Changing Worlds

Changing Worlds is a transdisciplinary conference that took place in November 2014 as well as 2015 in Vienna, Austria.

We started a blog about opening up (academic) conferences.
If you are interested in our process,
join the discussion about transdisciplinarity, inclusion, and accessibility!

The GJSS issue for our 2014 conference is out now!
Thank you for the interesting contributions.

Interested in joining the organising committee?

We’re currently looking for new members to join the organising committee for the next instalment that is to take place in 2017.

Info meeting on 23 May 2016, 19:00

University of Vienna, STS department
NIG, Universitätsstraße 7
Staircase II/6th floor

Some more details:

We are the organising commitee of the Changing Worlds conference series, having organised two conferences in Vienna in 2014 and 2015. Most of us will not be able to take part in organising another conference, but we strongly believe that the conferences have shown great potential, and would be sad to see them disappear. Therefore, we are currently looking for engaged people to take part in organising the next installment of the Changing Worlds conference series.

Changing Worlds has been (and should continue to be) an international, inclusive forum for exchange, discussion, and collaboration among artists, academics, activists, and other people concerned with working towards social justice. While the first two conferences focused on the intersections between social justice and science & technology in particular, this latter topical focus may change. The conferences featured a great variety of contributions and formats, including academic paper presentations, workshops, artistic interventions and performances, as well as material exhibits.

Many of the organisers of the first two conferences will not be able to stay on board for a third installment, but we very much hope that such a third installment will take place. This is why we are inviting interested people to an introductory meeting. During the meeting, the current organisers will explain in more depth what the last two conferences looked like as well as answer any questions. In addition to this, the meeting is primarily intended as a space in which an organising committee for a third installment of Changing Worlds may constitute itself and discuss future directions for the conference.

If you are interested in fostering connections between academia, art and activism, and around progressive politics, we very much invite you to come to the introductory meeting on 23 May 2016, at 19:00

We expect the meeting to take between 2 and 3 hours. It will take place at the department of Science and Technology Studies at the University of Vienna.

Based on our experience, organising the conference will demand an average of about 1.5–5 hours of per week from each individual organiser depending on the task (though in bursts of increased activity around specific tasks rather than constant work). Unfortunately (though unsurprisingly), you won’t get paid for working on the organising committee. However, all of us felt that organising these conferences and bringing together people from very different walks of life was a valuable – and sometimes simply amazing – experience, in addition to perhaps changing the world a little bit ourselves. You don’t need any experience in organising events to be part of the organsing committee, and we will gladly support you as much as we can.

You can reach us at

We are looking forward to meeting you!
The organisers of Changing Worlds 2015 – Angela, Bernhard, Boka, Dely, Helene, Mercedes, Milena, Nikolaus and Victoria

About the Conference

Changing Worlds provides an inclusive forum for exchange, discussion, and collaboration among artists, academics, activists, and other people concerned with science and technology issues. Within this space, we are dedicated to fostering an atmosphere that values and respects the different perspectives and approaches resulting from people’s varied backgrounds; we intend to challenge hierarchical perspectives on knowledge by establishing and investigating relationships between them.

Changing Worlds will feature a number of different formats for presenting and engaging with people’s work. This includes more academically traditional paper presentations and panels, arts-based contributions, as well as a dedicated open space for spontaneous collaboration. The conference will also include social events.

We hold the understanding that neither our own nor others’ positions can ever be neutral but that we all see the world through metaphorical lenses which have different shapes depending on how the world engages with us and how we engage with the world. Against this background, we believe that only by bringing together these different views on the world can we gain a more fine-grained and detailed understanding of and therefore better capacity for action in the worlds which we live in.

We especially encourage the participation of advanced students and early-career researchers who work on art and activism, people who see themselves at the intersections of art/academia/activism, and people who may not normally think that academic conferences are for them.

It is not required that your contribution ticks the boxes of all three categories (art, academia and activism); much rather, we are curious to see different approaches to the conference theme.

The conference language is English.

Feel free to contact us with any questions at We are happy to hear from you!

Keynote speakers

Grada Kilomba: Decolonizing Knowledge
Brigit McWade: Mad Studies: making space for mad knowledge and activism in the academy

Important dates

Notification about acceptance: 14 August 2015
Conference: 19 – 21 November 2015