Around 2,500 organisational experts from around the world will gather in Edinburgh next month to examine the ways in which organisations operate, and have the potential to address some of the most important public policy issues of our time.

The 35th annual European Group for Organisational Studies (EGOS) Colloquium, taking place on 1–6 July, is the biggest ever event hosted by the University of Edinburgh Business School.

Enlightening the Future - 35th EGOS Colloquium, July 4-6 2019, Edinburgh, UK

Academics from various research communities will explore issues including:

  • The balance between hacking, leaks, and surveillance, and the need for openness in a democracy.
  • The big issues of our digital age, including social media, big data, artificial intelligence, and 3D printing - issues that have huge implications for jobs and skills.
  • The inconsistency in talk of a climate crisis and organisations' failure to act.
  • How organisations can better handle issues such as modern slavery, mental and physical wellbeing, inequality, and gig economies.

The keynote speaker on Thursday 4 July will be former UK Chancellor Alistair Darling, who played a key role in responding to the global financial crisis of 2008.

Professor John Amis, Chair in Strategic Management and Organisation at the University of Edinburgh Business School and chair of the event organising committee, said:

"Edinburgh was a prominent centre of the European Enlightenment of the 18th century. Thinkers of the age promoted reason, advancing the values of liberty, fraternity, and tolerance.

"We seem to be entering a post-truth unenlightened age in which debate based upon research, reason, and respect appears less important than assertion, assumption, and abuse. The 2016 Brexit vote, the election of Donald Trump and a shifting political landscape across Europe are examples of this apparent shift towards a populist approach and away from the Enlightenment ideals of liberalism, rational debate, and pursuit of knowledge.

"The EGOS Colloquium presents an opportunity for Edinburgh and Scotland to once again help shape global thinking and make the case for evidence-based decisions. The debates and actions flowing from this major event will have a positive ripple across the worlds of business and public policy."

Amanda Ferguson, Head of Business Tourism at Convention Edinburgh, said:

"Convention Edinburgh was delighted to support the bid to secure EGOS 2019 and looks forward to welcoming its delegates to the city in July. This will be one of the largest conferences in the city this year, attracting more than 2,000 delegates from across Europe.

"Hosting such a large group in itself will deliver immediate economic impact to Edinburgh in the region of £5.7m - this is estimated spend in hotels, venues, restaurants, shops, bars, and transport over the course of six days. We anticipate though that the legacy of this conference will live on much longer.

"Attracting leaders in the field of organisational studies to the city will drive forward the research and innovation of our academics and practitioners within this field, as well as raise the profile of the University of Edinburgh School on a global stage."

EGOS Colloquium 2019