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A sucsessful WOB

The first International Conference on Critical and Radical Humanist Work and Organizational Psychology (WOP) was held from the 11th to the 13th of July 2022 at the Innrain Campus of University of Innsbruck.

 

Initially planned for the 1st to the 3rd of October 2020 and subsequently for the 30th of September to the 2nd of October 2021, the event had to be postponed twice for safety concerns due to the pandemic situation. The main organizing body was the Applied Psychology Unit I at the Institute of Psychology, namely Wolfgang G. Weber, Thomas Höge, Severin Hornung, and Christine Unterrainer, who have been collaborating for many years as the research group on Organizational Democracy (ODEM), and, since its inception in the year 2018, also constitute the Innsbruck Group on Critical Research in Work and Organizational Psychology (I-CROP). 

Institutional cooperation partners were the Erich Fromm Study Center at the International Psychoanalytic University Berlin (IPU, Thomas Kühn and Rainer Funk) and the Critical Division (CWOP) of the international “Future of Work and Organizational Psychology” (FOWOP) movement network, which has evolved out of several constitutive events under the auspices of the European Association for Work and Organizational Psychology (EAWOP).
 

Altogether, the conference lasted for three days, whereby the very first (half-)day was reserved for two pre-conference workshops dedicated to activities by the CWOP division of the FOWOP network. During the main two conference days, the event featured one introductory opening speech by the organizers (Wolfgang G. Weber) and four distinguished guest keynote speeches (Rainer Funk; Thomas Teo; Ruth Yeoman; and Martin Parker). Two of the keynote speeches were delivered in-person and two were live virtual presentations transmitted and broadcasted to the lecture hall via videoconferencing software. Further, altogether 38 oral presentations were given, allocated to 12 themed presentation sessions. Additionally, three more workshop sessions were offered on the second day. Another noteworthy feature of the conference was an attractive poster exhibition, displayed during the whole event, comprising altogether 20 scientific posters, many of which were based on student research projects. The conference concluded with a memorable panel discussion on prospects and contestations of Critical and Radical Humanist CWOP, followed by a brief closing speech and farewell address by the organizers.

 

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These conference activities are documented in the conference program and abstract proceedings available for download from the conference website. Keynote speeches and other selected highlights of the conference will form the basis of a special issue of the journal "Psychologie des Alltagshandelns / Psychology of Everyday Activity" published by Innsbruck University Press, projected for spring 2023. Despite some ongoing travelling restrictions, occasional cancellations, and some virtual accommodations due to the pandemic, the conference, which was convened primarily as an in-person event, was well attended. Altogether, more than 60 participants from around 40 universities and other institutions from 11 countries participated. Notably, aside from Germany, Switzerland, and Austria, speakers and attendees could be welcomed from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France, Italy, Canada, Brazil, South Africa, and New Zealand (virtual). Thus, the conference was a truly international event – and indeed the first of its kind.

 

 
We would like to express our sincere thanks to the Institute of Psychology, the Research Area EPoS "Economy, Politics & Society", and the Vice Rectorate for Research of the University of Innsbruck, without whose financial support this successful event would not have been possible.
 
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