Theme & Track Topics

TRACK 1: Technology-enhanced teaching and learning: from distance teaching to remote learning and beyond

The Covid-19 pandemic and the necessity to switch to emergency remote learning represent an instance of major rupture that education institutions around the world were exposed to. As education institutions, including primary, secondary and tertiary education, gradually return to on-site teaching and learning modes, it is important to delve into the lessons that have been learnt during the pandemic and to account for the organizational changes (be they in administrative structures, modes of communication, the culture of the organization, teaching loads, administration-faculty-students’ relations) that took place during lockdown. This track will be of particular interest to researchers and practitioners engaged with teaching and learning in diverse educational settings.

TRACK 2: Critical insights into smart cities and smart villages: beyond the ICT-hype, toward new avenues of research

As research on smart cities proliferates, it is imperative that the resulting broad research agenda is scrutinized, critically evaluated and rethought. Only in this way, will the debate on smart cities retain its exploratory and explanatory value. While ICT and its application in the smart city context is critical, it is equally important to dwell on the question of in which ways or how ICT is important in the smart city space. A similar set of questions applies to the still nascent field of smart villages research. The objective of this track is to reflect on these issues. This track will be of particular interest to researchers and practitioners engaged with diverse topics pertaining to smart cities and smart villages research.

Track 3: Managing rupture, resilience and recovery in organizations (public, private, voluntary)

Covid-19 and its implications represent a major rupture for organizations of all kinds. Survival has been a function of these organizations’ resilience, antifragility and capacity to devise recovery strategies. The practice of collecting, accessing and effectively using data that mirror the activities and processes across organizations’ operations and functioning during the pandemic has been but one of the approaches that organizations might have resorted to. Still, caveats and limitations applied. As ICT and ICT-based solutions hold substantial promise in terms of the organization’s ability to build resilience, foster antifragility, and promote recovery, the objective of this track is to rethink this issue thoroughly. This track will be of particular interest to researchers and practitioners engaged with diverse topics pertaining to management, business administration, accounting and finance, as well as public administration, economics and others.

TRACK 4: ICT, safety, and security in the digital age: bringing the human factor back into the analysis

The inroads of ICT in the fields of safety and security are overwhelming. While several opportunities have thus been created to foster the capacity of our security and defense systems, ICT is also the source of new risks and threats, e.g. cybersecurity issues and cyberwarfare. Amidst the debate on the added value that ICT may bring to the fields of public order (safety issues) and defending society from (mostly) external threats (security issues), ICT, and especially artificial intelligence (AI), has been hailed as the golden means to increased military capacity. The objective of this track is to map and explore recent advances in the field and to dwell on the question of the role of the human factor in contemporary defense systems, including the notions of leadership, administration, human-to-human interaction, and human-computer interaction. This track will be of particular interest to researchers and practitioners engaged with topics and issues relating to the military, policing, security, safety, and others.

TRACK 5: Lessons from the past: technology and cultural heritage: preserving, restoring, and emulating cultural heritage in today’s societies

Even if substantial effort has been undertaken to use ICT in the context of tourism and heritage management, much more needs and may be done to preserve, restore and emulate our joint cultural heritage in today’s societies. The objective of this track is to encourage a conversation about ways in which ICT can be used: to identify the locations and map the unexplored artifacts of the past; to identify the best ways of preserving them; and to recreate the past through solutions employing virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (R+), thereby allowing today’s audience an immersive experience of the past. This track will be of particular interest to researchers and practitioners dealing not only with cultural heritage, museum studies, or anthropology, but also with gaming and the gaming industry.

TRACK 6: Government and governance and the VUCA tale

One of the key challenges our societies face today is the quality of government, and the efficiency of governance as well as governability in general. In a period best defined as volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA), the prospect of effective response to rupture, the feasibility of building resilience and the possibility of igniting recovery depend on our governments and the supporting structures of governance, at the local, regional, international and global levels. The objective of this track is to query these issues also through the lens of the added value that ICT may bring to the process. This track will be of particular interest to researchers and practitioners in the fields of politics, international relations, European Studies, political sociology, and elsewhere.

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