The Aspen Conference has existed for over a decade focusing on the practice of engaged scholarship in organizational communication. We invite academics and practitioners, graduate students and faculty, and anyone who is passionate about developing new models of engaged scholarship aimed at addressing significant cultural, political, and social issues that confront contemporary society. Your participation may range from simply attending the conference and seeking inspiration from other participants or presenting your own research or practice to conference participants to receive feedback and reflections on how to take it further. The choice is yours. Our conference schedule combines panel presentations regarding the conference theme, breakout sessions for participants to present their work, and case studies to create an interactive integrated experience that allows participants to think deeply about engaged scholarship and how these ideas and practices play out in their professional lives.


The Engaging Communication Conference is a unique opportunity to discuss practical implications to organizational theory. Most specifically, how can we as organizational communication scholars apply what we know to benefit organizations and their members? I have enjoyed and greatly benefited from the small group discussions with scholars and practitioners, each contributing to the future of our field. It's also a great time in a great place! - Karen Myers, University of California, Santa Barbara

The community of Aspen has long provided a hospitable setting for the development of challenging new ideas with important implications for how we conduct ourselves in society. These annual conferences are no exception. I have relished the rare opportunity to participate in detailed, far-ranging conversations with the very best communication researchers and practitioners, as we seek to enact Pam's vision of an academic field of study that really matters in the world. - Eric Eisenberg, University of South Florida

The Engaging Communication conference has the potential to help organizational communication scholars and practitioners engage constructively and collaboratively in anticipating, understanding and addressing the challenges of communicating in 21st century organizations. - Noshir Contractor, University of Illinois, Director Science and Networks in Communities

The Engaging Communication conference on organizational communication and change provided a rare opportunity for an extended exchange of ideas with noted scholars in a pristine mountain setting. The sense of fun combined with serious scholarship led to memorable learning and rethinking of concepts. Getting to know fellow scholars through ongoing interaction was especially pleasant. It was a key experience for me as I revamped my courses on organizational communication for my students; I found myself incorporating ideas and approaches I would not have thought of or felt confident in without attending the Aspen conference. - John Meyer, University of Southern Mississippi

The Engaging Communication conference has become mandatory for me. The planners always provide a program that encourages lively discussion of timely topics in a lovely setting. - Brenda J. Allen, University of Colorado at Denver

One of the blessings of working in a university is the opportunity to both work on radical sophisticated social theories and impact the larger community more directly through working on theoretically guided Interventions in significant organizations. Unfortunately, most discussions only focus on one side or another and those of us doing both have had few opportunities to talk with each other. The Engaging Communication Conferences have been immensely beneficial in the moving of big ideas into practice and using practice to pose new questions. The opportunity to share and discuss experiences--the hopes, joys, dilemmas and frustrations of our interventions--in a deep, safe and honest manner has been truly unique. - Stan Deetz, University of Colorado Boulder

For people in the early stages of crafting scholarly identities, this conference provides a resource that's in very short supply: A forum for discussion with a set of org comm scholars who have practiced and thought about "engaged scholarship" for a long time. I found that the format-along with the stunning mountain surroundings-produced stimulating conversations with scholars like these, allowing me to generate a vision of the sorts of engagement possible in my own work. - Tim Kuhn, University of Colorado Boulder


The 2017 conference explored questions of difference in the crafting, conducting, and assessing engaged communication scholarship. We discussed how we might seek out and involve different voices in the formation and pursuit of engaged research projects.


The 2016 conference focused on ethical, theoretical, and practical problems in engaged scholarship as a pathway to transformation. Dr. Lynn Harter provide the keynote case, a deep dive into her work on narrative and the founding of the Barbara Geralds Institute for Storytelling and Social Impact. Keynote panelists included Drs. Drs. Stephanie Bor, Sarah Dempsey, Rebecca Meisenbach, and Sarah Tracy.


The 2015 conference focused on the theme of resilience with keynote presentations from Dr. Patrice Buzzanell, Dr. Marya Doerfel, Dr. Lisa Keranen, and Dr. Amy O’Connor, and extended case presentations from Dr. Matt Seeger, Melvin Gupton, Dr. Debbie Sellnow, and Dr. Tim Sellnow.


2016 Participants

2016 Participants


The 2014 conference focused on the design of risk and crisis communication with keynote presentations from Dr. Deanna Sellnow, Dr. Tim Sellnow, and Morgan Wickline, and practical strategies for doing research in sensitive settings. [SCHEDULE]

2014 Participants

2014 Participants was designed and is maintained by Dr. Joshua Barbour with assistance from the Steering Committee. The site is based on earlier work by Kathy Griffith and Megan Gallegos. The site is powered by Unless otherwise specified all content rights belong to their creators. 

Image Credits

Downtown Aspen, CO, with view to ski slopes.jpg
Daniel Case
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Rio Grande Trail Aspen 1 and 2, Aspen Mountains, Footbridge on the Rio Grande Trail Aspen Colorado, Aspen Panorama, Aspen Meadows, Aspen Street Shot
Daniel X. O'Neil
Creative Commons 2.0 license.

2014 Aspen Conference Participants 
Joshua Barbour
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0

Ute-Terrace-Cropped, Conundrum-Room-Cropped
The Gant Aspen Colorado

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