Since Aristotle and Plato, the notion of good life has been at the forefront of philosophical thinking. What does good life
mean in the context of organizations? And how can organizations promote a good life?
Contemporary managers and leaders are increasingly striving to construct wellbeing at work, while Fortune lists have emerged that rank organizations in terms of ‘best places to work’. Organizational scholars, on their part, have increasingly investigated such themes as work/life balance, positive organizational scholarship, the link between organizing and employees’ emotional wellbeing, CSR, and the conceptualization of organizations as purpose-driven institutions. Good life also emerges as a collective construct that encompasses community resilience and progress, social equality and inclusion, climate change and preservation of biodiversity.
These trends demonstrate the importance of constructing organizations as loci as well as vehicles of good life. However, the same trends can lead to the manipulation of collective behaviors and the engineering of convenient cultures.
The purpose of the 39th EGOS Colloquium 2023 is to understand the organizing of a good life as the encounter of legacy and imagination. The former refers to an organization’s ability to build on its own history and to respect the cultural values of the social contexts in which they operate. The latter refers to an organization’s capacity to build better futures through continuous innovation. To gain such an understanding, several questions come to mind:
How can we design workplaces that promote imagination and wellbeing?
How can organizations reconcile profit-making with the wellbeing of their communities?
How can the engineering of good life in organizations lead to dysfunctional consequences?
How do we theorize legacy and imagination in organization studies?
How can legacy promote imagination, innovation, and competitive advantage?
How can legacy encourage sustainability, inclusion, and ethics?
Under what conditions does legacy promote change/rigidity?
How does legacy contribute to or detract from building a good life?
How does legacy differ across cultures?
What are the benefits and shortcomings of imagination?
The EGOS Colloquium 2023 will be hosted in Cagliari (Italy), a city with a millenary history, culture, and wild nature. A
territory where tensions between past and present, nature and progress, physical and virtual, local and global/international
become more evident as they shape Sardinians’ daily life.
These contradictions between legacy and contemporary demands have fostered original thinking, creativity, innovative use of traditional resources. Imagination is translated not only into superb gastronomic tastes and entrepreneurial initiatives but also in building a virtuous ecosystem to redevelop abandoned areas. This is the case of the conversion of Sulcis mines into the production of the spirulina algae, a unique project created by the close collaboration between local firms and the university.
In this context, the University of Cagliari, established in 1620, plays a central role in preserving the past, protecting the environment, stimulating vivid imagination through multidisciplinary, and nurturing entrepreneurial mindsets. The philosophy of the University of Cagliari appears simple and challenging at the same time: “We should not limit ourselves to the present, but we should reinvent the past to build a better future.”
We welcome EGOSians to Cagliari to rethink the good life between legacy and imagination!