An Invitation to Limerick from the IACCP President

I hope you are as thrilled as I am that we will finally hold a face-to-face conference for the first time since 2019! Over these four years, you surely have learned more about Zoom, recording lectures, and all sorts of virtual technologies than you ever expected to. We are fortunate indeed that our first return to “normal” will take place in the wonderfully salubrious Limerick, Ireland. In the spirit of Irish culture, the IACCP officers have resolved that any conference delegate who can present an officer with a genuine four-leaf clover will receive a free year membership.

The theme of this conference is Global Minds and Hearts: Pathways Towards a Sustainable Future. The theme is apropos in several ways. Globalization has taken a serious hit over the last several years as nations pull inward, backslide from democracy, erect trade barriers, revert to mid-20th century power politics and warfare, and erode the centuries-long Enlightenment project of reshaping the world to enrich the human condition. Sustainability, an idea whose time had better come soon–or else–is increasingly pertinent as a multitude of human-made and natural disasters raise the specter of a diminished planet. If you believe psychology matters (I do), then the path to the kind of sustainable future that we wish for ourselves and our grandchildren runs through minds and hearts. As psychologists, our work is clearly cut out for us.

As we come together to share cross-cultural psychology in Ireland, at the far west end of Europe, we can’t help but reflect on the terrible things happening at the east side of the continent. The war in Ukraine has weighed heavily on IACCP, being a multinational scientific society with members on all sides of the conflict, geographically as well as politically. My sense is that we are at an inflection point in history: going forward, we will need to make choices about whether, and how, to defend our values as scientist-citizens and heirs to the principles of the Enlightenment. The future of the modern experiment lies in our hands. Is liberal democracy sustainable?

Organizing a conference, even a small-ish one, requires a huge investment in time, effort, and creativity. Whenever you see Anca Minescu and the members of her team, please thank them for all they have done, buy them a beer, or give them a four-leaf clover.

See you all in Limerick!

Bill Gabrenya

IACCP President

Does anybody ever read these conference invitation messages? If you read down to the end, click here.