Dear IAOA members and friends,
the whole Executive Council wishes you a happy and rewarding 2022. We sincerely wish that all of you are in good health and will stay so. Further, notwithstanding disruptions caused by the pandemic, we hope that you are still full of the energy and new ideas that are needed for the future advancement of our community.
The last two years have been rough everywhere and IAOA could not escape the pandemic turmoil. Nevertheless, we can report on IAOA’s recent development and achievements, and we would like to inform you about upcoming events and activities.
One of the most important achievements is an overhaul of the membership fee scheme, with no fee to be paid by individuals.
-> We warmly invite you to (re-)establish your IAOA membership
through our website !
Please find our overview on IAOA updates and subsequent details below.
Once more, all the best for a pleasant and fulfillingrewarding year 2022,
Laure Vieu for the whole IAOA Executive Council
== IAOA Updates ==
1.) JOWO 2022 – onsite in Jönköping, Sweden in August
2.) ESAO – continuing the Educational Series on Applied Ontology
3.) Preparing FOIS and ISAO 2023 – with a new hybrid approach
4.) Assembly in 2022
5.) FOIS and ISAO in 2020 and 2021
6.) New financial approach and fee scheme
7.) Introduction of the IAOA code of conduct
8.) Dissolution of the IAOA organisation in Italy
9.) Executive Council and offices of 2022
=== 1. JOWO 2022 ===
Episode VIII of the Joint Ontology Workshops (JOWO), the Svear Sommar of Ontology , will take place as an onsite event on August 15-19, 2022, at Jönköping University in Sweden. Its organisation is chaired by Maria M. Hedblom, Karl Hammar and Tan He.
The call for workshop proposals  is out (deadline: February 15th). Please feel encouraged to contribute – and let’s meet this August in Sweden!
=== 2. ESAO ===
IAOA’s youngest educational effort is the Educational Series on Applied Ontology (ESAO) , created in 2021 as a complementary effort to the well-established Interdisciplinary Schools on Applied Ontology (ISAO), when onsite meetings were not feasible.
The key idea of ESAO is a combination of an online archive of educational material and a webinar series for presentation and exchange on that material. The series was launched as a one-day hybrid event  during the 2021 Bolzano Summer of Knowledge (BoSK) in September, followed by the first regular webinar session in November .
In 2022, the new educational series will be developed from the points of view of infrastructure and program, aiming at picking up a cruise rhythm.
If you deem the effort worthwhile, please consider supporting it by proposing future webinar topics of interest and/or speakers, simply by email . Moreover, you are warmly invited to join sessions of IAOA’s Education Committee , which steers the organisation of ESAO and would benefit from reinforcements.
=== 3. Preparing FOIS and ISAO 2023 ===
Announcements for the location of both the 13th edition of Formal Ontology in Information Systems (FOIS) and the 5th Interdisciplinary School on Applied Ontology (ISAO) in 2023 can be expected soon – stay tuned!
What has been decided already is a new approach for FOIS, called ‘sequentially hybrid’. There are good arguments for both onsite and online events. Some members prefer online events, because they lower the barrier for participation and reduce the carbon footprint of conferences. Other members feel strongly that onsite conferences play an important role for the social fabric of a community, which cannot be replaced by online events. However, the hybrid model exercised at FOIS 2021 (cf. below) turned out as non-satisfactory either.
In a revised attempt to cater to both groups, we plan to organise FOIS 2023 in two temporally disconnected parts. One part will be a traditional onsite conference, the other will happen purely online. Authors will be asked at submission time about their preference for online or onsite participation (or lack thereof), the review process will be equal for all submissions, and all accepted research papers will be included in the proceedings regardless of presentation mode.
Other IAOA events, especially ISAO, will keep their onsite modality for deeper exchanges.
=== 4. Assembly in 2022 ===
Some administrative aspects will be dealt with during this year’s assembly/ies. This includes the usual approval of the financial report of the previous year and, importantly, the election of the next Executive Council, in office during 2023 and 2024.
Please stay tuned for assembly announcement(s), as we currently conclude considerations on having two assemblies or better “merging” them into a single one, likely during JOWO.
=== 5. FOIS and ISAO in 2020 and 2021 ===
The 11th edition of Formal Ontology in Information Systems (FOIS) in 2020  was originally planned to become part of the first Bolzano Summer of Knowledge (BoSK). The EC is grateful to the chairs Roberta Ferrario, Boyan Brodaric and Fabian Neuhaus and the local organisers Oliver Kutz and Nicolas Troquard for steering for the best through the uncertainties of the COVID pandemic in 2020. Submissions and paper selection went as usual, and proceedings were published . But the actual conference event was postponed to 2021, as it was felt that a mere online event was undesirable for FOIS. Two of the 2020 workshops were held online, while others were postponed to 2021.
All the more one highlight of 2021 was the happening of the 12th FOIS edition with the same chairs in Bolzano, Italy, in September . There was a new call for papers, another set of proceedings , and the conference comprised presentations of research papers from both 2020 and 2021. In addition, FOIS contained 6 workshops, 3 tutorials, an Early Career Symposium, a Demonstrations track and an Ontology Showcase track.
In order to enable wide participation in spite of the travel restrictions that prevented long-distance travel, for the first time FOIS was organised as a hybrid event, allowing for participation both onsite in Bolzano and online. On the one hand, the hybrid model of FOIS 2021 was a great success in the sense that we exceeded the number of participants of all previous years: 147 people had registered themselves on the FOIS Discord server in order to participate in discussions at the main conference (not counting workshops). On the other hand, during the organisation it became clear that that model had severe disadvantages from an organisational point of view. The need to evolve fostered discussion and reconsiderations, resulting in the model now foreseen for FOIS 2023 (see 3. above).
Turning to ISAO, the planned 2020 edition was first postponed to 2021 and then cancelled altogether, as we deemed – considering a hybrid format – that we could not maintain the kind of deep, fruitful and rewarding interaction among lecturers and participants that is characteristic of our interdisciplinary schools. As creativity sometimes emanates from a bad situation, we launched the ESAO series (see 2. above). The launch was a one-day hybrid event  starting BoSK 2021 on September 10, followed by the first regular webinar session in November .
=== 6. New financial approach and fee scheme ===
During April 2021 we collectively discussed on our mailing list a proposal to eliminate the membership fee for individual members and adopted it eventually. The aim is to decrease any financial barriers to membership, thereby making the association more open and accessible to a wider ontology community. This move will also remove any inconvenience associated with annual membership renewals.
From 2022 on we rely on donations from members to fund IAOA activities in the future. Institutional membership is another important way to support IAOA, financially and thanks to the entailed appreciation.
We are pleased to announce that the registration system is now ready for the new system  and we thank you for your patience during the period of no access to it. You are most welcome to renew your membership or join anew – consider doing it right today! Moreover, we are very grateful to IOS Press for continuing to support our community by offering complimentary access to the Applied Ontology Journal to all members [13, 14].
=== 7. New code of conduct ===
In order to promote and enforce an atmosphere of constructive engagement, including the equitable and respectful treatment of participants across personal and professional differences, IAOA adopted a new Code of Conduct  and appointed Amanda Vizedom as Code of Conduct Officer in September 2021.
=== 8. Dissolution of the Italian IAOA ===
In the context of relocating IAOA from Italy to Switzerland, the original association in Italy was left with only a few members for the last three years, for administrative reasons. An extraordinary assembly on November 22nd, 2021, unanimously voted for the dissolution of IAOA in Italy. Remaining administrative steps have been taken since then.
Hence, we are happy to say that this long story – which kept us busy with a substantial amount of bureaucracy – has finally come to an end, such that our energies will now be fully dedicated to make IAOA in Switzerland thrive.
=== 9. Executive Council and offices of 2022 ===
Let us end this long newsletter by the announcement that the Executive Council offices for 2022 have been elected/appointed on January 11, 2022, as follows:
* President: Laure Vieu
* Vice-President: Fabian Neuhaus
* Secretary: Frank Loebe
* Deputy Secretary: Megan Katsumi
* Treasurer: Torsten Hahmann
* Deputy Treasurer: Ken Baclawski
* Communication Officer: Emilio Sanfilippo
The remaining offices shall be confirmed during the next EC meeting.