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



One might even think of a conference called by XMCA.
There have been several recurrent topics discussed (sometimes at length,
others repeatedly without realizing that there was re-covering going) that
would make excellent material for an international conference.

How light is the lightness of being of a multi-modal,
telecommunications-mediated conference with, say, 200 members present that
lasts for N days?

mike

On Wed, Oct 5, 2016 at 3:00 PM, Alfredo Jornet Gil <a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>
wrote:

> Thanks a lot! As a postdoc that still is building a profile of records
> strong enough to secure a faculty position somewhere, I feel the double
> bind situation of (a) obligation to contribute to as many venues as
> possible, and a (b) strong wish to not contribute to the crazyness of
> high-consumption flights, hotels, etc... that surround conferences. I'll
> look at your model.
>
> Alfredo
> ________________________________________
> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
> on behalf of Luisa Aires <laires11@gmail.com>
> Sent: 05 October 2016 23:49
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: [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
> >
>
>
>
> --
> Department of Education and Distance Learning, Universidade Aberta
> Centre of Studies on Migrations and Intercultural Relations (CEMRI)
> R. Amial, nº 752, 4200-055 Porto, Portugal
> laires@uab.pt
> www.uab.pt
>



-- 

It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as a natural science with an object
that creates history. Ernst Boesch