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I’m looking forward to already the 12th IMISCOE annual conference, to be held in Geneva. The conference will be jointly organized by nccr-on the move and the universities of Neuchatel and Geneva. After last year’s expansion of the conference, I’m very please that this year’s conference managed to draw an even larger crowd of scholars and experts.

During the conference, we as coordinators of IMISCOE will look back at the first 500 days of the Erasmus University leadership of the network. A lot has changed over these 500 days; the network expanded to a record number of 38 member institutes from all over Europe, and over 700 individual members, the conference design has been updated, 8 new research clusters were awarded seed funding, the book series moved to Springer, we associated ourselves with the journal Comparative Migration Studies and we totally refurbished IMISCOE’s presence on the web and on social media. We can truly say that we are now looking at an IMISCOE 2.0.

But the network is facing challenges as well for the 1500 days to follow with us as coordinators. The network is due to expand even further, challenging some of the procedures that have been established in the past for bringing together the member institutes. Also, with migration and diversity now increasingly emerging into the mainstream of European politics and funding schemes, it has become increasingly important to adequately represent the field and to prevent migration research from getting behind other mainstreamed research fields such as gender and environmental research. Also, with the help of a newly established External Affairs Committee, the network will explore new routes to engage in dialogues with society, policy and politics.

Next year the conference will be hosted by GEOMIGRACE in Prague. An exciting prospect is to have the IMISCOE conference in Rotterdam in 2017, covering the topic ‘Cities of Migration’. I’m already looking forward to that!