You are Still a Part of Us.

Posted by on Jun 24, 2016 in Community, Conference | 3 Comments

Today, we learned that a slight majority of the British voters voted to leave the EU. Now emotions are “cooking high” as we say in German, we observe expressions of sadness and frustration, anger and anxiety, joy and celebration… With all of this context – our memories and feelings and hopes and assumptions and … – there are a few things that are very clear. You are still a part of us.

Lots of ALE People

Lots of ALE People

Britain is still part of Europe.

We share the same continent. We only have one earth. Norway and Switzerland have been friends without ever bothering to join. What ever will happen, that will not change.

To me, that means you are still welcome here. And I assume to still be welcome there.

As an organiser of the Agile Lean Europe conference in August in Paris, one of my first thoughts after hearing the news (and wanting to do something) was: There is still a tunnel between London and Paris. We invite them and they will come.

The Agile Lean Europe Network was founded five years ago with the purpose of integration. We share because we care is our motto and mission. We have always had active members from non-EU contries, like Norway, India, Switzerland and Canada. We’ve defined Europe as inclusive from the beginning. Lets do that louder now!

Agile practitioners in England, please join us in Paris in August. We will welcome you and make you feel at home.

We have not been Listening

Over the past years, all over the (Western) world a larger and larger number of people have felt not heard, not seen, not represented by their governments any more. They express their experience of discrimination and frustration and anger by voting for people who apparently want to change things for the better. You know who they are. Apart from the promises they make, the ideas they sell and what ever else you may see them do, there is one thing they do really well: They give a larger and larger percentage of the population the feeling of getting a voice, of making their interests, their anger, their frustration, seen and heard.

If these voices will actually deliver actionable benefits to these voters, is debatable. Will they have any better solutions to the world’s, and their voters’, problems? I doubt it. I don’t think those questions really matter. What matters now is that we listen. Stop judging. And listen again.

I feel guilty for having called people stupid who vote for right-wing parties. I have felt angry at what is happening. I feel sad now for what we have collectively failed to do: to acknowledge that a large part of our society, of the people in our countries, feels disregarded, powerless, and anxious about the future. The world is a complex, unsafe and unpredictable place. That’s just how it is.  For some of us, that’s exciting. For most of us, it’s scary. If we don’t manage to create a nurturing conversation with most of our co-inhabitants of our societies so that we collectively create more hope, more connection, more understanding, and more safety for all of us, this authoritarian trend will continue.

History may repeat and humans may contribute to make the world a safer place. We have a choice.

You are Invited

ALE2016 is about unleashing potential in human organisations.
ALE is about distributing authority, so that everyone can use their power.
ALE is about integrating diversity, acknowledging and appreciating our differences so that we can create stronger linkages.
ALE is about showing up and making a difference. We share because we care.

ALE 2016 Paris

Join us in Paris. August 29-31. You are welcome. Even and especially if the majority of people in your country voted to leave. Even if you did. You are welcome.

Register Now


  1. Silvana Wasitova
    June 24, 2016

    I join Olaf in inviting **all** UK Aglists to join us in celebrating togetherness and deepening our understanding, of Agile, of life 🙂

  2. Peter Jetter
    June 25, 2016

    Leaving the EU is not the same as not being part of Europe. ALE stands for Agile Lean Europe and not for Agile Lean EU! I believe in individuals and interactions over processes. Many seem to believe they can create better interactions without EU processes. Change is always opportunity and threat. Only the Future will tell.

    • Olaf Lewitz
      June 25, 2016

      Thank you Peter, that’s great to keep in mind!


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