Conference Plus!

When is a conference not a conference? When it is a “conference+”!

This time last year at Home Renaissance Foundation we were looking at the calendar for 2020 and seeing with great anticipation 12th and 13th November ringed in red. For these were the days we were to be meeting at the Royal Society of Medicine in London for our 5th Interdisciplinary and International Academic Conference: Happy Homes: Happy Society? The contribution of domestic life in a time of social changes, supported by the Social Trends Institute.

That was October 2019 and there is no need to explain what happened in March 2020 to send all our calendars and all our plans flying out of the window. The coronavirus pandemic stopped the world in its tracks and locked us down, but it also opened our eyes to the explicit value of our homes, when there was literally nowhere else to go.

During this period HRF has aimed to highlight the role of the home as a true life-support system and to share some stories of encouragement and challenge. See CORONAVIRUS REPORT. The focus of our planned academic conference Happy Homes: Happy Society? could not be more relevant nor more valuable.

Our concern has been to reflect this relevance and importance and to honour the contributions of our invited academic speakers and selected paper givers. Working with Professor Maria Teresa Russo, Academic Leader for the meeting, and with members of our Scientific Committee, we are delighted that we shall be able to share this high-level content and to give an opportunity for a wider audience to benefit. For it to be a “conference+” experience for everyone.

On Thursday 12th November and Friday 13th November we shall launch Happy Homes: Happy Society on our website with video presentations, beginning with a welcome message by our Chairman, Bryan K Sanderson CBE , followed by an introductory video by Richard, Lord Layard, Emeritus Professor of Economics and Director of the Wellbeing Programme, Centre for Economic Performance at the LSE.

Further video presentations will be given by academic experts Maria Pia Chirinos, Stephen Davies, Maria Bakardjieva, Agnieszka Nogal, Bridgette Wessels and David Thunder over the course of the two days. See here for more details of speakers and their topics.

The full content of these presentations will then be prepared for publication and dissemination, both online, and when circumstances allow, at live events.

One of the greatest benefits of academic meetings is the opportunity they offer for just that –   meeting and talking with fellow experts and scholars. This is hard to replicate online, even with the most people-friendly technology. For this reason, we have had to think long and hard about the best way of providing our selected paper givers with an opportunity to share their work. As at the time of writing the full lifting of travel restrictions still seems a way off, we shall host online workshops early in 2021 for paper givers. Each of the workshops will offer paper givers working in complementary fields a forum to present their work to a relevant expert. Selected papers will be included in the preparation for publication. We at HRF are committed to delivering an opportunity and impact that reflects both the work of contributors and its vital and urgent focus: The Home Now.

So, please keep 12th and 13th November ringed on your calendars and join the launch of what we know will be a great conference+!


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