AI for All: Bridging Divides, Building A Sustainable Future

Join us in Macau for the first UNU Macau AI conference to share your knowledge and insights!


The rapid advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) have provided the world with immense opportunities for development, but they have also raised the alarm on its potential to negatively impact our safety, security, and equality. The risks and potentialities of AI are international in nature and are influenced by as well as impact all levels of society including citizens, government, and industry. Under the theme  AI for All: Bridging Divides, Building Sustainable Futures, the United Nations University Institute in Macau (UNU Macau) is convening a multisectoral conference to provide a platform for coordination and collaboration of diverse stakeholders in explicating the problems and solutions of AI. As a UN system think tank focusing on leveraging digital technologies for sustainable development, UNU Macau aims to connect the problem-owners (e.g. policy makers) and solution providers (e.g. academia and technology industry), and to facilitate dialogue between the Global North and the Global South, as well as between the cultural East and West.

The objectives of the conference are to:   

  • Create a platform for knowledge sharing on applied AI issues from multiple perspectives;  
  • Connect stakeholders and support collaboration among diverse groups via common topics of interests related to AI;   
  • Co-create solutions for and with AI that are data-driven, inclusive, and sustainable to help accelerate SDGs;   
  • Support and enable a multi-stakeholder community on AI that is inclusive of the Global South and the cultural East.

Conference Themes

Participants from across all sectors (e.g., academia, civil society, government, industry) may submit expressions of interest to the conference that fall broadly into one or more of the following themes:

  • AI to Accelerate SDGs
    • Submissions focused on what AI can do to accelerate the achievement of SDGs. For instance, Some AI empowered tools can support poverty reduction or climate change;
  • AI Governance for the Future
    • Submissions that examine the complex and interconnected issues related to the digital ecosystem and governance of AI, highlight the roles and responsibilities of various actors and stakeholders in ensuring ethical, legal, and social good outcomes of AI, and  promote equitable development or empowering vulnerable, marginalized and underrepresented communities;
  • AI and Capacity Building
    • Submissions that are concerned with harnessing the full potential of AI by building the capacity of individuals, organisations, and societies to understand, create, and use AI effectively and responsibly, particularly capacity building activities on AI for government officials, technology communities, and teachers.

Submission Types

We accept expressions of interest from all stakeholders for the following types of submissions:

  • Talks and presentations (15 mins)
    • Talks and presentations are submitted by individuals or groups on a specific issue or topic that is related to the conference themes. These will be collated by relevance and organized into groups by the conference organizers so of 4 to be run within a session of 1.5 hours. Types of talks or presentations can include:
      • Research presentation related to conference themes
      • Policy case studies or practice guidelines
      • Technology focused case studies
      • Other relevant project, practice, or action examples related to AI
  • Full sessions (1.5 hours)
    • Full sessions are submitted by individuals or groups on a topic related to the conference theme. A chair of the session must be nominated (usually the person who submits the EOI), and they are responsible for coordinating the session with all members (e.g., speakers, moderators, panellists).
      • Symposia of up to 4 academic presentations on a common topic as selected by the chair of the session.
      • Roundtable or Panel discussions among a group of experts or practitioners selected by the chair of the session who share their perspectives and experiences on topic related to AI.
      • Demo sessions on the practical uses of an AI tool, service, or prototype that is presented in an interactive and engaging way.
      • Extended Case Studies of policy, practice, or technology that provide a detailed, in-depth analysis of a specific example of AI used or implemented in a certain domain, sector, or context.
  • Lightning talks (3 mins)
    • A short and concise presentation or talk that focuses on one main idea or message, and uses simple and clear language, visuals, and examples. A lightning talk aims to inform, educate, or persuade the audience, and to spark their interest and curiosity. Speakers may present any issue of relevance to the conference themes and these will be collated into a larger session comprising of a range of lightning talks.

Guidelines for Submissions:

  • All submissions will require a title, 5 keywords, affiliation, short bio, and contact information to be included.
  • Submissions for talks require an abstract of 200 – 500 words that outlines the subject in accessible, jargon-free language.
  • Full sessions require an abstract of 200 – 500 words and will also need to nominate a chair of the session, outline the format of the sessions, and offer a list of potential or confirmed speakers.    
  • Lightning talks do not require an abstract, but a short summary of the issue discussed (less than 100 words) should be included.