YSI regional convenings in 2018 and beta-testing YSD

Happy New Year!

2017 was another great year for YSI! Every year sees more activity, more working groups, more members and 2017 was no exception. This is all because of your hard efforts. We have several exciting announcements to make and plans to share for the new year:

Since the Festival for New Economic Thinking, we have spent our time preparing a slightly delayed Christmas present for YSI and we are excited to tell you that very soon we will start to unroll the next stage of YSD. We have also been thinking about YSI’s plans for 2018.

2018 EVENT PLAN: Regional Convenings

Most importantly, we are not planning to have a plenary, festival or any big event bringing together the entire YSI community in 2018 as we did in 2016 and 2017. Rather than using much travel support on flying scholars from all over the world to one central event like we did in Budapest and Edinburgh, we intend to strengthen YSI in all regions by having at least five regional plenary-like events. We already had a few regional convenings last year, but we’d like to be more ambitious and make them more like the Budapest experience. This would mean that:

* We will advertise the regional convenings as the main YSI events of the year
* The regional convenings will receive support from YSI management. 
* Like the Budapest plenary, the regional convenings will not have a topic that limits the paper submissions. Rather, we want them to be collections of meetings of many working groups. The working groups will have individual call for papers under the umbrella of the regional convening. Each working group can choose to send out the same call for papers to some or all regions, or they can make specific calls for some or all regions.    

Having five or six large convenings instead of one, will of course be beyond the capacity of YSI Management to organize alone. We cannot put in the same effort into every single regional convening as we did for Budapest or Edinburgh. We therefore imagine that every regional plenary will need a lead organizer chosen from YSI core. Since the organizational effort involved with this might be substantial, there will be a stipend associated with taking on this position. If you are interested in becoming a lead organizer for one of these convenings, please contact YSI Management.

Working group coordinators should also start thinking about how they want their working group to take part in these convenings. The idea of the convenings is to make it easy for the working groups to have meetings in different regions, since the meeting logistics are already taken care off. Howeveer, it is up to the working groups how many of the convenings they wish to take part in – there is no expectation that all working groups will take part in all convenings. In a few cases, the same coordinator might be travelling to multiple continents to organize meetings, but we would prefer to use this as a chance for the working groups to evolve into true team endeavours, where different organizers take responsibility for different meetings in the group.

The convenings will of course be on top of the regular working group meetings already planned. We still encourage and have set aside budget for all working groups to have meetings aside from the regional convenings.

YSD Update

We are almost ready to release the first update to YSD. This update will allow you to create and run your own webinars directly from the YSD platform!
As you may well know, the long term plan is to organize YSI around ‘projects’ led by the working groups. A webinar series will be the first type of project you will see on YSD. Later, other types of projects will be added.

Another important part of this update is that we have decided to leave our current video conferencing provider, GoToMeeting, and will start using another provider called Zoom. Old-time YSI members has gotten to know GoToMeeting well for many years, and maybe it will be a sentimental goodbye, but don’t worry, Zoom can do all the same stuff as GoToMeeting and integrates very smoothly with YSD.

This is a rather big update to YSD, so before we can go live, we need to test it. YSI CORE consists of the best guinea pigs we can think of! This is therefore your chance to go see how YSD will soon look and play around a little. At the same time, this will be a huge help for us because you will identify all the bugs and stuff that doesn’t work before it goes live. We hope everyone can spend 30 minutes on this.

If you want to help, you have to go to the YSD development platform:

This is a completely different site than live YSD, so you will need to create a new user with a new password and ask Thomas to upgrade you to coordinator on the development platform. After that, we encourage you to play around with it, create some new webinars, hold some webinars, attend other people’s webinars and so on. Let us know what is intuitive and what is not. The more you try, the larger will be our chances of finding bugs before we go live.

In order for you not to be inundated with spam mails when we test the system we encourage that you join the working groups "Beta Testgroup" 1 or 2, which are created for this purpose.

We have created a document for all your comments. Here you can also let us know if you come across any bugs, stuff that doesn’t look finished or other comments. You can add it all here:


Thank you for helping out.

All the best for 2018,

Jay and Thomas