The Association for Qualitative Research
The Hub of Qualitative Excellence

The AQR Conference, 2017

"Every revolutionary ends up by becoming either an oppressor or a heretic", said French writer and philosopher, Albert Camus. Are you an oppressor or a heretic, neither or both, asks Judy Taylor, who gives an overview of things to look out for at this year's AQR Conference in your search for the answers.

A challenging theme

This year's AQR conference, to be held at the Wellcome Collection on 8th June, built around the theme of change. It has the sneakiest of titles: [R]evolution - Never Standing Still.

Revolution can mean regime change and the establishment of new systems. Uncannily, it can also be about going round in circles. If we are an industry in motion, are we busy reinventing the wheel, or are we fundamentally changing how we work and what we deliver?

This flexible title has been set as a challenge, not a statement, and there should be plenty of debate around what we all think change, in whatever form, means for qualitative research now and into the future.

The chance to explore innovations

The conference will give everybody the chance to explore innovations in our industry. It will also encourage us to think about how we might want to adapt our ways of thinking and behaving, as well as how we evolve our qualitative approaches, techniques and processes.

A day packed with powerful papers

The day will be packed with papers about engagement, connection and the impact of new technology on how we work. Come and hear new thinking on connecting with teenagers, recreating TV shows as a research tool and using research outputs as advertising content. There will even be sessions about comedy and exercise; so opportunities to think hard, talk hard and also to take a step back.

The opportunity to ask the panel

We will be hosting a panel discussion where everybody has the chance to really question the [R]. You will have the chance to hear from and talk to those who practice qualitative research and others who use it.

Presentations from award winners

There will also be presentations from the award winners of the AQR Prosper Riley-Smith Qualitative Excellence Award 2016.

A magical keynote speaker

The keynote speaker, Lee Warren, is one of the UK's most popular magicians. He has a background in sales but has spent 20 years as a magician and mind reader specialising in the psychology of persuasion. It's a combination of skills and experience that's going to make for a fascinating session.