Bienvenidos, bem vindos and welcome to the first Virtual Online AIB-LAC conference and our 10th conference overall! As you know, after the cancelation of the annual AIB-LAC Miami due to the Covid-19 pandemic and with the safety and health of our members in mind, the AIB-LAC Executive committee decided to go online.

In order to accomplish this transition successfully, we counted on the efforts of many volunteers and we would like to acknowledge all who have helped to make this transition from Miami to Online possible during these harsh times the world is facing. First, we want to recognize the effort and dedication of the whole Executive Committee of the AIB-LAC chapter and especially to its president Maria Alejandra Gonzalez-Perez and its former president William Newburry. Additionally, we would like to give thanks to Tunga Kiyak, Kathy Kiessling, Dan Rosplock and their team at the AIB Secretariat who helped us put this program together in such short notice after our decision to go online. Finally, we would like to express our gratitude to the conference track chairs, panel organizers, reviewers, panel members, paper submitters, key speakers and our conference support staff for their active participation and dedication to making this event a success. Finally, we must also thank our own institutions for which without their support, this event would not be possible.

The Virtual / Online format allows us to experiment with innovative ways of engaging with the conference theme and the scholarship we are passionate about. AIB-LAC 2020 Online will be packed full of fascinating interactive sessions and panels, and research presentations. The program was created through the efforts of large team that was responsible this year for the academic program led by the 12 track chairs: Dinorá Floriani, Afonso Fleury, Miguel Cordova, Karla Nava-Aguirre, Peter Gallo, Ivan Montiel, Miguel Olivas-Luján, Isis Martinez, Andri Georgiadau, Santiago Mingo, Carla Bustamante, Elizabeth Moore, Andres Veles-Calle, Diego Finchelstein, Erica Salvaj, Meena Rambocas, Shellyanne Wilson, and Acolla Lewis-Cameron- each representing different Latin American countries along with a different topic area.

AIB-LAC chapter conferences pride themselves on including participants not just from

throughout Latin America, but from throughout the world. This year, we have program

and conference participants representing Latin America & Caribbean (Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala, Aruba, Costa Rica, Curaçao and Trinidad & Tobago), North America (Canada and the United States), Europe (Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy, France and the United Kingdom), Asia (China and Japan),  Oceania (Australia) and Middle East (UAE). This creates a fantastic opportunity to interact, share ideas, and develop relationships with scholars from around the region and the globe. Similarly, we have a large number of top scholars attending the conference through the interactive synchronous sessions and panels. Please take advantage of these opportunities by attending the panels and other live online sessions on June 30 and July 1.

Conference attendees have asynchronous access to the papers and video-presentations accepted to the program. Please take time to view these and make comments on the videos to provide the authors with valuable feedback. In addition, during these two days (June 30-July 1) participants can join synchronous sessions such as panels, business meeting, and meet the editors. During these virtual sessions, attendees have the opportunity for participation, feedback, and dissemination of knowledge. The meeting platform provides virtual networking opportunities for geographically dispersed attendees.  We hope that you will enjoy the first AIB-LAC 2020 Online Conference. This conference is truly a team effort and everyone’s efforts are truly appreciated.

Best Regards,

Ronaldo Parente

AIB-LAC 2020 Program Chair