As sustainability researchers, we have often faced the question of how to justify flying around the world to give a ten-minute presentation. When we, the Smart City Innovation Lab (SCIL), got invited to host this year’s GRONEN conference with the discussion theme, ‘Sustainability in the Digital Age’, we had prepared to livestream some sessions from Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics. The virtual conference has been discussed as a milestone for making academic conferences more climate-friendly and inclusive.
Due to the pandemic, we had to move to the virtual space faster than expected, but organizing a virtual conference changed the way we think about academic exchange. We wanted to ensure that we had done everything in our power to create the best and most immersive online experience for this conference, and are proud of the result: Scoocs (formerly iChair).
The journey and the potential of virtual conferencing was even picked up by the career column of nature. We are proud to help to pioneer new formats of academic exchange!