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Location: Kyoto and Auckland
Work interests: research, editing, ethnobotany, prehistory, plant genetics
Affiliation/website: National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka
Preferred contact method: Any
Preferred contact language(s): English, German
Contact: email = researchcooperative-at-gmail-dot-com
Favourite publications: Aroideana, Economic Botany, Farming Matters, PLoSOne

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Work: ethnobotany, plant ecology and genetics, human ecology, agricultural history, archaeology, museology
Affiliations: 1996-present: National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka. 1995: Freelance editor, Kyoto. 1994: JSPS Research Visitor, Kyoto University, Kyoto. 1993: Research Visitor, Australian National University, Canberra. 1991: Visiting Researcher, National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka.1990: STA Fellow, National Institute for Ornamental Plants, Vegetables, and Tea (NIVOT), Ano, Japan
Contact: National Museum of Ethnology, Senri Expo Park, Suita City, Osaka, Japan 565-8511
Biographical: Established the Research Cooperative in 2001
Favourite Publications: Economic Botany, Ethnobotany Research and Applications, New Scientist, Minpaku Anthropology Newsletter, Archaeology in Oceania

A 'remotely' managed conference in Paris (EurASEAA15)

2015-08-01
By: Research Cooperative
Posted in: Conferences

Last month I had the good fortune to attend a conference in Paris:

15th International Conference of the European Association of Southeast Asian Archaeologists ,

6 -10 July 2015, Universit Paris Ouest, Nanterre la Dfense (EurASEAA15).

I presented a paper in a session on plant and animal domestication, and enjoyed a variety of archaeology papers by participants from many different countries.

The conference was organised by an organisation called NomadIT :

" NomadIT is a team of down-to-earth freelance administrators, event organisers and IT specialists who work remotely using internet and email technologies to assist NGOs, educational and voluntary sector organisations to run their organisations and events. "

Although the organiser works remotely, there were enough actual people helping at the campus venue. They looked like graduate students doing summer part-time work. They set up desks, posted emergency notices about room changes, organised bad coffee and limited snacks. Their nationalities were obscure. French? English? Other? They seemed able to speak to everyone.

It would have been nice if the helpers could have been introduced as part of the conference, rather than being practically anonymous. On two mornings, I passed through a fruit market in Nanterre Ville on the way to the venue, and could buy stawberries and cherries to distribute to other conference members. I wanted to generate some discussion through some good-tasting fruit. I'm an ethnobotanist. I was happy to have an excuse to buy something in the local market.

A conference is a temporary community where good communication is what ultimately determines success. We come together from remote regions of the world, and should use the conference to listen and learn and make connections, formally and informally. The conference is an opportunity for serendipity -- a plan for the unplanned.

This conference did well enough with a limited budget. Who knows, perhaps it did very well. I am sure the experience was different for every person who joined.

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