Tuesday, June 20, 2023

A Conference that Ended in a Standing Ovation, Thanks to WPI!

How often have you experienced a standing ovation at the end of a conference?

I must admit that I had, for the first time, such an experience on June 2, 2023, at the outstanding Innovations in Immigration Analytics Conference at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Worcester, Massachusetts. Kudos to the conference organizers: Dr. Geri Dimas (who will be an Assistant Professor at Bryant University, starting this Fall), and WPI Professors Andrew Trapp and Daniel Reichman.

The program, which can be viewed here, brought together faculty, practitioners, as well as students, who are very much engaged in issues of migration and immigration.

The format, consisting of individual presentations, lightning talks, as well as a panel, was excellent, and with coffee breaks and a delicious buffet lunch provided. And there were no registration fees!

The conference opened up with remarks by the WPI Provost Winston "Wole" Soboyejo, who set the stage for the importance of the issues and challenges that we discussed at the conference including: refugee resettlement, dynamic migrant flows and operational responses, matching refugees to employment opportunities, strategic border resource deployment challenges, and even the modeling of US immigration courts using discrete-event simulation.

My presentation was entitled, "Refugee Migration Networks with Regulations," and it has been posted on the Supernetwork Center site at the Isenberg School of Management, UMass Amherst

The presentation was based on a paper published in the Springer Nature Journal of Global Optimization and was co-authored by Professor Patrizia Daniele of the University of Catania and Professor Ladimer S. Nagurney of the University of Hartford. 

I also spoke in my presentation on recent work on investing in immigration to alleviate labor shortages in supply chains and coalition formation among countries to address migrant issues. The former topic is a chapter in my latest book, "Labor and Supply Chain Networks," with info on the book here.

The latter topic was explored in a recently published paper that I co-authored with Professors Passacantando and Raciti and is available open access!

It was terrific to meet conferees with the passion and focus to address one of the greatest challenges of our time with 103 million people around the world having been forced to leave their homes. I was deeply touched to hear, time and time again, Ukraine mentioned at this conference and the impacts of Russia's war on it, including by Dean Debora Jackson of the WPI Business School in her brilliant closing remarks. Research matters and making it accessible to organizations, nonprofits, and governments can create positive change and truly benefit humanity. 

Below, I have posted a collage of photos from the conference. 

Many thanks to the organizers: Dr. Geri Dimas and Professors Andrew Trapp and Daniel Reichman for bringing us together in such a warm and engaging event. Much work remains to be done but, together, we can accomplish much good and we will.

And for those who are interested in additional work of ours on human migration networks, a topic that we have been researching for several decades, have a look at my post.