17th ISQOLS Annual Conference in Granada, Spain, 4-7 September 2019
by Natalia Kopylova
University of Johannesburg, South Africa,
24 September 2019
I attended the ISQOLS conference that took place in beautiful Granada. It was my first international conference and I will remember it for the rest of my life.
I was given the opportunity to not only present the topic “Subjective wellbeing in countries in transition: Russia and South Africa” but also be the chair of the session “Well-being around the world” which took place on the 5th of September (the second day of the conference). It was a nerve-wracking moment, considering that I’ve never presented internationally. In my opinion, the session was received successfully by academic researchers and experts that attended parallel session that morning.
During the conference, I was able to attend numerous sessions and workshops that directly relate to my research interests. The speakers provided valuable information that will help me going further. For example, the keynote lectures by Stefano Bartollini and Michael Marmot were inspiring and thought provoking. The first one focused on money, social relationships and people’s happiness. Whereas the second speaker concentrated on health inequalities and social determinants of health. On the first day of the conference (4th of September) I took part in the pre-conference workshop by Lara Fleischer “The future of OECD well-being measures”. It was an interactive session where all attendants participated in the discussion of the proposed headline indicators set. The dashboard of the indicators will assist me further when conducting one of my PhD topics. On the third day (6th of September) I was present at the morning parallel session on “Quality of life among the elderly”. Presenters investigated the elderly’s well-being, their activities and proposed methods that could be used in order to improve their lives. The afternoon session of “Happiness and technology” showed a different perspective on the measurement of the levels of happiness among the people.
Being in the first year of my PhD, this conference gave me great exposure to a plethora of new content and opened the door to many opportunities. I was fortunate enough to meet international academics whose work I have read and cited which was the highlight of my trip. There was always a chance to interact and exchange views during the conference sessions and coffee breaks. This conference was an eye-opening experience that gave me more knowledge and confidence for the future.
I would like to thank the ISQOLS for giving me the Educational Grant. A special thank you to my supervisor, Prof. Talita Greyling, who introduced me to this field and provided such generous support and guidance. It was a great pleasure to be a participant in such a momentous event.