On Sep 27 and 28, 2023, the third conference on the interdisciplinary research program on Relational Economics with the topic “Challenges to a New Paradigm“ was held at Roskilde University near Copenhagen, Denmark.
The first conference of this series held at Zeppelin University in Friedrichshafen in 2018 was meant to bring together an international group of researchers from various disciplines, such as economics, cultural studies, political science, network theory, philosophy, business strategy, area studies, etc. in the endeavor of establishing the research program. The follow-up conference organized after a Covid-related hiatus in September 2022 was held at ESSEC Business School in Paris (Cergy) and discussed current economic and social issues from the perspective of relational economics.
This time, again about 30 experts from Europe, America, Africa and Asia presented their research results in the field from the perspective of a wide variety of disciplines. The core task was to challenge the theories presented at the previous two meetings in an endeavor to further improve and refine them, as well as gain insights from new perspectives offered by scholars from other disciplines.
A relational view on economics underlines the complexity and dynamism of current economy and society. In such a view, social and economic values are created in non-linear transactions in dynamic processes of regio-global cooperative networks. In the empirical world, this calls for new forms of relational business models and governance mechanisms to interlink resources from stakeholders from different economic and social systems.
In the view of Relational Economics, economy is in its very nature dynamic, and a relational phenomenon characterized by the impact of interactive links between different system logics, network effects and their governance. To find resilient and innovative practical solutions for these issues the willingness and ability to cooperate is key. It is therefore a field of genuine transdisciplinary research and academic discourse. The aim of the conference was be to contribute to this process and facilitate cross-disciplinary discussion about the current socio-economic challenges currently shared in a networked reality.
Contributions from the fields of economics, business administration, organizational theory, complexity theory, evolutionary economic, relational sociology, political science, and philosophy were both theoretical and empirical. The number of conference participants was limited to foster interdisciplinary discussion as well as an intensive exchange of ideas.
In the wake of previous meetings, the volume “The Relational View of Economics – A New Research Agenda for the Study of Relational Transactions” was published in 2022. (https://www.zu.de/universitaet/presse/publikationen/wieland-relational-transactions.php). A follow-up volume will become available soon.