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Prof. Ursula Eicker

Prof. Ursula Eicker

Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Smart, Sustainable and Resilient Cities and Communities
Concordia University Montreal

Prof. Ursula Eicker is a pioneering figure in the realm of sustainable urban development and renewable energy systems. Born and raised in Germany, she embarked on her academic journey by earning her Master’s equivalent degree in Physics from Technische Universität Berlin in 1986, followed by a Doctorate in Solid State Physics from Heriot-Watt University in 1989. She continued her academic pursuits and completed her Habilitation in Renewable Energy Systems from Technische Universität Berlin in 2011, under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Felix Ziegler.
Throughout her illustrious career, Prof. Eicker has held various leadership positions and conducted groundbreaking research in the fields of building energy efficiency, renewable energy systems, and urban-scale simulation. Notably, she served in leadership roles at the Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences and its Centre for Sustainable Energy Technologies.
In June 2019, Prof. Eicker assumed the prestigious role of the Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Smart, Sustainable and Resilient Cities and Communities at Concordia University in Montreal. Under her leadership, she has spearheaded an ambitious research program focused on establishing transformation strategies toward zero-carbon cities. With her guidance, approximately 50 graduate students are actively engaged in research projects aimed at devising pathways to zero-carbon cities across various domains including the built environment, renewable energy systems, sustainable transport, and circular economy.
Prof. Eicker’s research activities have significantly contributed to advancing knowledge and technology in the pursuit of sustainable urban development. She has coordinated numerous international research projects, including the Eco-Quartier Lachine-Est project, which involved collaborating with real estate developers and municipal authorities to develop sustainable urban concepts. Additionally, she has played a pivotal role in the development of innovative urban simulation platforms such as the Urban Platform (INSEL4Cities), which aims to model cities holistically to facilitate sustainable urban planning. Her research endeavors have been supported by substantial funding from various sources, including the prestigious Canada Excellence Research Chair grant. Prof. Eicker’s commitment to excellence in research and education is further evidenced by her active involvement in teaching activities, where she imparts her knowledge and expertise to students through courses such as “Urban energy systems.”
Prof. Eicker’s contributions extend beyond academia, as she actively engages with the broader community through newspaper publications, interviews, and participation in conferences and events related to sustainability and urban development. Her insightful opinions and expertise are sought after by policymakers, industry professionals, and the general public alike, reflecting her influence and impact in shaping a more sustainable future.With a distinguished career marked by groundbreaking research, innovative projects, and unwavering dedication to sustainability, Prof. Ursula Eicker continues to be a driving force in advancing the frontiers of knowledge and practice in the pursuit of smart, sustainable, and resilient cities and communities worldwide.

Prof. Paul Arthur

Chair in Digital Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Arts and Humanities
Vice-Chancellor’s Professorial Research Fellow, Edith Cowan University, Australia

Professor Paul Arthur was appointed to ECU as a Professorial Research Fellow in 2016. He holds a PhD in English, Communication, and Cultural Studies from the University of Western Australia. Professor Arthur speaks and publishes widely on major challenges and changes facing 21st-century society, from the global impacts of technology on culture and identity to migration and human rights. A Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, he has over 100 publications including 13 books (authored and edited). His latest book is Open Scholarship in the Humanities (with Lydia Hearn, Bloomsbury open access, 2024).

In the past decade Professor Arthur has received over $5 million in Australian and international grants, individually and in collaboration. He has served on the executive boards and councils of the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations (ADHO); centerNet—the worldwide network of digital humanities research centres (Co-Chair, 2015–2019); the International Auto/Biography Association (IABA); the Australasian Association for Digital Humanities (founding President 2011–2015, Vice-President 2018–2021); the Australasian Consortium of Humanities Research Centres (founding board member 2010–2019); and the National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources (Nectar) Super Science initiative of the Australian Government (2012–2018).

Paul Arthur is known as a leading figure in the development of the field of digital humanities in Australia and internationally, and he was Australia’s first Professor in Digital Humanities (at Western Sydney University). He previously worked at the Australian National University in roles including as Deputy Director of the Centre for European Studies and Deputy Director of the National Centre of Biography. He oversaw the digital production of the largest collaborative project in the humanities and social sciences in Australia as Deputy General Editor of the Australian Dictionary of Biography. Paul Arthur has held a number of prestigious visiting positions in Europe, Asia-Pacific and North America, including as Visiting Professor of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, in 2016-17. He was Dr R. Marika Chair of Australian and Indigenous Studies at the University of Cologne, Germany, in 2013-14, and was selected for the inaugural Indian Government Global Initiative for Academic Network Program for Distinguished International Faculty in 2015. He is an Adjunct Professor of the School of Humanities and Creative Arts, University of Canterbury, New Zealand.

Dr. Oonagh Fitzgerald

Dr. Oonagh Fitzgerald

[Plenary Speaker]
Senior Fellow (HRREC)
President, International Law Association of Canada
Former Co-chair, Canadian Environmental Domestic Advisory Group under CETA

Dr. Oonagh Fitzgerald is an international lawyer, artist and choreographer, Senior Fellow with the Human Rights Research and Education Centre, and President of the International Law Association of Canada.

Oonagh has had an extensive and varied career as a senior executive and international lawyer in the federal public service, providing strategic leadership in legal policy, advisory and litigation services in international law, national security, public law, human rights and governance at the following departments: Justice Canada, Human Resources Development Canada, National Defence and the Canadian Forces, and the Privy Council Office. For six years she directed the International Law Research Program at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, delivering policy relevant research and capacity building on pressing issues of international economic, environmental, intellectual property, Indigenous peoples’ and human rights law. She recently completed a term as Co-chair of the Canadian Environmental Domestic Advisory Group under the CETA.

She has taught in university programs of law, business, and international affairs, and has mentored many graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. She has written, edited and co-edited several books, essay series, articles, policy briefs and commentaries and presented as a keynote speaker and panelist at numerous national and international conferences and workshops on diverse international law topics including human rights, gender, Indigenous people’s rights, climate change, clean technology innovation, corporate responsibility, trade and investment. She recently edited the book Corporate Citizen: New Perspectives on the Globalized Rule of Law and coordinated the North American contributions to a 150th anniversary ILA project on the Future of International Law.

She is currently pursuing an INDI Ph.D. in Fine Arts at Concordia University using art and performance to decode and reimagine international law and governance, including building relations between the arts and human rights.

Associate Prof. Jimmyn Parc

Assoc Prof. Jimmyn Parc

[Plenary Speaker]
Associate Professor,
University of Malaya, Malaysia

Plenary Title: Understanding the emergence of Korean pop culture through cultural history

Jimmyn Parc is an associate professor at the University of Malaya, Malaysia. Prior to joining the University of Malaya, he was a visiting lecturer at Sciences Po Paris, France and a researcher at the Institute of Communication Research, Seoul National University. He received a Ph.D. in international studies (with focus on international business and strategy) from the Graduate School of International Studies (GSIS), Seoul National University, Korea and another in economic history from the University of Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV), France. He has published numerous academic articles and conducted several research projects related to the competitiveness of organizations, industries, and countries. His current research focuses on the cultural industries of Asia and Europe, which includes films, dramas, and music, and their evolution in the midst of a changing business and trade environment as well as new challenges in the form of digitization. Professor Parc is also the co-author of The Untold Story of the Korean Film Industry: A Global Business and Economic Perspective, which was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2021.

Prof. Mauricio Díaz Valdés

Prof. Mauricio Díaz Valdés

[Plenary Speaker]
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México Mexico

Mauricio Díaz Valdés is a distinguished architect, speaker, technologist, and researcher based in Mexico City, Mexico. With a fervent passion for exploring the intersection of emerging technologies, software, materials, and science, Mauricio delves into how these elements can propel innovation in design while fostering sustainable practices that benefit both the environment and humanity. He holds a master’s degree from the prestigious National Autonomous University of Mexico, where he honed his expertise in architectural design. Furthering his academic pursuits, Mauricio pursued a second master’s degree in Parametric Design in Architecture (MPDA) from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, specializing in cutting-edge design methodologies.
Mauricio’s scholarly endeavors have taken him across the globe, including a research stint at the University National of Singapore (NUS). Here, he delved into the utilization of technological applications, sustainable materials, and environmental considerations in architectural design. Mauricio’s academic contributions extend beyond research, as he actively participates in research committees worldwide, contributing his insights and expertise to advancing the field.
As a sought-after speaker, Mauricio has graced numerous conferences and events worldwide, sharing his profound knowledge and innovative ideas. His research primarily focuses on harnessing technology to revolutionize architectural design, with a keen emphasis on sustainability and technological innovation. Proficient in various computational design programs such as Rhino, Grasshopper, Dynamo, and Revit, Mauricio’s expertise lies in structural and sustainable design, where he continuously pushes the boundaries of what is possible in architectural practice.

With his unwavering commitment to sustainable and technologically-driven design, Mauricio Díaz Valdés stands as a visionary figure in the architectural landscape, inspiring future generations and shaping the built environment for the better.

Dr. Kenneth Lee Tze Wui

Kenneth Lee Tze Wui

[Plenary Speaker]
Senior Lecturer & Head of Department
Department of Mass Communication
Faculty of Creative Industries
Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman

Plenary Track: The Future of Communication

Kenneth Lee Tze Wui’s professional journey is a testament to his unwavering commitment to education and academia. Throughout his career, Kenneth has made significant contributions to the field of communication studies, with a particular focus on media, ethnicity and race relations, and nation-building. Kenneth’s academic journey began at Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), where he earned his Bachelor of Communication (1st Class Hons) in Journalism. He later pursued his Master of Communication at the same institution, further solidifying his expertise in the field. Currently, Kenneth is pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in Social Science at UTAR, demonstrating his dedication to scholarly pursuits. With a diverse range of interests, Kenneth’s research encompasses various topics, including media reprepdsentation, ethnic relations, and societal perceptions. His publications, which include journal articles, book chapters, and conference proceedings, contribute significantly to the academic discourse on pressing social issues. In addition to his research endeavors, Kenneth is actively involved in academic conferences, symposiums, and workshops, where he shares his expertise and engages with fellow scholars. As a lecturer, he has taught a variety of modules covering culture, communication, media, and society, enriching the educational experience of his students. Kenneth is affiliated with prestigious academic and professional organizations such as Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara (Aliran) and the Southeast Asian Media Studies Association (Seamsa). These affiliations underscore his commitment to staying connected with fellow scholars and practitioners in his field. Kenneth Lee Tze Wui’s dedication to education, research, and societal progress is evident in his interdisciplinary approach and passion for understanding complex social dynamics. As a prominent figure in the field of communication studies, Kenneth continues to make meaningful contributions to academia and beyond, striving to create a more informed, inclusive, and equitable society.

Dr. Ivan Zavada

[Plenary Speaker]
Program Leader in Composition and Music Technology
Sydney Conservatorium of Music University of Sydney, Australia

Plenary Track: Navigating the Sounds of Sustainability in the 21st Century: Cultural Artistry and Collaborative Heritage Preservation.

Dr. Ivan Zavada is the Program Leader in Composition and Music Technology at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney. As a composer and digital media designer, his work explores the dynamic relationship between sound and visuals, with a particular focus on electroacoustic music. With a background in both music and science, Ivan combines his theoretical knowledge with an inspiring pedagogical approach encouraging students to explore creativity and innovation through experiential learning.
Exploring Sounds of Sustainability

Recently obtained New Colombo Plan student mobility grant from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Australia) led to an exchange project around the sounds of sustainability – recording underwater sounds from complex urban canal systems in Bangkok and natural waterfalls in Southeast Asia. The material collected during expeditions forms the basis of immersive multimedia works that play a vital role in fostering cultural sustainability and global environmental awareness.

Zavada’s collaborative work with corporations, such as AMP Capital, has resulted in unique examples of hybrid modes of audiovisual expression. His most recent international collaboration involves the preservation of intangible cultural heritage through the storytelling of shadow puppetry in Thailand, a project titled “Digital Nang Yai: the shadow puppet avatar”. This work aims to transform visual codes of cultural artefacts into sounds of sustainability with a hybrid approach blending traditional and urban connotations.

Originally from Montréal, Québec, Canada, Ivan Zavada moved to Sydney in 2004 to establish himself as a composer and lecturer at the Sydney Conservatorium. Through his important artistic contributions and creative outputs, he invites audiences worldwide to explore new sonic and visual spaces in a post-digital landscape.

Dr. Fatima Zahra

Dr. Fatima Zahra

[Plenary Speaker]
Assistant Professor
Bahauddin Zakariya University

Plenary Track: Contemporary Trends of Arts in Society: Technological Integration towards Globalization

Dr. Fatima Zahra is an accomplished artist and scholar with a diverse educational background. She holds a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Fine Arts from the University Sains Malaysia, Malaysia, where she conducted research from 2021 to 2023. Her dissertation was recognized with the Best Dissertation Award, and she received a certificate for her outstanding academic achievement.

Prior to her Ph.D., Dr. Zahra earned a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) from the University Sains Malaysia, Malaysia, from 2018 to 2020, where she graduated with distinction and received a certificate for her exemplary performance. She also holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A) with Honors from Lahore College for Women University, where she majored in Craft and Textile Designing and graduated as a gold medalist in 2013. In addition to her academic achievements, Dr. Zahra has been recognized for her contributions to the field of fine arts. She has been invited to conduct workshops and artist talks, including a workshop on textile techniques at GC University Faisalabad and an artist talk on painting techniques in Malaysia organized by the USMi organization.

Dr. Zahra’s accolades include numerous awards and achievements, such as being awarded the gold medal and merit certificate in B.F.A from Lahore College for Women University and receiving the Roll of Honour from the Chief Minister of Pakistan. She has also been recognized for her artistic talent, winning competitions and receiving prizes both nationally and internationally.

Furthermore, Dr. Zahra has been the recipient of prestigious scholarships, including the HEC Pakistan Foreign Scholarship for Master leading to Ph.D. and the Graduate Research Assistant rank at Universiti Sains Malaysia.Dr. Fatima Zahra is a dedicated scholar and artist who has made significant contributions to the field of fine arts through her academic pursuits, artistic achievements, and commitment to excellence.

Dr. Stephen Dobson

Keynote Speaker

Associate Professor of Creativity and Enterprise at the School of Performance and Cultural Industries, University of Leeds

Title: “Exploring New Horizons in Performance and Cultural Industries”

Dr Stephen Dobson is Associate Professor of Creativity and Enterprise at the School of Performance and Cultural Industries, University of Leeds. Research interests span several areas relating to cultural and creative industries and entrepreneurship including; entrepreneurial identity and creative enterprise, the creative workplace and leadership for fostering innovation and creativity, critical management, cross-disciplinary creativity, cultural and creative industries policy, and digital enterprise. Stephen regularly delivers entrepreneurship policy and creative leadership executive programmes for global partners and is a Board Member of the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE). In 2018, he has co-edited a Special Issue of the International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (IJEI) called ‘The Playway to the Entrepreneurial City', which explores themes such as the work/play dichotomy as well as urban space for informal events and performance and the reuse of public space for fostering creativity and business incubation.
His PhD in Urban Planning is from the Department of Landscape, School of Architecture at the University of Sheffield and he is interested in the linkages between urban space and the performativity of the city through cultural practices and that of urban policy/planning practices, to support entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystems.

Call for Plenary Speakers: ICOAH 2024

We are thrilled to announce the “Call for Plenary Speakers” for the ICOAH 2024, centered around the theme “Envisioning Futures: Diverse Perspectives, Global Narratives.” We invite passionate and knowledgeable individuals from diverse backgrounds to share their expertise, insights, and experiences at this groundbreaking event.

As a plenary speaker, you will have the opportunity to address a diverse audience of passionate attendees and share your expertise, insights, and experiences. We are specifically looking for speakers who can inspire and provide actionable strategies for transforming the future of Arts and Humanities.


  • Archeology
  • AI in Arts and Humanities
  • Arts Education
  • Cinema and Television
  • Digital Humanitarian
  • Literature
  • Linguistics Studies
  • Technology in Arts
  • Visual and Performing Arts (Music / Arts / Films / Dancing)

Ms. Kalpana Madavie

+94 77 274 1265
+94 11 799 2022

Ms. Chanika Gunathilake

+94 70 330 9862

Mr. Thusitha Bulathgama

+94 71 569 2739
+94 11 799 2022

Ms. Dilki Sewmini

+94 74 152 3423
+94 11 784 4554

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