EUROPEAN SOCIETY FOR RESEARCH IN ADULT DEVELOPMENT, ESRAD, Conference 2021, 23th to 25th April 2021, on-line and hosted by Jönköping University, Jönköping, Sweden

ESRAD Conference 2021: Länk till annan webbplats, öppnas i nytt fönster.


This renewed call for proposals is for all scholars and practitioners who are engaging in research and practice that is advancing our understanding of adult development. We welcome proposals from all branches of the behavioural and social sciences, and from practitioners working with adults to enhance development and personal growth.

The conference was originally meant to be held in April 2020 but was postponed one year. Due to the continual uncertainty with regards to Covid-19 we have decided to carry through with the conference in an entirely online format. The details can be found below.

With this renewed call for proposal we welcome new submissions in addition to those who have already been accepted. We encourage the authors of these accepted submissions to resubmit updated versions of the already accepted proposals, as well as submit a new proposal for review. Authors who wish to keep their accepted version of the proposal need to send a confirmation to remain as a contributor.

The three key topics of focus for the conference are:

(1) Adult development in relation to education and adult learning,

(2) Adult development in organisations,

(3) Action research and intervention.

In addition to the above key themes, submissions are invited that are relevant to adult development more generally. This conference is being organized in the spirit of open dialogue and the free exchange of ideas. To this end, presenters are being asked to consider opportunities for audience participation and interaction. Also, presenters have the option to propose an innovative session that steps beyond the boundaries of a typical academic presentation.


The online conference will be accessed via Zoom and officially hosted by Jönköping University which is an international university in the heart of Sweden, known for student entrepreneurship, strong research and successful collaborations. Jönköping is a town situated on the shores of lake Vättern.


Judith Stevens-Long

Judith Stevens-Long, Ph.D., is emerita Professor of Human and Organizational Development at Fielding Graduate University where she served as the Malcolm Knowles Chair for Adult Development and Learning and is currently an adjunct. She was also a founding member of the faculty at University of Washington, Tacoma. She is an associate editor of the Journal of Adult Development and author of four editions of Adult Life: Developmental Processes. She has published numerous articles on theory in adult development, personality development in adulthood and assessment of graduate education. Her latest work is on death and dying as an opportunity for continuing development. Living Well Dying Well is available on and she is the creator of, where she posts articles designed to support people facing the last stages of life and their caretakers.

Jonathan Reams

Jonathan Reams, Ph.D., practices the cultivation of leadership through awareness-based consulting, coaching and action research on leadership development program design and delivery in a variety of settings. He has a position at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), serves as Editor-in Chief of Integral Review, and is a co-founder of the Center for Transformative Leadership and of the European Center for Leadership Practice. He brings awareness-based leadership development practices to his work, focusing on how the inner workings of human nature can develop leadership capacities for today’s complex challenges.


23th April

1.30pm to 5pm – Pre-conference workshop: Three levels of leadership culture

5.30pm – ESRAD AGM, Annual general Meeting

6.30pm – Online pre-conference informal meeting

24th April

9am to 5pm – Conference, including keynote lecture

25th April

9am to 4pm – Conference

Details on meetings around special interest groups in relation to adult development will be announced later.


Submissions may be oral presentations or poster presentations. We also welcome suggestions on alternative ways on presenting that facilitates more interaction or discussion among the participants, such as short active workshops, panel or round table discussion on a theme, method or issue in adult development. Both theoretical and empirical proposals are welcome. Abstracts of oral presentation or poster proposals should not exceed 300 words (excluding title, tables, graphs and references). Abstracts should be submitted under the following structure:

  1. Title
  2. Authors
  3. Topic of focus
  4. Type: Oral presentation, poster or other according to the online format
  5. Background and Aim
  6. Method (if theoretical paper; approach to theoretical analysis)
  7. Results (if theoretical paper; key conceptual points)
  8. Discussion and Implications

Author participation limit: Please note to promote broad participation, ESRAD has implemented an author limit. Each author may appear only up to twice in the programme as presenter, once as first author and then a second time as co-author.


January 29th 2021: Deadline for submission of proposals.

February 19th 2021: Notification for acceptance of proposals


Please submit proposals as pdf or Word document to the following e-mail address: Please put "ESRAD Conference abstract 2021" into the subject heading.


The pre-conference workshop, Three Levels of Leadership Culture, will be led by Kristian Stålne with Sofia Kjellström. The workshop is a result from a research project on leadership development and a framework on leadership cultures developed by the Center for Creative Leadership. The workshop introduces the three levels with practical exercises along with insights from the research project.


Although meeting in person is preferable for many reasons, the online format can allow for more interactive forms of presentation and discussion. Instead of following the typical conference format where the presentation takes most of the time on the expense of the follow-up questions and discussions, we ask all presenters to pre-record and upload their presentations before the conference. The conference will then give more time to the discussions and interactions among the participants.

Pre-recording and uploading presentations

The first step is that all authors are asked to pre-record their presentations and then upload them to an online forum to be announced. The presentations will only be accessed by other conference participants. After the conference the authors will be asked to make the presentations public, which will not be mandatory.

We will offer technical support and give tips for the making of the recordings. One suggestion is to use the recording function in Zoom. The presentations shall not exceed 12 minutes and the deadline for uploading is April 9th.

View presentations before the conference

The deadline for upload allows attendees to have two weeks to prepare for the conference by viewing presentations in advance. If you are a presenter, you are expected to view the other presentations in your session, and send interesting question to discuss to the session chair.

Discussion format at the conference

The discussion format is focused primarily on questions and discussion. The session chair introduces the session and suggested main questions. All presenters start by each giving a 3-5 minute introduction to their main results and how that relates to the others. The remaining time will be dedicated to questions and discussion on the key questions in relation to proposals individually as well as in relation to each other. The discussion will be moderated by the respective session chair.

The keynote lectures as well as other introductory presentations will be performed live.


Due to the online format the conference fees are reduced from the originally planned fees for the face-to-face conference. The new fees are:

  • Early Bird Conference Fee: €75 (Up to 31st March 2020)
  • Full Conference Fee: €95 (from 1st April 2020)
  • Student Fee: €50
  • Pre-Conference Workshop Fee: €20

There will be a small additional transaction fee depending on the method of payment.

Participants who have already paid the full fee will be reimbursed for the difference. Authors who choose to withdraw from the conference will be fully reimbursed.


Information on how to register will be available soon on

If you have any questions, please feel free to send a query to address



Sofia Kjellström, Jönköping University

Cecilia Bjursell, Jönköping University

Kristian Stålne, Malmö University


Sofia Kjellström, The Jönköping Academy for Improvement of Health and Welfare, Jönköping University

Cecilia Bjursell, Jönköping University and the National centre for lifelong learning

Kristian Stålne, Malmö University

Oliver Robinson, University of Greenwich
Rebecca Hamer, International Baccalaureate, The Hague

Teresa Maria Sgaramella, University of Padova, Italy
Nick Shannon, Director, Management Psychology Ltd