BSP2020AC Online – Thank You from the conference team

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Thank you everyone for a great event! Our Speakers, Delegates, Keynotes, Chairs, the BSP Exec, University of Exeter, and Sponsors.

To our speakers – without you BSP2020AC Online wouldn’t have happened. When we decided to take the event online toward the end of the Call for Papers, we had no idea how this would land with you. We wanted to honour the quality and diversity of the proposals received, as well as keep academic conversations going during difficult times. So did you. Out of the 100+ proposals submitted we accepted 67, and in the end there were 58 presentations written, recorded, and shared at the event. Thank you so much for all your time, effort, and thought.

To our keynotes Sophie Loidolt, Mariana Ortega, and Dan Zahavi. Your support during the development, promotion, and delivery of the conference was extraordinary, exceeded only by the tremendous live Zoom papers each of you presented at the event. Your talks – each in their own way – were challenging, trenchant, and creative, addressing the conference theme of ‘Engaged Phenomenology’ from different perspectives. Thank you for everything. And thank you to the chairs of the keynote sessions: Luna Dolezal, Darian Meacham, and Keith Crome. You did a brilliant job of mediating the audience discussion sessions, giving them something of the verve and vitality of a face-to-face event. Thank you also to the British Society for Phenomenology Executive Committee, our host the University of Exeter, and our sponsors Egenis and the Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health for backing us every step of the way.

To our delegates – 90ish of you in the end! Thank you for joining the speakers, keynotes, chairs, and conference team at BSP2020AC, and for bringing your ideas, concerns, and energy to the event. During the conference there were some 700 questions asked, answers given, and discussions initiated by our 150 or so attendees. Your engagement with the conference papers was essential in making the event a success: you have offered encouragement, provided insights, and suggested new and additional avenues of research – we truly hope you got as much out of it as you put in.

In short, we really hope you all have enjoyed the event as much as we did! We think the format of the ‘live’, timetabled event worked out really well. We believe it had some of the feel of face-to-face conferences we are all more familiar with, even given the limitations of the online experience. After that, if we had been all together in a room somewhere we would have said goodbye to each other, with people making their way home via trains, planes, and automobiles. And that would be lovely. Except, we know many of us would not have been able to make a face-to-face event for any number of reasons. Some of our speakers would not have been able to present their work, and lots of our delegates would not be able to see those presentations, ask questions and enter into discussions. And if you had been in one room watching an awesome panel while another awesome panel was going on in another room, those presentations would forever remain just font in a programme circled in pencil with a question mark next to them… the online format of the conference with Catch-Up week has allowed us all to see everything we wanted and to continue conversations over many days.

The conference has been special to us in many ways. Perhaps most significant has been the launch of the BSP Impact and Wolfe Mays Essay Prize legacy initiatives. The principle aim of the society is to promote research and awareness in the field of phenomenology, and both these activities have the objective of fulfilling this mission, Impact by stimulating and facilitating collaboration between academics and practitioners, the Prize by encouraging and promoting the work of PhD students and Early Career Researchers. We will have to wait some months to see how Prize submissions go, but we have already exceeded expectations with expressions of interest for the Impact initiative. We’ll be launching both the activities to the full membership of the BSP and the world at large over the coming months. Perhaps for some of you BSP2020AC will only be the beginning of something?

In the coming weeks the BSP will begin to think about next year’s annual conference. Any of you that have attended one of our annual conferences before will know we always ask for feedback and consult with you about future events – so look out for something from us on that in a couple of weeks or so. If you don’t already, you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, the links are here on BSP Online where we will continue to share our activities and everything we can about the world of phenomenology. For now, thank you once again for everything…

Best regards
The conference team: Luna, Jessie, Hannah, Matt, and Dave.