We live in an age of global change, the culmination of a process that has been going on for more than two hundred and fifty years. Impressive technological, scientific and cultural achievements seem to have been accompanied by a deep erosion of the sense of meaning and the possibility of meaning. Along with economic well-being, enormous existential difficulties are revealed which are expressed in the demand for meaning. Along with the empowerment of and rights to the individual, there is an ongoing breakdown of communal life leading to loneliness and a crisis of meaning that has political and social implications.
After years of little interest, questions about the meaning of life and the forces that shape our perspectives on this issue are now receiving renewed interest in the academic, professional, practitioner, personal and other spheres. However, it seems that we are still far from understanding not only these questions and the answers to them, but also the tangible impact they have on the demands people have for meaningful life.
This conference recognises the value of interdisciplinary engagement as a basis for exploring the full range of questions about the meaning of life and the possibility of living a meaningful life. Accordingly, we invite anyone who has a research, professional, practical or personal interest in the topic to contribute to these interdisciplinary dialogues on critical issues around meaning and life with a view to forming an innovative interdisciplinary publication to engender further research and collaboration.
The conference offers a springboard for participants from diverse disciplines, professions, practices and walks of life to engage in interdisciplinary dialogues on topics that include, are not limited to:
~ spiritual/religious/philosophical perspectives: ethics, morality, faith and meaningful life (and afterlife)
~ beliefs about the meaning of life across historical periods and cultures
~ impact of suffering and fear on attitudes about the meaning of life
~ death, suicide and the limits of meaning in life
~ role of education in shaping beliefs about the meaning of life and how to live a meaningful life
~ the relationship between happiness and the meaning of life
~ strategies for finding meaning in life: activism, creativity, work-life balance, mediation, family, friends, etc.
~ health, wellness and the meaning of life
~ impact of film, television, social media, news, music, literature and the arts on meaning of life
~ the natural world and the meaning of life: nature and animals as source of meaning, impact of climate change/devastation on sense of meaning, etc.
~ best practice in occupations concerned with helping people live meaningful lives (clinicians, life coaches, therapists, clergy, ethicists, etc.)
~ material goods and the meaningful life
~ socio-political and economic influences on beliefs about life’s meaning and being able to lead a meaningful life
~ factors the limit our inclination or ability to question the meaning of life
~ relationship between cultural values and the meaning of life
What To Send
The aim of this inclusive interdisciplinary conference and collaborative networking event is to bring people together and encourage creative conversations in the context of a variety of formats: papers, seminars, workshops, storytelling, performances, poster presentations, panels, q&a’s, round-tables etc. Creative responses to the subject, such as poetry/prose, short film screenings/original drama, installations and alternative presentation styles that engage the audience and foster debate are particularly encouraged. Please feel free to put forward proposals that you think will get the message across, in whatever form.
At the end of the conference we will be exploring ways in which we can develop the discussions and dialogues in new and sustainable inclusive interdisciplinary directions, including research, workshops and publications which will help us make sense of the topics discussed during the meeting.
300 word proposals, presentations, abstracts and other forms of contribution and participation should be submitted by Friday 8th November 2019. Other forms of participation should be discussed in advance with the Organising Chairs.
All submissions will be at least double reviewed, under anonymous (blind) conditions, by a global panel drawn from members of the Project Team, The Development Team and the Advisory Board. In practice our procedures usually entail that by the time a proposal is accepted, it will have been triple and quadruple reviewed.
You will be notified of the panel’s decision by Friday 22nd November 2019.
If your submission is accepted for the conference, a full draft of your contribution should be submitted by Friday 21st February 2020.
Abstracts and proposals may be in Word, RTF or Notepad formats with the following information and in this order:
a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in the programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) type of proposal e.g. paper presentation, workshop, panel, film, performance, etc, f) body of proposal, g) up to 10 keywords.
E-mails should be entitled: Meaning of Life Submission
Where To Send
Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to the Organising Chair and the Project Administrator:
What’s so Special About a Progressive Connexions Event?
A fresh, friendly, dynamic format – at Progressive Connexions we are dedicated to breaking away from the stuffy, old-fashion conference formats, where endless presentations are read aloud off PowerPoints. We work to bring you an interactive format, where exchange of experience and information is alternated with captivating workshops, engaging debates and round tables, time set aside for getting to know each other and for discussing common future projects and initiatives, all in a warm, relaxed, egalitarian atmosphere.
A chance to network with international professionals – the beauty of our interdisciplinary events is that they bring together professionals from all over the world and from various fields of activity, all joined together by a shared passion. Not only will the exchange of experience, knowledge and stories be extremely valuable in itself, but we seek to create lasting, ever-growing communities around our projects, which will become a valuable resource for those belonging to them.
A chance to be part of constructing change – There is only one thing we love as much as promoting knowledge: promoting real, lasting social change by encouraging our participants to take collective action, under whichever form is most suited to their needs and expertise (policy proposals, measuring instruments, research projects, educational materials, etc.) We will support all such actions in the aftermath of the event as well, providing a platform for further discussions, advice from the experts on our Project Advisory Team and various other tools and intellectual resources, as needed.
An opportunity to discuss things that matter to you – Our events are not only about discussing how things work in the respective field, but also about how people work in that field – what are the struggles, problems and solutions professionals have found in their line of work, what are the areas where better communication among specialists is needed and how the interdisciplinary approach can help bridge those gaps and help provide answers to questions from specific areas of activity.
An unforgettable experience – When participating in a Progressive Connexions event, there is a good chance you will make some long-time friends. Our group sizes are intimate, our venues are comfortable and relaxing and our event locations are suited to the history and culture of the event.
Progressive Connexions believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract or proposal for presentation.
Please note: Progressive Connexions is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence, nor can we offer discounts off published rates and fees.
Please send all enquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org
For further details and information please visit the conference web page: http://www.progressiveconnexions.net/interdisciplinary-projects/narratives-persons-communities/the-meaning-of-life/conferences/
Sponsored by: Progressive Connexions