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Zero Project Conference 2023 on Independent Living, Political Participation & ICT

Innovating for Inclusion: Zero Project Conference 2023 Takes Accessibility and Networking to the Next Level with B2Match




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May 05, 2023 | 4 min read

With our advanced event management software, we have effortlessly coordinated a large-scale global conference spanning multiple days, accommodating over 1300 attendees and delivering a seamless and productive experience for all.

The Zero Project Conference 2023 centered around Independent Living, Political Participation & ICT in February was a resounding success, with over 1300 participants, including personal assistants, speakers, exhibitors, Zero Project team members, and their Awardees.

The Essl Foundation, the organizer of the conference, is a renowned non-profit foundation that finds and shares solutions that improve the daily lives and legal rights of all persons with disabilities. The Zero Project Conference is an annual disability inclusion gathering at the United Nations Office in Vienna that brings together innovators and key decision makers from all sectors to foster partnerships, share new proven solutions, and support the international scaling of these solutions, all towards the mission for a world with zero barriers, all while leveraging cutting-edge technology and an inclusive approach.

During a period of three days, attendees were exposed to more than 160 globally recognized speakers through over 100 sessions, with the common objective of exchanging ideas about innovations that have been effectively implemented. The conference highlighted new and innovative solutions from around the world centered around the theme of Independent Living & Political Participation, and ICT, presented in the form of the Zero Project Awardees of 2023.

With 71 Awardees from 42 countries featured in various formats throughout the conference, it was a unique opportunity to learn about and connect with disability inclusion experts from all over the world. This created a diverse and dynamic community that fostered meaningful partnerships and collaborations.

Moreover, the conference organizers went beyond the traditional format of a conference by featuring an inclusive mural (inspired by the work of Street Art Belgrade) named "INCLUSION" created by the Serbian artist Jana Danilović among its attractions. This added a unique and creative touch to the conference that made it stand out from other events, while it also helped to create a positive and inclusive atmosphere, where participants from all over the world felt comfortable to share their innovative solutions.

Image description: Inclusive Artwork_Inclusion by Jana Danilovic on the ZeroCon2023

The organizers were highly committed to ensuring that the event was as inclusive and accessible as possible. This included providing sign language interpretation, human-generated captions, tactile flooring, accessible materials, and assistive technology for participants.

One challenge faced by the organizer was having a clear overview of the agenda with different tracks and topics for participants to choose from over 100 sessions.

At #ZeroCon23, some of the key topics covered included voter and civic education, assistive technology, deinstitutionalization, early childhood intervention, self-employment, micro finance, self-representation, participation in public life, transitioning from guardianship to supported decision making, and voting policies. As the conference was set up in the new version of b2match, participants benefited from the new structured agenda because it allowed them to easily navigate through the schedule, view detailed information about each session, and make informed decisions about which session to attend.

Image description: Agenda of ZeroCon2023 in b2match: next

b2match's event management solution played a crucial role in the organization and success of the Zero Project Conference 2023. Firstly, the platform helped the event organizers to manage and automate the registration process, which was a major relief for the Zero Project team, as the process involved a large number of participants from all over the world. The platform allowed for easy communication and information sharing between the organizers and participants, which was essential for the smooth operation of the conference.

For b2match, the Zero Project Conference 2023 was special because it was the first event that utilized the new version of the b2match platform. Accessibility and inclusion are one of our top priorities. This is why the development of our product is guided by the WCAG 2.1 standard. By achieving the Level AA standard, we continuously strive to bring events accessible to everyone. This made it possible for participants with disabilities to fully engage in the matchmaking and networking activities.

Additionally, the b2match’s support team provided efficient consulting regarding any event-related questions, which helped to tackle any issue immediately. Moreover, the onsite support team of b2match provided assistance throughout the first networking day of the conference, which helped the participants to network and exchange contacts more easily. The IT and support teams were always on-hand to immediately tackle any issues or questions that arose. This efficient and responsive support allowed the Zero Project team to focus on the event itself and deliver a world-class experience for all participants.

In conclusion, the Zero Project Conference 2023 was a major success. With over 1,300 participants from around the world, the conference showcased the latest developments in disability inclusion and provided a platform for experts to collaborate and forge new partnerships. The accessibility of the conference was a key focus, and the Zero Project Team worked tirelessly to ensure that everyone who wished to attend was able to do so. The conference achieved its goals of promoting proven social innovations and scientific research in the area of disability inclusion, making it a truly inspiring and impactful event.

Overall, b2match's fully accessible and compliant platform allowed for a clear overview of the agenda with different tracks and topics that participants could choose from as well as pre-scheduled meetings to exchange ideas and innovations. From providing accessible and user-friendly technology to offering reliable and efficient support, b2match was a key partner of the conference. The platform ensured that the conference was accessible to everyone who wished to attend, and collaborated with the organizers of the Zero Project Conference to provide an example of good practices in terms of conference accessibility.

Event organiser:

Zero Project | The Essl Foundation

The Zero Project constitutes the largest and most prominent endeavor of the Essl Foundation, which since 2008 has setup a research-driven foundation that finds and shares solutions that improve the daily lives and legal rights of all persons with disabilities. This focus on research stems from the early mapping exercises in the form of the Essl Social Index, which quantified the progress select countries and regions have made in the direct aftermath of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which was passed in 2008.

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