OK, breakfast calls then bus to conference and another 12 hour day at conference site before we can relax again. More tomorrow.........................

3 comments:

Anita Hamilton said...

So wonderful to meet you both Angela and Sarah. What a great first day! Looking forward to another full of learning and networking :)

healthskills said...

I can't wait to read of this new, challenging concept of whether occupational therapists exist! Thanks for keeping us up to date with the doings - and oh how I commiserate (sp?) with the suitcase loss...

harrisontraining said...

I too was intrigued by the new concept and so googled Frank Kronenberg. I am going to order his book "Occupational Therapy Without Borders; Learning From The Spirit of Survivors" which looks fascinating.