An Inclusive Interdisciplinary Project

Due to unforeseen logistical conflicts, the conference has unfortunately been postponed to 2020. New dates to be released shortly.

We live in a time when manipulated images, partisan reporting, and allegations of ‘fake news’ make it increasingly difficult to determine whether individuals and institutions are worthy of our trust. Trust is akin to a leap of faith that depends on a combination of experience, intuition, bravery and sheer hope. As Alphonse Lingis observes, ‘[…] to trust you is to go beyond what I know and to hold on to the real individual that is you.” Interpersonal trust circumvents the uncertainties that may put relationships at risk and transforms these into the most wondrous of alliances as doubt turns to rapture.

Trust allows young children to do things that scare them when a parent or guardian is near to provide protection. Trust inspires lovers to overcome the fear of rejection and the unknown other to embark on exhilarating journeys of mutual discoveries, carnal pleasures, and intimate liaisons. Trust also informs the way relate to those who are not directly related to us. We rely on the professionals with whom we interact to conduct themselves in accordance with the rules and standards that determine proper conduct in their respective fields. We assume healthcare practitioners attending to our needs are not only qualified, but also have our well-being at heart. We assume teachers educate us appropriately with accurate information. We trust experts to tell us about happening in the world and what we should or should not do. In the most basic sense, we trust that everyone else is not going to cause us harm as we go about our daily lives.

However, the possibility for people and institutions we trust to let us down raises the question of whether it is imaginable, or desirable, to fully trust anyone besides ourselves. It has never been more important to take stock of how trust informs our personal and professional lives, as well as the way we operate in our communities. Is there inherent value in trusting and being trusted? Is trust necessary for survival in a society? What are the foundations of trust? What makes a person or institution (un)worthy of trust? How do factors such as culture, historical context and identity shape the way we understand the concept of trust? How does trust operate among non-humans? What are the limits of trust? What are effective strategies for coping with lost trust and rebuilding a trusting relationship?

This inclusive inter-disciplinary conference aims to explore the concept of trust (or the absence of trust) in all its facets with a view to forming a selective publication to engender further collaboration and discussion. Key themes include – but are not limited to –

  • Personal development
  • Family
  • Friendship
  • Love/lust/romance/sex
  • Workplace/professional relationships
  • Strangers
  • Education and learning
  • Physiological and medical perspectives
  • Faith-based traditions
  • Ethical models
  • Marginalised identities (race, class, gender, sexual orientation, etc.)
  • Indigenous cultures
  • Law and legal practices
  • International relations
  • Politics, politicians and political issues
  • Activism and grassroots movements
  • Animals
  • Machines and artificial intelligence
  • Technological innovation
  • Banking, business and enterprise
  • News media
  • Literature, poetry, drama, music, film, television, video, gaming, social media, art

What to Send
The aim of this 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.

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

All submissions will be minimally double reviewed, under anonymous (blind) conditions, by a global panel drawn from members of the Project 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 March 2019.

If your submission is accepted for the conference, a full draft of your contribution should be submitted by Friday 12th July 2019.

Abstracts and proposals may be in Word, PDF, 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) body of proposal, f) up to 10 keywords.

E-mails should be entitled: Trust Submission.

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

Dr Lawrence Buttigieg:
Project Administrator:

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What’s so Special About Progressive Connexions Events?
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.

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.