Exploring the New Meanings of Work - WORK2015 Conference
This August the University of Turku organised an interdisciplinary international conference WORK2015 on the theme “the New Meanings of Work”. Pressing issues in work and working life were addressed with the help of leading researchers in the field.
How will work be changed by shifts in the economy and technology? How and in what ways does technology bring about change in society and in individual behaviour? And why is entrepreneurship still thought of as being different from salaried employment when they are becoming ever more intertwined in daily life?
Among many others, these were the questions that the interdisciplinary WORK2015 conference sought to address. The conference brought forward the latest research into working life and offered new perspectives for dealing with changes. Working life was addressed from, among others, the points of view of social sciences, business and medical sciences.
The conference brought to Finland almost 400 researchers from over 30 countries. Plenary speakers represented a group of the leading researchers of change in work and society: Stephen R. Barley (Stanford University), Linda McDowell (Oxford University), Lisa Adkins (Newcastle University, University of Turku), Rosemary Deem (London University), Pertti Koistinen (University of Tampere), Steven Vallas (Northeastern University), Asley Mears (Boston University), Paul Leonardi (Northwestern University) and John Zysman (Berkeley University).
The plenary speakers addressed topics ranging from the transformative effect of technology on work and our way of life (Barley), research on change in working life (Leonardi, Mears, Vallas, Zysman), unemployment (Adkins) and the invisible work done in universities (Deem). In addition to the plenary sessions almost 300 researchers presented their research on work and working life in themed working groups
The conference was of high academic standard and very successful. The conference was organised by the Turku Centre for Labour Studies, TCLS, and was convened and academically curated by Professor Anne Kovalainen.
The WORK conference is a biennial interdisciplinary conference addressing work and working life. The Centre for Labour Studies headed by Professor Kovalainen created and organised the first conference two years ago. This year the number of participants doubled.
The conference website can be found at www.utu.fi/work2015
The conference was supported by, among others: The Finnish Work Environment Fund, Sitra, The Federation of Finnish Learned Societies, Turun kauppakorkeakoulun tukisäätiö (Turku School of Economics Support Foundation) and Turku City.