International Association for Impact Assessment

Virtual Symposium "Our Interconnected World: Impact Assessment, Health, and the Environment"

  • <p>Stats and feedback from IAIA's first virtual event</p>

    Virtual Symposium "Our Interconnected World:  Impact Assessment, Health, and the Environment"

    Due to the pandemic, last year brought many new experiences for everyone, and IAIA was no exception. Unable to hold our IAIA20 event in Seville last May as planned, we still wanted to offer some content and networking opportunities to our members and the impact assessment field. Therefore, we ventured into our first virtual event, a symposium held fully online.

    "Our Interconnected World: Impact Assessment, Health, and the Environment" was held 5-8 October 2020 with a different thematic focus each day: climate change, health, resilience, and key topics from IAIA20. Each day's content consisted of both a live keynote session and three pre-recorded sessions, for a total of 17+ hours of content over the course of the event. Participants interacted by asking questions during live Q&A, participating in bulletin board discussions, and networking during virtual "coffee breaks."

    Following the live event, participants had on-demand access to all sessions, including recordings of the live sessions, for three weeks. While the majority of survey respondents reported the duration of this both the live and on-demand access was sufficient, 33% reported wanting more time to view on demand. IAIA therefore provided "encore" access for the month of December 2020.

    153 symposium participants represented 42 countries.




    Europe 51 33%
    North America 43 28%
    Africa 31 20%
    Asia 10 7%
    South America 7 5%
    Australia & Oceana 5 3%
    Middle East 3 2%
    Central America & Caribbean 3 2%
    TOTAL 153 100%

    Of the post-event evaluation respondents:

    • Respondents considered an average of 79% of the content they watched to be high quality.
    • 89% said the symposium's content overall was very or somewhat valuable.

    • 76% attended one or more of the four keynotes live, with 9% attending all four of them.

    • 21% participated in one or more of the live virtual coffee breaks via Zoom.

    A lot of helpful feedback was provided by the symposium participants, which IAIA is already putting to use as we plan for the virtual IAIA21 conference this May. Due to the larger scale and increased complexity of our annual conference compared to this smaller symposium, IAIA will be using a completely different platform for IAIA21, with more opportunities for real-time delegate networking, high-quality visual displays, interactive exhibit booths, and more.

    Want to find out what you missed? Each day's thematic content is for sale in IAIA's online store. You can buy the four sessions for any day at US$50 each. Or you can save by purchasing all four days in one bundle for $150. 


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