INTAGIO was started by Seán Gaffney and Joe Melnick at a GISC Roots Conference in Bommersvik, Sweden in 2011. Besides the sharing and exchange of knowledge, the need was felt for personal exchange and connectivity among gestalt practitioners, who often had expanded their range from being therapists to working with organisations.
INTAGIO was set up as an independent association beyond existing professional bodies and associations, inclusive for everybody interested in a very low threshold membership fee, low cost gathering venues, and volunteer contributions for organising annual gatherings.
The philosophy was: when the right people come they can self-organize right there and then. The invitation to get together automatically brings those interested and dedicated, i.e. the ‘right’ people.
Investments were made into the website, the least demanding way of handling small sums of money necessary for reserving venues, and preparations regarding time and place of a gathering once a year. A volunteer committee organised gatherings and website in the beginning. About 5 years after founding INTAGIO, these functions were assigned to 2 committees: an Executive Committee for a period of about 3 years, and a novel Committee for each annual Gathering.
We employ a very minimal structure for the Gathering, beginning with a “meet and greet” and a “marketplace” of offerings and interests as well as an Annual General Meeting (“The AGM”). All of these are integrated, leaving enough space for personal bonding and fun, as well as tacit agreement on the next Gathering before a closing. Sometimes dance and music and local sightseeing have added to the flavour of the Gathering based on the unique opportunities in each venue. Together we have explored Mati and Thessaloniki Greece, Saint Petersburg, Russia and Estoril, Portugal. One year we held the Gathering online due to the limitations of gathering and travel during the corona virus pandemic, Covid-19.