Integrative Pathways 42-04 Conference Report 2020
Virtual Mini Conference 2020
by Jennifer Lillig
On November 6, 2020 Sonoma State University (SSU) hosted the first Association for Interdisciplinary Studies Virtual Mini-Conference, Interdisciplinary Responses to the Pandemic: An International Forum. Approximately 100 attendees from around the world were treated to a pre-conference show, Wicked Bodies, hosted by the SSU Green Music Center. This event was followed by a plenary session at the conference with show choreographer Liz Lerman and her interdisciplinary team Dr. Manuel-Navarrete, Dr. Neda Movahed, and Dr. Beckett Sterner to further discuss the connections between the physical and natural sciences, sustainability, and the arts. Conference participants then joined presentations, panel discussions, and workshops on a variety of topics in four concurrent sessions focused on Online Education, Social Media, Creative Problem Solving, and Equity, the Pandemic, and Protesting for Justice. The conference ended with introductions of our new AIS Board Members and passing of the virtual spoon from outgoing AIS President James Welch IV, to our new President, Jennifer Dellner.
Although everyone was in agreement that the social connection and opportunity to be together in person was missed, we were all grateful for a bit of continuity, camaraderie, and engaging conversation. Sonoma State invites attendees to continue to interact with these ideas and expand on them for the SSU 2022 AIS Conference, Wicked Problems and Interdisciplinarity: Sustainability, Resilience, and Designing the Future. Asynchronous presentations and materials provided from some of the concurrent sessions have been added to the Virtual Gallery with a discussion page for comments and further discussion. We look forward to seeing our AIS colleagues at next year’s AIS conference at Southern Utah University.