Prof. Dr. Kobus Maree
University of Pretoria’s

Keynote Title: Is purposeful work about to disappear forever? Connecting conscious knowledge with subconscious insight in self- and career construction to rekindle as sense of meaning and hope in the workplace

Abstract: Dealing successfully with transitions in occupational environments driven by the 4th Industrial Revolution is as challenging as it is key to ‘surviving’ and flourishing in the 21st century. Unsurprisingly, workers exhibit feelings of insecurity and struggle to make meaning and experience a sense of purpose and hope in their (career-)lives. Consequently, a need exists for career counselling theory, research, practice, and policy to be innovated and updated regularly. Practicable career counselling intervention strategies need to be devised consistently in search of helping people kindle and rekindle a sense of making meaning, experience a sense of purpose and hope in rapidly changing work contexts, and move forward.

Brief bio: Prof. Kobus Maree (DEd (Career Counselling); PhD (Learning Facilitation in Mathematics); DPhil (Psychology)) is a full Professor in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Pretoria. Kobus is a member of the following core scientific committees: a. UNESCO Chair on Lifelong Guidance and Counseling, and b. the UNESCO University Network and Twinning (UNITWIN) Chair. In addition, he was elected as a member of the Board of Directors of the International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP) Division 16) in 2018. Moreover, he accepted appointments as a Research Fellow at the University of the Free State and as Professor Extraordinaire at the University of Stellenbosch and the University of Southern Queensland.

Kobus has received multiple awards for his research. In 2014, he received the Psychological Society of South Africa’s Award for Excellence in Science. He was awarded the Chancellor’s Medal for Teaching and Learning from the University of Pretoria in 2010 and has been nominated successfully as an Exceptional Academic Achiever on four consecutive occasions. He has a B1 rating from the National Research Foundation.

Kobus has authored or co­authored 90+ peer­reviewed articles and 75 books/ book chapters since 2010. In the same period, he supervised 38 doctoral theses and Master’s dissertations and read keynote papers at 25+ international conferences, and at 22+ national conferences. He has also presented invited workshops at conferences in 40+ countries on a) integrating qualitative and quantitative approaches in career counselling and b) the art and science of writing scholarly articles. Over the past seven years, he has spent a lot of time abroad as a visiting professor at various universities. He was awarded a fellowship of the IAAP in 2014 and received the Psychological Society of South Africa’s Fellow Award in 2017.