Conferences

1st Global Conference
Migration and Diasporas

Saturday 2nd December 2017 – Sunday 3rd December 2017
Vienna, Austria

In the past few years, humanity has been confronted with what the UN calls “the largest humanitarian crisis since the creation of the United Nations”: starvation, war and political oppression have forcibly displaced a record number of over 65.6 million people worldwide, leading to major social and political turmoil across the globe. Refugees from developing countries such as Syria, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda and more are risking their lives in perilous journeys to escape certain demise, only to often find themselves trapped in precarious conditions in refugee camps across Europe, facing the ill sentiments of disgruntled locals. At the same time, the EU and USA are struggling to balance their immigration and asylum policies between their professed commitment to upholding human rights and the growing pressures from increasingly popular and vocal nationalistic movements.

All these recent developments have also added to the levels of uncertainty faced by the millions of economic migrants, in search of a better life. Developments built on nationalistic sentiment and aversion towards immigrants, such as the British Brexit or the attempted US travel bans and waves of deportations have made members of Diasporas reconsider their options and renegotiate their identities.

According to the UN and the International Organization for Migration, there are around 250 million migrants worldwide and the number is quickly rising. If they were to make up a nation, it would be the fifth largest in the world. Migration is becoming a more and more pressing social and political matter, one that will reshape the world as we know it and the way governments and societies decide to handle this crisis will be defining a new era for human rights and international relations.

Our first interdisciplinary Migration and Diasporas conference seeks to create a lasting network of professionals in all fields related to this topic, to isolate, discuss and explore the main issues, pressing matters and recent developments in this field of research and activity, to identify areas to be subsequently explored in further depth and to generate collaborative action that will lead to real, lasting change in the way migration and migrants are perceived and approached in institutional and informal settings.

Some of our suggested main issues to be approached include (but are not limited to):

  • Defining and measuring migration – identifying and analyzing trends in migration, defining categories of migration and migrants, presenting relevant data and instruments in migration studies etc.
  • The current refugee crisis – refugee situation, struggles, profiles, stories, efforts for integration, international responses, conditions in refugee camps, conditions for receiving asylum, policies, best practices, international responsibilities, human rights issues, media coverage etc.
  • Global and local social responses to migration – attitudes towards refugees and/or economic migrants, social and political movements, debates and controversies based on immigration/emigration related issues
  • Global and local implications of migration – social, political, demographic, economic, religious etc consequences for both the countries of origin and those of destination, for the migrants themselves and for Diasporas.
  • The migrant – case studies, profiles, typologies, integration and identity issues, motivations etc.
  • Narratives of displacement – migration and diaspora stories, folklore, art, community building etc.
  • Diasporas – community structure, struggles and achievements, diaspora relationships with the country of origin or residence, diaspora and power, diaspora social, economic and political contributions etc.
  • Policy and politics – migration policy trends in Western societies and worldwide, impact and effectiveness of existing policies, necessary changes in policy, geopolitical ramifications of national and international migration policies
  • Legal aspects of migration – legal vs illegal immigration, national and international migration laws, legal provisions for obtaining residency or asylum, migrants’ rights in theory and practice, legal status of EU citizens in post-Brexit UK, legality of US travel bans etc.
  • Migration and the media – depiction of refugees, migrants and migration in the media, role of social media and new technologies in facilitating migration and maintaining relationships with the diaspora, role of the press in increasing/defusing social tension between migrants and locals etc.
  • Looking into the future – scenarios for future trends in migration, evolutions of diasporas, challenges for the future generations of today’s migrants, future challenges for the countries of origin/destination etc.
  • Professing in the Field of Migration and Diasporas – issues, hardships, frustrations, communication needs, big and small victories and bright, hopeful moments of professionals working towards the integration and aid of refugees or migrants in general, studying migration and migrants, drafting or applying migration policies or legislation, protecting country borders from illegal immigration etc.

Our main goal is to facilitate dialogue and spark innovative collaborations and discussions at an international level, in a dynamic and interactive setting.  Thus, we welcome participants from all relevant disciplines, professions and vocations (NGO personnel, aid workers, researchers, mental and physical health professionals, educators, human rights activists, counselors, social workers, policy makers, journalists, lawyers, politicians, business owners, military personnel, customs workers and members of the border patrol, labour specialists, historians, sociologists, psychologists, economists, anthropologists, ethnographers social media experts, artists and many more)

What’s so special about Progressive Connexions events?

A fresh, friendly, dynamic, format – we at Progressive Connexions are dedicated to breaking away from the stuffy, old-fashion conference formats, where endless presentations are read aloud off powerpoints. We work to bring you an interactive format, where exchange of experience and information is alternated with captivating workshops, engaging debates and round tables, time set aside for getting to know each other and for discussing common future projects and initiatives, all in a warm, relaxed, egalitarian atmosphere.

A chance to network with international professionals – the beauty of our interdisciplinary events is that they bring together professionals from all over the world and from various fields of activity, all joined together by a shared passion. Not only will the exchange of experience, knowledge and stories be extremely valuable in itself, but we seek to create lasting, ever-growing communities around our projects, which will become a valuable resource for those belonging to them.

A chance to be part of constructing change – There is only one thing we love as much as promoting knowledge: promoting real, lasting social change by encouraging our participants to take collective action, under whichever form is most suited to their needs and expertise (policy proposals, measuring instruments, research projects, educational materials, etc.) We will support all such actions in the aftermath of the event as well, providing a platform for further discussions, advice from the experts on our Project Advisory Team and various other tools and intellectual resources, as needed.

An opportunity to discuss things that matter to you – Our events are not only about discussing how things work in the respective field, but also about how people work in that field – what are the struggles, problems and solutions professionals have found in their line of work, what are the areas where better communication among specialists is needed and how the interdisciplinary approach can help bridge those gaps and help provide answers to questions from specific areas of activity.

An unforgettable experience – When participating in a Progressive Connexions event, there is a good chance you will make some long-time friends. Our group sizes are intimate, our venues are comfortable and relaxing and our event locations are history-laden and suited to the event. And for a little bit of extra magic, during our December 2017 conferences in Vienna, you will be able to get into the holiday spirit by visiting the famous Christmas Markets which will be open at the time of our event!

What to Send
The aim of this interdisciplinary conference and collaborative networking event is to bring together academics, professionals, practitioners, NGO’s, voluntary sector workers etc. in the context of a variety of formats: presentations, seminars, workshops, panels, performances etc.

300 word reviews of your proposed contribution (paper abstracts, proposals for workshops, collaborative works or round tables, overviews of artistic projects or any other relevant forms of participation you are interested in) should be submitted by Friday 4th August 2017.

All submissions will be minimally double reviewed, under anonymous (blind) conditions, by a global panel drawn from members of the Project Advisory Team and the Advisory Board. In practice our procedures usually entail that by the time a proposal is accepted, it will have been triple and quadruple reviewed.

You will be notified of the panel’s decision by Friday 11th August 2017.

If your submission is accepted for the conference, a full draft of your contribution should be submitted by Friday 17th November 2017.

Proposals may be in Word, PDF, RTF or Notepad formats with the following information and in this order:
a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in the programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) body of proposal, f) up to 10 keywords.

E-mails should be entitled:  Migration and Diasporas Submission

Where to Send
Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to the Organising Chair and the Project Administrator:

Jonathan Rollins: jrollins@arts.ryerson.ca
Project Administrator: viennamigration@progressiveconnexions.net

Conference Outcomes and Outputs
The events we organise form a continual stream of conversations, activities and projects which grow and evolve in different directions. The outcomes and ‘outputs’ which can productively flow from these is a dynamic response to the gatherings themselves. As our meetings are attended by people from different backgrounds, professions and vocations, the range of desirable outcomes are potentially diverse, fluid and appropriate to what took place.

We anticipate that some papers and contributions from the conference might contribute to a themed volume to be considered by the At The Interface/Probing the Boundaries series published by Brill, for whom Progressive Connexions director Dr Robert Fisher is Series Editor. Potential editors will be chosen from interested conference delegates.

Additional possible outputs include: open volume on-line annuals; online toolboxes and repositories; collaboration platforms; reviews; reports; policy statements; position papers; declarations of principles; petitions, subsequent meetings for in depth exploration of specific issues, workshops, courses and schools; proposals for personal and professional development opportunities; other options you would like us to consider.

Vienna 2017 Details and Information

Registration Fees

The cost for attending the conference is £225. This includes:

~ conference registration fee
~ a discounted rate for any of the outputs emerging from the event
~ Saturday coffee/tea on arrival
~ Saturday morning coffee and biscuits
~ Saturday lunch
~ Saturday afternoon tea and biscuits
~ Saturday evening wine and drinks reception
~ drinks in the conference room
~ Sunday morning coffee and biscuits
~ Sunday lunch
~ Sunday afternoon tea and biscuits
~ drinks in the conference room
Calendar of time-lines and deadlines

Friday 4th August
Abstract/Presentation submission

Friday 11th August
Acceptance/Rejection notification

Friday 25th August
Booking Form Submissions

Friday 1st September 2017
Circulation of Draft Programme

w/b Monday 4th September 2017
Invoices issued

Wednesday 4th October 2017
Final date for payment

Friday 27th October 2017
Circulation of Revised Programme

Friday 3rd November 2017
Final programme to printing.

Friday 17th November 2017
Full draft of presentation to be submitted.
The conference is being held at the Hotel Mercure Wien Westbanhoff

Felberstraße 4, 1150 Wien, Austria
Tel : (+43)1/981110 - Fax : (+43)1/98111930

We have reserved rooms for delegates at the conference hotel on favourable terms and conditions. On having a proposal accepted for presentation at the conference, and on the completion and submission of a booking form, a special booking form will be sent to you along with instructions on how to use it in order to access these terms..

Standard Room - Singe Occupancy
€105 per night including breakfast and all taxes

Standard Room - Double/Twin Person Occupancy
€114 per night including breakfast and all taxes

Details will be sent to delegates on how to access these rates once receipt of the booking form has been confirmed.

Accommodation bookings are made directly with the hotel, not Progressive Connexions. All payments for accommodation are made directly to the hotel as well. A credit card will be required on booking.

You are free to find alternative accommodation. We are offering these arrangements as a convenience to folks who would like to be at the conference venue.
The conferences, meetings and events we organise are not single ‘one-off’ events. They are part of a continual stream of conversations, activities and projects which grow and evolve in different directions. At the conclusion of every meeting, the question needs to be considered: What happens next? After all, there is little personal, educational or professional benefit in gathering people together from around the world and sharing all sorts of fascinating conversations if nothing further is going to happen as a result!

The possible ranges of ‘outputs’ which can productively flow from our meetings is a dynamic response to the dialogues, issues and engagements that take place during the events themselves. And as our meetings are attended by folks who come from different backgrounds, contexts, professions and vocations, what people would like to see developed as a result of our time spent together will always be potentially diverse, fluid and appropriate to what took place.

One range of possible outputs involves publication as a way of continuing the work of a project. Where publishing is a possibility, it is directly referenced in the Call for Papers, Presentations and Participation. Other possible outputs may include, but are not limited to:
~ social media platforms such as Facebook pages and groups, blogs, wikis, Twitter, as vehicles for continuing dialogues, disseminating knowledge and information and bringing new people into the work of the project
~ reviews; reports; policy statements; position papers/statements; declarations of principles
~ proposals for meetings, workshops, courses, schools
~ collaboration gateways, platforms and media
~ personal and professional development opportunities: faculty development; mentoring programmes; cultural cruises; consultancies; summer schools; personal enrichment programmes

The range of outputs is dependent on how little or how much you would like to become involved. Don’t let the end of the meeting signal the end of your involvement with the project. Please get involved, bounce ideas around, think out loud – we’d love to hear about what you’d like to do and are always happy to talk about what is possible.
Payment Process
Participants must complete the online booking form by Friday 25th August 2017 at the latest.
After the deadline has expired, an invoice will be drawn up and sent to you; the invoice will contain all the necessary information for you to pay by bank transfer, cheque, Paypal or credit card.
The invoice must be settled by Friday 9th October 2016.

It is the responsibility of delegates to ensure that payment is made by this date. Failure to receive payment will result in your booking being cancelled.

Payment Methods
There are a number of ways payment can be made.

Cheque
Payment can be made by cheque, in pounds sterling (gbp) only. Cheque’s in pound sterling must be drawn against a bank with headquarters in the United Kingdom. Cheque’s should be made payable to ‘Progressive Connexions’ and sent, with the booking form, to:

Dr Rob Fisher
Progressive Connexions
Priory House
149b Wroslyn Road
Freeland
Oxfordshire. OX29 8HR
United Kingdom

We cannot and will not accept cheques made payable in currencies other than GBP Sterling.

Bank Transfer Payment may be made using bank transfer. Full details to enable a bank transfer are made available on your conference invoice. If paying by this method, you must agree to pay all charges at the sending and receiving banks.

By Invoice
You may request that an invoice be sent to you which you may forward to your institution. It is your responsibility to ensure that the invoice is paid before the payment deadline.

Online
Your invoice will include a link to pay through a secure and encrypted online payment system. Please click the link to use this method. Please also be aware that credit card charges apply.

Credit Card
Payment may also be made using credit card. Please Note: card payments are subject to a 3% transaction fee, except for debit cards which are charged at 0.75GBP/ 1.00 Euro per transaction: this is the amount we are charged by the credit card company. We cannot accept American Express or Discovery as a form of payment.

Paypal
Payment may also be made using Paypal. Please note: a 4% charge applies to all items and services paid for in this way: this is the amount we are charged by Paypal. If paying by this method please send us the email account connected with your Paypal account and we will forward you a request for payment.

IMPORTANT
We strongly recommend that all delegates take out some form of travel or other insurance in relation any and all travel arrangements or accommodation booked in regard to the conference. This should include cancellation insurance in the event of unforeseen or unexpected circumstances.

All fees are payable in advance. No delegate will be permitted entry to the conference if an invoice is still unpaid.

Ethos
Progressive Connexions believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract or proposal for presentation.

Please note: Progressive Connexions is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence, nor can we offer discounts off published rates and fees.