The 5th European Citizen Science Association (ECSA) conference will take place in Vienna, Austria, from 3 - 6 April 2024. This is one of the leading citizen science events in Europe, where people from multiple backgrounds and disciplines will discuss citizen science and explore its potential for addressing societal and environmental issues. The Novel Data Ecosystem for Sustainability (NODES) Research Group is involved in ECSA and will run workshops and give presentations.

Hosting institutions of the upcoming ECSA conference are the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, the Natural History Museum Vienna (NHMW) and the Austrian citizen science association. ECSA is a network of hundreds of individuals and organisations who share a vision of making science and research more open, accessible, and valuable for everyone. It supports the growth and recognition of citizen science in Europe and advocates for its inclusion, promotion, and funding as a valid and beneficial approach.

The conference theme is 'Change', as it reflects the current challenges and opportunities that citizen science faces in a time of rapid social and environmental change. As change can be both positively and negatively viewed, different perspectives on any given change can reach varying conclusions. The aim of the ECSA conference is to explore different ways of understanding and influencing change through citizen science and participatory research. The potential of citizen science to be a change maker in research and society, and as a tool to manage the change happening around us will also be highlighted.

Research Scholar Dilek Fraisl is on the ECSA Conference organizing committee, and the NODES research group of the Advancing Systems Analysis (ASA) program at IIASA will be strongly represented at this year’s conference. Several colleagues have already submitted abstracts and workshops covering areas such as the Urban ReLeaf project, and citizen science and the SDGs, in particular, how change is needed by governments to embrace this new source of valuable data.

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