Call for Papers

Second Workshop on
June 7, 2021, online @ ICWSM’21
 * Submissions due: March 27, 2021 *

At the International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media (ICWSM)

The scale, reach, and real-time nature of the Internet is opening new frontiers for understanding the vulnerabilities in our societies, including inequalities and fragility in the face of a changing world. From tracking seasonal illnesses like the flu across countries and populations, to understanding the context of mental conditions such as anorexia and bulimia, web data has the potential to capture the struggles and wellbeing of diverse groups of people. Further, the very absence of these populations in data can reveal areas of concern, indicating potential lack of access to vital technologies, and potentially being overlooked by algorithms trained on such data. The recent developments around COVID-19 epidemic makes these issues even more urgent, with an unequal share of both disease and economic burden among various populations.

Thus, the aim of this workshop is to encourage the community to use new sources of data to study the wellbeing of vulnerable populations including children, elderly, racial or ethnic minorities, socioeconomically disadvantaged, underinsured or those with certain medical conditions. The selection of appropriate data sources, identification of vulnerable groups, and ethical considerations in the subsequent analysis are of great importance in the extension of the benefits of big data revolution to these populations. As such, the topic is highly multidisciplinary, bringing together researchers and practitioners in computer science, epidemiology, demography, linguistics, and many others.

We anticipate topics such as the below will be relevant:
Establishing cohorts, data de-biasing
Validation via individual-level or aggregate-level data
Linking data to disease and other well-being
Population data sources for validation
Correlation analysis and other statistical methods
Longitudinal analysis on social media
Spatial, linguistic, and temporal analyses
Privacy, ethics, and informed consent
Data quality issues

Invited Speakers

Elisa Omodei, the Lead Data Scientist of the Hunger Monitoring Unit at the UN World Food Programme’s Research, Assessment and Monitoring division. She serves as Vice-President Secretary of the Complex Systems Society. She holds a PhD in Applied Mathematics for the Social Sciences from the École Normale Supérieure of Paris. She joined the United Nations in 2017, first at UNICEF’s Office of Innovation in New York and now at the World Food Programme in Rome.

Claudia Cappa is a Senior Adviser for Statistics and Monitoring in the Data and Analytics Section, at the UNICEF headquarters. She is the focal point for data collection, data analysis and methodological work on Early Childhood Development, Child Disability and Child Protection from Violence, Exploitation and Abuse. The support for these activities includes elaboration of survey questionnaires and data collection tools, estimations, development of methodologies, indicators, tools and normative guidelines, capacity building, data analysis, production of reports, as well as delivery and dissemination of final results. Prior to joining UNICEF, she was working at the University of Geneva and at the Institute for Social Studies of the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Vedran Sekara is an Assistant Professor at the IT University of Copenhagen and a Principal Researcher & Machine Learning Lead at UNICEF. His work lies in the intersection between network science, ethics and computer science, where he focuses on modeling and understanding complex societal and algorithmic systems. Vedran's research leverages data from the private, humanitarian and international sectors to understand data representativeness, bias, and how to build equitable algorithms, and focuses on understanding how modern technologies, such as Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, impact our societies and our most vulnerable communities. His previous work has been covered in The Economist, Forbes, Scientific American, and Die Zeit, and been featured on the cover of the Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences.

Important Dates

Paper submission: March 27, 2021
Paper acceptance notification: April 10, 2021
Final camera-ready paper due: April 17, 2021
ICWSM-2021 Workshops Day: June 7, 2021

Submission Instructions

We welcome both 2-page abstracts, as well as Long (8 pages) and Short (4 pages) papers. The Long and Short papers will be published in ICWSM Workshop proceedings by the AAAI Press.

The papers have to follow the AAAI format, as outlined here:

Submit here:


Feel free to contact organizers with any questions:

Yelena Mejova  ISI Foundation, Italy
Kyriaki Kalimeri  ISI Foundation, Italy
Daniela Paolotti  ISI Foundation, Italy
Rumi Chunara  New York University, USA