Frequently asked questions

Who’s organising this conference?
In January 2018, the inaugural iGOLD alumni event was held in Cape Town, South Africa. Over 40 practitioners from around the world and various Gestalt programs gathered to share their learnings, experiences and much more. During the seven day event, two powerful figures emerged from the community; “how do we sustain this community?” and “for what purpose would this community exist?” On the last day of the event, several individuals indicated an interest in exploring the various options for building and sustaining this community. In November 2018, thirteen volunteers agreed to plan the next iGOLD Alumni event. Those individuals were Cortney Cahill, Sheena Cartwright, Paul Cooper, Csaba Császár, Michael Henderson, Harold Hill, Lisa Koss, Sharmala Naidoo, Uma Narayanan, Sharilyn McNaughton, Michael Randel and Jeremy Timm. Patricia Arnold also partnered with the Planning Committee for the first six months of the project. Over the next eighteen months, members of this planning committee, also known as G12, have contributed their time and talents to help bring about the second iGOLD Alumni Conference in September 2020 outside Lisbon, Portugal.

Are Jonno Hanafin and Mary Ann Rainey hosting this event?
Jonno and Mary Ann are not hosting this event. During the Cape Town gathering, Mary Ann and Jonno clearly indicated that future gatherings and events would be the responsibility of the larger alumni community. Jonno and Mary Ann, together with John Nkum and Chantelle Wyley, were instrumental in a number of aspects leading up to the event including convening the planning committee, providing oversight to the planning process, ensuring financial components were in place and providing guidance as necessary. Both Mary Ann and Jonno have indicated their intentions to attend and actively participate in the event as members of the larger alumni community.

Why is it in Portugal?
The G12 Planning Committee operated within a self-generated set of values, one of which was to manage the event costs to ensure as many members of the community could attend as possible. Europe was considered the most accessible continent, and the G12 considered several countries to host the conference including France, Italy, Hungary and Ireland. Based on the resorts considered and the costs associated with both the conference space requirements and hotel accommodation, Portugal and more specifically, Dolce by Wyndham CampoReal Lisboa Hotel was the location that met the intended criteria.

Why is it in September?
As previously mentioned, the Planning Committee paid close attention to the cost of the conference. The month of September in Europe, and other parts of the world, is near the end of the tourist and holiday season. Hosting an event during the month of September lowered the cost significantly. Also, this particular week was selected to align with Session Five of the current iGOLD III program that will be held on September 19th– 26th. By selecting this date, we increased the likelihood of faculty and other alumni members attending the conference.

I’ve done one Gestalt course – can I attend?
Membership in the iGOLD Alumni Community is defined as anyone who has completed a 3 day or longer Gestalt program. This would include participants in the current iGOLD program. All members of the iGOLD Alumni Community are invited to the conference.

Who will be attending the conference?
Those who may be attending the conference include, but are not limited to; Gestalt practitioners, facilitators and coaches, OSD, IOSD and iGOLD Alumni and anyone working with Gestalt in organizations.

Can I bring someone who hasn’t attended the Gestalt courses?
Yes, you are welcome to have someone attend who has not completed a Gestalt course. We understand that certain individuals may be curious about our work and this event. Anyone who pays the full Conference Fee is entitled to participate in any of the conference events. However, the content of the conference will have a Gestalt focus and therefore would be of greater benefit for those with experience in the field.

I need a visa. How do I get a letter?
Please refer to this website Welcome to VFS Global | For Individuals | Home to fill out the application for a short term visa for entry to Portugal. Letters of invitation will be provided by the conference administrator. 

Who’s picking us up from the airport?
Transportation can be arranged directly with the hotel, Dolce CampoReal, in Portugal: +351 261 960 900

Do I have to stay at the hotel?
No, you are not obligated to stay at the hotel and can book alternate accommodation. Please be aware though that there is limited accomodation in the area. You will be responsible for arranging your own transportation to and from the hotel.  Lunch and coffee breaks are included in your conference fee, so there is no additional charge if you choose to find alternate accommodation.

Is alternative accommodation available?
Please note that the hotel is in a remote location, about 1 hour from the city of Lisbon.  There is not a lot of alternative accommodation close by.

Can my partner/children come and hang at the pool?
Yes, your partner/children are welcome to join you at the hotel, but we ask that you participate fully in the conference activities.  The conference schedule is 8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. daily. Sunday and Wednesday there are dinner receptions for conference participants.  Monday and Tuesday are free evenings.

Is this the same format as the Alumni event in Cape Town, 2018?
A volunteer team of iGold alumni is currently designing and refining the programme. The conference will feature familiar elements from IOSD, iGold, and the 2018 Alumni event, plus new segments likely to include community building, alumni-led Salon Day/TED Talks sessions, client intervention teams to support local organizations, Wise Crowds case consultations, a didactic session led by iGold faculty, a poster session to facilitate collaboration among participants, a Faculty Fishbowl on the “Past, Present, and Future” of Gestalt in organizations, a celebrity lecturer, and planning time to map out the future of the iGold conference and our community.

Who are the speakers?
Members from across our iGold community are stepping up to take leadership roles,  including organizing, developing the programme, and leading sessions. We haven’t yet finalized specific roles for individuals, or named our celebrity lecturer. We’ll post more details as they are decided.

I have a brilliant idea for content input – who can I talk to?
Great! We welcome your ideas, and would love your help designing and refining the programme! To become part of the planning team, or to simply share your brilliant idea, please send an email to

Will there be site visits?
Yes! We plan to create client intervention teams to provide Gestalt OD support to organizations in the local community, and to serve as a learning opportunity for conference attendees. If you’d like to support our planning work, please send an email to

Will there be PSL groups?
We don’t plan to offer PSL groups during the conference.

Will there be a chance to help plan the future of the iGold alumni community?
Yes! We will devote time during the conference to raise our awareness about the resources and aspirations within the iGold community, and to develop plans for supporting one another into the future.

I’d love to share some of what I’ve learned in my practice. Will I have an opportunity to lead a session?
Yes! Please help us learn together by being a presenter during our Salon Day/TED Talks, and/or by sharing a challenging work dilemma during our Wise Crowds case consultation.

Will there be networking opportunities?
Yes! We’ll have several conference segments dedicated to making personal connections and professional collaborations. We’ll also have lightly-structured and unstructured social time during meals, breaks, and evenings to help us build a stronger iGold community. 

How do I register for the conference?
Easy – click here (the registration is online). Once you’ve registered, you’ll be sent an invoice with payment instructions based on your preferred payment method. 

What form of payment will be accepted?
We accept wire transfer/EFT, credit card payment and PayPal. 

It’s expensive – can I get a discount? 
We have tried to keep the costs as low as possible. Given that this is the first time we’re running the conference, there are a lot of variables (including how many people will attend!) so we’ve had to take educated guesses at many of the costs and we’ve made efforts to keep these as low as possible. Any funds left over from this event will be used as seed capital for the next conference. The iGOLD Centre (Gestalt OD Partners) provided the initial capital to get this first iteration of the conference started. There will be full transparency around the conference financials. Those in financial need may apply for a grant (see below). There is an early bird discount (€100 off) for those who apply before 1 May. 

What’s the scholarship/grant/bursary fund? How do I get financial assistance for the conference?
To lower financial barriers and allow more members of our community to attend the conference, a Grant Fund will offer €250 grants to registrants who request them. To request a grant, follow the instructions on the registration page. Grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-awarded basis, and only when sufficient funds are available. The planning Committee is not involved in the awarding of grants. There is no guarantee that any individual, regardless of need, will receive a grant.

If I request financial assistance, am I guaranteed to receive a grant?
If funds are available when we receive your request, you will receive a credit of €250 towards your conference fee. If funds are not immediately available, you will be placed on a waiting list; additional grants will be distributed – in the order requests were received – when and if the funds are available. There is no guarantee that any individual, regardless of need, will receive a grant.

How do I contribute to the grant fund?
Each time a registrant pays for the conference, €50 of their fee will be automatically contributed to the Grant Fund. Attendees will be able to make additional contributions to the Grant Fund when they register online.

Are faculty also paying to attend the conference? 
There is no ‘faculty’ for this conference as it’s led and delivered by the community. Any members of the iGOLD Centre faculty (who run the IGOLD programme) as well as the volunteers organising this conference, will pay to attend like all other delegates.  

Can I pay in installments?
Unfortunately not, although you could pay for the conference first to get the early bird discount, and then pay the hotel later.