#YML24 Conference Impressions

We have summarized our personal impression of the interdisciplinary conference #YouthMediaLife 2024: Interdisciplinary Perspectives into Digital Practices, held from March 25, 2024 to March 28, 2024, at the University of Vienna.

Susanne Reichl

Lisza-Sophie Neumeier

Georg Wendt

It’s a peculiar feeling to bemoan a four-day event that, in its lead-up, drew much attention, demanded It’s a peculiar feeling to bemoan a four-day event that, in its lead-up, drew much attention, demanded lots of effort, and necessitated great care from an increasing number of people. When I was sitting in our institute’s staff kitchen at the end of it, feelings of elation were certainly the loudest, and yet, there were also obtuse moments of melancholy, as if coming to the end of a long journey. As far as conference experiences go, #YML24 is a first in having me don two hats simultaneously: by being part of the organizing committee but also one of the presenters.

Wearing two hats can obviously lead to varying results, and, sometimes, make you look a bit silly. Especially with an event of this size, conference veterans are quick to impart their own humbling experiences to rookies like me, with stories of how their meticulously planned event momentarily turned silly. It is comforting to know that despite best efforts, accidents can happen, and you just have to roll with it, fix it to the best of your abilities, and laugh about it later. I embraced the prospect of our conference’s own little accident, a memorable moment to use as a steppingstone for this conference reflection.

And yet, this just did not happen. Or perhaps, I just missed it in all the running around, talking to colleagues familiar and new, attending inspiring presentations whenever possible and introducing people to each other. Whatever the reasons, I attribute this not only to sheer luck, but to the efforts from the whole team – before, during, and after the conference – in making #YML24 an indelible conference for all attendees. The student helpers, in particular, deserve a lot of praise in keeping the proverbial engine running throughout and without greater hiccups.

As for my second hat, I had the great pleasure of first getting to know Florian and Matthias and then working with them on our joint presentation, which was bestowed with the honor of opening day 2 of the conference. The junior in this constellation, if only academically, I was eager to siphon from the experience of my senior peers, only to discover a common flaw: an unrelenting interest in too many things, all at once. Hence, we spent a significant amount of time exploring a great variety of topics for our eventual talk and settled on digital presentation practices in a school context. In the end, our different personalities and academic subfields combined to a surprisingly cohesive whole that opened a space for subsequent presentations to expand on details merely grazed by us. I tip my hat(s) to everyone who contributed to #YML24 in any shape of form.

Ute Smit
Ute’s Mindmap

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