International Conference of Work & Family
March 1st, 2021
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Work, Family & Sustainability

“Social inequality, climate change and poverty around the world have people questioning our understanding of growth and development. We all are increasingly concerned about the way our decisions affect natural resources, impact the environment and foster economic growth. More voices are claiming that our current patterns of consumption, production and disposal might actually decrease the quality of life for future generations. For these reasons, organizations, individuals and society are ever more interested in building a shared vision to work toward a more sustainable way of life.

In 2015, the United Nations established the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs comprise 17 ambitious goals to be reached by 2030 under the pledge: Leave no one behind. The call to action includes topics such as eliminating hunger, tackling inequality and fighting climate change, collectively addressing social, economic and environmental aspects of sustainable development. With this, leaders should work toward peace and prosperity while ensuring the protection of our planet.

Since then, individuals and society have begun to demand more immediate answers. In 2018, Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish girl, became a global phenomenon after beginning a strike to fight for climate change. Her message went viral and resulted in multiple demonstrations all over the world. Society called upon leaders for answers and demanded that organizations work immediately toward a more sustainable world. It seems we need solutions to accelerate the process of achieving the proposed SDG agenda.

Policies that benefit the environment and individuals’ quality of life are part of efforts toward a sustainable society. The SDGs include physical, mental and social well-being as an objective on the road to healthy lives for all. Lately, the number of working adults with problems related to anxiety, quality of sleep, frustration and depression has risen. Addressing mental health is important in itself, but it is also relevant for organizations and society as part of their contribution to sustainable development. Organizations with employees that enjoy good health and high well-being benefit society. Healthy employees are better equipped to achieve sustainable human development. Therefore, we believe a healthy workplace is part of the path to a healthy world.

Through work-family balance, families and business can foster social responsibility, well-being, role modeling and sustainability. The 9th Biennial International Conference of Work & Family will focus on individual and organizational capacity to manage work and social aspects of life under a sustainable view. We want to encourage research and discussion around solutions to make workplaces more sustainable – that is, that they promote employee well-being, family enrichment and environmental responsibility. We are interested in understanding practices, sociocultural aspects and institutional frameworks that motivate work-family balance and foster social, economic and environmental sustainability.”