Communications of the Association for Information Systems

Author ORCID Identifier

Cathy Urquhart: 0000-0001-7754-6085

Fred Niederman: 0000-0003-3246-4769

Arlene Bailey: 0000-0002-7404-3922


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The future of AIS conferences, thrown into sharp relief by virtual innovations during the pandemic and the subsequent return to face-to-face conferences, is debated in this special issue. This editorial introduces the seven papers contained in the special issue and provides the context for the debate on the future of conferences in the AIS Community as well as pinpointing key contributions made by the papers in the special issue. The editors debate three questions: Are conferences still a viable means of academic exchange and community for the future? Given that both virtual and face-to-face options have opportunities and constraints, what can we do to have the best of both options? What consequences, intended and unintended, do new conference formats have for social inclusion and sustainability? We examine different types of hybrid formats and features and also consider the vexed question of how pricing may impact inclusion. We conclude with a call to consider that, for social inclusion, we have an obligation to make participation as rich as possible - some options should not offer a diminished experience. As outlined in this editorial and special issue, the challenges of making participation as rich as possible are manifold - but in doing so, we help both our community and the planet.





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