Some recent workshops and conferences I participated in

I had the chance to speak virtually in two events this week, the first organised by Albert Sanchez-Graells from Bristol and Neli Garbuzanova about Healthcare procurement and commissioning during COVID-19. My short presentation is available here.

I really like the narrow and tight focus of this event: 5 speakers, 90 minutes, with the presentations limited to 7-10 minutes. I think there is scope for more events with this format or even shorter - 2/3 speakers and 50-60 minutes, almost like a panel at a conference.

It felt like observing the unbundling of conferences - now that it no longer makes sense to make them huge due to the opportunity costs of getting everyone physically in the same space, we can toy around with really short and tight formats. It is almost like a lunchtime seminar like those run inside departments at universities, but with a much larger audience instead. Win-win.

The second was organised by Miguel Raimundo at my alma mater in Portugal and it merged my two main research interests: public procurement and new technologies, in this case, blockhain. It is available here but in Portuguese only. This was part of a traditional multi-day conference which had been designed for being face to face and then moved online.

In both events, technology worked well altough I had to change my mic setup and positioning to improve the audio for the second one. Bearing in mind that I’m not exactly a huge fan of conferences, this online setup worked really for me since it significantly reduced the opportunity cost associated with participation.

Plus, for once I did the right thing and used working papers to base my presentations on, so it forced me to rethink some arguments and flesh out some broader points I had so far missed.