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IFIP WG8.6 was established in the early ‘90s “to foster understanding and improve research in practice, methods, and techniques in the transfer and diffusion of information technology within systems that are developed, and in the development process ”. A brief history of the group can be found at

Since that time, the original premises of the working group--how to foster diffusion and adoption--have been overtaken by events. Developments in social media, mobile computing and applications, agile systems development techniques, cloud computing and business analytics can now be said to be viral; the cycle of innovation has sped up, platforms provide quick access to infrastructure, and information spreads on a 24-hour cycle. These developments, in turn, have impacted the way both organizations and societies engage with transfer and diffusion of information technology (IT) systems within and between organizations, in interactions with customers, and in society in general. The question is no longer how to adopt and diffuse IT systems, but how to quickly assess and manage those that best serve the larger purposes of businesses and societies.


At our past conferences (in Lungskile, Sweden in August, 2016 and Guimaraes, Portugal in June 2017) we discussed the evolution of the field and whether the time was right to identify and discuss emerging trends that WG8.6 might fold in to a new agenda, one that is consistent with the purpose of the original statement but that is adapted to today’s more viral diffusion environment. IFIP WG8.6 2020 event would continue this scholarly conversation by soliciting contributions for formulating new directions for the working group that will address emerging trends, continuous with the original charter of diffusion of IT/IS.

The focus of this event is particularly on understanding the diffusion and adoption of emerging information technologies and systems (i.e., Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Fintech Applications, Internet of Things, Social Media), which are expected to have substantial impact on future economic development of society, organizations and individuals. A review of the role of information technologies particularly over the past two decades clearly shows the strong link between technology adoption and social economic development in many economies. The Gartner report in 2019 lists “Top Strategic Technology” trends including Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, autonomous things (Robots, vehicles, drones etc.) among others as the game changers that could revolutionize industries and their strategic models through 2023. These emerging technologies have great potential to

contribute to organizational and societal reforms. Thus, for the past couple of years, the scholarly body has been showing a sincere interest in the understanding of adoption, usage, impact, and potential of the aforementioned technologies on individuals, societies and organizations.

This conference aims to bring together scholars and practitioners from inter-disciplinary areas for the enrichment of scholarly deliberations on the adoption, usage, impact and potential of emerging technologies. To achieve this goal, we invite scholars and practitioners to present their ideas and findings at the IFIP WG 8.6 Conference on “Re-Imagining Diffusion of Information Technology and Systems: A Continuing Conversation” to be held at Indian Institute of Management Tiruchirappalli, India in 2020. Theoretical and empirical papers employing quantitative, qualitative, and/or critical methods are welcomed. Submissions with a focus on addressing the following research questions are particularly addressed:

How do we characterize the shifts of scale and state change we have seen in IT/IS since the early 90s? What are the interacting variables and enabling forces? How do we describe the rate of change, its arc, affordances and constraints?
How do we reframe our ideas about how the (possibly different) rates of IT/IS diffusion impact individuals, groups, organizations and societies in general?