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The Meaning of Life
An Inclusive Interdisciplinary Conference

Saturday 4th April 2020 – Sunday 5th April 2020
Lisbon, Portugal

We live in an age of global change, the culmination of a process that has been going on for more than two hundred and fifty years. Impressive technological, scientific and cultural achievements seem to have been accompanied by a deep erosion of the sense of meaning and the possibility of meaning. Along with economic well-being, enormous existential difficulties are revealed which are expressed in the demand for meaning. Along with the empowerment of and rights to the individual, there is an ongoing breakdown of communal life leading to loneliness and a crisis of meaning that has political and social implications.

After years of little interest, questions about the meaning of life and the forces that shape our perspectives on this issue are now receiving renewed interest in the academic, professional, practitioner, personal and other spheres. However, it seems that we are still far from understanding not only these questions and the answers to them, but also the tangible impact they have on the demands people have for meaningful life.

This conference recognises the value of interdisciplinary engagement as a basis for exploring the full range of questions about the meaning of life and the possibility of living a meaningful life. Accordingly, we invite anyone who has a research, professional, practical or personal interest in the topic to contribute to these interdisciplinary dialogues on critical issues around meaning and life with a view to forming an innovative interdisciplinary publication to engender further research and collaboration.

Key Topics

The conference offers a springboard for participants from diverse disciplines, professions, practices and walks of life to engage in interdisciplinary dialogues on topics that include, are not limited to:

  • spiritual/religious/philosophical perspectives: ethics, morality, faith and meaningful life (and afterlife)
  • beliefs about the meaning of life across historical periods and cultures
  • impact of suffering and fear on attitudes about the meaning of life
  • death, suicide and the limits of meaning in life
  • role of education in shaping beliefs about the meaning of life and how to live a meaningful life
  • the relationship between happiness and the meaning of life
  • strategies for finding meaning in life: activism, creativity, work-life balance, mediation, family, friends, etc.
  • health, wellness and the meaning of life
  • impact of film, television, social media, news, music, literature and the arts on meaning of life
  • the natural world and the meaning of life: nature and animals as source of meaning, impact of climate change/devastation on sense of meaning, etc.
  • best practice in occupations concerned with helping people live meaningful lives (clinicians, life coaches, therapists, clergy, ethicists, etc.)
  • material goods and the meaningful life
  • socio-political and economic influences on beliefs about life’s meaning and being able to lead a meaningful life
  • factors the limit our inclination or ability to question the meaning of life
  • relationship between cultural values and the meaning of life

What To Send

The aim of this inclusive interdisciplinary conference and collaborative networking event is to bring people together and encourage creative conversations in the context of a variety of formats: papers, seminars, workshops, storytelling, performances, poster presentations, panels, q&a’s, round-tables etc. Creative responses to the subject, such as poetry/prose, short film screenings/original drama, installations and alternative presentation styles that engage the audience and foster debate are particularly encouraged. Please feel free to put forward proposals that you think will get the message across, in whatever form.

At the end of the conference we will be exploring ways in which we can develop the discussions and dialogues in new and sustainable inclusive interdisciplinary directions, including research, workshops and publications which will help us make sense of the topics discussed during the meeting.

300 word proposals, presentations, abstracts and other forms of contribution and participation should be submitted by Friday 8th November 2019. Other forms of participation should be discussed in advance with the Organising Chairs.

All submissions will be at least double reviewed, under anonymous (blind) conditions, by a global panel drawn from members of the Project Team, The Development Team and the Advisory Board. In practice our procedures usually entail that by the time a proposal is accepted, it will have been triple and quadruple reviewed.

You will be notified of the panel’s decision by Friday 22nd November 2019.

If your submission is accepted for the conference, a full draft of your contribution should be submitted by Friday 21st February 2020.

Abstracts and proposals may be in Word, RTF or Notepad formats with the following information and in this order:
a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in the programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) type of proposal e.g. paper presentation, workshop, panel, film, performance, etc, f) body of proposal, g) up to 10 keywords.

E-mails should be entitled: Meaning of Life Submission

Where To Send

Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to the Organising Chair and the Project Administrator:

Shimon Azulayshimon.azulay@mail.huji.ac.il
Len Capuli (Project Administrator): lisbonmeaning@progressiveconnexions.net

Details and Information

 

Registration Fees

The cost for attending the conference is £295/€335. This includes:

~ conference registration fee
~ book of Abstracts
~ a discounted rate for any of the outputs emerging from the event
~ Saturday coffee/tea on arrival
~ Saturday morning coffee and biscuits
~ Saturday lunch
~ Saturday afternoon tea and biscuits
~ Saturday evening wine and drinks reception
~ drinks in the conference room
~ Sunday morning coffee and biscuits
~ Sunday lunch
~ Sunday afternoon tea and biscuits
~ drinks in the conference room

Calendar of time-lines and deadlines

Friday 8th November 2019
Abstract/Presentation submission

Friday 22nd November 2019
Acceptance/Rejection notification

Friday 13th December 2019
Booking Form Submissions

by Friday 10th January 2020
Circulation of Draft Programme
Invoices issued

Friday 7th February 2020
Final date for payment

Friday 21st February 2020
Circulation of Revised Programme
Full draft of presentation to be submitted

Monday 9th March 2020
Final programme to printing

The conference is being held at the 4* Hotel Real Palacio, Lisbon, Portugal

Rua Tomás Ribeiro 115
1050-228 Lisboa - Portugal
Tel: (+351) 213 199 500; Fax: (+ 351) 213 199 501

We have reserved rooms for delegates at the conference hotel on favourable terms and conditions. On having a proposal accepted for presentation at the conference, and on the completion and submission of a booking form, a special booking form will be sent to you along with instructions on how to use it in order to access these terms.

Single Superior Room - Single Occupancy €120 per night including breakfast and all taxes
Double Superior Room - Double/Twin Person Occupancy €135 per night including breakfast and all taxes

Details will be sent to delegates on how to access these rates once receipt of the booking form has been confirmed.
Accommodation bookings are made directly with the hotel, not Progressive Connexions. All payments for accommodation are made directly to the hotel as well. A credit card will be required on booking.
You are free to find alternative accommodation. We are offering these arrangements as a convenience to folks who would like to be at the conference venue.

The conferences, meetings and events we organise are not single ‘one-off’ events. They are part of a continual stream of conversations, activities and projects which grow and evolve in different directions. At the conclusion of every meeting, the question needs to be considered: What happens next? After all, there is little personal, educational or professional benefit in gathering people together from around the world and sharing all sorts of fascinating conversations if nothing further is going to happen as a result!

The possible ranges of ‘outputs’ which can productively flow from our meetings is a dynamic response to the dialogues, issues and engagements that take place during the events themselves. And as our meetings are attended by folks who come from different backgrounds, contexts, professions and vocations, what people would like to see developed as a result of our time spent together will always be potentially diverse, fluid and appropriate to what took place.

One range of possible outputs involves publication as a way of continuing the work of a project. Where publishing is a possibility, it is directly referenced in the Call for Papers, Presentations and Participation. Other possible outputs may include, but are not limited to:
~ social media platforms such as Facebook pages and groups, blogs, wikis, Twitter, as vehicles for continuing dialogues, disseminating knowledge and information and bringing new people into the work of the project
~ reviews; reports; policy statements; position papers/statements; declarations of principles
~ proposals for meetings, workshops, courses, schools
~ collaboration gateways, platforms and media
~ personal and professional development opportunities: faculty development; mentoring programmes; cultural cruises; consultancies; summer schools; personal enrichment programmes

The range of outputs is dependent on how little or how much you would like to become involved. Don’t let the end of the meeting signal the end of your involvement with the project. Please get involved, bounce ideas around, think out loud – we’d love to hear about what you’d like to do and are always happy to talk about what is possible.

Payment Process
Participants must complete the online booking form by Friday 13th December 2019 at the latest.
After the deadline has expired, an invoice will be drawn up and sent to you; the invoice will contain all the necessary information for you to pay by bank transfer, cheque, Paypal or credit card.
The invoice must be settled by Friday 7th February 2020.

It is the responsibility of delegates to ensure that payment is made by this date. Failure to receive payment will result in your booking being cancelled.

Payment Methods
There are a number of ways payment can be made.

Cheque
Payment can be made by cheque, in GBP (£ sterling) only and must be drawn against a bank with headquarters in the United Kingdom. Cheques should be made payable to ‘Progressive Connexions’ and sent, with a copy of the booking form, to:

Dr Rob Fisher
Progressive Connexions
Priory House
149b Wroslyn Road
Freeland
Oxfordshire. OX29 8HR
United Kingdom

We regret we cannot and will not accept cheques made payable in currencies other than GBP Sterling.

Bank Transfer Payment may be made using bank transfer. There will be an option to pay in either GBP (£ Sterling) or Euro (€). Full details to enable a bank transfer are made available on your conference invoice. If paying by this method, you must agree to pay all charges at the sending and receiving banks.

By Invoice
You may request that an invoice be sent to you which you may forward to your institution. It is your responsibility to ensure that the invoice is paid before the payment deadline.

Online
Your invoice will include a link to pay through a secure and encrypted online payment system. Please click the link to use this method.

Credit Card
Payment may also be made using credit card. We cannot accept American Express or Discovery as a form of payment.

Paypal
Payment may also be made using Paypal. If paying by this method please send us the email account connected with your Paypal account and we will forward you a request for payment.

IMPORTANT
We strongly recommend that all delegates take out some form of travel or other insurance in relation to any and all travel arrangements or accommodation booked in regard to the conferenceThis should include cancellation insurance in the event of unforeseen or unexpected circumstances.

All fees are payable in advance. No delegate will be permitted entry to the conference if an invoice is still unpaid.

What’s so Special?

A fresh, friendly, dynamic format – at Progressive Connexions we are dedicated to breaking away from the stuffy, old-fashion conference formats, where endless presentations are read aloud off PowerPoints. We work to bring you an interactive format, where exchange of experience and information is alternated with captivating workshops, engaging debates and round tables, time set aside for getting to know each other and for discussing common future projects and initiatives, all in a warm, relaxed, egalitarian atmosphere.

 

A chance to network with international professionals – the beauty of our interdisciplinary events is that they bring together professionals from all over the world and from various fields of activity, all joined together by a shared passion. Not only will the exchange of experience, knowledge and stories be extremely valuable in itself, but we seek to create lasting, ever-growing communities around our projects, which will become a valuable resource for those belonging to them.

 

A chance to be part of constructing change – There is only one thing we love as much as promoting knowledge: promoting real, lasting social change by encouraging our participants to take collective action, under whichever form is most suited to their needs and expertise (policy proposals, measuring instruments, research projects, educational materials, etc.) We will support all such actions in the aftermath of the event as well, providing a platform for further discussions, advice from the experts on our Project Advisory Team and various other tools and intellectual resources, as needed.

 

An opportunity to discuss things that matter to you – Our events are not only about discussing how things work in the respective field, but also about how people work in that field – what are the struggles, problems and solutions professionals have found in their line of work, what are the areas where better communication among specialists is needed and how the interdisciplinary approach can help bridge those gaps and help provide answers to questions from specific areas of activity.

 

An unforgettable experience – When participating in a Progressive Connexions event, there is a good chance you will make some long-time friends. Our group sizes are intimate, our venues are comfortable and relaxing and our event locations are suited to the history and culture of the event.

Ethos

Progressive Connexions believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract or proposal for presentation.

 

Please note: Progressive Connexions is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence, nor can we offer discounts off published rates and fees.

Progressive Connexions is a not-for-profit network inspiring inclusive interdisciplinary research, publishing and collaboration

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