Aurora workshop on “Digital nomads: living in a society of digital enterprises”

The workshop on Digital Nomads – Living in a Society of Digital Employees will discuss how society, employers and employees may deal with the new way of working in the digital society, and how to contribute from a scientific perspective. The workshop will be attended by policy-makers from the European Commission and 10-15 scientists from academia.

Venue: The workshop takes place in the Neth-ER office (Rue d’Arlon 22, Brussels) from 10:00 to 15:30 on June 14 2022. The workshop is free of charge and includes catering.

The workshop is sponsored by the Aurora Universities and the Network Institute (VU Amsterdam). Upon request, participants are eligible for a financial support of up to 300 euros for travelling to Brussels to attend the workshop.

Background: The Covid-19 pandemic has inspired an increasing number of employees to work from a different country where their organisation is located. There are several structural factors in society that may further spur the number of digital nomads in Europe, such as an increased desire among employees for autonomy and flexibility in balancing professional and private life, and the advent of digital technologies and intermediary companies that enable a nomadic lifestyle. The digital nomads
trend provides scientists, strategists and policy-makers with new technological, organisational, legal, ethical, economical and socio-cultural challenges.

Question: How can current and future research provide input to strategies and policies, and vice versa?
Aim: The aim of this workshop is to bundle expertise from ambitious and excellent scientists from various disciplines to discuss challenges related to digital nomads with European policy-makers, and provide directions for the European Commission’s Research & Innovation programs.

Expected Results: What actions are needed from policy-makers and scientists? The workshop also aims to foster new contacts between researchers and policy-makers from the European Commission, to provide opportunities for research collaborations, and to develop written outcomes in the public domain (e.g. weblog or position paper).

Draft agenda:
10:00 – 10:10 – Brief introduction to the workshop by Pim de Boer (VU Amsterdam / Aurora)
10:10 – 10:15 – Welcome by Jurgen Rienks (director Neth-ER)
10:15 – 10:50 – Introduction to the workshop by Ilias and Tijs and tour de table introducing each other plus what each already does on this topic. EC officials are invited to tell what their DG does on this topic.
10:50 – 11:00 – Break
11:00 – 12:20 – Plenary introduction and SWOT introduction/discussion of personas related to Digital Nomads (15 minutes introduction interview, 10 minutes open group interview with the participants):
Digital nomad: Erica Saccente (Psychiatric nurse practitioner, Adhara insights, working
remotely from Greece)
Employer: TBA
Policy-maker & entrepreneur: Isabel Pascual (Director of Investment Office, project manager
#BayWorkers, City of Malaga, Spain)
12:20 – 13:00 – Lunch
13:00 – 14:20 – Interactive pressure cooker sessions where participants rotate every 25 minutes to discuss the SWOT analysis (including research and policy challenges) of the personas. Participants write their observations and questions on post-its and stick them on the persona poster. Participants build on the notes of the previous group of participants. Each persona has one facilitator that stays at the poster, clusters post-its, and updates the next group.
14:20 – 14:30 – Break
14:30 – 15:20 – Plenary session to present and discuss the SWOT posters of each persona. What are the main strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and strengths of this persona, specifically in relation to other personas? What are the BIG unknowns that need to be addressed by policy and research? EC officials, and other participants, are invited to reflect on the findings for each persona. What are the next steps in terms of policy and research?
15:20 – 15:30 – Wrap-up of the workshop by Ilias and Tijs. How are we going from here?
15:30 – ? «à bientôt» drinks at Place du Luxembourg, Networking!

How to prepare?
1) We recommend you to read the following (news) articles:
Hannonen, O. (2020). In search of a digital nomad: defining the phenomenon. Information Technology & Tourism, 22(3), 335-353. Open Access publication available here:
2) Prepare a brief (e.g. 2 minute) introduction of yourself, specifically focusing on your
relationship with the topic of Digital Nomads (e.g. research or policy you have been working
on that is about or relevant to Digital Nomads).
3) Briefly think about the questions you would like to ask to the three persona’s: 1) digital
nomad, 2) employer, and 3) policy-maker / entrepreneur.
4) Briefly identify the most salient challenges and opportunities related to Digital Nomads that
you would like to address in future policy and/or research.

List of confirmed participants

Name Position Department / faculty Organization Country
Fiza Ahmed Lecturer & PhD
Organization Sciences VU Amsterdam Netherlands
Julian Marx PhD candidate Digital Communication and
University of
Dr. Derya Gür
Researcher Institute for German Studies University of
Dr. Laura Cook Lecturer Social Work University of
East Anglia
Prof. dr. Monica
Director of the E-Life
Faculty of Social Sciences UNINA
Federico II
Dr. Rocío Ruiz
Researcher Social & Business Research
URV Universitat
Rovira i Virgili
Dr. Liana
Associate Professor Department of
Management, Society and
Business School
Dr. Yvette Lind Assistant Professor Law Copenhagen
Business School
Dr. Gislene
Feiten Haubrich
Postdoc KIN Center for Digital
VU Amsterdam Netherlands
Dr. Jiří Kropáč Assistant Professor Institute of Education and
Social Studies
University in
Dr. Max Uebe Head of Unit DG Employment European
Policy advisor DG Employment European
Dr. Andrea
Policy advisor DG Research & Innovation European