History was made in Tallinn on Thursday with the opening of the 34th European Group for Organizational Studies Colloquium. Involving as many as 2,000 delegates, it sets the record as the largest international scientific gathering Estonia has hosted to date.

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The three-day event, organised locally by the Estonian Business School (EBS), is being attended by academics from many of the world's top universities and research institutions as well as by representatives of the major scientific journals.

“We're absolutely thrilled that a congress of this magnitude is taking place in Tallinn this summer. It's another sign that Estonia's expanding capacity – and growing reputation – have made the country a budding hotspot for large association meetings,” said Kadri Karu, Managing Director of the Estonian Convention Bureau.

The colloquium's programme is full of surprises – quite literally. The theme of the gathering is the role that surprises play in the functioning of organisations.

“Surprises form an important part of the organisation’s development: the ability to surprise, the experience of being surprised and the ability to adequately handle unexpected and surprising situations play a major role, especially when the organisation faces massive changes,” Kätlin Pulk, head of the Department of Management at EBS and academic director of the conference, said in an EGOS press release.

The event's keynote speaker is Tor Hernes, professor of organisation theory and director of the Copenhagen-based Centre for Organizational Time. Another much-anticipated presenter is Cambridge University professor Mark de Rond, who researches the functioning of organisations in extreme circumstances.

More than 60 sub-themes will be discussed at various sessions over the three days. Additionally, a portion of the delegates arrived early to attend pre-colloquium workshops, which began on July 2nd. Meetings take place at EBS as well as at Tallinn University, with the Tallinn Creative Hub serving as the site of the EGOS dinner and party on the evening of July 6th.

Founded in 1973, the Berlin-based European Group for Organizational Studies is a worldwide scientific, network-based association focusing on the field of organisation research. It has more than 2,500 members in 60 nations.