Overview > About the ICA Congress Abu Dhabi 2020

Empowering Knowledge Societies

The archival, records and data landscape in the 21st century is changing public expectations, how we do our work, what constitutes credible evidence and how we protect our holdings. It is time for our profession to discuss, reflect and challenge existing practices to explore and expand the critical role played by archives and information professionals in the 21st century knowledge societies. The ICA Congress 2020, Empowering Knowledge Societies, will be an opportunity for the profession from all over the world to share innovative ideas and research and for colleagues from allied and other professions to join us at this important event. We encourage the community to submit its proposals, but we would also encourage you to reach out to librarians, museum professionals, data managers, journalists and people working in civil society to be part of this conversation. The 21st century information challenges do not simply belong to archives and records professionals, they belong to everyone, so let’s share ideas, build networks to empower our knowledge societies!

The congress will be structured with three inclusive sub-themes

Artificial intelligence, digital preservation & emerging technologies

Artificial intelligence and emerging technologies are quickly changing how we do our work, but we need to understand both the strength and weaknesses of these technologies in archives and records endeavours. What do they do well? What can they help us do better? How do we engage with these new practices? What are the ethical implications?

These technologies will also impact how we preserve information and make accessible information (records and data), but we not only to discuss this but there are persisting questions about how to preserve records and data in a sustainable, practical and cost-effective way.

Sustainable knowledge

Sustainable knowledge is fundamental to sustainable development and the achievement of development initiatives like the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At the core of these initiatives is the need for trustworthy information, regardless of format.

Sustainable information is also about how we protect our holdings from climate change, theft, looting, and illicit trafficking. It also about looking beyond what is done to the archives and records institutions and examining our impact on society and the environment.

Trust and evidence

In the age of ‘alternative facts’, ‘fake news’, misinformation and cybersecurity threats, the need for trustworthy evidence (records, information, data) has become ever more essential. What is our role in this space? Who are our allies?  What is the role of records and archives professionals in the area of internet governance? 

Trust and evidence also mean reaching out and understanding what our users need, so that they can believe in what we do and how we acquire, preserve and make accessible information. How do we empower them? To empower us?

  1. Advance your professional development: learn from and interact with colleagues, experts and thought leaders in archives and related fields
  2. Contribute your perspective and experience to the global discussion. We need to hear from YOU
  3. Take advantage of a series of practical workshops to extend your skills; learn creative solutions to 21st Century challenges
  4. Renew acquaintances and make new friends
  5. Develop your network of colleagues, internationally; a network for mutual benefit throughout your professional career: you are not alone
  6. Participate in meetings of your regional ICA branch: think globally; act locally
  7. Test your ideas and plans with colleagues: seek and offer advice
  8. Plan joint initiatives and projects; collaborate
  9. Get involved in the International Council on Archives; understand current issues and challenges; participate
  10. Speak with suppliers in the exhibit area
  11. Become known internationally as a resource person or expert in some aspect of archival science
  12. Enjoy a special week with friends and colleagues in a lively, welcoming ambience. The United Arab Emirates is famous for its hospitality.  Dubai Expo 2020 is becoming widely known as THE travel destination for 2020.  With the support of the UAE government, ICA Congress Abu Dhabi 2020 promises to be a memorable event.  You have to be there!

Venue: Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre – ADNEC

The venue for ICA Abu Dhabi 2020, ADNEC is a world-class exhibitions and conferences hub in the heart of the city, surrounded by urban architecture and international hotel chains.
The contemporary spaces feature purpose-built conference halls offering a superior environment for business functions, with premium facilities and stylish modern interiors.