Welcome to WIS 2018

was held in Turku, Finland on 27-29 August 2018. 

Big thank you to all keynote speakers, presenters and participants for their wonderful contribution to the discussions about the most pressing issues from the field of digitalization, IT, health and wellbeing!

WIS 2018 looked for innovations and fresh ideas in the cross-section of urban living, information society and health as understood in a wide sense. Starting in 2006, this was the seventh conference in its series.

Every time, WIS seeks high-quality contributions based both on scientific research and practical experience. The conference is multidisciplinary in nature, gives room for qualitative and quantitative analysis, empirical surveys, case studies as well as for conceptual work; thereby making WIS a perfect forum for exchange of information and ideas. Welcome to WIS 2020!

Since 2006, WIS has focused on various topics from the field of Well-being in Information Society. The overarching themes of the WIS were:

2016 – Building Sustainable Health Ecosystems
2014 – Safe and Secure Cities
2012 – Exploring the Abyss of Inequalities
2010 – Navigating the Fragmented Innovation Landscape
2008 – Promoting Health in Urban Living
2006 – European Cooperation in Health Impact Assessment


Call For Papers

Call for papers is now closed. Thank you All for your submissions.

Deadline for submissions of papers was on 15.4. 

The overreaching theme of the  WIS 2018 conference is
“Fighting inequalities”.

The conference is multidisciplinary in nature and seeks both scientific and practice-based contributions.
Issues of interest include but are not limited to:


  • Health inequalities
  • Health system differences
  • Health and digital divide
  • Sustainable e- and m-health


  • Public-private partnerships in health
  • Safe working environment
  • Digital workplace


  • Social inequalities
  • Segmentation and polarization of society
  • Barriers and drivers of health and social equality


  • Inclusive system design
  • Promises of digitalization for health
  • Digital Divide
  • Stakeholders’ perspectives in developing and maintaining health systems

WIS 2018 will accept both full conference papers and abstracts.

All accepted full conference papers will be published in Springer series CCIS (Communications in Computer and Information Science). Best papers, as further developed versions, will be published also in a special Issue of International Journal of Telemedicine and Clinical Practices. The full papers are expected to be 4000 – 5000 words long.

All accepted abstracts with a presentation will be published in Turku Center for Computer Science Lecture Notes. An abstract are expected to be maximum 500 words long.

Please find the templates for full papers and abstracts and submit your contribution in the selected category through the link you will find in Submission section on this website.


Deadline for submissions                                    15.04.2018

Notification of acceptance                                 10.05.2018

Final versions and author registration          10.06.2018


WIS 2018 is organized by University of Turku and Baltic Region Healthy Cities Association – WHO Collaborating Centre for Healthy Cities and Urban Health in the Baltic Region in co-operation with Åbo Akademi University, Turku University of Applied Sciences, the Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare and Tampere University of Technology.



Karen E. Fisher
Wealth United States University of Washington Download presentation
Isabel Ramos
Digital world Portugal University of Minho Download presentation
Heikki Hiilamo
Social Policy Finland University of Helsinki Download presentation
Mr Sascha Marschang  Health  Belgium European Public Health Alliance Download presentation

Keynote by Isabel Ramos: Augmented Collective Attention

In the digital economy, the information available to organizations can be a source of confusion and uncertainty. The vast amount of information coming from the most diverse internal and external sources, together with the increasing difficulty in determining its reliability / utility, makes it difficult to identify and focus on the aspects relevant to the success of businesses and individuals. Organizations and individuals suffer from attention deficit, have difficulty in creating consistent understandings of reality and feel overwhelmed by events that they failed to anticipate. In this context, it becomes imperative to focus on organizational attention, scarce collective and distributed resource of organizations that must be managed and expanded by the combination of human and technological attention. This keynote will focus recent research in the area of ​​augmented human attention, contextualizing it in the theory of organizational attention developed by William Ocasio, complemented by Claus Rerup’s explanations on the dimensions of quality of attention. Several studies of organizational attention mediated by information systems will be presented to conclude with some recommendations to implement augmented collective attention.

Isabel Ramos is Associate Professor (PhD, Habilitation) at the Department of Information Systems of the University of Minho in Portugal. She has a PhD in Information Technologies and Systems, specialization in Information Systems Engineering and Management. Isabel Ramos is Director of the Doctoral Programme in Information Systems and Technologies and President of the Portuguese Association for Information Systems.

Isabel Ramos coordinate Information Systems and Technologies research groups since 2006 in the ALGORITMI centre of University of Minho. Her international collaborations have taken place within the framework of research associations and networks such as Association for Information Systems (AIS), European Research Centre for Information Systems (ERCIS) and Internal Federation for Information Processing (IFIP). She was awarded the IFIP Outstanding Service Award and IFIP Silver Core Award.

Keynote by Heikki Hiilamo: Debt as a new form of inequality

The increase in household debt has led to an over-indebtedness epidemic among the rich countries. Over-indebtedness is associated with intense individual suffering and social ills. The problem of over-indebtedness is closely linked to wealth inequality. A poor man’s debt is a rich man’s asset. It is ultimately the rich who are lending the poor through the financial system. Loans serve an important societal function in promoting human capital investments and owner-occupied housing. Accumulated capital also helps individuals and households to face social risks. However, in heavily mortgaged economy the decline in housing prices and other types of economic shocks hit especially hard those who have the least, and it widens the gap between the rich and the poor.

PhD Heikki Hiilamo works as a professor of social policy at University of Helsinki. Previously Hiilamo has worked as research professor at Social Insurance Institution on Finland. Hiilamo has the title of Docent from University of Tampere and University of Eastern Finland. Hiilamo’s research interests include family policy, poverty, inequality, welfare state research and tobacco control. His articles have appeared in leading international journals including American Journal of Public Health and Social Science and Medicine. He is authoring a book on household debts for Edward Elgar.

Keynote by Karen E. Fisher:  Determinants of Information Poverty, Wealth and Resilience in Refugee Camps: Effects of Gender, Place and Time

Abstract: What is information wealth for the millions of people forcibly displaced by war and persecution? In 2018 almost 70 million people are displaced, half of whom are children, and majority residing in low to middle-income countries close to situations of conflict. In this keynote, Dr. Fisher draws upon years of embedded fieldwork at UNHCR Za’atari Camp, by the Jordan-Syria border, to discuss the concept of Information as Aid and how determinants of Information Poverty affect human resilience. Using co-design and information science techniques, Dr. Fisher draws upon the high constraint, low affordance environment of refugee camps, and how factors such as gender, place and time affect social inequalities, and can guide the design of libraries and information systems.

Karen E. Fisher is a Professor at the Information School and Adjunct Professor, Communication, University of Washington, USA, and Visiting Professor at Abo Akademie University (Finland), Newcastle University Open Lab (UK), and Siegen University (Germany). An advocate of humanitarian research, Dr. Fisher focuses on understanding the information worlds of displaced people in the Middle East, using co-design and field methods to help build capacity for education and literacy, health, livelihoods, protection, social engagement and cultural preservation. Embedded at UNHCR (UN Agency for Refugees) Za’atari Camp since 2015, Dr. Fisher works with people of all ages and ability, along with UN agencies and NGOs. Her current UN mission the “Za’atari Camp Life Project: Resilience through Food, Art, Community and Innovation” (ZCLP) brings global awareness to the plight of the 7 million people displaced by the Syrian conflict. Website: Syria.ischool.uw.edu  https://isch


Keynote by Sascha Marschang: Inclusive Digital Health in Europe: opportunities and gaps.

Abstract:  Although most people would agree that the digitisation of health and care will progress over the coming decades, the creation of a level playing field has proven to be a difficult task in Europe. Yet, the creation of a common “eHealth infrastructure” makes sense in a Europe marked by cross-border mobility. Digital solutions offer a vast range of opportunities for making health systems more efficient, e.g. through new forms of communication and collaboration, collecting health data, scaling up prevention and health promotion, enabling better continuity of care and engaging patients and their carers. Moreover, technology could enable a basic form of universal access for all people living in Europe.

This presentation will discuss the opportunities and shortfalls presented by digitisation from a “health inequalities” perspective. On the one hand, a wide array of solutions, including many mobile apps, is helping individuals to better cope with various diseases and conditions. On the other hand, the needs of end users – patients, professionals, vulnerable people – are too often placed behind economic imperatives. While EPHA supports the effective integration of digital tools into European health systems, the right balance must be found to ensure that solutions are meaningful and address actual health needs – including of society’s most vulnerable.

Sascha Marschang is an Acting Director at the European Public Health Alliance, which he joined in 2009. He also co-leads EPHA’s campaigns on Inclusive Digital Health and Action on Antimicrobial Resistance. As a member of the eHealth Stakeholder Group led by the European Commission’s DG CONNECT he drafted a report on “Health inequalities and eHealth”. His digital health work focuses on the potential impacts of new technology on end users, including vulnerable communities, and on the role of civil society in digital health governance.

A dual German and Canadian citizen, Sascha completed a Masters (York University, Toronto) researching transnational migrants’ online identities. Prior to moving to Brussels in 2007, he worked for the Government of Ontario, primarily in the area of postsecondary education.


The detailed WIS 2018 programme is available:
WIS2018 Final Programme

Download the e-version of the WIS 2018 Springer Proceedings.

Download the presentations of the WIS 2018 keynote speakers.

Monday, 27 August 2018

9:00-10:00 Registration, coffee

10:00 Opening of WIS 2018 by Rector Kalervo Väänänen, University of Turku
and Prof. Reima Suomi, University of Turku, Finland
10:15 Keynote: Inclusive digital health in Europe: opportunities and gaps
Director Sascha Marschang, European Public Health Alliance
11:15 Keynote: Debt as a new form of inequality
Prof. Heikki Hiilamo, University of Helsinki

13:15-16:45 Parallel sessions
13:15 – 14:45 Panel: Inequality and Dynamics of Social Power.
More information: Panel 1 programme

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

9:00 Keynote: Determinants of Information Poverty, Wealth and Resilience in Refugee Camps: Effects of Gender, Place and Time
Prof. Karen Fisher, University of Washington, USA

10:00 – 17:00 Parallel sessions
13:00 – 14:30 Panel: Challenging the Digi-Society, Special Needs of Visually Impaired Persons in Finland. More information: Panel 2 programme

19:00 – 23:00 Dinner at the Turku Castle

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

9:00 Keynote: augmented collective attention
Prof. Isabel Ramos, University of Minho, Portugal

10-13:00 Parallel sessions
10:30 – 13:00 Workshop and panel discussion: Gender equality – a moving target? More information: Panel 3 programme
13:00 Closing

WIS 2018 consists of four keynotes, 11 parallel sessions and three panels.
View panels programme here:
Panel 1: Inequality and Dynamics of Social Power
Panel 2: Challenging the Digi-Society, Special Needs of the Visially Impared
Panel 3: Gender equality – a moving target


WIS 2018 will take place at the University of Turku, Turku School of Economics

Address:  Rehtorinpellonkatu 3, 20500 Turku







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