DID elections postponed

This message from the heads of the Digital Divide Working Group was distributed to all the working group members on 23 April 2020.

Dear Digital Divide Working Group members, 

We hope this finds you and your families well in this uneasy time. 

First of all, let us thank you for being a part of our Working Group community and for participating in our activities at the annual IAMCR conference and beyond it. We appreciate collaboration with all and each of you. 

Today, we are writing to share some news with you regarding WG elections this year. As you know, elections of the WG governing body (chair and two vice-chairs) take place every four years at the WG business meeting at IAMCR conference. The candidates nominate themselves in advance, their statements are posted on IAMCR website and at the business meeting candidates present themselves, speak about their strategies and plans, and then voting takes place. We are sure many of you have been to our business meetings before and know the procedure very well. 

This year, as you know, IAMCR conference is going to be online, which is unusual but totally understandable given current situation in the world. This new virtual format is very promising and interesting, still it does not allow for a traditional face-to-face business meeting, sections, interactions and discussions we as a WG have been used to. We also know that many of our WG members are based in the Global South regions and for them participation in online activities can be somewhat challenging and uneasy due to the Internet access and other issues. 

In this context, we suggest postponing WG elections which were planned for 2020 for one more year and hold them in 2021, instead of holding online WG elections this year. This decision does not get in conflict with IAMCR policies and is suggested as a means to guarantee all our members can participate in the elections at a traditional business meeting at the conference next year. In this case, chair’s and vice-chairs’ mandates will be extended for another year and the formal elections will take place in 2021 as planned. 

We welcome your feedback by email and also on our WG Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/795651687209460/, which we encourage you all to join if you have not done it yet. 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to let us know. 

Thank you in advance, and wish you and your families all the best. 

Kind regards, 

Anna Gladkova, also on behalf of Olga Smirnova and Massimo Ragnedda