The company was founded in 1973 by Leo Bernardis, Peter Bruck, Ralph Grossmann, Jakob Huber, Fredl Janes, Ludwig Nagel, Otto Nigsch, Helmut Stockhammer, Richard Timel and Rudi Wimmer, who at the time were studying at EIT (European Institute for Trans-National Studies in Group and Organizational Development).

In addition to the concept of regionalisation and spreading of practical training at the time, the founders also pursued their ambition to anchor group dynamics in university research and teaching. In the early days of ÖGGO, a separate field of study for group dynamics was set up at the then newly founded University of Klagenfurt, which at the time was organised by the Institute for Philosophy, and where post-doctoral students researched and taught group dynamics. Since then, group dynamics has established itself at several universities in which members of our society are active.

Prof. Dr. Traugott Lindner (March 18, 1923 – February 26, 2013). THE pioneer of European group dynamics

In celebration of his 90th birthday

Traugott Lindner formed the most effective bridge from the NTL (National Training Laboratories Institute for Applied Behavioral Science, USA) to Europe in the 1950s. For many years he acted as the decisive engine within the European network of the EIT (European Institute of Transnational Studies) to promote the anchoring of group dynamics as an almost paradigmatic expression of applied social sciences both in theory and practice.

At the beginning of the 1970s, Lindner drove forward the professionalisation of young, German-speaking group dynamics trainers and was met with great response. It was this circle of young group dynamics professionals who were enthusiastic about social reforms, which kindled the initiative to found ÖGGO (Austrian Society for Group Dynamics and Organisational Consulting) in 1973. His work was nothing short of exemplary; whether it was his never-ending curiosity and openness to experimental innovations, his consistent promotion of international networking, the creative incorporation of the group dynamics repertoire into the practice of organisational change processes, or indeed his tireless stimulation of GD-related research efforts. What was most special was the incredible, powerful, long-lasting effect of his extraordinary personality, one which so many got to enjoy over the decades, in various intensities, as they shared a common path.

Everything that he helped establish and grow will survive his death and will help to further develop group dynamic settings as “rehearsal rooms” for changing the world. The resulting experience will continue to be incorporated as a central theme into organisations and trans-organisational contexts, both nationally and internationally, from the pioneer, Lindner, to the future of the ÖGGO professional community.

Prof. Dr. Rudolf Wimmer and the board of ÖGGO, March 2013