I have been working with the Work and Family Researchers Network (WFRN) to create a day, inside their three day global conference, that practitioners can attend. I have been a member of WFRN since its inception and have enjoyed the great research that has been shared over the years, but I have never been to their conference. So, as I sent out on my volunteer mission to create a practitioner day, the first thing I needed to do was understand what exactly they do at the conference.
This event is huge, with more than 800 global attendees—the majority of whom are researchers—and more than 100 symposiums, panel discussions, posters sessions, and more. As I dove deeper into my quest for understanding, I came away with the realization that an academic conference is a very different animal than my experience at SHRM and World at Work conferences. It has taken much review and a lot of discussion to select from this amazing group of people and organize an experience that creates opportunity for both parties.
I believe the mission has been accomplished: this one-day opportunity offers specially selected breakout sessions with leading researchers who will be sharing new research on issues that impact the workplace. These sessions will provide researchers and practitioners alike an opportunity to discuss current knowledge and opportunities in key areas such as: Flexibility, Work-Life Integration, Generational Issues, Employee Engagement, Global Work-Life, and Overwork.
One of the highlights will be the Reshaping Work, Careers and Life workshop. During this session, practitioners alongside researchers will be invited to sit at one of four table topics and participate in different small group, facilitated discussions. Each participant will be able to attend two of the topic discussions during the 75 minute session. Topics include: Doing Work Differently, Doing Home Differently, Doing Careers and Leadership Differently and Men at Work.
If you could spend the day with a researcher, what would you ask? Join us on June 23, 2016 in Washington D.C. to get answers to your most pressing questions. Learn more about this special day here: https://workfamily.sas.upenn.edu/content/practitioner-day-2016-wfrn-conference.
I hope to see you there!