AMIC oo-organizes 3rd Mobile Studies Congress
The 3rd Mobile Studies Congress was held on 09-11 December 2022 with the theme, “Go Mobile, Stay Innovative.” The in-person sessions were held at the School of International Communications, the University of Nottingham Ningbo China. Many other participants also attended online sessions. The Congress gathered over 150 participants from all over the world.
The Congress was organized by Institute of Mobile Studies (IMS), International and Mobile Innovation Network and Association (MINA). The co-organizers were University of Nottingham China, Zhejiang University, Swinburne University of Technology (Australia), and Asian Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC).
The first Mobile Studies Congress with the theme, “Go Mobile, Stay Healthy,” was held on 13-15 November 2020 which was followed by the second Mobile Studies Congress with the theme, “Go Mobile, Stay Sustainable,” on 12-14 November 2021.
The congress is one of the annual events of IMS. The other event is Mobile Studies Summer School.
Since its inception in October 2019, IMS has been at the forefront in promoting and conducting mobile studies as an emerging field of scientific research. Areas of study include mobile media, mobilities, and mobile communications.
IMS has obtained its national and international reputation as the leader in mobile studies in higher education in China and one of the leaders in higher education globally.
This year’s congress had two pre-congress workshops: Workshop 1: “DiVoMiner for Innovative Mobile Studies,” with Dr. Angus Cheong and Lawrence Dang as resource persons. This was held on 03 December 2022. Workshop 2 was “Micro-Documentary” (in Chinese) held on 4 December 2022 with Ms. Lei Chen as resource person. A Pre-Congress Partner Session consisting of four panel sessions was held on 08 December 2022.
The three-day congress consisted of four partner sessions inclusive of 21 panel sessions featuring diverse subjects such as digital divide and digital equity, mobile communication literacy, mobile health, mobile education/learning, intelligent communication, mobile creativity, mobile and smartphone filmmaking.
Day 03 also featured two Smartphone Film Forums. Two post-conference workshops were held on 17 December and 18 December with the themes, “Mobile Documentary Workshop” and “Mobile City Storytelling Workshop,” respectively.
In his welcome speech, Founding Chair of Mobile Studies Congress Dr. Xiaoge Xu emphasized Mobile Studies Congress as a global annual event, aiming to promote mobile studies as an emerging field of research and to share experience and expertise in leveraging mobile for enhancing mobile communications.
Dr. Xu Xiaoge is also the Founding Director of Institute for Mobile Studies, School of International Communications and founder of the Mobile Studies International.
Dr. Sadia Jamil, Assistant Professor and Co-Director of the University of Nottingham Institute for Mobile Studies, and AMIC Country Representative for the United Arab Emirates and China, chaired the opening session and Keynote Session 1. She also chaired the closing session of the Mobile Studies Congress.
According to Dr. Jamil, mobile phone technology is not just transforming individual’s routine life but also reshaping business practices and operational strategies in many sectors. She acknowledged the transformations brought by mobile phone technology and the need to broaden the research within this area, incorporating diverse areas of exploration including mobile economy, mobile health, mobile learning, mobile journalism, mobile filming, and mobile governance.
She further urged to recognize the issue of digital inequalities that continue to affect people’s usage of mobile phones for diverse purposes and influence the national governments’ progress towards the achievement of sustainable development goals.
AMIC Secretary General Ramon R. Tuazon spoke at the plenary for Keynote Session 2. In his presentation entitled, “Rediscovering Mobile Technology for the Common Good,” Mr. Tuazon called the participants’ attention to the “imbalanced” interest in the application of mobiles as there seems to have many “blind spots.”
For example, academic papers or studies which feature the impact of mobiles in food security seem wanting amid worsening hunger gripping many countries today. Other blind spots include migration issues and the impact of mobile on democracy and human rights.
According to SG Tuazon, for democracy to move forward and to reverse authoritarianism we need access to accurate information, transparency, civic engagement, and digital inclusion. All these can be facilitated by appropriate use of mobile technology.