41st EGOS Colloquium, Athens 2025
CALL for Sub-theme Proposals
Creativity that Goes a Long Way
41st EGOS Colloquium, Athens 2025
Creativity has long been conceptualized as the process that results in a novel work (e.g., idea, product, service, offering, procedure, practice, institution, venture) that the social context accepts as useful, tenable, or otherwise appropriate at some point in time. Creative works share the properties of novelty and usefulness but differ substantially in terms of the permanence and magnitude of their social impact. Whereas many creative works are short-lived, some creative works manifest remarkable ‘staying power’ and last for decades, centuries, or even millennia. Whereas many creations are consumed or otherwise used within a limited number of social contexts, until they eventually become obsolete or completely forgotten, other creations become broadly diffused and continue to vividly shape organizational and social life across time and culture.
The general theme of the 41st EGOS Colloquium 2025 invites organizational scholars to challenge established assumptions about creativity as a unified and
homogeneous phenomenon, and to immerse into an imaginative exploration of the vital difference between creativity as an ephemeral
accomplishment and creativity as an immensely significant human act with lasting and widespread consequences for past, present,
and future societies.
The city of Athens offers an ideal setting for this scholarly exploration. At the most creative moments of its 5,000 year-long history, Athens has produced a profusion of ideas, ideals, styles, inventions, institutions, theories, and practices that continue to exert profound influence upon the 21st century world. Through the ages, Athenian society has experienced both stagnant ‘creativity lows’ and glorious ‘creativity peaks’, a fact that has kept its citizens intellectually alert to the contrast between ephemeral and timeless creation.
In the Republic, Plato criticized creators who merely reproduce superficial aspects of fleeting reality. In contrast, in the Symposium, he praised “inventive creators” for producing “beautiful” and “immortal” works that continue to inform the lives and works of numerous future generations. Today, the spirit of the distinction which Plato observed around 385 BC lives on in the proclamation of Nobel laureate Odysseas Elytis: “The clock that concerns us is not that which counts the hours but that which allots the portion of things’ decay and indestructibility, in which, in any case we participate, as we participate in youth or age.”
Although there is much to appreciate (and enjoy) in expressions of creativity that produce ephemeral adornments of daily life, we feel that the time is ripe for organizational scholarship to embark on a more focused and reflective examination of creativity as a significant social act, or as Rollo May put it, creativity as “the direct encounter of the intensively conscious human being with his or her world.”
In a world troubled with environmental crises, scarcity of resources, geopolitical conflicts, economic inequality, social unrest, and artificial intelligence paradoxes, creativity can help our societies generate novel ideas, inventions, and practices that promote environmental sustainability, social welfare, justice, and progress for all.
Organizational scholars can play a pivotal role toward that end by generating nuanced insights about why and how organizations and their members can reorient their creative pursuits toward forms of creative action that ‘go a long the way’, including:
Creativity that makes-to-last
What can we learn from masterful creative works that have stood the test of time?
Why some original creations – from Antigone and Parthenon to democracy and Nicomachean Ethics – last for long periods of time while others fade away quickly?
Is the ‘staying power’ of lasting creations intrinsic to the creations themselves (e.g., their materials, design, or style), the processes involved in their production, the personal characteristics of their creators, the defining elements of their social and industry contexts, or/and the subsequent process(es) of social evaluation and cultural consecration?
What role do materiality, chance, serendipity, and the accumulation of prestige and other forms of symbolic capital over time play in the making of timeless creative works?
What can we learn from comparing products, projects, or strategies of ephemeral vs lasting creativity and innovation in contemporary organizations?
Do virtue ethics play a role in the decision to channel the creative energy of organizational members towards forms of creativity and innovation that search for long-term solutions to persistent or emerging social problems?
Moreover, states of optimal engagement in the creative process tend to be more autotelic than instrumental. What social phenomena (e.g., financialization of the economy) organizational normative standards (e.g., efficiency pressures), leadership processes (e.g., creative leadership contexts), and political forces (e.g., coercive and normative isomorphic pressures) hinder or foster organizational members’ engagement with forms of creative action that seek to integrate the elements of Aristotle’s eudaimonia – personal growth, positive self-regard, and engagement in rewarding activities that promote social well-being?
Creativity that makes-to-vanish
We may be the first generation of humans which celebrates with deep optimistic relief forms of creativity
that generate original products which, shortly after serving their purpose, vanish forever, leaving few or no concrete traces
behind. The lasting effect of creativity in this case does not regard the longevity of the creative works themselves, but
the long-term preservation of the natural, social, or/and cultural contexts in which these creative works are deployed and
This form of creativity is intentionally channelled towards developing such creative products as medical treatments, vaccines, and cosmetic products that leave minimal side effects in the human body; fuels and sunscreen lotions that leave little residual chemicals in the air and the sea; manufacturing materials and procedures that replace or minimize carbon emissions; clean(er) forms of energy; recyclable materials, products, and technologies, to name a few.
What can the study of creative products and large-scale innovations that are purposively ‘made-to-vanish’ after serving their original purpose teach us about organizational creativity as a mindful, responsible, and progressive social act?
What are the similarities and differences between organizing for creativity that ‘makes-to-last’ and organizing for creativity that ‘makes-to-vanish’?
Creativity that preserves creativity
Whereas creativity is usually studied and celebrated as the generation of brand new works, several forms of creativity seek to generate novel solutions that prevent the decay of existing creative works, reverse the damage that the passage of time has inflicted on them, or/and otherwise update and re-express them.
What can we learn about organizational creativity from processes that restore, renovate, revive, or/and reinterpret iconic old works?
To what extent does the ‘staying power’ of legendary creations of the past originate in subsequent processes of creative preservation?
What role do tradition, memory, and collective identity play in forms of creativity that seek to preserve and celebrate past creativity?
What are the procedural, motivational, political, and ideological similarities and differences between preserving versus re-expressing in fresh ways age-old creations?
How can exemplary cases of organizing for creativity that preserves past creativity inspire and inform our discussions about restoring, rethinking, or/and redesigning currently ailing social practices and institutions, such as liberal democracy and social welfare?
Creativity that erases creativity
Creativity may also result, usually unintentionally, in negative or mixed (i.e. both positive and negative) social impact.
What can we learn from forms of creative action that seek to erase, or reverse as much as it is possible, harmful and often unforeseen consequences of past creative action?
How much value do our societies ascribe to forms of creativity that do not generate brand new ‘things’, but cancel the negative consequences of previous creative endeavours?
Moreover, how can we be certain that erasing a past creative work, or parts of it, is the right thing to do, morally, professionally, and socially?
What deontological dilemmas are involved in deciding whether to preserve or erase past creative works, past creative institutions, and past creative histories?
Furthermore, what logics, practices, and values are involved in replacing human-centric creativity with creativity generated by artificial intelligence?
What are the similarities and differences between organizing for human-centric creativity and organizing for creativity propelled by algorithms and other advanced forms of technology?
The 41st EGOS Colloquium is hosted by Alba Graduate Business School at the main campus of the American College of Greece. It is the same campus that hosted the 31st EGOS Colloquium in 2015, a time when Athens struggled with one of the worst socioeconomic crises of its modern history. Returning to Athens ten years later, EGOSians will witness this time the more optimistic outburst of creative energy of a city now riding an upward developmental trajectory.
Founded in Smyrna in 1875 by women missionaries from Massachusetts, and relocated in Athens in 1923, the American College of Greece celebrates in 2025 the first 150 years of its own creative, cosmopolitan, and resilient history.
We cordially invite EGOSians to join our intellectually festive mood in a scholarly celebration of creativity that goes a long way!
Diversity with respect to gender, geographical background, and academic age.
Include at least one convenor with experience in organizing and running a sub-theme at a previous EGOS Colloquium.
Maximum convenor team size is three scholars. Proposals from teams of four or more convenors will not be considered.
EGOS has decided to run more inclusive and sustainable Colloquia. Hybrid sub-themes – combining in presence/onsite and online participants in the same sessions – are one important contribution. Hence, we ask you to please indicate in your sub-theme proposal if you are available for running a hybrid sub-theme and your ideas on how to organize it so to offer an inclusive experience to online participants.
Title and an outline of the proposed sub-theme and the area of interest (maximum of 2 pages).
Include a short biography of each member of the convenor team (i.e., academic background and experience), and how the team meets the criteria laid out above.
Submission period [online via the EGOS website]:
Start: Friday, September 29, 2023
End: Monday, December 4, 2023, 23:59:59 CET
For any questions regarding the 41st EGOS Colloquium 2025, please contact: