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Tuesday, 21 May 2024 09:50

2026 RSAI World Congress | Request for Proposals

2026 RSAI World Congress | Request for Proposals

The Regional Science Association International (RSAI) aims to hold a world congress at least once every two years. The last edition has recently been held in Kecskemét, Hungary, with a vast representation of many Countries and all supranational sections of the RSAI. RSAI considers world congresses an important instrument for furthering its mission of global advancement of regional analysis and related spatial and areal studies for the benefit of society.

The RSAI calls for proposals to host a world congress in 2026. Potential hosts are RSAI Supra-Regionals, Sections or Members that have a proven track record of hosting conferences and related events. A world congress may be held concurrently with another event or as a standalone event. Proposals must be submitted by Monday, July 1, 2024, 23:59 CET.  Proposals are evaluated by the RSAI Council. A decision will be made at the RSAI Council meeting to be held in Terceira, during the annual ERSA meeting; depending on the quality of the proposals received, the RSAI reserves the right not to organize a congress in 2026, or to  postpone the decision, so that a potentially interesting proposal can be fine-tuned. This document outlines the application process, organization and expected outcomes regarding the 2026 world congress.

Prior RSAI World congresses

1980 1st – Cambridge Mass. (Harvard University), USA

1984 2nd – Rotterdam (Erasmus University), Netherlands

1989 3rd – Jerusalem (Kibbutz Ramat Rachel), Israel

1992 4th – Palma de Mallorca, Spain

1996 5th – Tokyo (Rissho University), Japan

2000 6th – Lugano, Ticino, Switzerland

2004 7th – Port Elizabeth, South Africa

2008 8th – Sao Paulo, Brazil

2012 9th – Timisoara, Romania

2018 10th Goa, India

2021 11th Marrakech, Morocco (online only)

2024 12th Kecskemét (John von Neumann University), Hungary

Criteria for a successful 2026 world congress

  1. The world congress should aim to have significant participation from members of Sections of all four supra-regional organisations – ERSA, LARSA, NARSC and PRSCO.
  2. The conference should also endeavor to attract regional scientists resident in countries in which no RSAI Section has yet been established. Subsidies may be available to selected applicants for participation through RSAI’s “Building Bridges” programme.
  3. The 2026 World Congress may be held as a standalone event. Alternatively, proposals may suggest to organise it jointly or “back-to-back” with another event. Such a joint or back-to-back event could be an RSAI Section meeting, a supra-regional congress, or an event held jointly with other organizations with similar objectives or networks.
  4. The proposed dates of the congress must be such that they do not clash with other events that aim to attract the same regional science community, unless a joint conference is envisaged. The organizers will consult with the RSAI President and the RSAI Executive Director in order to identify a mutually acceptable schedule for the event.
  5. The conference should be held at an easily accessible location in a globally accessible city.
  6. Accommodation should be available at the conference venue (when the conference is held at a hotel or convention centre). Alternatively, a range of affordable accommodation should be available within 15 minutes walking from the venue.
  7. The congress should include plenary sessions of interest to the global scientific community. The overall conference theme and the selection of keynote speakers should reflect this. Of course, local perspectives and concerns may be interwoven with global perspectives and concerns.
  8. Proposals should include initiatives to encourage participation from developing countries and from other countries in which no RSAI Sections have yet been established. RSAI can assist financially in meeting this objective through its “Building Bridges” programme but other funding initiatives (e.g. subsidies for participating postgraduate students) are also encouraged.
  9. The programme could also include one or more workshops for professional development of emerging scholars and postgraduate students, who may not be in a position to contribute a full paper to the formal scientific programme.
  10. The working language of the congress is English but proposals may include arrangements for simultaneous translation of plenary sessions where this is deemed to be desirable.
  11. Proposals should include a risk assessment regarding contingencies that could impact on the viability and success of the congress. Ways in which potential risks can be managed should be outlined.
  12. A detailed financial plan providing details on the economic aspects of the congress should also be submitted along with the candidature.

Organization of the congress

  1. For the services it provides, RSAI Office charges a commission equal to 20% of all registration fees received. The remaining registration revenue is transferred to the legal entity representing the LOC. Any anticipated sponsorship monies will be included in the budget.
  2. All arrangements for the organization of the World Congress will be formalized in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MOU will be signed by the President of RSAI, the Executive Director, the Chair of the LOC and the person representing the legal entity through which the LOC operates.

Application Process

  1. Proposals should address each of the 12 criteria for hosting the 2026 world congress outlined above. However, it is understood that some of the information provided by the congress proposers (such as names of suggested keynote speakers, sponsorship, etc.) will be tentative at the time the proposal is submitted. 
  2. Proposals should include a list of the key people involved in organizing the congress, a draft congress plan (including dates, location and schedule), a detailed draft budget (including a schedule of registration fees) and a suggested range of accommodations and charges.
  3. The acceptance of a proposal by RSAI Council does not constitute a binding agreement between the two parties. The subsequently drawn up MOU, which is guided by the proposal, will constitute a binding agreement.
  4. Proposals should be submitted by email to the Executive Director (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; cc: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Monday, July 1, 2024, 23:59 CET.
  5.  A decision regarding the 2026 World Congress will be made by RSAI Council during the meeting to be held at the forthcoming ERSA congress in Terceira, Açores.
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The Regional Science Association International (RSAI), founded in 1954, is an international community of scholars interested in the regional impacts of national or global processes of economic and social change.

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