About the New Wave Conference
The 10th Jubilee NEW WAVE conference which was held on 31st May – 1st June, 2018 was successful and we are looking forward to seeing you next year in Brno, at the Department of Geography, Masaryk University, where will be held the 11th NEW WAVE conference.
The conference report and photo are to be found on the New Wave 2018.
The tradition of New Wave student conferences at Faculty of Science of the Charles University in Prague was established back in 2009 when a group of social geography and physical geography doctoral students – Martina Hupková, Roman Matoušek, Markéta Seidlová, Milada Šandová – organised the first conference. The idea for the conference first took shape on an express train taking most of the future conference organisers home from Ústí nad Labem back from a student conference titled Geographical Underground.
The first New Wave conference was held on 22 May 2009 and featured 13 papers presented by master's and doctoral students, divided into three sessions. A poster session (with eight presenting participants) was simply a must. A separate block included a discussion with four geography graduates employed outside of the world of the academia.
After the success of the first year of the conference, it returned next year on 14 May 2010 (thanks to a slightly changed organisational team) and offered a total of 21 presented papers, 6 posters and a discussion of participants with two geographers working in geography featured in a separate block. The third conference, which was held on 27 May 2011, was attended by 11 presenters and a number of other students who got involved in discussions.
Over time, the New Wave conference received increasing recognition. It was endorsed by the vice-dean of the geographical section and a representative of the Czech Geographical Society attended its opening. Graphically successful posters and books of abstracts, interesting presentations and fruitful discussions became constant and expected features of every conference. At the same time, however, the conferences were still largely dominated by students from the organising institution. The low number of participants in the third year of the conference became a strong impulse for a discussion on how to make the conference more open not only to the relatively small circle of Czech and Slovak geography students.
The fourth year of the conference in 2012 was therefore organised predominantly in English – only 5 out of 23 papers were presented in Czech (as part of a relatively separate session focused on geographical education). The conference was also attended by students from Russia, Spain and the USA. The presentation of papers on 25 May 2012 was followed by a conference excursion on Saturday 26 May, which showed the participants around two changing locations of Prague – Žižkov freight station and the Vietnamese multifunctional complex "Sapa" in Libuš.
With a partial change in the organisational team prior to the fifth year of the New Wave conference, more emphasis was placed on interdisciplinarity. In addition to social geographers, also demographers, physical geographers and cartographers were contacted and explicitly invited to the conference. Students presented a total of 12 papers, 4 of which were introduced in the form of a poster. Only a handful of the oral presentations delivered on 7 June 2013 were in English, however. The excursion, which proved to be a great success the previous year, was promoted to a regular tradition. Revitalised and gentrified areas affected by mass floods in 2002 were introduced as part of an excursion to Karlín on 8 June 2013. The topic of the excursion was all the more pertinent as the 3rd level of flood activity had been reported in Prague as a result of persistent rains.
The sixth year of the conference faced a big challenge in terms of maintaining the tradition of the New Wave student conference and pushing it forward. Since the founding members of the organisation committee had departed, the organising team lacked active and enthusiastic students who would fully devote their time to the preparation and promotion of the conference. As a result of personal changes, New Wave 2014 conference came to be organised by unrelated namesakes Hana Svobodová and Peter Svoboda. Together with other graduate geography students, they came up with several innovations. First, it was the unifying logo and graphic design by Eliška Slámová - which appeared on all printed and conference materials. Both the conference logo and design have been approved as definitive and will continue to be used in the future. The idea of the New Wave as an interdisciplinary and international conference was further enhanced by forging linking with an ongoing exchange programme of the Faculty of Science of the Charles University and the Dartmouth College, the so-called American Semester. Strict emphasis was placed on the conference language, which exclusively was (and will be) English. An exception may only apply to sessions with specific issues where the use of Czech can be justified. As a result, students are offered a unique opportunity to present and discuss their research topics in a foreign language and prepare for international conferences abroad.
To increase the attractiveness of the conference to broader groups of students and teachers, three keynote lectures were included in the programme of the first day on 16 May 2014. Last but not least, a separate session dealing with the support of research of undergraduate students was introduced for the first time. As part of that session, the Geomigration Research Centre presented its award for the best thesis written on the issue of migration. The second day of the conference was traditionally devoted to an excursion, which this time focused on community activities and the recovery of public space in Prague – Dejvice.
The record participation of both students and lecturers (60 participants, 30 papers across seven sessions) was mostly facilitated by planning the conference insufficient advance, better promotion (both internally and externally), but also due to the endorsement and financial support of the Geographical Section and its departments, the Czech Geographical Society and the mayor of the City of Prague.
The 7th annual conference took place on 21-22 May 2015. The interest has increased significantly and the numbers of both active and passive participants were roaring. Altogether, 53 papers were presented, including posters and the conference was attended by 74 participants, including 12 from overseas. The keynote lectures were delivered by prof. Susanne Freidberg (Dartmouth College), Dr Michal Veverka (Czech section of DHI group) and Dr Slavomíra Ferenčuhová (Masarykova University Brno). Patrons of the latest annual conference were the Mayor of the 2nd district of Prague Mgr. Jana Černochová, the Council woman of Prague Ing. Mgr. Irena Ropková and the Czech Geographical Society and the Geographical section of the Faculty of Science of Charles University.
On behalf of the conference organisational team
The 8th annual conference NEW WAVE, which was held on 19th and 20th May 2016, fulfilled all expectation and moved the quality of the conference forward once again. The new organising team led by Kamila Klingorová followed the well-established tradition of the conference’s design, structure and its interdisciplinary nature. All sessions were held exclusively in English this year. Overall, 80 participants attended the conference. Over the two days, 40 papers were presented in 12 sessions (including a poster session). The keynote speakers who gave their lectures were Francis Magilligan (Dartmouth College), Marie Heřmanová (Open Society Fund Prague) and Athziri Moreno Romo (Central Bohemian Innovation Center). This year the conference was held under the auspices of Deputy Major of Prague, the Mayor of the Borough of Prague 2 and the Rector of Charles University in Prague. As usual, the conference was organised with the support of Charles University in Prague, the Geographical Institute and the Czech Geographical Society.
On behalf of the organising committee
Even the ninth year of the NEW WAVE conference, which was held on 25th and 26th May 2017, fulfil our expectation. Despite the fact that the number of participants was lower than in 2016, the number of foreign participants rose, especially of those from geographically distant countries. In addition to the traditional participation of students from different universities in Czechia and Slovakia, students from Poland, Hungary, Croatia, Italy, the United Kingdom, Japan, China, Russia and Brazil also came. In total, 58 participants attended the conference this year, representing more than 20 research institutions (mostly universities). There were more than 40 presentations (including posters) in 11 sessions. Three important foreign hosts gave keynote lectures: Mona Domosh (Dartmouth College), Bálint Kádár (Budapest University of Technology and Economics) a Marcel Horňák (Comenius University in Bratislava). This year, the conference was held under the auspices of the Councillor of the City Hall of Prague, the Mayor of the Borough of Prague 2 and the Rector of the Charles University. As usual, the conference was organised with the support of the Charles University, the Geographical Institute, the Department of Social Geography and Regional Development and the Czech Geographical Society.
On behalf of the organising committee
The tenth anniversary of the conference - held 31st May and 1st June 2018 in Prague - was extraordinary in many ways. We received participants from very remote parts of the world (Brazil, Japan), the temperatures outside rose above 30 °C and the organising team celebrated it' s farewell with the conference. Overall, the conference welcomed almost 70 participants who attended (and/or presented) 34 presentations in 9 thematic sessions and 8 posters. Lecturers who presented their keynote lectures were: Mona Domosh (Dartmouth College), Eva Ešnerová on behalf of Lukáš Makovský (Institute of Planning and Development of Prague), and Natasha Webster (Stockholm University). The conference was held under the auspices of the Councillor of the Capital City Prague, the Mayor of Prague 2 and the Rector of the Charles University. As usual, the conference was organised with the support of the Charles University, the Geographical Institute, the Department of Social Geography and Regional Development and the Czech Geographical Society. From the next year on (2019), the New Wave conference will be held in Brno at the Department of Geography at Faculty of Science, Masaryk University and every second year again in Prague at the Department of Social Geography and Regional Development, Faculty of Science, Charles University. We are happy to share the pleasure of hosting this conference with our colleagues from Brno and we are looking forward to hosting the conference again in 2020.
On behalf of the organising committee