Virtual Conferencing Workshop (VR in VR)
In recent years, academic and non-academic communities are taking the climate impact of flying more seriously, from the anti-flying movement known as “flight shame” – or flygskam in Swedish, where the movement began – to the “flying less” movement in academia (https://academicflyingblog.wordpress.com). Travel for academic conferences has an impact on the environment and also prevents access for certain groups.
The VR community is well placed to take a lead in developing alternatives to the face to the conference because our community has a long history of implementing and evaluating key pieces of collaborative technology that might facilitate new types of online meeting. It is perhaps time to ‘eat our own dogfood’ and start to plan a substantive future for the IEEE VR Conference that is online.
With VR technology we can reduce flying by supporting virtual conferencing, from pure virtual conferences to remote attendance at physical conferences to providing the glue that supports multi-site events. Beyond climate impact, remote and distributed conferences offer the potential for many more people to get the benefits of attending academic conferences they would not otherwise have access to, due to personal, financial or political constraints.