First and foremost, ISCRAM is a community who are passionate about using technology to improve how we cope with emergencies. If you’re working in this area, it’s a great place to find people to collaborate with, to inspire your work or to help you build on what you’ve done. We are a mix of practitioners, academics, industry and policy makers, exploring the role of information systems in crisis management from every angle. During any major crisis there will be ISCRAM members in the field providing on-the-ground support, ISCRAM members back home providing vital technical support, and systems, techniques and approaches being utilised in managing the crisis that have been based on and inspired by work produced in the ISCRAM community .
As well as fostering collaboration, the ISCRAM community is committed to debating and discussing challenging issues in our field and encouraging participation and engagement from people with a wide range of views, experience and backgrounds. We believe that maximising the way that information systems can improve response to crises is both challenging and of huge importance, and engagement in ISCRAM is intended to address these challenges in the most effective way possible, by bringing together people who are working on all different aspects of this challenge, or have different experiences in the field and who are passionate about finding solutions.
Developing young researchers in the field, both those who plan an academic career and those that are focussing on industry, practitioner work or policy, is a crucial part of what we do. We hold various events to support early-stage researchers. Supporting a diverse community is also crucial, and is encouraged through wISCRAM (for female ISCRAM members), the Community Working Group and our efforts to hold ISCRAM events as widely as possibly internationally. We are increasingly facilitating remote participation at our events, recognising that many researchers, such as those without travel funding, those with caring responsibilities, those who have problems with visas, etc., may not be able to participate in person .
How can I engage with ISCRAM?
- The major ISCRAM event is the annual World Conference, which alternates between Europe and the Americas. This is based on a track system, with each conference having around 10-15 different themed tracks to help focus interaction. We have a mix of paper presentations, invited speakers, panel events, interactive events, poster and demo sessions and – perhaps most importantly – several social events.
- We also hold more localised events to build community in specific regions and to focus on issues relevant to them. The key events are ISCRAM Asia-Pacific and ISCRAM Med
- We have active social networks, primarily through Facebook and Twitter, which allows members to get feedback from others, promote relevant events and to share news.
- The ISCRAM blog focusses on issues relevant to the community.
- We are intending to launch a webinar series to foster intellectual debate between conferences.