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AOM/ONE meeting in Boston & the year ahead

  • 1.  AOM/ONE meeting in Boston & the year ahead

    Posted 08-15-2019 13:39

    Dear ONE colleagues,


    I want to thank all of you for contributing to another fantastic program at the Academy of Management, organizations and the natural environment (ONE) division. As the new chair of the ONE division, I particularly want to thank:


    • Jonatan Pinkse in particular for leading our division all of last year and for ensuring that we added off-program events to our experience, including an early morning run and a picnic in the park;


    • Jeff York for creating the program, and our fabulous social event, as well as a stimulating plenary that brought in outsiders to help us understand how to get our results "out there" and create action around them;


    • Ivan Montiel for putting together our PDWs and the welcome reception, which this year was held offsite and was a great success. Several of the PDWs were overflowing with attendees, an indication of how relevant topics like climate change and measuring sustainability have become not just to ONE members, but also to members in other AOM divisions.


    I also want to draw attention to individuals who put together the Doctoral and Junior Faculty consortia, and the Greening team for pushing our agenda on sustainability within our own division and the Academy. We also met some new friends who are going to volunteer their time on our social media efforts and on greening initiatives.


    It seems like the theme this year was that as a division, ONE and its members are more than ready to "walk the talk." Not only are we tired of taking a long time to get our research "out there", we also seem tired of the cognitive dissonance of attending a huge conference with people flying in from all over the place, against the backdrop of an increasingly warming planet and higher and higher emissions.


    We had a stimulating plenary around this topic but many individuals I caught up with would like to see us do more. I hear you. And I want you to know that the focus of my year as Chair of ONE will be to pursue this. Some of the ideas I'd like to see implemented are obvious and easy, others will take more work, and some may not happen this year. But by beginning the process, perhaps we can also begin to move the giant vehicle that is AOM.


    For instance, it seems obvious that all of our social events should be vegetarian. We will implement that strategy next year for the Doctoral Consortium, the Junior Faculty Consortium, the Welcome Reception and the ONE Social.


    In addition, we began a discussion about carbon offsets. Many (other) conferences already include this in their registration process, but so far AOM has not done this. At ONE we'll explore this option, either as an automatic "opt-out" during registration, or else, at the very least offsets among ONE members. Ideas that have been discussed include asking members to forego our alcohol budget, award winners to donate their cheques, and crowdfunding. We have some institutional barriers to overcome, but we will work on them! Already, I'm reaching out to some other smaller divisions who'd like to see some "action" on topics of social and environmental sustainability within the broader Academy. Perhaps by pooling our efforts, we can create a significant minority can instigate change.


    I'd also like us to aim for at least one "virtual" session, whether PDW or Symposium. I will reach out to a number of senior scholars to see if they would be willing to Skype/dial in to Vancouver next year, so that we can have a session with them even if they are not physically present. And ideally, we would be able to stream this session live and take questions from audiences worldwide. This idea presents some technical challenges, but we will also work on those.


    I'm open to hearing other ideas on how ONE can do more to be sustainable. Don't hesitate to contact me.

    Also, for any of this to happen, we need humans! Please, consider volunteering to take on a particular task. Especially important to us in the Executive Team this year is that our wonderful treasures, Norma Schoenherr, will be retiring. As such, we are looking for a NEW TREASURER. If you'd like to be a central part of our Exec team, this is the way to do it. Norma assures us that it's not that hard. And, it also connects you to other AOM divisions. All in all, a great way to network, and a great way to contribute to ONE.


    I can't wait to drive these ideas and our division forward, and I look forward to engaging with all of you both in virtual and real space.


    All the best!


    Judith Walls
    Chair, ONE Division, Academy of Management
    Chair for Sustainability Management, Institute of Economy and the Environment, University of St Gallen