IL NODO GROUP Association, with the sponsorship of

LFA 2019 partners

is pleased to announce the

9th International Working Conference

LFA 2019


18th - 20th October 2019 | Ostello al Deserto, Chiavenna (SO), Italy

cover LFA 2019

This is a training model which offers participants an opportunity for direct learning, through a brief period of community-like cohabitation.
Learning from action is at the core of this training. This involves exploring other languages as well as verbal language. The focus of this Working Conference is on making actions meaningful by considering them part of a different language. This takes place by transmitting individual and group communications which have not been expressed verbally because they were unconscious or not yet wholly conscious.
The idea of these Working Conferences originates in the early 2000s from the joint thinking and cooperation between Robert D. Hinshelwood and Enrico Pedriali. This type of conference is now an item in the Standard Quality Manual of Community of Communities and the project “Visiting” promoted by Mito & Realtà Association.
The attribution of meaning to action becomes an essential working tool, not only owing to the dynamics present in all groups, but above all because of the difficulties encountered by most members of therapeutic communities in expressing emotion in words.
Indeed, Lfa is aimed at developing fundamental competences for all those who work in residential or semi residential institutions, and more generally in mental health institutions. Such competences are highly valuable for a wide range of professionals such as educators, nurses, assistants, administrators, managers, consultants, psychologists, psychotherapists, psychiatrists, neuropsychologists, neuropsychiatrists, social workers, carers, etc. However, as has already been successfully experienced in the past editions, professionals working in other areas, like the section of profit and corporate worlds, are also most welcome to join the conference.
The “Learning from action” Working Conference draws on the Group Relations model and is aimed at helping community staff and carers to explore and study the value of their daily activities as a form of communication.

primary taskPRIMARY TASK

The primary task of this working conference is to offer an opportunity to explore how unconscious and nonverbal communication and group dynamics shape Decision-Making processes and influences accountability and various other aspects of ‘working together’ in this temporary learning community.
Members of the conference and staff together will constitute this temporary learning community.
Within this special training context, the main learning objective of the conference is to enhance the participants’ understanding of conscious and unconscious dynamics affecting Decision-Making processes both at an individual and at a group level, along with their organisational and institutional implications.

Individual members will have a chance to explore their own role and the way they operate within and on behalf of the whole system (the temporary learning organisation), reflecting on nonverbal and unconscious communication. Consequently they will be encouraged to take responsibility for their contribution whilst taking part in the daily life and relationships within the community.

A further learning objective of this event is to explore the various dimensions and connections between action, thinking and learning, so that the acquired insight can then be transferred and applied to different workplaces and practices.

The working conference will create an opportunity for a direct experience of the different elements that come into play when making decisions, and will stimulate reflection on what might constitute a democratic practice and an environmentally sustainable use of available resources in a healthy institution.
The themes focused upon in this year’s Working Conference are: The ability to make decisions and to take on responsibility.

The basic needs of community life will be dealt with by forming groups aimed at the following tasks:
• cooking and catering;
• cleaning and tidying communal areas;
• organizing leisure activities;
• organizing other activities agreed upon during the course of the conference.

As in any other community or institution, participants will witness the emergence of interpersonal dynamics related to cohabiting and sharing, such as taking and delegating responsibility, working for others, making decisions, relating to authority and leadership, managing relationships between individuals and within groups, managing conflicts, using or wasting resources and much more.

In order to achieve these learning objectives, the conference will employ a “Learning from Action” methodology and it will be organised around a programme with a number of daily events, such as: Opening and Closing Plenary, Decision-Making Event and Decision-Making Groups, Activity Groups, Morning and Evening Community Meetings, Review and Application Groups and possible Emergency Meetings.

other informationOTHER INFORMATION

• No lectures will be held.
• We recommend careful and repeated reading of this page.
• A continued residence on site is expected for the whole duration of the Working Conference.
It is useful, indeed recommended, to repeat the Working Conference. Three groups are planned:

A group: for those who participate for the first time
S group: for those who have already partecipated at least one time
T group: training group, by invitation. The T group's programme will start on Thursday 17th October 2019 at 7:30 PM, registration 7:00 PM.

The working conference will start on Friday 18th October 2019 at 1:00 pm, registration from 11:45 to 12:45 am.
• The facility offers an opportunity to stay in rooms with more beds, and each person will have to take care of the
management and tidying up of their personal spaces.
Participation at the Conference is not recommended for individuals who are going through a period of high psycho-emotional
The language we are focused on and we are here to learn about is the non verbal, the language of actions and of the unconscious. English and Italian will be used.


Firiday October 18th

11,45-12,45 Registration and snack
13,00-14,00 Opening plenary
14,00-14,30 Break
14,30-16,00 Decision-making plenary
16,00-16,15 Break
16,15-17,15 Decision-making groups 1
17,15-18,45 Activities 1
18,45-19,00 Break
19,00-20,00 Evening community meeting 1
20,00-20,15 Break
20,15-21,30 Dinner
21,35-22,15 Community Free Time 1

Saturday October 19th

08,00-09,00 Breakfast
09,00-10,00 Morning community meeting 1
10,00-10,15 Break
10,15-10,45 Decision-making groups 2
10,45-12,30 Activities 2
12,30-14,00 Lunch
14,00-14,30 Community free time 2
14,30-14,45 Break
14,45-15,15 Decision-making groups 3
15,15-15,30 Break
15,30-16,45 Review geoups 3
16,45-17,00 Break
17,00-18,30 Activities 3
18,30-18,45 Break
18,45-19,45 Evening community meeting 2
19,45-20,00 Break
20,00-21,30 Dinner
21,35-22,15 Community free time 3

Sunday October 20th

07,00-08,00 Breakfast
08,00-09,00 Morning community meeting 2
09,00-09,10 Break
09,10-09,40 Decision-making groups 4
09,45-11,30 Application Groups
11,35 12,30 Activities 4
12,30-13,30 Lunch
13,30-14,00 Washing up & cleaning
14,00-15,00 Closing plenary
15,00-15,15 Leave-taking

Any changes to this programme will be decided according to Staff needs and shared with participants both before and during the event.


Director - Luca Mingarelli
Co-Director and Director of Activities - Gilad Ovadia
Project Administrator - Francesco Noseda
Associate Administrator -  Stefania Borghetti

Giada Boldetti
John Diamond
Lili Valko

(not present at the event)
Robert Hinshelwood


LFA 2019 will start on Friday 18th October at 01:00 PM (for T group Thursday 17th at 7:30 PM) and will end on Sunday 20th October at 03:30 PM.

We recommend that participants arrive on time on Friday for registration and allocation of rooms between 11:45 and 12:30. As scheduled, lunch on Friday is not included. A snack will be available with food brought by participants and shared.


In order to facilitate participation, we have chosen to lower inscription fees, with respect to the previous editions.
- The fee for the conference is 500 € ( +VAT = 610 €) for enrolment by the 20th of September and 650 € ( +VAT = 793 € ) for enrolment after that date.
- The fee for T Group is € 620.00 ( +VAT = 756.40 €) for enrolment by the 20th of September and 750 € ( +VAT = 915 € ) for enrolment after that date.
- Four Bursaries are available to participants upon application, for which the deadline is 16th September.
- Discounts are available for A and S members. There will be: a 10% discount for persons from abroad, for the organisations in partnership and for 2 participants from the same association or company, a 20% discount for 3 and more participants from the same organisation (discount not cumulative).
- Fees include participation to the whole Working Conference and overnight stay, meals included. Request for any additional nights must be submitted by participants via e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
- To enrol fill in the form downloadable from and pay an advance of 100 €.

Before the conference, applicants will receive a descriptive card of each event and task and indications / rules for coexistence.

English will be the main language of the Working Conference.

There are bursaries to be requested by September 16th, 2019.

Download the brochure



Chiavenna is a small town in the province of Sondrio, which is 60 km far. Here you may find ancient stately houses, beautiful stone fountains and the typical churches which make this town an interesting place to visit both in Winter and Summer. Chiavenna’s historic centre is at the centre of the valley bearing the same name, where it divides into the river Mera.
» See the venue on the map
» Get directions from Orio al Serio airport
» Get directions from Milano Malpensa airport


The hostel AL Deserto is situated amidst the woods and in a panoramic position, only a few steps away from the historic centre and in close proximity to the train and bus station.
This makes it into an ideal place in which to gather groups. It is possible to use the available self-contained spaces independently. Address: Via al Deserto, 2, 23022 Chiavenna SO

USEFUL LINKS - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


You can ask other participants for help on our facebook page:


Agenzia Mosaico - via San Secondo, 31 - 10128 Torino
Tel. +39 011568 1238 / +39 011 5684423 | Fax + 39 011 505421
e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Event Administration Staff: Francesco Noseda, Stefania Borghetti


All Dates

  • From 2019-10-18 11:45 to 2019-10-20 15:30