EGOS 2020 goes virtual!

EGOS 2020 in Hamburg will be held as a virtual Colloquium.

March 18, 2020

Dear EGOSians,
We hope this message finds all of you well, and that you are safe. These are exceptionally challenging times for all of us.
As you know, we have been closely monitoring – together with the University of Hamburg – the situation and the recent developments with regard to the global COVID-19 outbreak. Given the circumstances, we decided to temporarily suspend the registration for the EGOS 2020 Colloquium in Hamburg some time ago. We are now at a point where we have made the decision to cancel the EGOS 2020 Colloquium in its planned format. This decision is based on our responsibility to protect the health of our participants as far as possible, a ban on public gatherings, travel restrictions in place, as well as considerable cuts of research budgets for many of our colleagues. Unfortunately, there is no reason to expect an improvement of this situation by early July.
Our EGOS community is built on a broad set of shared values, and our annual face-to-face gathering is an expression of this. The EGOS Colloquium has always been inclusive and integrative – and we wish to preserve that spirit in 2020 as well. So instead of simply cancelling and disregarding the work and incredible energy that has gone into organizing the Colloquium by the local organizing team, sub-theme convenors, PDW organizers, sub-plenary chairs, submitting authors, and the EGOS Executive Board, among others, we have decided to make a bold move and go completely virtual with the entire Colloquium – as best as we can, given the complexity/size of the event as well as the tight timeframe. We felt that this decision was in the best interests of the EGOS community.
The challenges of the current COVID-19 crisis actually provide an opportunity for all of us to move into unchartered territory and explore new options, experimenting with regard to future virtual or blended formats as anticipated in the EGOS sustainability policy. In light of the conference theme for 2020 – “Organizing for a Sustainable Future: Responsibility, Renewal, Resistance” – we decided to live up to the call inherent in the theme. Taking seriously the responsibility of hosting EGOS 2020, although in a novel format, the local organizing team in Hamburg – together with the EGOS leadership – will guide the EGOS community in navigating this challenge. We even hope that it may generate new ideas and novel experiences, while showing resistance and resilience despite the crisis that is affecting our lives during these days and for the months to come.
Regarding some central practicalities and FAQs:

  1. We kindly ask you all to keep the dates (i.e., July 2–4, 2020 for the main Colloquium; June 30 and July 1, 2020 for the pre-Colloquium program) marked in your calendar for the virtual event.

  2. The registration for the Colloquium will remain closed for now. We plan to re-open in early May for a virtual Colloquium.

  3. Due to the special circumstances, no or only a symbolic fee will be charged for participating in the virtual event. EGOS will cover losses incurred so far for organizing EGOS 2020 in Hamburg (pre-payments for venue, conference organizer, etc.), as well the cost for webhosting and online communication, etc.

  4. However, a valid EGOS membership will still be required for registering for the virtual event. Please note that EGOS membership fees enable us to make this bold move (in addition to keeping up our infrastructure, such as the EGOS Executive Secretariat and the editorial offices for Organization Studies and Organization Theory, or the global PDW activities, among other things). This is the time for showing your solidarity, and we therefore kindly ask you to help us by paying your membership fee in due course once it expires.

  5. Those of you who have already registered will receive a 100% refund of the Colloquium fee in the coming weeks (including the EGOS membership fee, if you so request – but see the previous point). The local organizers will be in touch. However, please be patient, as we only have limited capacity to handle refund requests at this point in time.

  6. As the next step, we will be in close touch with individual sub-theme convenors, PDW organizers, and sub-plenary chairs to see whether they are willing to join us on the journey towards a virtual EGOS 2020 Colloquium. We will need their commitment in shaping how a virtual version of EGOS might best work. Please understand that if their preference is to cancel their activities, parts of the program will not be run.

  7. We hope you can continue to aim for the full paper submission deadline, although we are aware that the current circumstances disrupt our capacity to work in multiple ways. Hence, the formal requirement to submit a full paper will be relaxed this year.

Please expect more updates throughout late April and early May. As you will appreciate, we will need some time to figure out implications and practicalities. We will keep you up-to-date via email, social media, and on our website
We kindly ask for your understanding and for your solidarity in these times. We are aware that the solution we will develop will not be perfect and will challenge us (and our practices) as a scholarly community. Certainly, it cannot compensate for the face-to-face gathering in Hamburg that we have all worked hard for. Still, we believe it is a worthwhile endeavor that enables us to continue to be a supportive academic community.
With best wishes,
Markus Höllerer, Chair of the EGOS Executive Board
Daniel Geiger, Chair of the EGOS 2020 Colloquium Local Organizing Committee