Citing the continuing uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the International Society for Music Education (ISME) has announced that its 35th World Conference, originally due to take place in Brisbane, Australia, will take place virtually rather than in person.
The decision follows the Covid-19-related cancellation of the previous World Conference in Helsinki in 2020.
In a statement on the ISME website, the organisation’s President, Emily Akuno, said, ‘The level of normality needed to ensure that we can stage a face-to-face conference with confidence and certainty in 2022 continues to elude us.
A face-to-face conference would likely only be accessible for the vaccine-privileged
‘The confirmation of the conference being virtual is entirely COVID related and includes consideration of health concerns, the ability or willingness of members to travel, access to travel insurance and the potential continued disruption of travel due to further COVID outbreaks and the impact of lockdowns or other means to control any those outbreaks that governments might choose to apply.
‘Most importantly is the issue of equity and accessibility as not all countries have the same access to vaccines, which means a face-to-face conference would likely only be accessible for the vaccine-privileged.
‘By making this decision now we are able to put all our efforts into producing the best possible virtual event that we can while at the same time providing members with certainty prior to opening up the conference registrations.’
The virtual event will take place on the dates originally planned, 17-22 July 2022, and the usual pre-conference seminars will also run online. The events will offer all the professional development spaces and activities typically available to attendees of the regular face-to-face conferences and the move to virtual presentation format does not impact delegates’ submission or the current review process.