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Elisa Tuijnder

I wanted to start an academic career in Anthropology, but at my MRes I realised that after the fieldwork came long stints of solitary work. So I directed my efforts to managing complex research projects. It is here I fostered a passion for creating spaces to exchange knowledge that is accessible to all; regardless of residency, social status, and wealth.

I went on to be the lead organiser for the African Studies of the United Kingdom biennial conference in 2018. A highly-successful conference attracting over 800 delegates, but more importantly, with 200+ academics from African institutions. We achieved this by funding bursaries and personal support for visa applications and appeals. But for every person joining, there were many more halted by geopolitical and financial barriers.

Out of these shortcomings, I became extremely interested in hybrid and digital as alternatives to alleviate some of the issues of sustainability and inclusivity with traditional conferencing and events. We are ready to democratise knowledge-sharing and networking!