Our project conference took place on October 20-21, 2021
Tampere, Berlin, Atlanta, Hajdúböszörmény, & Africa Online hubs
The conference was organized based on a Decentered Satellite Conferencing (DSC) model, following three overarching principles: (1) to reduce the environmental impact of our research and artistic activities on the planet, (2) to trouble established modes of conferencing and create innovative dissemination of cross-national and collaborative research, and (3) to work towards more equal engagements and production of knowledge within and beyond academia. We are acutely aware of the challenges posed by the current times that restrict but also require us to reconsider and minimize air travel. At the same time, we acknowledge the significance of actual personal connections among people during and outside formal conference sessions. This is the reason why our conference blended online and onsite encounters in environmentally and socially sustainable ways.
DSC is an experiment in enabling participants to connect virtually and on a regional level at one of the five hubs (see the locations above). The choice of the hub locations reflects the principle of involving researchers across disciplinary fields, taking account of potentially untapped possibilities for collaboration (such as with civil society actors and activists), and reaching out and engaging with both already active and new project participants – academics and artists – globally.
Each hub announced its own local Call for Papers to connect, contextualize, and create new directions for engaging with the project’s original theme.
Members of the organizing committee
Dr Nadine Bernhard (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, main organizer of Berlin Hub, Germany)
Dr Kathleen Falkenberg (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, main organizer of Berlin Hub, Germany)
Dr Raisa Foster (Tampere University, Recollect/Reconnect, co-organizer of Tampere Hub, Finland)
Professor Kathrin Hörschelmann (University of Bonn, main organizer of Berlin Hub, Germany)
Professor Zsuzsa Millei (Tampere University, PI of Recollect/Reconnect, main conference organizer)
Vargáné Dr Nagy Anikó (University of Debrecen, main co-organiser of Hajdúböszörmény Hub, Hungary)
Associate Professor Jennifer Patico (Georgia State University, main organizer of Atlanta Hub, USA)
Associate Professor Nelli Piattoeva (Tampere University, co-PI of Recollect/Reconnect, main conference organizer)
Professor Sándor Pálfi (University of Debrecen, main co-organiser Hajdúböszörmény Hub, Hungary)
Norma Rudolph (Tampere University, main organizer of Africa Online Hub)
Professor Iveta Silova (Arizona State University, co-PIi of Recollect/Reconnect, main conference organizer)
Eleonora Teszenyi (The Open University (UK), co-organizer of the Hajdúböszörmény Hub, Hungary)
Our previous experiences with carbon neutral conferencing
We have recently organised a panel on carbon neutral conferencing, which served also as a good practice for our satellite conference during October 2021. This recent panel was a part of the virtual extension of the Comparative and International Education Conference scheduled to take place in Miami in March 2020. Due to the Covid-19 epidemic, the whole conference, including keynote sessions, special meetings, and more than 200 panel presentations, have been transformed to vCIES, an online conference. Two people from our project had a major role in this experiment, Iveta Silova served as vCIES Program Chair and Zsuzsa Millei as Co-chair of the virtual conference.
The panel, Academic Conferences during Climate Crisis: Agora on Carbon Free and More Equal Conferencing, has brought together the CIES community to re-examine how we conceive and value academic conferences, and to rethink – and recreate – academic engagements during climate emergency that requires immediate action. During this panel, the aim was to interrogate ways in which an experimental modality of carbon zero conferencing could help us to both question the prevailing academic (infra)structures, epistemologies, valuation systems, and communications patterns, while enabling us to envision and engage in academic work differently.
We have learned tremendous know-how during this event which will surely benefit our project conference.
Watch the recording of the Agora session .