Conference "The impacts of NWoW on management practices" OAP2018

Pictures of the cocktail here


As F.X. de Vaujany, founding member and almost creator of the OAP conference, with Nathalie Metev, explained brilliantly during this 8th edition: choosing to organize work meetings at a meeting point left unknown until the last minute, and then stroll side by side, as a group, each at their own rhythm, is in itself a strategy. It means creating the opportunity for new and surprising interactions leading to the development of innovating projects, as de Vaujany offers to individuals and businesses with his Open Walked Event-based Experimentations (OWEE).

In the same way, as two PHD students from the Eindhoven University of Technology presented in one of the workshops:  the increasing digitalization of our working environment has a concrete impact on the kind of spaces we will favour for our meetings, depending on our age, the nature of the meeting, our place within the organizational structure, our intercultural proficiency, or even our gender.




Indeed, « new ways of working » has been the theme of these three fascinating days of conference, which took place at the Vrij Universiteit of Amsterdam (VUA), from the 20th until the 22nd of June 2018. This international conference finds its origin in the « Organizations, Artifacts & Practices (OAP ) » seminar, created in 2011 and launched in Paris, from the joint initiative of the Paris Dauphine University and the London School of Economics (LSE), succeeded by the King’s College for this latest edition. It focuses on the link between materiality, spatiality and social dynamics. For example, what really is the role of buildings, urbanism, objects, new technologies, applications, gestures and bodies in social, organizational and political dynamics? To best answer this question, the conference is multidisciplinary. It gathers professors, practitioners and PHD students from a variety of disciplines such as sociology, philosophy, architecture, urbanism, psychology, engineering, and economics. The OAP mobilizes each year between 80 and 120 researchers from about twenty countries and this year the threshold of 150 participants was exceeded, thanks to the dynamic partnership with the Vrij Universiteit of Amsterdam and the Hague University of Applied Sciences.  This event was the opportunity for the French academic community, which represented 30% of the total participants, to meet with the local academic community. This allowed for especially fruitful debates, facilitated by the informal nature of the exchanges.

The Consul General of France, Anne Genoud, opened the Residence for the occasion, to close this seminar in a convivial and cooperative fashion, in connection with the French Institute and the French Embassy in the Netherlands. She reminded the attendees of these 4 universities’ excellence in education and research:  « They are amongst the bests in international or national rankings and are indeed the symbol of the added value brought about by a bilateral or trilateral cooperation, to boost larger European projects. »


The success of the partnership between Dauphine, the Vrij Universiteit, the Hague University of Applied Sciences and King’s College can also be measured through the upcoming publication of a collective work to be published by the renowned American publishing house Palgrave-Macmillan as well as articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals, stemming from this conference workshops and multi-speaker presentations.

The OAP Conference also resonates with our sixteenth Erasme-Descartes conference, which will take place in Paris on the 15th and 16th of November. This annual Franco-Dutch conference will focus this year on Artificial Intelligence and its scientific, societal and ethical challenges in terms of mobility, health and culture. One hundred and fifty leading figures from the world of research, business and civil society will gather on this occasion. This conference has the particularity of including fourteen « young talents » who present their own vision and take on the conference’s debates, in conjunction with a researcher.

The mobility programmes and awards developed by the French Embassy and its partners can also be interesting in the continuity of this conference’s works, as Sytze Kingma, the conference’s organizer on the Vrij Universiteit of Amsterdam’s side, expressed with enthusiasm and determination.

Indeed, the partnership will continue, especially through France Alumni Netherlands, the network for French higher education’s former students established in the Netherlands, which will be launched this year. Like the OAP Conference, France Alumni fosters ties with the economic world in its broadest sense. In this instance, it is not question of the « right to disconnect », such as presented by the German researcher Timon Beyer, invited as keynote speaker during the conference, but rather to connect and reconnect as a new way of working!

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