It isn't just midwives in so-called developing countries that cannot attend international conferences. With the effects of the global recession I would struggle to be able to go down the road to attend a conference. The costs of flights, accommodation and time off work make it prohibitive for many to attend conferences - I could make a couple of mortgage payments for the cost of attending a local conference. For the cost of going to a big international conference in the UK, I could put in a new kitchen in my house in New Zealand. And believe me, because of the state my kitchen is in... it gets first priority.
ICM triennial Congress 2011
The next ICM Triennial congress is in Durban in 2011. Along with many thousands of midwives I want to attend but don't know if I'll be able to afford it. Yet I also know that it will be a wonderful opportunity to update myself on what is going on in the midwifery world. I will also be missing out on an opportunity to present my own work.
My proposal to the organising committee of the next ICM Triennial Congress I would like to propose a number of options to the organising committee of the next ICM congress (and any other midwifery conference) for including those of us who cannot attend in reality. The range of technologies must include synchronous and asynchronous, and also allow for people who have restricted access to the Internet and computer technology. I would also like to consider how we include mobile phone technology.
- Speakers beamed into from other locations using technology such as Skype or Elluminate.
- Audio and video recordings published on sites such as YouTube or blip.tv.
- Presentations published on websites such as Slideshare.
- Live streaming of presentations.
- Use of Twitter to encourage participation both in terms of sending out information and receiving comments.
- Speakers beamed out of the conference as virtual 'break out' sessions using Elluminate, TinyChat and/or Second Life.
- Interactive web site such as Facebook or blog that brings all these things together.