[Excerpt] As a first-time experience, I would have to admit that there was much about the virtual AOM that I enjoyed. Regarding the issues I raised in my introduction, I would say that my education was enhanced. I was reminded of ideas that had lain dormant and I was introduced to new ideas that were easy to find in the online format. I truly enjoyed being able to jump in and out of sessions. I think the two-dimensional nature of participants’ involvement was a great equalizer. When managed well, I think this meant that organizers were able to give voice to many participants who otherwise might not have attended or might’ve been implicitly shut out of the discussion. By not having to spend money on traveling to the site and paying for meals and accommodations while there, I believe that many people participated who otherwise would have been found it prohibitively expensive. As for sustainability, I believe that the AoM’s carbon footprint was much reduced, compared to what would’ve happened if we’d all converged on Vancouver in August.
I’ve been haunted by the question of what sustains belief in success among the unsuccessful ever since I read Reinhard Bendix’ magisterial book, Work and Authority in Industry. Bendix wrote about the economic ideology that kept millions of people in England, the United States, and other Western