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[Xmca-l] Re: A New Type of Academic Conference



Excellent, Greg.

Best,
Luísa

2016-10-05 16:54 GMT+01:00 Greg Thompson <greg.a.thompson@gmail.com>:

> I can't recall if this went out to this listserve. Apologies if it is a
> repeat, but this seems like it might be an ideal way to organize a virtual
> CHAT conference considering that we have people from all over the world who
> like to CHAT but who don't always have money to travel to ISCAR.
>
> -greg
>
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>
> *From:* UCSB EHC [mailto:ehcfellow@gmail.com]
>
> *Sent:* Tuesday, October 04, 2016 9:10 PM
> *To:* Tami Pugmire <tamipugmire@byu.edu>
> *Subject:* Please circulate within your department: A New Type of Academic
> Conference
>
>
>
> Dear Tami Pugmire,
>
>
>
> Would you be so kind as to forward this email to faculty and graduate
> students in your department, as well as anyone else who might be
> interested?
>
>
>
> This is a follow up email to one I sent out earlier this summer and
> outlines an eco-friendly conference approach that we have used at UC Santa
> Barbara that has a nearly nonexistent carbon footprint. In order to
> encourage other groups to try this conference model, we have created a
> White Paper / Practical Guide that explains our approach.  Details are
> below.
>
>
>
> Thanks!
>
>
>
>  Ken
>
>
>
>
>
> The environmental cost of flying to and from academic conferences is
> staggering. When we recently calculated the total greenhouse gas (GHG)
> emissions for the UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) campus, we discovered that
> roughly a third of our GHG emissions come from air travel to conferences,
> talks, and meetings. Putting these GHG emissions into human terms, this is
> equal to the total annual carbon footprint of a city of 27,500 people
> living in India. And UCSB is just one of nearly 5000 colleges and
> universities in the U.S. alone.
>
>
>
> This issue can also be approached personally. When Peter Kalmus, a climate
> scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, did the math for a recent
> article in Grist
> <http://grist.org/climate-energy/a-climate-scientist-
> who-decided-not-to-fly/>,
> he found that two-thirds of his personal GHG emissions annually came from
> air travel to and from conferences and meetings.
>
>
>
> At UCSB we have been experimenting with a new type of nearly-carbon neutral
> (NCN) conference that takes place online (the talks are prerecorded; the
> Q&A sessions interactive) and which has GHG emissions that are less than 1%
> of its traditional fly-in counterpart. Because we use open source software,
> such a conference can be staged for nearly zero cost. An individual
> familiar with WordPress installations should be able to have a conference
> space (website) prepared in less than a day.
>
>
>
> My reason for writing is that we have created a White Paper / Practical
> Guide that both explains the rationale behind this NCN conference approach
> and also details how to coordinate such an event:
> http://ehc.english.ucsb.edu/?page_id=14080. If you are planning a
> conference in 2016-17, we urge you to consider this approach. Please note
> that this is not in any way a commercial venture. We are just a group of
> faculty interested in doing what we can to help mitigate our profession's
> worrisome impact on climate change by freely sharing our experience.
>
>
>
> Note that this conference model differs significantly from a typical
> webinar, as it does not use Skype, Zoom.us, WebEx, GoToMeeting, or any such
> real-time teleconferencing solution. In a nutshell, here is how it works:
>
>
>
> 1) *Speakers record their own talks*. This can be A) a video of them
> speaking, generally filmed with a webcam or smartphone, B) a screen
> recording of a presentation, such as a PowerPoint, or C) a hybrid of the
> two, with speaker and presentation alternately or simultaneously onscreen.
> Because they are prerecorded, talks are closed captioned for
> greater accessibility.
>
>
>
> 2) *Talks are viewed on the conference website*. Once they are made
> available on the conference website, the streaming talks can be viewed at
> any time. Talks are organized into panels (i.e. individual webpages) that
> generally have three speakers each and a shared Q&A session – just like a
> traditional conference.
>
>
>
> 3) *Participants contribute to an online Q&A session*. During the time that
> the conference is open, which is generally two or three weeks, participants
> can take part in the Q&A sessions for the panels, which are similar to
> online forums, by posing and responding to written questions and comments.
> Because comments can be made at any time in any time zone, scholars from
> across the globe can equally take part in the conference.
>
>
>
> For an example of this approach, please visit the website from our May 2016
> NCN conference on "Climate Change: Views from the Humanities," which
> provides a full archive of the event, including all talk videos and Q&A
> sessions: http://ehc.english.ucsb.edu/?page_id=12687.
>
>
>
> To see this model in action (and to take part in the Q&A sessions, if you
> like), visit the website for our next NCN conference, “The World in 2050:
> Creating/Imagining Just Climate Futures,” which will take place from
> October 24 to November 14, 2016: http://ehc.english.ucsb.edu/?
> page_id=14895.
> Keynote speakers include Bill McKibben, Patrick Bond, Erik Assadourian, and
> Margaret Klein Salamon. A truly international event, we have over 50
> speakers from six continents.
>
>
>
> Although originally conceived of as a way to help mitigate climate change,
> this NCN conference model has additional advantages:
>
>
>
> 1) Because of the high cost of airfare, scholars from many developing
> countries have long been summarily excluded from international conferences.
> Without the requirement of travel, scholars can participate from nearly
> anywhere on the globe, especially as asynchronous talks and Q&A sessions,
> privileging no one locale, eliminate the challenge presented by world time
> zones - thereby facilitating truly global, interactive conferences.
>
>
>
> 2) This conference approach is generally more accessible than its
> traditional counterparts, as A) eliminating travel sidesteps many hurdles
> to physical accessibility, B) prerecorded talks can be closed captioned for
> hard-of-hearing individuals, and, C) with respect to the blind and visually
> impaired, the conference website can be optimized to work with audio screen
> readers and talks can also be made available as audio podcasts.
>
>
>
> 3) Similar to open-access journals, the lasting archive created by the
> conference (both recorded talks and written Q&A discussion) gives nearly
> anyone anywhere with relatively affordable technology instant and lasting
> access to all the cutting-edge material introduced at the event. In
> contrast, traditional conferences are often closed-door affairs open to
> only a privileged few.
>
>
>
> 4) The text-based Q&A sessions, which were open for the three-week duration
> of the May 2016 UCSB conference, on average generated three times more
> discussion than takes place at its traditional counterpart. One of the
> sessions generated ten times more discussion, making clear that, while
> different from a traditional conference, personal interaction was not only
> possible, but in certain respects superior.
>
>
>
> 5) Because the cost of such a conference is considerably less than its
> traditional counterparts, a range of groups and institutions that could not
> ordinarily stage an event of this sort are now able to do so. This includes
> universities in the developing world previously lacking the significant
> financial resources required to coordinate international conferences.
>
>
>
> 6) Conference talks can be closed captioned in more than one language.
> Although this was not done for the May 2016 conference, future UCSB events
> are being planned with talks by speakers in their native languages that
> will be closed captioned in English. In addition, we plan to have all talks
> captioned in Spanish as well as English.
>
>
>
> For more details, do check out our White Paper / Practical Guide:
> http://ehc.english.ucsb.edu/?page_id=14080. If you have any questions,
> please feel free to send them directly to me at the below email address.
>
>
>
> With many thanks for considering this NCN conference approach!
>
>
>
> Ken
>
>
>
> Ken Hiltner, Professor
>
> English and Environmental Studies
>
> Director, Environmental Humanities Initiative
>
> 3431 South Hall Administrative Center
>
> University of California, Santa Barbara
>
> Santa Barbara, CA 93106-3170
>
> hiltner@english.ucsb.edu
>
> ehc.english.ucsb.edu
>
> kenhiltner.com
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> --
> Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
> Assistant Professor
> Department of Anthropology
> 880 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
> Brigham Young University
> Provo, UT 84602
> http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson
>



-- 
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