“Young Researchers in Work / Organizational Psychology
and UN Sustainable Development Goals”
Division 15 Students in Psychology is organizing, during the EAWOP Congress, held in Dublin, Ireland, between 17th – 20th of May 2017, a debate titled “Young Researchers in Work / Organizational Psychology and UN Sustainable Development Goals”.
“Sustainable Development Goals” (SDGs) are a set of goals adopted by the United Nations (UN) addressing some urgent problems of today’s society and drawing attention to the importance of “ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages”. Work and Organizational (WO) psychology can contribute to the implementations of SDGs in several ways. The purpose of this debate is to explore the perspective of WO young researchers on SDGs and on how their research can be relevant for the implementation of these goals. Moreover, it aims at debating and producing new proposals on how WO psychologists can and should support the SDGs.
The debate is moderated by Luminita Patras, president of Division 15 Students of IAAP and it includes successful young researchers whose work is related to SDGs from different perspectives. Moreover, our guests are representing different associations that are directly related to research/practice/teaching WO Psychology and are also actively engaged with UN activities. In this sense, the Alliance of Psychology has responded to our invitation, and we count on the presence of Dr. Sabina Hodzic, University Paris Descartes, France (EAWOP), Esther Villajos, University of Valencia, Spain (Division 1 IAAP) and Elias Corneillie, University of Ghent, Belgium (Division 1 IAAP). Moreover, our colleagues from the Global Organization of Humanitarian Work and Organizational Psychology received very positively our invitation for this debate, and the organization is represented by Alexander Gloss, North Carolina State University, U.S.
Moreover, in order to involve Division 15 members in the debate, Division 15 has created the hashtag #iaap15sdg giving the members the opportunity to address their questions to the participants in the debate, through Twitter and Facebook. Their questions will be answered during the debate.
In organizing this debate, Division 15 has extensively received the help and advice of the IAAP's United Nation Representatives Team (Walter Reichman, Judy Kuriansky) who has supported us with helpful material and recommendations.
Since the approval of SGDs, there is an increasing effort of different associations in WO psychology to engage with the international development community. For instance, International Association of Applied Psychology and Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology are both actively represented at the UN by a group of experts who are working on addressing SDGs challenges. For instance, they created programs such as “UN Global Compact”, an initiative for businesses that take actions towards the SDGs.
In general, WO psychologists have developed theories, research and practice that empower them to help advance the SDGs. Specifically, in the literature, the WO psychology is relevant to SDGs because of four issues: goal-setting, working conditions, effectiveness and productivity, and worker well-being. However, there is the need of more specific ideas of actions for young WO researchers and professionals that will enable them to align their interests and objectives with the SDGs and this will be the focus of the debate. Moreover, debating possible directions of action on promoting a healthy life and wellbeing for all stimulates the engagement and commitment of the participants. Creative solutions to problems within the implementation of the SDGs can also be found and explored. Lastly, the debate hopes to create an open space for discussion on further collaborations and joint projects intended to increase the impact of WO psychology through the SDG.