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Work and occupational

The future is now for work and organizational psychology

Ingrid Covington introduces interviews with three keynote speakers from the forthcoming Congress of the European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology, in Poland.

15 December 2022

The European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology (EAWOP) Congress 2023 will be hosted in Katowice, Poland, 24-27 May. The last time the Congress convened was pre-Covid in Turin, Italy, in 2019. Although the British Psychological Society's opportunity to host the Congress in May 2021 was thwarted by the pandemic, the organisers laid the foundations for what promises to be a memorable and impactful event. The appetite to return to 'real' conference-going is enormous for senior academics, junior faculty members, PhD students and of course practitioners, all of whom are eager to connect with colleagues from around the globe and explore opportunities for collaboration.

The event, whose theme is 'The Future is Now', will bring together academics and practitioners from over 50 countries. It's an opportunity to network, learn, challenge, and build ideas in a dynamic and friendly environment. All areas of occupational psychology are being covered ,with around a third of submissions touching upon some aspect of well-being and work. EAWOP has an active membership (around 80% contribute through presentations) and has grown substantially. Around 2000 delegates attended the last congress in Turin and there are 1,700 submissions already for the Katowice Congress, so growth looks set to continue.

Over the years EAWOP has expanded its activities and its membership and is particularly keen to strengthen the practitioner offering. Many members of the British Psychological Society's Division of Occupational Psychology (DOP) are also EAWOP members, with several members of the Glasgow organising committee offering their support and expertise to the current hosts, the Polish Psychological Association.

I am responsible for working with the Executive Committee to ensure a strong invited programme that covers topical and perhaps controversial content, with speakers who can change the way that we think about ourselves, our research, and our practice. For example, invited speaker Richard Griffiths will contemplate how the pandemic created a unique situation in which billions of people had an opportunity to collectively reflect on aspects of their lives. He believes that it will be decades before we see the full impact of these reflections, although we are beginning to see signs through movements such as the 'great resignation'. He will be exploring this in the context of talent management.

Times are more turbulent now than ever. I reached out to three of the keynotes to ask about the current issues that they feel we urgently need to attend to as a profession, and how these inform the big issues that we continue to grapple with as a society…

'This war is a wake-up call for many of us'
Martin Euwema

'We should get involved much earlier when there's a new discovery'
Marianne Schmid Mast

'We are on the brink of very exciting times as psychologists'
Janine Bosak

Ingrid Covington (CPsychol, HCPC reg.)

Founder of Staying Well Together @ SHAPE / Co-founder Centre for Psychology at Work

Winner of Practitioner of the Year from the British Psychological Society's Division of Occupational Psychology