Roger Niven is attracted as much by what AMED is not as by what it is:
“… part of the attraction of AMED is that … insightful and expert ‘amateurs’ gain from working and learning with each other. AMED does not justify itself by trying to be ‘professional’ … imposing disciplines, regulation, and so-called ‘continuing professional development’, whereby membership grades, certificates and other criteria are used to justify career progression and competence. Nor is it a network that directly offers commercial gain and the opportunity to overtly market oneself.
I have prized … the chance to listen to others who offer very different experiences and skills and come from the most wonderful variety of backgrounds – i.e ‘diverse’ and different from me. As a result … I have been able to feel some of the ‘sense of wonder’ so prevalent in the 18th and early 19th century when the lines between ‘science’ and ‘the arts’ or commerce and philosophy were not so hard drawn, nor between.
I have always prized AMED as a place in which something of this romantic tradition can be maintained. … I think ‘managers’ need such places even more: but the challenge may be to persuade them that such activity is worthwhile in a world that increasingly justifies everything only in terms of measurable transactions.
Extracted from Roger’s response on our discussion page. You may also enjoy his poem ‘Lessons of Management‘ from the Summer 2015 edition.