Signs of the Future


25th Standing Conference on Organizational Symbolism, Signs of the Future: Management, Messianism, Catastrophe; Ljubljana, 1-4 July 2007; Deadline 29 Dec 2006

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From: "Campbell Jones" <>
Date: Fri, 25 Aug 2006 09:41:23 +0100

25th Standing Conference on Organizational Symbolism
1-4 July 2007, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Call for Papers

Today the future seems both more promising and more perilous than ever before. What will the future look like, and by what signs will we know it? How are we organizing for the future, and how might we plan for different futures of culture and organization? After various attempts to bring history to an end, today we again sense a mood of possibility. There is, it would seem, a future for the future. What will that future hold?

Contributions are invited that consider any aspects of the future of work, culture and organization, and some indicative topics follow:

  1. Visions of the future: utopias, dystopias, brave new worlds
  2. The future of the economy: prospects for capitalism and the state
  3. Trading on the future: futures market and their philosophical grounds
  4. Spectacle and speculation
  5. Prediction, anticipation, planning
  6. Interruption and discontinuity
  7. Attempts to create new worlds: ‘Another world is possible’ (The World Social Forum)
  8. Mourning, loss, trauma
  9. Memory, nostalgia and the relation to the past: the ‘future within the present’ and the celebration of the past in the name of the future
  10. Responsibility, promise, justice
  11. Mastering the future: chaos and control
  12. Managing risk and event
  13. Planetary futures: the rise of new economic and cultural superpowers
  14. Pensions funds, saving for the future
  15. The end of work, the endlessness of work
  16. The future of nature: ecological sustainability, environmental catastrophe
  17. Responsibilities for not yet born others
  18. The future of diversity, gender and difference
  19. The future of communication: new media technologies, the end of the book
  20. The future of the academy: the business school of tomorrow
  21. Cyborgs and other hybrid bodies
  22. Fictions of the future: science and fantasy
  23. Accessing the future: futurology, divination, sacrifice
  24. Concepts of time past, present and future
  25. The ‘now’, the out of joint and the untimely
  26. The future of the sign: asignifying practices and the war against the signifier

This list is intended to be indicative only. We actively encourage innovative takes on the conference theme, as well as those that focus on more than one of the above areas. With its long tradition of inter-disciplinary reflections, SCOS encourages papers that draw insights and approaches from across a range of disciplines. In addition to scholars working in management and organization studies we welcome contributions from anthropology, sociology, philosophy, politics, art history, communication, film and gender studies. Contributions can be theoretical, empirical or methodological, but should address their subject matter in a critical and rigorous fashion.


We also welcome suggestions for workshops, performances or events. Outlines of proposed workshops should be the same length as a paper abstract and should clearly indicate the resources needed, the number of participants, the time required, the approach to be taken and the session’s objectives.

Open stream

An open stream at SCOS XXV will facilitate interesting presentations of recent developments in research on organizational culture and symbolism that do not connect directly to the conference theme. Papers are therefore invited on any aspect of theory, methodology, fieldwork or practice that is of continuing interest to the SCOS community. If submitting to the open stream, please indicate this clearly on your abstract.


SCOS 2007 will be held at Ljubljana, capital of Slovenia. Situated to the east of Italy and south of Austria, Slovenia is one of the most beautiful countries in Southeastern Europe.  The capital, Ljubljana, with its walled river, castle and outdoor cafés, is a beautiful miniature of Prague.

Daily sessions will take place at the Faculty of Economics at the University of Ljubljana, a large university situated 2 miles from the centre of Ljubljana. Accommodation will be in hotels, a choice of which will be provided to delegates, at a range of prices and locations, and at negotiated conference prices. Social events, receptions and meals will be held around the city, and we hope to hold the conference dinner at Ljubljana castle.

For more information about conference events visit, and for information about Ljubljana,


Abstracts of no more than 500 words should be submitted as e-mail attachments (all common formats accepted) by Friday, 29 December 2006 to


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