MakeLearn & TIIM PIConf conference - a valuable experience even from your home computer

The conferences have been the highlights of my research career and doctoral studies so far. It's great when a long period of hard work with your own research is rewarded, and you get a moment in the spotlight with the most important subject in the world. To receive comments and ideas for improvement and discuss the topic. This was also the case with the annual MakeLearn, TIIM & PIConf 2023 conference on 19-20 May, where I participated remotely as a presenter and a participant. This year's event took place in Malta and its thematic focus was on digital transformation, enabling the transition to a new normal.
Kuvassa näkyy öinen maisema Maltalta. Etualalla on rantakivikko ja vettä, jonka takana näkyy valaistu kaupunki.

MakeLearn, TIIM & PIConf describes itself as follows: the conference encourages the sharing of the latest developments in management, economics, technology, and education. The conference brings together experienced and young researchers from all continents and encourages dialogue and knowledge exchange between academia and business. It also offers a range of publication opportunities.

Participation was for me a particularly significant and important milestone in my early research career. At the conference, I presented the first article of my forthcoming PhD thesis, a literature review on the development of entrepreneurial resilience. The conference was attended by various scientific journals and it offered a good opportunity to get your own paper into the publication pipeline. I can now submit the article to the editor of a sponsoring magazine. I am now eagerly awaiting for the comments.

In addition to discovering new research trends and promoting your own research, highlights of the conferences include discussions with other researchers. The emergence of new contacts and new partnerships is always just as exciting. We at the Kerttu Saalasti Institute at the University of Oulu have made internationalization one of our priorities for this year. Concrete cooperation initiatives such as joint articles and possible project proposals resulting from the conferences are the best results towards it. One such opportunity arose when I had a conversation with the leader of my research track from Slovenia and we agreed on a brainstorming session on possible cooperation opportunities after the conference. The follow-up ideas on research and project cooperation started immediately after the conference and I look forward to seeing what concrete results might emerge from them.

Comparing the experience of attending conferences on-site and remotely, I found that remote participation allowed for a kind of deep concentration. From home, the sessions and presentations could be watched from the silence and coziness just focusing on them. What I didn't experience at a distance, however, was Malta itself. The conference program included several tours of Valletta, the capital of Malta, and the surrounding areas. Of course, the photos from other participants and the photo collage published by the organizer compensated to some extent. One could say that remote participation is good, on the spot even better. And that's what I'm aiming for at the next conference.

An abstract of the research paper will be published in a conference publication shortly. Read the abstract along with other conference papers here.

Santeri Halonen, Doctoral Researcher, University of Oulu Kerttu Saalasti Institute