IWDS 2022 – the 1st Interdisciplinary Workshop on the Digital Society

Do you have a research idea that is both interdisciplinary and linked to the digital society? Would you like to present your research, meet other researchers with similar or complementary interests, and potentially start new collaborations? Then this event may be for you!

The 1st Interdisciplinary Workshop on the Digital Society will be held on February 18, 2022 at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. We aim to bring together researchers interested in the intersection between digital technology and society.

Digital technology – from social robotics to smart mobile devices, from global social media networks to fluent natural language processing tools, from realistic virtual environments to knowledgeable virtual agents – is rapidly changing, and society is changing with it. At the same time, technological solutions are sought for new societal problems such as global social justice, climate change, human mobility and sustainability, or transnational (re)organization of politics and economy. To study how digital technologies and societal problems interact, we believe in supporting researchers who take on interdisciplinary approaches.

This workshop, organized by the Network Institute, aims to bring together researchers from different backgrounds interested in the Digital Society and to give them the opportunity to present their work, get to know and learn from each other, and initiate common projects. Participating researchers are invited to submit a research paper (either a previously published work or a “work in progress“). They will have the opportunity to show a poster and give a very short lightning presentation. During the workshop, participants will have the opportunity to interact and connect with colleagues from inside and outside the VU.

Submission Guidelines for researchers

We invite all researchers interested in interdisciplinary topics related to the Digital Society to contribute to our program. There will be a (lightweight) evaluation of all submissions. These should consist of a representative paper of your research (previously published or “work in progress” – the workshop is non-archival)

All submissions must be made in PDF format through the EasyChair platform: Submission Link

We highlight that, in order to facilitate participation, we are not requiring researchers to create new contents for the workshop: submissions can be previously-published work or “work in progress” papers.


The workshop will take place on February 18 2022 and will follow the program below.

  • Welcome and intro – 14:00-14:15
  • Lightning talks – 14:15-14:50
  • Poster session – 14:50-15:40
  • Research “speed-dating” (on Zoom) – 15:40-16:30
  • Closing and awards – 16:30-17:00
  • Networking – Bring Your Own Drink (optional) – 17:00 onwards


According to the current COVID regulation, physical events are not yet allowed at the VU. Therefore, we have decided to arrange the workshop fully online. Should there be any changes in terms of possibility for a hybrid setup, we will inform you as soon as possible – for now the event is expected to take place fully online.

IWDS Research Vouchers

As a follow up of the event, to support interdisciplinary research within the theme of digital society, we are opening a call for research proposals.
By participating in the IWDS, all registered participants to IWDS are eligible to apply for research vouchers offered by the Network Institute by sending a short joint research proposal (2 researchers, possibly more). All proposals will go through a blind peer review process after which we will award vouchers to three of them.

The top three proposals will receive a research voucher of 1k, 1.5k, and 2.5k Euros, respectively, that can be spent in any research activity related to the project.


  • A research proposal can be considered for this call only if at least two authors were registered participants of IWDS
  • The research proposal should not exceed a single A4 page
  • While the research proposal needs to be anonymised by removing personal information, please state all departments (not research groups) represented


  • Relevance for the broader theme of digital society
  • Novelty of the research question, methodology, and/or technology
  • Interdisciplinarity in terms of topic and/or approach
  • Feasibility in terms of a research plan, or additional funding


  • Deadline for submission: Friday 25th March, 2022 at 23:59
  • Submit by sending your anonymized research proposal in a pdf format to t.karacic@vu.nl
  • Notification date: Wednesday 13th April, 2022

Best match @IWDS

During the event, we are going to have a research speed-dating session where participants can discuss and share ideas in order to spark new collaborations. Right after the session we will poll the most intriguing/interesting match and award the two researchers with a surprise gift from the Network Institute.

Register to the workshop

Participation to the workshop is completely free. Click here to register!

Talks and posters

During the event we will have the following lightning talks and poster presentations:

  • Patricia Lago. Architecture Design Decision Maps for Software Sustainability
  • Claudia Dictus, Jetske Erisman, Eric van Furth and Elena V. Syurina. New Media, New Approaches: development and evaluation of a model for Orthorexia Nervosa.
  • Hans Akkermans, Anna Bon and Jaap Gordijn. Perspectives on Digital Humanism
  • Tilo Hartmann. I Know It Is Not Real (And That Matters): Media Awareness vs. Presence Shape the VR/XR Experience
  • Claudia Raibulet. Facets of Adaptivity
  • Marieke van Erp and Victor de Boer. A Polyvocal and Contextualised Semantic Web
  • Myrthe Reuver, Nicolas Mattis, Marijn Sax, Suzan Verberne, Nava Tintarev, Natali Helberger, Judith Moeller, Sanne Vrijenhoek, Antske Fokkens and Wouter van Atteveldt. Are we human, or are we users? The role of natural language processing in human-centric news recommenders that nudge users to diverse content
  • Ali Nihat Uzunalioglu, Tameem Adel and Jakub Tomczak. Semi-supervised Multiple Instance Learning using Variational Auto-Encoders
  • Jie Luo, Aart Stuurman, Jakub Tomczak and Agoston Eiben. The Effects of Learning in MorphologicallyEvolving Robot Systems
  • Fuda van Diggelen, Eliseo Ferrante, Nihed Harrak, Jie Luo, Daan Zeeuwe and A.E. Eiben. The Influence of Robot Traits and Evolutionary Dynamics on the Reality Gap
  • Tugay Alperen Karaguzel, Eliseo Ferrante and Ali Emre Turgut. Collective Gradient Perception in a Flocking Robot Swarm
  • Daniel Preciado Vanegas and Elly Konijn. Reducing Loneliness in mentally healthy seniors through robotic companionship: Pilot towards a randomized clinical trial
  • Urja Khurana, Antske Fokkens, Ivar Vermeulen and Eric Nalisnick. Reliable Hate Speech Detection
  • Lea Krause and Piek Vossen. When to explain: Identifying explanation triggers in human-agent interaction
  • Paulina Pankowska, Antske Fokkens, Martin Tanis and Ivar Vermeulen. Bigger, faster, cheaper, better? Quality of data obtained from online participant recruitment platforms, and ways to improve it
  • Evgeny Vasilets, Tijs van den Broek, Anna Wegmann, David Abadi and Dong Nguyen. Measuring Perspective-Taking in Online Discussions
  • Daniel Müller. Interactive decision-making in team sports
  • Emma Beauxis-Aussalet. Error Variance, Fairness, and the Curse on Minorities
  • Tina van der Linden. AI: What else is new?
  • Ana Isabel Lopes, Edward Malthouse, Nathalie Dens and Patrick De Pelsmacker. Is webcare good for business? A machine learning approach to the effect of managerial response strategies to online reviews on hotel bookings

Important dates

Submission deadline: Jan 21, 2022
Registration deadline: Feb 16, 2022 (register here)
Event date: Friday Feb 18, 2022 @ 14:00-17:00


The workshop is organized and sponsored by the Network Institute, the hub for interdisciplinary research on the Digital Society at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Organizing committee

  • Kim Baraka — VU, Department of Computer Science (Social AI group)
  • Martina Testori — VU, Department of Organization Sciences (Force of Gossip group)
  • Ioana Vrabiescu — VU, Department of Organization Sciences (Organizational Ethnography)
  • Kousar Aslam — VU, Department of Computer Science (Software and Sustainability group)
  • Tomislav Karačić — VU, KIN Center for Digital Innovation (AI@Work group)
  • Antske Fokkens — VU, Dept. of Language, Literature and Communication (Computational Linguistics and Text Mining Lab) / Eindhoven University of Technology (Algorithms, Geometry and Applications cluster)
  • Ivano Malavolta — VU, Department of Computer Science (Software and Sustainability group)

Tweets from IWDS