1st Global Conference: The Value of Work (November 2010: Prague, Czech Republic)

full name / name of organization: 
Dr Rob Fisher/Inter-Disciplinary.Net

1st Global Conference
The Value of Work

Friday 5th November – Sunday 7th November 2010
Prague, Czech Republic

Call for Papers
This conference aims to bring together people from a wide range of disciplines, professions and vocations to focus on a fundamental aspect of human life: work.

Work has pervasive influence on human life. Where we live, how we live, how we learn and see the world is strongly shaped by the work we do. Since the industrial revolution some of the expected benefits of the implementation of technology, and contemporary management have not been realised.

While working hours are generally not what they were in the Industrial revolution, actual working hours for many people have not decreased in the last 10-15 years. This is because many people work more than their formally specified hours in order to meet their job requirements. A common feature of contemporary management is an ongoing expectation of 'doing more with less'. This means many people are working at an increased pace of work, and or are working longer.

The shift from more coercive and authoritarian to management to 'self policing' where workers individually and collectively internalise responsibility for their work can lead workers to be overly preoccupied with work. Work concerns may play on peoples minds 24/7. Work may also have detrimental effects on family, our social and national culture, and global cultures.

This conference seeks to gain understanding of the nature work and the specific nature of its impacts. It is also seeks perspectives and understanding that break from the logic of how work is often done. In particular what are the possibilities of work that contributes to human flourishing?

Papers, workshops and presentations are invited on any of the following themes:

1. Understanding Work
~ defining 'work'
~ understanding work;
~ the historical development of 'work'; its social and cultural integration
~ new definitions of 'work'

2. The Evolution of Work
~ the incessant rise of work
~ work and the workplace: shifting contexts and the spread of work
~ home working
~ over valuing work

3. Harmful Work
~ work and life: blurring the boundaries; where does work begin and end?
~ the impact on home life, personal life, social life; the impact on relationships
~ work and the quality of life; the impact on health
~ the rise and impact of work associated technologies: mobile phones, computing, wireless networks

4. Flourishing Work
~ What is the nature of work that people look forward to, rather than dread? Is such work merely an ideal or can it play a greater role in contemporary life?
~ What can be said about work which is life affirming, enriching, and enhancing? How can we understand work which is full of passion, joy, and spirit, and how might it be encouraged?
~ Can there be greater opportunities for personal mastery through work? If so what examples can be given?
~ How can we understand work which encourages friendships, collaboration, and fosters social capital, and personal recognition?

5. Regaining Fair and Valuable Work
~ Can we learn from work that done in the past, even the distant past?
~ Can we identify and understand historical forms of work that may still be valuable to us? Can any of these be translated and applied to the contemporary world?
~ How can an understanding the concept of fairness help encourage fair employment, working conditions and workplaces.
~ exemplary work practice

6. Portrayals of Work
~ representations of work in tv, film, theatre and literature
~ media and work
~ work, art and music
~ how may any or all forms of representation help to emancipate work?

7. Exemplary Workers
~ With a lot of contemporary work being highly standardised, regulated and controlled, what wisdoms can exemplary workers provide? What do exemplary persons reveal about what work can be.

The Steering Group particularly welcomes the submission of pre-formed panel proposals. Papers will also be considered on any related theme. 300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 28th May 2010. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday 24th September 2010.

300 word abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, or RTF formats with the following information and in this order:

a) author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract.

Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.

Organising Chairs:

Paul James
Project Leader, IP Australia
E-mail: pjames@pcug.org.au

Rob Fisher
Network Founder and Leader,Inter-Disciplinary.Net,
Freeland, Oxfordshire,
United Kingdom
E-mail: vow@inter-disciplinary.net

The conference is part of the Critical Issues programme of research projects. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting. All papers accepted for and presented at the conference will be eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook. Selected papers may be developed for publication in a themed hard copy volume(s).

For further details about the project please visit:

For further details about the conference please visit: