Due to the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) and the advice from the government, the Society is currently closed and staff are working from home.
We can now announce that the 2020 RGS-IBG Annual International Conference will be postponed for one year. Considering the uncertainties at this time associated with the coronavirus outbreak, and the potential risk to the health of our delegates, it is not right to proceed with the event as originally planned. This decision has been made by the Society’s Research and Higher Education Committee with the full support of the chair of conference, Professor Uma Kothari. We are all very disappointed, but recognise that there is no alternative appropriate course of action at this time.
Our current plan is not to cancel but to postpone by one year. We plan to hold the annual conference in London from Tuesday 31 August to Friday 3 September 2021. The conference will still have the same theme Borders, borderlands and bordering and will be chaired by Professor Kothari. We plan to review this decision in autumn 2020 to assess whether this remains a safe and appropriate cause of action, and will make further announcements at that point.
For those who submitted abstracts and proposals, you don’t need to do anything at this stage. There will be a chance nearer to the conference to review, update, amend or withdraw existing contributions for the programme, and we also expect to be able to accept a number of new contributions for the programme at that time, subject to capacity. More information on this process will be announced in the early autumn. Any registrations already made will either be refunded or carried over to 2021, as preferred, and we will contact the small number of affected delegates on this directly.
For the rest of this year, we commit to work with our Research Groups, Journals and exhibitors to deliver a programme of online events and resources, in place of what would have been this year’s conference. If you have a particular interest in being involved in these activities, please get in touch at email@example.com.
These are immensely difficult times, and we do not know what the coming days and weeks will bring. Our communities are more important than ever, and ours is no exception. Our thoughts and very best wishes are with you all, and your families and colleagues.
Chair's theme: borders, borderlands and bordering
The Chair's theme for the rescheduled Annual Conference is borders, borderlands and bordering. Watch the video to find out more about the Chair's chosen theme.
Sharing good practice
As part of our commitment to making the conference as inclusive and welcoming as possible, we are refreshing and updating our guidance and policies for delegates, from what makes a good session chair to what to expect at the conference and more. We are keen to gather examples of good practice from the community. Please send comments and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Code of conduct
The RGS-IBG Annual Conference is intended to be a space that allows geography, geographers and geographical careers to flourish through respectful, inclusive and equitable treatment of others sharing professional information, knowledge and ideas.
The RGS-IBG Chair of conference and organisers want to promote a positive sense of academic community by asking everyone to:
Treat everyone equally and respectfully
Listen to others’ views and engage constructively with them
Set an example
Be committed to helping each other and to be kind
Respect the environment and the people around you
We believe that everyone (delegates and staff) has the right to be in a respectful, safe and welcoming environment at the conference.
We are dedicated to providing an inclusive conference experience for everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, citizenship, or language, political or other opinion, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, age, religion or economic class. Discrimination, harassment, bullying and behaviours that are patronising have no place at the conference and will not be tolerated.
We ask that conference delegates practice:
Please see our full code of conduct for more information. All delegates are requested to act in accordance with the code of conduct.
The dates and locations for conferences in 2021 and 2022 are expected to be as follows (though are subject to change):
Tuesday 31 August to Friday 3 September 2021, at RGS-IBG in London
Tuesday 30 August to Friday 2 September 2022, venue TBC
About the conference
The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) is the learned society and professional body for geography.
Geography, by its very nature, looks outwards and acts inclusively. As an independent, self-financing learned society and professional body, so does the RGS-IBG. We are absolutely committed to the importance of international collaboration in research, scholarship, teaching and field science and the value of sharing ideas, understanding and perspectives widely.
The annual conference is international in nature and outlook. Each year we welcome hundreds of colleagues from around the world, with a third of attendees coming from outside the UK. We are committed to continuing this open and outward-facing approach, and particularly welcome contributions by international delegates to the conference programme.