Gunnar Köhlin
Gunnar Köhlin. Photo: Gunnar Köhlin

EfD’s Annual Meeting – a virtual success

EfD overcame the challenges presented by the pandemic by carrying out its 14th Annual Meeting in virtual mode. A great line-up of speakers and more participants than ever ensured a successful event, despite the gloomy circumstances.

425 people registered for the meeting. Most of the time there were over 100 participants in the sessions.

“That’s really amazing and way beyond our expectations”, comments EfD’s Director Gunnar Köhlin.

The immediate response from people who participated in the annual meeting has been very positive.

“The Global Hub team, the keynote speakers, session chairs, other presenters and participants all did a fantastic job. This shows the force of EfD when we put our commitment behind something”, says Gunnar Köhlin.

A lot of people who never participated in the annual meetings before now had the opportunity to get acquainted with EfD’s work. There were more participants in total registered for the meeting than previous years. And the keynotes and parallel sessions were all well frequented and many felt presentations and discussions were excellent. That was the upside of the situation.

On the other hand, meeting virtually is obviously not the same as meeting in real life. The usual informal networking at the Annual Meetings, that is documented to have led to many collaborations between researchers from different countries and backgrounds in the past, is hard to bring about in a virtual setting.

“We must work hard to figure out how to combine the advantages of the open and inclusive virtual meeting with the dynamics of in-real-life meetings from now on. We are planning for the 15th Annual Meeting to take place in Tanzania, near Lake Victoria next year”, says Gunnar Köhlin.

By: Petra Hansson

News | 27 November 2020