Call for papers

The Bled eConference has been shaping electronic interactions since 1988. Implementation of novel information technologies leads enterprises and governments towards digital transformation. Digital transformation will not be successful, if sustainable aspect of human and social development will not be considered. European Commission emphasizes that in the future, competitiveness will be dependent on the ability to move towards sustainability, resource-efficiency and the ability to exploit the advantages of digital technologies. In the context of digital society, implementation of digital technologies and novel solutions to achieve higher efficiency, effectiveness and competitive advantage is insufficient. Society calls for different economy models; more responsible, righteous and less exploitative. Digital technologies should be used to implement and design business models, which will be sensitive for sustainable development in all aspects – economic, environmental and social (triple bottom line).  The community of Bled eConference aims to remain an active contributor in shaping of economic and social growth, with environmental sensibility, and thus raising wellbeing of citizens around the world.

  • Small supportive community offers the opportunity to benefit from expertise of esteemed researchers;
  • A fully-refereed Research Track and research in progress track, devoted to researchers in all aspects of digital transformation;
  • Doctoral Consortium, offering students to present their ongoing master’s and PhD study results;
  • ePrototype Students Bazaar, offering students opportunities to present innovative e- or m-Business or Internet of Things ideas, models, prototypes and apps;
  • A Business and Government Panel Track which attracts eminent business and government leaders from Europe, the Americas and Asia-Pacific;
  • Business, Government and Academic Workshops and Meetings offering unparalleled opportunities to discuss, share and learn with colleagues from around the world;
  • EU projects dissemination meetings; enabling project partners to connect with other similar projects and to disseminate results to a wider community.

Bled’s highlights:

  • The conference is shaping electronic interactions since 1988
  • 2021 conference theme is Digital support from crisis to progressive change
  • Strong relationships and cooperation with journals
  • Coaching of doctoral students – Doctoral Consortium and Graduate Students ePrototype Bazaar
  • Research in progress and poster presentations
  • Special interest tracks (besides the regular track)

We invite submissions in all areas of research, teaching, and business related to the Digitial Economy and Society with special emphasis on digital transformation.

Submitted papers should make a significant contribution to theory, knowledge, and practice in the areas of information management, information systems, information technology, and information resources management. Papers based on both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, in all traditional as well as new areas of Management Information Systems, Business Informatics, Computer Science, or Technology Management are accepted.

Conference chair: Andreja Pucihar, University of Maribor, Slovenia

Conference chairMirjana Kljajić Borštnar, University of Maribor, Slovenia

34th Bled eConference Research track chair: Helen Cripps, Edith Cowan University, Australia

34th bled eConference Research track co-chair: Anand Sheombar, HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, Netherlands

We encourage submissions related to the conference theme, and also from the parts that build the Digital Economy and Society, including:

Digital Transformation I eInnnovations Security & Privacy Future of Work I Internet of Things I IoT I Big Data Business Analytics I Business Intelligence I eAnalytics Open data I Digital Services I Blockchain Business and Organizational Models I Digital Business Models I AI BI I Data Science I eCollaboration Social Media eCommerce eBusiness Interorganizational Systems eMarketplaces & Communities Mobile Value Services Cloud Computing eHealth & mHealth Digital Wellness & Wellbeing Sustainability I Sustainable Development I Smart Cities I Smart Regions Sustainable Digitial Economy and Society I Smart Communities I eSociety eParticipation eLearning 2.0 & eEducation I eSMEs Industry 4.0 I eLiving Labs eCollaboration eRegions eTourism eDependency eTrust I ePrivacy any other aspect of “e”

We offer several special interest tracks:

Digital Health (Track Co-Chairs: Nilmini Wickramasinghe, Swinburne University of Technology and Epworth HealthCare, Australia and Juergen Seitz, Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University, Germany):

In 2020 the world was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. During this pandemic the role of digital health, its benefits, potential, and opportunities to extend and support any time anywhere care delivery became apparent like never before.  We want to unpack the impacts and implications of the digital transformation of healthcare delivery. In particular, we focus on the role that e- and m- technologies can play in finding the balance between societal costs on the one hand and the empowerment and wellbeing of citizens/patients on the other. Moreover, we look at all healthcare stakeholders and how technology changes their role. Can we find ways to organize healthcare closer to patients’ needs which is also of high quality, less intrusive, and at lower costs? How is digitization changing healthcare processes? Can analytics, the Internet of Things, and the quantified self, help in this effort? And how do we safeguard that the data are not abused?

Digital Wellness (Track Co-Chairs: Christer Carlsson, Institute for Advanced Management Systems Research and Åbo Akademi University, Finland and Pirkko Walden, Institute for Advanced Management Systems Research and Åbo Akademi University, Finland):

Research on Digital Wellness works out the design and use of digital services to build sustainable wellness routines for large groups of users. “Wellness” – here understood “to be in sufficiently good shape of mind and body to be successful with all everyday requirements” – builds on systematic change of daily routines to make them attractive to adopt and sustain for extended periods of time (for years, more than months).

The EU emphasizes the needs, challenges and opportunities brought by the ageing society. The 65+ age group is now close to or at 20% of the population in most EU countries; many countries face challenges on how to cover rapidly growing, extensive health care costs for the ageing population with no good alternatives readily available.

Digital wellness services (in the now active DigitalWells research program in Finland) are effective interventions in daily routines and offer some useful alternatives. The goal of DigitalWells is to build and implement physical activity (PA) programs for the “young elderly” that have verified health effects for the users. A DW-app has been developed and built to collect data from users’ PA routines, to store the data with a cloud service, and to report weekly on PA levels reached. The cloud service is run by the Social Security Institute in Finland, which guarantees that user data can be kept confidential.  The DW-app offers a platform for implementing coaching and gamification elements that will help make the adoption and use of digital services sustainable. Data from several hundred users and more than 20 months of actual use show in follow-up studies that the users find value with the digital wellness services – they help to “add more good years to life” as mentioned in comments.

In the Digital Wellness Track we welcome papers on digital services for wellness, physical activity programs and the design and implementation of wellness routines; theory frameworks and methodologies that support the building and implementation of digital services; the design and implementation of coaching and gamification applications; new business models to reach “young elderly”; and, the design of supporting ecosystems to support mass distribution and adoption of digital wellness services.

Digital Ethics (Track Co-Chair:  Roger Bons, FOM Hochschule, Germany, Johan Versendaal, HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht and Open University of the Netherlands, Netherlands and Koen Smit, HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, The Netherlands)

Technology is not neutral. Ethical values are in many ways included in product and service design. Digital technology implementation has implicit and explicit effects on its users, developers, and all its stakeholders. Apps may nudge you into a certain direction, default options may show provider preferred choices, and large text files can obscure what is really the message when e.g. accepting cookies and approving forward license agreements. Applications of Artificial Intelligence may easily violate stakeholder values: usage of privacy-sensitive data, usage of incomplete and biased training sets resulting in unexpected decisions, a tendency of ossification, and more. In addition, pandemic times may easily propagate a ‘more pragmatic approach’ to being ethical. At the same GDPR and other legislation increasingly protect consumers and citizens; also the field of Digital Ethics shows that carefully taking an ethical perspective can increase citizen inclusion, democracy, autonomy, and other values. Value sensitive design and implication analysis of technology increasingly receive attention. However, many questions on how to optimize the ethical perspective in digital technology design and implementation remain to be investigated and researched. This track invites submissions of research papers on matters like (yet not limited to):
• Exploratory research on the ethical perspective of digital technology implementation and digital transformation
• Methods, tooling, and techniques taking the ethical perspective into account
• Explanatory factors for ethically successful digital technology design and implementation
• A co-perspective on IS/IT scientific theory and the body of knowledge on ethics

AI & Data Science (Track Co-Chair: Guido Ongena, HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, Netherlands and Sanda Martinčić Ipšić, University of Rijeka, Croatia):

Propelled by computational power, the availability of (big and unstructured) data, major advancements in machine intelligence, and unprecedented speeds at which analytics need to be generated and delivered, a wealth of new questions and opportunities arise in creating value for governmental bodies and businesses. As organizations transform into data and analytics-centric enterprises, more research is needed not only on the technical aspects of analytics such as data science algorithms, computing infrastructure but also on various other organizational issues in the business analytics context (e.g. managerial, strategic, leadership, data governance, and inter-organizational issues). For this track, we invite technical, theoretical, design science, pedagogical and behavioral research as well as novel implementations of data analytics & visualization for varied data (or sources) such as sensors or Internet of Things (IoT) data, text, multimedia, business operations, clickstreams, and user-generated content. We welcome papers examining a wide range of contexts including healthcare, security, energy, marketing, supply chain, technology, service, hospitality, education, transportation, fraud prevention, and the environment.

Possible business-oriented topics of submissions include, but are not limited to:

  • Big Data and Business Transformation
  • Innovative Artifacts for Business Analytics
  • Data-Driven Business Modelling
  • Data-Driven Process Mining and Innovation
  • Data Strategy and Data Privacy
  • Social and Ethical Issues in Big Data
  • Social Impact of Data Science
  • Competences in the Era of Big Data
  • Data Science and Industry 4.0
  • Big Data Applications / Innovations

Possible technical-oriented topics of submissions include, but are not limited to instantiations of:

  • Data mining / Machine Learning / Deep Learning
  • Process mining
  • Data science
  • Text & Multimedia analytics
  • Social Network (Media) Analytics
  • Real-time data analysis / Stream processing
  • Internet of Things (IoT), Sensor data analytics
  • Spatial data analysis / Visualization
  • Open Data / Data Sets

Digital Education (Track Co-Chair: Mirjana Kljajić Borštnar, University of Maribor, Slovenia, Matt Glowatz, University College Dublin, Ireland, and Esther van der Stappen, Avans University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands):

Education has been changing as technology allows for many new possibilities and this change has accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic since a considerable share of education moved online. New modes of learning and instruction emerged, such as the hybrid virtual classroom. Educators rapidly developed their digital and pedagogical skills to deliver their courses remotely. Challenges related to motivation, accessibility, and wellbeing emerged.
Besides the consequences of pandemic, education has been facing societal challenges. New students enter educational institutions with highly developed digital skills. Part-time learning, continuous learning, and immediate-on-the-spot knowledge acquisition change the educational playground. Electronic learning platforms bring together practice, teachers, scholars, and students in one environment. On top of new approaches to learning and teaching, the digital society requires new knowledge, new technical and soft skills.
How does this change education, what are the good practices, how can research and education come together in leveraging new models of learning and teaching? How can we adapt curricula of the old disciplines to the new reality and how to create curricula for emerging disciplines? What can we collectively learn from the experiences we gained from the pandemic in remote, hybrid, and blended learning?
We encourage research contributions on the challenges of digital, blended, and hybrid education.

Smart Sustainable Cities (Track Co-chair: Hans-Dieter Zimmermann, Eastern Switzerland University of Applied Sciences, Campus St. Gallen, Switzerland, and Matthias Baldauf, Eastern Switzerland University of Applied Sciences, Campus St. Gallen, Switzerland )

“The Smart City idea offers concepts and solutions for cities, communities, as well as regions to cope with current challenges occurring in the form of demographics, urbanization, climate change, resource crises, mobility challenges, global competition as well as open and participatory societies. While the early smart city concepts focused on technology first and foremost nowadays the citizens and their quality of life is the starting point for many activities. In line with the overall theme of the 34th Bled eConference the track will focus on the utilization of any technology to contribute to the quality of life of citizens. As especially in Europe cities a rather small on average and often linked to further communities in a region, the track will focus on smart cities, communities as well as regions. Therefore, the track continues the eRegion tradition of the Bled eConference. We look forward to receiving papers addressing various issues of a smart city, such as strategies and frameworks, concrete solutions and cases, service and business models, benefits and challenges, as well as ethical challenges, covering all the various smart city dimensions from smart energy over smart mobility and sharing economy to smart governments and smart citizens, utilizing different methodological approaches. ”

Business Models (Track Co-Chair: Mirjana Kljajić Borštnar, University of Maribor, Slovenia, Christian Kittl, evolaris next level Research Centre, Austria and Andreja Pucihar, University of Maribor, Slovenia)

Digital transformation and implementation of digital technologies affect current business models (BM) of enterprises and societies as well as enable development of new disruptive business models. We invite qualitative and quantitative research papers addressing different fields of BM as for example digital technologies affecting value creation, new product and service development and/or delivery, new ways of CRM, new types of networked business models, etc. We are also interested in BM innovation approaches, practices and tools used for BM innovation e.g. user involvement, open innovation, customer centered design.

Research in Progress (Track Chair: Koen Smit, HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, The Netherlands)

A part of the conference program  will be dedicated to interactive presentations on visionary ideas, showcases and research-in-progress. Through short presentations (possibly enhanced with posters) delegates will be able to show their (preliminary) research and receive feedback in an interactive way. Authors will present their contributions as a part of the conference program. We invite submissions as short papers with possibly associated posters on topics related to the conference’s main theme and special interest themes. Accepted submissions will be enclosed in the proceedings as short papers.

Please see also other options for participation at the conference:


All accepted papers will be published in the Conference Proceedings (CD with ISBN and CIP number and online).

In 2021 we have secured the partnership of the following journals:

that may facilitate the publication of enhanced versions of further selected papers. Several “Special Issues” have resulted from Bled eConferences, giving the authors of selected papers ample opportunity to get rated publications as a direct and immediate result from being at Bled.



Since its very beginning, it has been a conference that focuses on relevance with rigor as the underpinning foundation for contributions. This has always made the conference an excellent podium for testing out new ideas and research in progress, for senior and junior researchers alike. Not mentioning the number of partnerships between researchers that have originated at Bled and leading to a fruitful cooperation.

Bled also has a long tradition of coaching young researchers and students. Doctoral Consortium has been on the program since the early 1990s with the ambition to help young Ph.D. candidates to sharpen their research proposals and to help them find international colleagues working on similar themes.

Finally, another important reason for coming to Bled is an excellent location and facilities at and near the venue. Many professional and personal friendships originate from Bled, during one of the many social events or the morning run around the lake. We are eager to meet you in 2021 to participate in the truly unique experience that makes the Bled eConference.


34th Bled eConference

June 27-30, 2021,