TSU will become an ‘Oasis’ for ‘Digital Nomads’

2 June 2016

Digital nomadism and its future are being discussed by experts at the 3 International Transdisciplinary Research and Practice Web-Conference Connect-Universum - 2016 organized by the TSSW: Siberian Institute of the Future (SIF) and the Department of Social Communication (TSU Faculty of Psychology). The event is supported by the TSU Institute of Distance Learning. Among the participants are 80 researchers and practitioners from 14 countries and TSU students. 

Digital nomads are people who successfully combine their private endless travelling with leisure and professional and education activity. To do that, they use digital technologies, wireless satellite communication, mobile devices, and electronic gadgets.

Despite the fact that digital nomadism has been rapidly developing since the late 1990s, it has not become an object of serious scientific research and discourse in Russia or anywhere else. Therefore, the objective of the Conference is to consider the essence of digital nomadism, its prospects, and possible consequences for the humanity in general.

Some results of such a research were presented at the three-day webinar, which was a part of the Conference Programme and took place at the end of May. Experts from Australia, Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, Kirgizstan, Lithuania, Ukraine, Slovakia, France, and the USA shared their experience.

- For us the topic of digital nomadism is interesting, because in the near future we see Tomsk State University as an international education and scientific communication hub and oasis for digital nomads: students, poste-graduates, and professional researchers, - said TSU Rector Eduard Galazhinskiy in his video-address to the participants.

 Traditionally, there are two options for the participants to take part in the event: to present their reports live online or on the website of the Conference. This time 18 international speakers, 20 Russian researchers, and 17 TSU students reported live online. Researchers from India, Poland, and the Czech Republic sent their reports to be posted on the website. All the materials will be the basis for the future project – international multi-authored monograph on different aspects of digital nomadism.

- Organizing international webinar is connected with multiple risks. Its participants, who are in different parts of the world, may get confused with the time zones, miss the test to check the Internet connection, get ill at the last moment, or simply change their plans. We were preparing for the event, trying to figure out all possible problems, for 6 months. 3 weeks prior the webinar the Organizing Committee started working as staff of an air traffic control office. However, we forgot about all the risks and problems, when we saw the faces of our colleagues on the screen. Our experience in organizing such webinars taught us that the most interesting joint initiatives are born in the process of live communication online, - said  Irina Kuzheleva-Sagan, Head of the Department of Social Communication and the Chair of the Organizing Committee.