Erotic Relationships Between Colleagues and Friends presented at IEC 2016

Hilary Bradbury co-authored a book with Bill Torbert called ‘Eros/Power: Love in the Spirit of Inquiry‘ and presents her work at IEC.

In this groundbreaking book Hilary Bradbury and Bill Torbert are breaking down taboos and bringing the topic of love and sexuality from the usual “shame on you” frame to the more human level. Can you approach love in a way that opens your eyes rather than blinds you? Can you love passionately, compassionately, and dispassionately all at once? Can you love non-possessively but with commitment? Can you love inquiringly, bringing benefit to your beloveds? What is the relationship between your spiritual life and embodied love? How are we each to engage this great life adventure, in spite of our unique wounds?

In this book filled with passion, compassion, and dispassion, Hilary Bradbury and Bill Torbert go way, way out on a limb. Sharing their erotic autobiographies with us – the beautiful and the ugly – starting with the history of their relationship with one another as professor and student, they invite exploration of the secret places where true love gets lived (and gets crushed). They ask us to reflect on our own stories of love and loss as a way to re-imagine the whole world of erotic friendship in more life affirming ways, at home, at play and at work. Coaxing love under the sign of inquiry they suggest that we already know that passionate love can enchant us, exerting a power over us that can feel like the most liberating feeling in the world. Yet it can also lead us into torturous agony. They discuss

the exercise of power to love rather than imprison self and other.

These pages invite you to invite yourself and your friends further into this living inquiry, inviting love with inquiry, joining Eros with Power.

Hilary Bradbury at the Integral European Conference

Hilary is going to present at the Integral European Conference this year in the experiential workshop track. Her two co-presenters are Heidi Gutekunst and Dana Carman. Title of the contribution is:


Transforming Gender Relations through Relational Action Inquiry: Eros/Power and Erotic Friendship as Creative Inquiry for Teal Organizations

This interactive workshop is an inquiry into the question of how creativity – Eros may be cultivated as the practice of relational action inquiry among women and men. In this workshop filled with passion, compassion and dispassion, the presenters invite exploration of the secret places where true Eros gets lived (and gets crushed) in relationship between women and men. With structured exercises and circling dialogue they invite reflection on our own stories of love and loss as a way to re-imagine the whole world of erotic friendship in more life affirming ways, at home, at play and at work. Sharing the practice of relational action inquiry, we will cultivate the exercise of power to love, learning to create together rather than imprison self and other.


  1. Welcome & introductions
  2. Defining Eros/Power and the erotic friendship
  3. Q&A
  4. Overview of exercises based on developmental autobiography
  5. Exercises in changing trios
  6. Plenary discussion
  7. Harvesting the learning


Hilary Bradbury’s most recent book is Eros/Power: Love in the Spirit of Inquiry. Hilary obtained her undergraduate degree in German/Theology at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland and continued at graduate level at Harvard and University of Chicago’s Divinity Schools. Her work with action inquiry/action research originally took off in collaboration with Peter Reason. She has since edited three volumes of the Handbook of Action Research and serves the peer reviewed journal Action Research as Editor-in-Chief.

Heidi Gutekunst is co-founder and CEO in Amara Collaboration, has worked most of her career in advertising agencies in leading positions. The last three years she led a digital agency through a significant transformation. Heidi has attracted many international awards and is now a regular speaker at Business Forums interested in her personal entrepreneurship and transforming ability.

Dana Carman is an expert in human and organizational transformation. Since 1984 Dana has worked as a senior advisor, consultant and executive coach to leaders of more than 200 visionary organizations on 5 five continents. His clients include multi-nationals, small and mid-sized market leaders, governments and NGO’s that are committed to making a significant impact nationally, regionally and globally.

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