It is always difficult to anticipate the programme of a conference four years in advance. This is even truer today, in times of COVID and with painful uncertainties about the evolution of habits and lifestyle. However, this same uncertain situation suggests to build up on the evolutions of remote and smart working in imagining the main features of the 2024 WCEE.
In this context, a few visionary insights are summarized below. They should be taken as anticipation of a line of thought, not as a commitment, impossible at this stage.
- As anticipated, a “remote participation fee” will be considered. This fee will be associated to the handling of papers and organizing high tech remote participation.
- It will be asked to associate a number of key words and a short video to each paper, to be submitted a few (say six) months in advance in their definitive form.
- Papers and videos will be uploaded in the Cloud, with a dynamic indexing system that will allow any pre-registered participant to accessing all material well in advance (say four months earlier than the conference).
- Within a given schedule, each participants will be allowed to insert short questions and comments, together with a graded wish-list on the possibility of interacting remotely or in person with the author and with an evaluation of the most appropriate keywords.
- Conference sessions will be organized combining papers as a function of this public consultation with participants, eliminating any traditional distinction between oral and poster presentation. Sessions will take more the form of discussion forums, allowing authors to upload additional short videos and/or to comment live. Location and duration of sessions will depend on the number of participants and comments.
- Obviously, all this implies a complete streaming of the entire conference. MiCo, the congress center that will host the Conference, has a cutting edge technology, a fourth generation cabling system that allows the digital transmission of data in all the rooms, as well as streaming broadcasting and the connection of 25 thousand devices to a single Wi-Fi network at the speed of one gigabyte per second.
- The traditional figure of session chairman will radically change in role and commitment: each session chairman will be asked to prepare introduction and conclusion, facilitating an efficient communication of open problems and innovative results. The commitment of session chairmen will be recognized and symbolically remunerated.
- Keynote lectures will maintain a crucial role and space in the conference. Keynote texts will also be made available in advance to participants. Questions and comments will be accepted within the same framework described above. Keynote lecturers will be asked to consider the comments received in their live presentation, which will be streamed to all remote participants.
- The proceedings of the conference will be an indexed combination of all materials, remaining accessible to all participants for free, while a downloading fee may be considered for any other interested person for a certain time framework (say one year), allowing later free access and downloading to anybody.