ECSS Malmö 2015 was a successful congress organized in the beautiful city of Malmö, Sweden. The ECSS sat together with one of the congress presidents in Malmö and reflected on the past years with Susanna Hedenborg

All in all the experience organizing an ECSS Congress in Malmö was fantastic, says Prof. Hedenborg. It was a long build up to the congress, since Malmö first bid for it in 2010 and at that time the congress venue Malmö Live was just a drawing on a paper.

The congress Presidents Aage Radmann and Susanna Hedenborg worked intensively together in order to organize the best possible ECSS congress in Malmö. Susanna finds it very important that someone at the local host team has contacts to the city and possible social event locations. This makes the negotiations easier and helps to bring more local flavour to the congress. It is essential for a smaller city, such as Malmö, to have these contacts since the congress is organized closely with the city.

The University of Malmö organized the congress together with the University of Lund and University of Copenhagen. This university alliance was important for the success of the congress, since the scientific expertise was this way divided between the Universities according to their expertise. Susanna points out also that this university collaboration was very fruitful and that they hope to develop it further in the future.

After organizing ECSS Malmö 2015 the sport department at the University of Malmö has become more visible and as they successfully organized a big congress they are keen to take up new challenges and events. Moreover, the ECSS congress showed to the city of Malmö that the city functions for bigger delegate numbers and with good bike routes and bus connections the sustainable image is also maintained during the event.

As Susanna Hedenborg has been working for the ECSS Scientific Board for 2 years she is also part of the upcoming ECSS congresses. From an organizational perspective she expects the Vienna congress to be differently organized because of the size of Vienna in comparison to Malmö. The city of Vienna is not expected to take such a big role when supporting the congress as Malmö did.

From the scientific perspective Susanna wishes to see variety of abstracts from social science disciplines at ECSS Vienna 2016. A sport history topic is covered in one of the invited sessions, which is extremely interesting, as it has not been the case for a longer time now. This is also a very positive sign for a multidisciplinary congress. In addition, in the Young Investigators Award she hopes to see more and more social scientific and humanities themes being discussed. However, Susanna states that many social scientists are actually a bit older and therefore, they are not able to participate to this prestigious award.

Each year at the ECSS congresses there are plenty of discussions between the disciplines and especially when evaluating the YIA Award winners, it is difficult to judge the presentations across the disciplines. Susanna suggests that a good solution might be to have separate awards for all three main disciplines (social sciences and humanities, biomechanics and neuromuscular, physiology and sport medicine). However, she adds that this multidisciplinary dialog is the core of the ECSS. Clearly it makes the work in the scientific board and committee harder when deciding the winners of the YIA Awards but keeps the work exciting and challenging.

Finally, Susanna sums up her best ECSS congress experiences (excluding Malmö)

  1. Oslo
    Was her first ECSS congress and actually the first multidisciplinary congress she visited. In addition, as the congress was organized in another Scandinavian country it, of course, was of special interest for the Swedish researchers. 
  2. Barcelona
    Was amazing congress in an amazing city!
  3. Bruges
    Very nice congress and Susanna has a personal connection to the congress venue when it still was a hospital during the World War II.
  4. Liverpool
    Poor weather but very good meetings with colleagues and friends.


Thank you very much for your time Susanna and see you in Vienna!

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