Conference explores flourishing in the post-pandemic workplace

3 min read

The SHINE Summit returns to campus this fall bringing together researchers, leaders of industry, and public policy advocates to explore what organizational flourishing means in the post-pandemic workplace.

“Revisiting the Productivity Dilemma: The Humanity of Work and What It Means for Sustainable Business” will feature critical interdisciplinary conversations on how the meaning and metrics of work have changed and the opportunity this provides to rethink how we measure performance, productivity, and business success.

Kicking off with an opening keynote from Tyler VanderWeele, director of the Human Flourishing Program, on “The Business Case for Flourishing,” the summit includes perspectives from across the University.  Harvard Business School’s Ranjay Gulati, professor of business administration, will speak about corporate purpose and social well-being while  Ashley Whillans, assistant professor of business administration, will address time and productivity in an era of attention scarcity. Harvard Chan School of Public Health’s Linda Powers Tomasso will discuss what a “good workplace” looks and feels like today given how routines and rituals organized around place were upended.  Also delivering keynotes are Vincent Stanley, director of philosophy at Patagonia, where he has been since 1973, will discuss how a company understands its purpose and translates it across all parts of the business, and Erika Karp, executive managing director and chief impact officer at Pathstone, will address valuing people and performance in capital markets.

The SHINE research team — Piotr Białowolski, Nidhi Ghildayal, Heloisa Jardim, and Dorota Węziak-Białowolskawill share their latest research on the workplace, including prospective associations between social connectedness and mental health; the importance of a psychological climate for caring and mental health, well-being, and work-related outcomes; the relationship between how we view the importance of different domains of flourishing and our subsequent experience of well-being; COVID’s toll on our social, emotional, and physical health; the connection between flourishing and productivity; cultural differences in our perception of flourishing; and the association between character strengths and health.

“It is such an important time to be studying flourishing at work and the role of business in advancing well-being. Understanding the drivers and levers for change, the role of leadership and organizational culture, the connection to corporate goals and purpose, occupational safety and supply chain resilience … these are critical for public health,” says Eileen McNeely, director of SHINE.  “By convening the SHINE Summit, we aim to provide a forum for the visionary interdisciplinary thinking and innovative solutions we need to promote flourishing for all.”

The SHINE Summit takes place Oct. 3-4 on campus.