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Prior to the current COVID-19 global pandemic which has severely affected countries across the world over recent months, it was commonplace for academic speakers and attendees to be frequently flying to large conferences all across the world. The attendee numbers of some particularly prestigious annual academic conferences such as the American Geophysical Union (AGU) — the world’s largest Earth- and space-science conference, are tens of thousands of people. Events such as this can create as much CO2 as a city in a whole week when taking into account the sum total of travel associated with attendance.

In a recent article in one of the most influential and important international scientific journals, Nature, entitled: An analysis of ways to decarbonize conference travel after COVID-19, a number of options are explored to help slash the quantity of emissions emitted, such as Biennials, regional hubs and virtual conferences. We were very pleased to see that this included a description of our own Virtual Island Summit and some of the benefits of our conference!

“Further regional meetings might join and complement the main three. Virtual attendance could help early-career researchers to gain exposure to the entire global community at one meeting. People who might have struggled to attend for personal reasons, such as lack of childcare, low travel budgets or visa restrictions, could take part. For example, the Virtual Island Summit connects more than 250 island communities worldwide, especially from the global south, which would not be possible in person because of the vast distances and travel costs. Questions of equity are important, and need more consideration to avoid exacerbating existing inequalities.” 

Last year’s Virtual Island Summit was a big success with around 4,000 attendees and speakers from island communities and other locations from across the world, all conducted in a sustainable way via video-conferencing before this was seen as a mainstream option. Due to COVID-19 though, there has been a large-scale shift towards looking at other options for conferences, such as taking them online and making them completely virtual.

The Virtual Island Summit 2020 is set to be bigger and more influential than last year, with an expected attendance of 10,000+ people and speakers including policymakers, entrepreneurs, academics and NGO leaders sharing their expertise on island communities. 

VIRTUAL ISLAND SUMMIT 2020 Free Registration

Register now to attend the various online events taking place 7-13th September 2020.

Registration is FREE, but spaces are limited, so reserve your spot now!

Can’t make the live event dates? No worries! Register for the event, and we’ll send you the replay link after the event. If you can attend live, you will be given the opportunity to ask questions to speakers and interact with other guests.

Please complete your registration today to ensure you get the latest updates, access to the live sessions and copies of the recordings!

One Comment

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