Call for papers

The Bled eConference has been shaping electronic interactions since 1988. Implementation of novel information technologies leads enterprises and governments towards digital transformation. Digital transformation will not be successful if sustainable aspects of human and social development will not be considered. European Commission emphasizes that in the future, competitiveness will be dependent on the ability to move towards sustainability, resource-efficiency and the ability to exploit the advantages of digital technologies. In the context of digital society, implementation of digital technologies and novel solutions to achieve higher efficiency, effectiveness and competitive advantage is insufficient. Society calls for different economic models; more responsible, righteous and less exploitative. Digital technologies should be used to implement and design business models, which will be sensitive for sustainable development in all aspects – economic, environmental and social (triple bottom line).  The community of Bled eConference aims to remain an active contributor in shaping economic and social growth, with environmental sensibility and thus raising the well-being of citizens around the world.

  • A small supportive community offers the opportunity to benefit from the expertise of esteemed researchers;
  • A fully-refereed Research Track and research in progress track, devoted to researchers in all aspects of digital transformation;
  • Doctoral Consortium, offering students to present their ongoing masters and PhD study results;
  • ePrototype Students Bazaar, offering students opportunities to present innovative e- or m-Business or Internet of Things ideas, models, prototypes and apps;
  • A Business and Government Panel Track which attracts eminent business and government leaders from Europe, the Americas and Asia-Pacific;
  • Business, Government and Academic Workshops and Meetings offering unparalleled opportunities to discuss share and learn with colleagues from around the world;
  • EU projects dissemination meetings; enabling project partners to connect with other similar projects and to disseminate results to a wider community.

Bled’s highlights:

  • The conference is shaping electronic interactions since 1988
  • Strong relationships and cooperation with journals
  • Coaching of doctoral students – Doctoral Consortium and Graduate Students ePrototype Bazaar
  • Research in progress and poster presentations
  • Special interest tracks (besides the regular track)

We invite submissions in all areas of research, teaching, and business related to the Digitial Economy and Society with special emphasis on digital transformation.

Submitted papers should make a significant contribution to theory, knowledge, and practice in the areas of information management, information systems, information technology, and information resources management. Papers based on both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, in all traditional as well as new areas of Management Information Systems, Business Informatics, Computer Science, or Technology Management are accepted.

Conference chair: Andreja Pucihar, University of Maribor, Slovenia

Conference chairMirjana Kljajić Borštnar, University of Maribor, Slovenia

36th Bled eConference Research track chair: Guido Ongena, HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, Netherlands

36th bled eConference Research track co-chair: Marikka Heikkilä, University of Turku, Finland

36th bled eConference Research track co-chair: Anand Sheombar, HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, Netherlands

We encourage submissions related to the conference theme, and also from the parts that build the Digital Economy and Society, including:

Digital Transformation I eInnnovations Security & Privacy Future of Work I Internet of Things I IoT I Big Data Business Analytics I Business Intelligence I eAnalytics Open data I Digital Services I Blockchain Business and Organizational Models I Digital Business Models I AI BI I Data Science I eCollaboration Social Media eCommerce eBusiness Interorganizational Systems eMarketplaces & Communities Mobile Value Services Cloud Computing eHealth & mHealth Digital Wellness & Wellbeing Sustainability I Sustainable Development I Smart Cities I Smart Regions Sustainable Digitial Economy and Society I Smart Communities I eSociety eParticipation eLearning 2.0 & eEducation I eSMEs Industry 4.0 I eLiving Labs eCollaboration eRegions eTourism eDependency eTrust I ePrivacy any other aspect of “e”

We offer several special interest tracks:

Digital Health (Track Co-Chairs: Nilmini Wickramasinghe, Swinburne University of Technology and Epworth HealthCare, Australia and Juergen Seitz, Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University, Germany):

In 2020 the world was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.  During this pandemic the role of digital health, its benefits, potentials and opportunities to extend and support any time, anywhere care delivery became apparent like never before. Now as we return to a new normal, patients and clinicians alike have new expectations and opinions about digital health. We want to unpack the impacts, implications and lessons learned about these digital transformations around healthcare delivery. In particular, we focus on the role that e- and m- technologies can play in finding the balance between societal costs on the one hand and the empowerment and well-being of citizens/patients on the other. Moreover, we look at all healthcare stakeholders and how technology changes their role. Key questions to explore include: Can we find ways to organize healthcare closer to patients’ needs, which are also of high quality, less intrusive, and at lower costs? How is digitization changing healthcare processes? Can data analytics, the Internet of Things, and quantified self-help in this effort? Does digitization of healthcare mean loss of personalisation and the human touch? And how do we safeguard that the data are not abused?

Digital Ethics (Track Co-Chair:  Roger Bons, FOM Hochschule, Germany, Johan Versendaal, HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht and Open University of the Netherlands, Netherlands and Koen Smit, HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, The Netherlands)

Technology is not neutral. Ethical values are in many ways included in product and service design. Digital technology implementation has implicit and explicit effects on its users, developers, and all its stakeholders. Apps may nudge you into a certain direction, default options may show provider preferred choices, and large text files can obscure what is really the message when e.g. accepting cookies and approving forward license agreements. Applications of Artificial Intelligence may easily violate stakeholder values: usage of privacy-sensitive data, usage of incomplete and biased training sets resulting in unexpected decisions, a tendency of ossification, and more. In addition, pandemic times may easily propagate a ‘more pragmatic approach’ to being ethical. At the same GDPR and other legislation increasingly protect consumers and citizens; also the field of Digital Ethics shows that carefully taking an ethical perspective can increase citizen inclusion, democracy, autonomy, and other values. Value sensitive design and implication analysis of technology increasingly receive attention. However, many questions on how to optimize the ethical perspective in digital technology design and implementation remain to be investigated and researched. This track invites submissions of research papers on matters like (yet not limited to):
• Exploratory research on the ethical perspective of digital technology implementation and digital transformation
• Methods, tooling, and techniques taking the ethical perspective into account
• Explanatory factors for ethically successful digital technology design and implementation
• A co-perspective on IS/IT scientific theory and the body of knowledge on ethics

AI & Data Science (Track Co-Chair: Guido Ongena, HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, Netherlands and Sanda Martinčić Ipšić, University of Rijeka, Croatia):

Propelled by computational power, the availability of (big and unstructured) data, major advancements in machine intelligence, and unprecedented speeds at which analytics need to be generated and delivered, a wealth of new questions and opportunities arise in creating value for governmental bodies and businesses. As organizations transform into data and analytics-centric enterprises, more research is needed not only on the technical aspects of analytics such as data science algorithms, computing infrastructure but also on various other organizational issues in the business analytics context (e.g. managerial, strategic, leadership, data governance, and inter-organizational issues). For this track, we invite technical, theoretical, design science, pedagogical and behavioral research as well as novel implementations of data analytics & visualization for varied data (or sources) such as sensors or Internet of Things (IoT) data, text, multimedia, business operations, clickstreams, and user-generated content. We welcome papers examining a wide range of contexts including healthcare, security, energy, marketing, supply chain, technology, service, hospitality, education, transportation, fraud prevention, and the environment.

Possible business-oriented topics of submissions include, but are not limited to:

  • Big Data and Business Transformation
  • Innovative Artifacts for Business Analytics
  • Data-Driven Business Modelling
  • Data-Driven Process Mining and Innovation
  • Data Strategy and Data Privacy
  • Social and Ethical Issues in Big Data
  • Social Impact of Data Science
  • Competences in the Era of Big Data
  • Data Science and Industry 4.0
  • Big Data Applications / Innovations

Possible technical-oriented topics of submissions include, but are not limited to instantiations of:

  • Data mining / Machine Learning / Deep Learning
  • Process mining
  • Data science
  • Text & Multimedia analytics
  • Social Network (Media) Analytics
  • Real-time data analysis / Stream processing
  • Internet of Things (IoT), Sensor data analytics
  • Spatial data analysis / Visualization
  • Open Data / Data Sets

Digital Education (Track Co-Chair: Mirjana Kljajić Borštnar, University of Maribor, Slovenia, Matt Glowatz, University College Dublin, Ireland, and Esther van der Stappen, Avans University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands):

Education has been changing as technology allows for many new possibilities and this change has accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic since a considerable share of education moved online. New modes of learning and instruction emerged, such as the hybrid virtual classroom. Educators rapidly developed their digital and pedagogical skills to deliver their courses remotely. Challenges related to motivation, accessibility, and wellbeing emerged.
Besides the consequences of pandemic, education has been facing societal challenges. New students enter educational institutions with highly developed digital skills. Part-time learning, continuous learning, and immediate-on-the-spot knowledge acquisition change the educational playground. Electronic learning platforms bring together practice, teachers, scholars, and students in one environment. On top of new approaches to learning and teaching, the digital society requires new knowledge, new technical and soft skills.
How does this change education, what are the good practices, how can research and education come together in leveraging new models of learning and teaching? How can we adapt curricula of the old disciplines to the new reality and how to create curricula for emerging disciplines? What can we collectively learn from the experiences we gained from the pandemic in remote, hybrid, and blended learning?
We encourage research contributions on the challenges of digital, blended, and hybrid education.

Smart Sustainable Cities (Track Co-chair: Hans-Dieter Zimmermann, Eastern Switzerland University of Applied Sciences, Campus St. Gallen, Switzerland, Pascal Ravesteijn, University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, Netherlands, and Matthias Baldauf, Eastern Switzerland University of Applied Sciences, Campus St. Gallen, Switzerland )

“The Smart City idea offers concepts and solutions for cities, communities, as well as regions to cope with current challenges occurring in the form of demographics, urbanization, climate change, resource crises, mobility challenges, global competition as well as open and participatory societies. While the early smart city concepts focused on technology first and foremost nowadays the citizens and their quality of life are the starting point for many activities. The track will focus on the utilization of any technology to contribute to the quality of life of citizens. Especially in European cities a rather small on average and often linked to further communities in a region, the track will focus on smart cities, communities as well as regions. Therefore, the track continues the eRegion tradition of the Bled eConference. We look forward to receiving papers addressing various issues of a smart city, such as strategies and frameworks, concrete solutions and cases, service and business models, benefits and challenges, as well as ethical challenges, covering all the various smart city dimensions from smart energy over smart mobility and sharing economy to smart governments and smart citizens, utilizing different methodological approaches. ”

Business Models (Track Co-Chair: Mirjana Kljajić Borštnar, University of Maribor, Slovenia, Christian Kittl, evolaris next level Research Centre, Austria and Andreja Pucihar, University of Maribor, Slovenia)

Digital transformation and implementation of digital technologies affect current business models (BM) of enterprises and societies as well as enable development of new disruptive business models. We invite qualitative and quantitative research papers addressing different fields of BM as for example digital technologies affecting value creation, new product and service development and/or delivery, new ways of CRM, new types of networked business models, etc. We are also interested in BM innovation approaches, practices and tools used for BM innovation e.g. user involvement, open innovation, customer centered design.

Digital Consumer (Track Co-Chair: Marjeta Marolt, University of Maribor, Slovenia, and  Hans-Dieter Zimmermann, Eastern Switzerland University of Applied Sciences, Campus St. Gallen, Switzerland)

The advancements of digital technology enable consumers to gain the necessary information to weigh their options before making a purchase decision. Through their smartphones and other devices, consumers can find the best brands, customer reviews, and pricing among others. The active consumers also voluntarily share and co-create experiences collectively with other actors with shared interests. This means that firms need to keep up with the best techniques if they want to acquire new and retain existing consumers. More specifically, the firms need to follow the consumer decision-making process, provide greater service customisation and personalisation and engage consumers in value co-production and co-creation processes. Thus, this research track aims to explore the role of smart consumers in digital strategies and digital transformation processes. We welcome different methodological approaches and look forward to receiving papers addressing various issues related, but not limited to:

  • Consumer purchase decision-making process identification and tracking challenges
  • Firm-initiated engagement activities that foster consumer co-production
  • Dynamic roles played by consumers in the value co-creation process
  • New models for smart service automation, combining data, analytical components, and physical infrastructure in unique customer offerings
  • Application of conversational interfaces in the purchase process

Restructured Work (Track Co-Chair: Axel Minten, German Coworking Association and FOM University of Applied Sciences, Germany, and Xander Lub, Hogeschool Utrecht, Netherlands)

The digital transformation is profoundly affecting the ways in which people contribute to societies, how they live and work, and the number and types of jobs available. While worries of widespread technological unemployment may be overstated, the impact of digital transformation on the nature of work and the skills required is very real and already upon us. Many new, productive, and rewarding forms of work and jobs are being created as part of the digital transformation, but at the same time, many jobs have disappeared, and more are likely to go in the future (Frey & Osborne, 2017). Also, the organization of work, workspace and leadership is changing in a significant way. Work constellations like coworking, remote work, home office and hybrid-mixtures between those become reality in many businesses and fields of work. But not all employees benefit from those changes. The impact of digitalization on the workforce depends on technological innovations and uptake of these new technologies but OECD estimates suggest that some 14% of workers face a high risk that their tasks will be automated. Another 32% face major changes in the tasks required in their job and, consequently, the skills they would need to do their job (Nedelkoska and Quintini, 2018). These workers will need to significantly adapt to succeed in the new digitally-enabled work environment. In this track, we invite contributions related to this re- and upskilling challenge. Possible topics include:

  • What are new skills in this era of digital transformation?
  • Who will benefit from new forms of work that became possible via digital transformation?
  • How can we prepare employees for new jobs or changes to existing jobs?
  • How can we engage employees to participate in understanding in what way their organization will change and how they can reconfigure their jobs?
  • How do we navigate and manage the change process in the complexity of digital transformation?
  • How do we need to rethink leadership, management and Organization?

Decision Analytics for Business and Societal Challenges (Track Co-Chairs: Christer Carlsson, Professor, Institute for Advanced Management Systems Research and Åbo Akademi University, Finland,  Pasi Luukka, Professor, LUT School of Business and Management, Finland and Doug Vogel Professor, Harbin Institute of Technology, China):

The historical roots of the Decision Analytics (DA) Track are in the decision support systems (DSS). DSS builders focused on the users’ priorities, they developed systems linked to key business activities and they viewed the quality of a system from the value it gives to the users rather than the level of technology applied. DSS reflected demand economics: service, fast delivery, ease of use, benefit-focused more than cost, and imprecision allowed for timely delivery and user control – features that are still relevant for a digital economy and society.

Analytics has gained in importance in business and industry over the last 10-12 years, but the introduction of analytic theory and increasingly advanced algorithms also meets with resistance; senior managers and executives are not comfortable with elements of “black boxes” (i.e., advanced mathematics) as key parts of planning, problem-solving and decision making. The challenges are the same as in the early 1970s –Russell Ackoff, one of the pioneers of Management Science, found that mathematical models tackle and solve mainly limited and abstract representations of actual problems and are mostly rather useless for handling real-world issues.

In the 50 years of development in information systems methods and technology since Ackoff, we have been able to tackle and solve multitudes of problems. Lotfi Zadeh formulated it as “you can increase precision if you are willing to give up on relevance or you can increase relevance if you are willing to give up on precision, but you cannot do both at the same time”. In the 2020’s we tend to forget this lesson as we aim at getting more advanced (e.g., deep and machine learning) algorithms to deal with still larger and more complex problems in digital economies and in a digital society where planning, problem-solving and decision making need to be fast-moving, highly dynamic and mostly right. Thus, there are issues we need to tackle and resolve.

Explainable Decision Analytics and Support

The recent advances in AI-powered support tools for planning, problem-solving, and decision-making have raised the need to explain services in support of knowledge bases and the cognitive capabilities of the users. The AI advances – now being something of a hype – have reactivated the need for explainable algorithms, computational intelligence methods (that deal with very large data sets), soft computing methods (that tackle imprecise, messy and noisy contexts) but also for explainable heuristics to guide logic and reasoning in new situations where data is not yet available (“we don’t know what we don’t know”). Support and explanation – as a focus cluster – open up new research challenges, which offer value-added insights to users and support the introduction and adoption of new methods and technology.

Digital Coaching to Make Advanced Systems Usable

One focus cluster could concentrate on “excellence”, practical IS in digitalized industrial and business processes which aims to collect cases of digital coaching solutions. Business magazines promote a modern mantra – powerful, intelligent systems will be effective tools for the digitalization of industrial processes – but much less attention is paid to the fact that users need advanced knowledge and skills to manage, operate and benefit from the systems. First, an effective transfer of knowledge from experts and researchers to users and managers will be needed; second, the daily operations of systems need to be supported, as automated, intelligent industrial systems are complex to operate; third, intelligent systems are attractive platforms for advanced tools that should be mastered. Knowledge mobilization is a possible paradigm for knowledge transfer and digital coaching offers tools for the mobilization. The digitalization of industrial and business processes will require coaching on a scale not used before, but human coaches are scarce, too expensive to employ in large numbers and may not be qualified to coach in the operations of advanced systems. The “excellence” cases offer value-adding advice and guidelines for operations in industry and business and will open up new research venues for digital coaching models, methods and technology, and then for coaching theory.

DA Theory, Models, Methods and Technology in IS Research and Practice

DA theory and methodology will serve as a conceptual framework for the DA Track. DA models and methods cover a plethora of techniques, tools, and technological artefacts. Research on DA will offer models, methods and technology with use and relevance in the industry, financial services, defence, manufacturing, digital services, gamification, logistics, supply chains, management, industry 4.0, robotics, health care, public services, etc. Typical research themes are the adoption, diffusion, routinization, maturity and use and innovative applications of DA methods and technology for planning, problem-solving, foresight, decision-making, etc. in organizations and for individuals and groups. The focus cluster explores the potential of DA for the Information Systems field and outcomes for businesses, industries, individuals, and society. DA models and methods may have unintended implications, and research efforts should be dedicated to finding them and finding ways to counteract and eliminate them. Conceptual and empirical papers with a sociotechnical focus on DA of any methodological stance (qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods etc.) and of any level of analysis will contribute to the theory and methodology. Papers with contrarian and critical views that bring impactful new insights are important for building progress in the focus cluster.

[Text for the Bled 2023 Call for Papers]:

The Decision Analytics (DA) Track welcomes papers that work out emerging managerial and organizational decision-making strategies, processes, tools, technologies, services and solutions in the Digital Age. Decision Analytics focuses on decision-making processes, analytics tools and supporting technologies which include themes such as open data, big data and analytics, visual decision analytics, machine learning, explainable AI, business and service analytics, internet of things, knowledge collaboration, soft computing, logistics and supply chain management, sustainability, etc., which now are core research themes in analytics. Challenges and issues of service industries, digitalization of services, digital mobile services, smart service systems, etc. are application areas which form business and societal challenges within the Bled 2023 conference theme “Digital Economy & Society”.

Possible topics:

  • Analytics and decision support – new technology meets new challenges
  • Big data and analytics – problem areas, challenges and solutions
  • Case studies of analytics technologies for industry and business platforms
  • Data-driven services in logistics – transformation and management
  • Digital mobile services for everyday life
  • Digital services and service digitalization
  • Visual analytics for knowledge integration and decision support
  • Machine learning and predictive analytics for management support
  • Soft computing – theory innovations and problem-solving benefits

Research in Progress (Track Chair: Koen Smit, HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, The Netherlands, and Anand Sheombar, HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, Netherlands)

A part of the conference program will be dedicated to interactive presentations on visionary ideas, showcases and research-in-progress. Through short presentations (possibly enhanced with posters) delegates will be able to show their (preliminary) research and receive feedback in an interactive way. Authors will present their contributions as a part of the conference program. We invite submissions as short papers with possibly associated posters on topics related to the conference’s main theme and special interest themes. Accepted submissions will be enclosed in the proceedings as short papers.

Please see also other options for participation at the conference:

Publications

All accepted papers will be published in the Conference Proceedings (CD with ISBN and CIP number and online).

In 2021 we have secured the partnership of the following journals:

that may facilitate the publication of enhanced versions of further selected papers. Several “Special Issues” have resulted from Bled eConferences, giving the authors of selected papers ample opportunity to get rated publications as a direct and immediate result from being at Bled.

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THE BLED eCONFERENCE: A LONG TRADITION

Since its very beginning, it has been a conference that focuses on relevance with rigour as the underpinning foundation for contributions. This has always made the conference an excellent podium for testing out new ideas and research in progress, for senior and junior researchers alike. Not mentioning the number of partnerships between researchers that have originated at Bled and led to fruitful cooperation.

Bled also has a long tradition of coaching young researchers and students. Doctoral Consortium has been on the program since the early 1990s with the ambition to help young PhD candidates to sharpen their research proposals and to help them find international colleagues working on similar themes.

Finally, another important reason for coming to Bled is its excellent location and facilities at and near the venue. Many professional and personal friendships originate from Bled, during one of the many social events or the morning run around the lake. We are eager to meet you in 2022 to participate in the truly unique experience that makes the Bled eConference.

IMPORTANT DATES

36th Bled eConference
June 25-28, 2023,

Bled, Slovenia

Easychair paper submission system opens in
January, 2023

Paper submissions due:

Full papers and research in progress papers
March 6, 2023

Doctoral Consortium and Students Bazaar proposals
March 16, 2023

Notifications by April 28, 2023
Final papers due May 15, 2023