Carbon-free conferencing in the age of COVID-19

Linda J.L. Veldhuizen, Maja Slingerland, Lauren Barredo, Ken E. Giller*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The COVID-19 pandemic has been a crash course for many in working from home using various online tools, many of which can be used to organize e-conferences. An e-conference is a fully online event with multiple sessions and virtual discussion in one platform. In this paper, we aim to provide insights in and present key steps to organize a successful e-conference, increase our understanding of the impact of e-conferences, and identify key strengths, weaknesses, and success factors. Based on a participant survey and our own experience, we found that e-conferences are relatively easy to organize with readily-available and free tools, that they are more accessible and thus inclusive than physical meetings, and that they are virtually carbon-free which can contribute to large emission savings. Three important success factors are attracting a good set of speakers, building an interested audience, and reaching your objectives and desired impact. A successful e-conference can enable joint learning among speakers and participants, and allows novel ways of disseminating scientific knowledge while also enabling networking for the many participants who might not be able to attend an in-person event.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-329
Number of pages9
JournalOutlook on Agriculture
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


  • E-conference
  • knowledge sharing
  • networking
  • online survey
  • outreach
  • Sustainable Development Goals


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