A message from Dr Joseph Haldane, IAFOR Chairman

Dear Colleagues, Friends and Supporters of IAFOR,

Since 2009, more than 30,000 academics from around the world have chosen to present and/or publish with IAFOR, as we have become the trusted global platform for the dissemination of interdisciplinary research, and an exceptional platform for the nurturing of the networks and relationships that make this International Academic Forum a reality.

Inspiring Global Collaborations

For over a decade, we have been inspiring global collaborations with individuals, and communities across the world, and with universities, colleges, schools, NGO and NPOs, national governments, UN agencies, and the United Nations itself. All this has been possible because of the open, inclusive and non-party or partisan mission of the organisation.

Continuity of Service

Many of you know IAFOR from our conferences, organised throughout the world, the nurturing and engaging environment that we strive to encourage, so that our events are as stimulating and rewarding as they might be. However, the enormously quick spread of COVID-19 and related policy responses from governments, institutions and individuals, have mandated and forced huge and widespread changes in behavior throughout the world, and have disrupted the logistics that make events possible. As a result, we were compelled to put our entire March conference series in Japan online. This was less a necessity imposed by the immediate environment in Japan, where events, albeit with certain measures, are still possible, and more in response to a general freezing up of movement imposed by different governments both domestically and internationally, from the realm of “you decide” a few weeks ago, through travel advisories, to complete home lockdowns. These are unprecedented times. Travelling to a conference is not a choice, and yet this is the funding model on which the majority of IAFOR’s continued income still relies.

Within a few weeks, it has become clear to many individuals and organisations and businesses around the world, that COVID-19 is not just a disruption to business as usual, but an existential threat to their survival. Like many academic organisations and individuals around the world, IAFOR has been compelled to reorient, bolster, improve and refine its online presence to allow its delegates, members, supporters, friends, affiliates, and sponsors a continuation of service online. This quick turnaround is one that mirrors that which I am sure many of you have been asked to undergo. Suddenly classes have been moved “online” and into the virtual world. For many of us, myself included, having never taught online, this is going to be a great challenge, but it is also an enormous global training and professional development opportunity for self-improvement, and one that will doubtless change attitudes, hearts and minds, to the benefits of online and virtual education and engagement.

Within the space of one week, and following a meeting of the IAFOR Board of Directors, IAFOR decided that it would put its conferences entirely online, building on the infrastructure it has long had in place with virtual presenters to offer presenters the same publishing opportunities, but with the live and interactive streaming of all plenary events and parallel sessions. We have also decided to make as much as possible of this content freely available to our global audience of members and followers, to help meet our mission of sharing new knowledge.

Present, Publish, Participate: Online and in Person

While we shall continue to plan for our physical conferences around the world, we know that their viability will be determined by many factors outside of our control, and while many people in different countries will be hit with different measures at different points, we will continue to offer as much as possible online, and in blended form. This means that conferences, where held, will offer as much of their content online as possible, and offer a comprehensive toolbox of opportunities to participate remotely, whether in individual presentations or in panels, roundtables, or discussions. We aim to thrive with the best of both worlds -- inspiring global collaborations in a dynamic synergy of live and virtual spaces.

Since 2010, IAFOR has offered virtual presentation opportunities, and since 2012 we have funded what is now called the IAFOR Research Archive, a permanent, open access and fully searchable research archive open to all where there is an internet connection. From this portal, anyone can browse and download papers presented at IAFOR conferences, use, cite and share the work. Virtual presentations, and videos of past plenaries can also be accessed here. For the past ten years, IAFOR has invested in making sure that work presented at our conferences and in our journals has been treated with care and attention in online form, so in many ways we have never been more ready to respond to this situation.

We need your help

We encourage you to register and present online, whether for an individual presentation, panel or roundtable, and ask you to encourage others to do the same. If you haven’t already, sign up for membership, and encourage others to do the same. Click here to see the full list of upcoming IAFOR conferences.

For those of you on Facebook, we encourage you to Like and Follow the IAFOR Facebook page where we will be sharing announcements and links to our live-stream presentations. We would be very grateful if you can share these posts to help us reach the largest audience possible.

My hope and expectation is that your support will help IAFOR not just survive, but positively thrive in these very, very difficult times.

I look forward to seeing you online very soon, and, I hope in person, in the not too distant future.

Take care of yourselves and each other,

Thank you,


Dr Joseph Haldane
Chairman & C.E.O, The International Academic Forum (IAFOR)

Founded in 2009, The International Academic Forum (IAFOR) is a politically independent non-partisan and non-profit interdisciplinary think tank, conference organiser and publisher dedicated to encouraging interdisciplinary discussion, facilitating intercultural awareness and promoting international exchange, principally through educational interaction and academic research. Based in Japan, its main administrative office is in Nagoya, and its research center is in the Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP), a graduate school of Osaka University.

The IAFOR General Incorporated Association (Japan) is a social enterprise and non-profit entity registered under the laws of Japan.

The IAFOR Research Foundation is a private nonprofit foundation, registered in the State of California and a 501(c)3 organisation under US tax code.

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