Overview > About the ICA Congress

Enriching Knowledge Societies

The ICA Congress takes place every four years. It is much bigger than the Conferences and is even more open. The professional programme development is led by ICA’s Programme Commission through a Programme Committee with representatives from the ICA network and the host organization. The programme aims to capture the best examples of archival and records management achievement during the previous 4 years and to act as a discussion and planning forum and signpost for the future cycle.

The Congress usually attracts well over 1000 archives and records management professionals.

The ICA Congress offers a unique chance to network with fellow professionals, learn about what other parts of the profession and other parts of the world are doing and to share your own experiences, challenges and achievements.

The Congress will be structured with five inclusive sub-themes

Artificial intelligence, digital preservation & emerging technologies

Artificial intelligence and emerging technologies are quickly changing how we do our work, but we need to understand both the strength and weaknesses of these technologies in archives and records endeavours. What do they do well? What can they help us do better? How do we engage with these new practices? What are the ethical implications?

These technologies will also impact how we preserve information and make accessible information (records and data), but we not only to discuss this but there are persisting questions about how to preserve records and data in a sustainable, practical and cost-effective way.

Sustainable knowledge

Sustainable knowledge is fundamental to sustainable development and the achievement of development initiatives like the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At the core of these initiatives is the need for trustworthy information, regardless of format.

Sustainable information is also about how we protect our holdings from climate change, theft, looting, and illicit trafficking. It also about looking beyond what is done to the archives and records institutions and examining our impact on society and the environment.

Trust and evidence

In the age of ‘alternative facts’, ‘fake news’, misinformation and cybersecurity threats, the need for trustworthy evidence (records, information, data) has become ever more essential. What is our role in this space? Who are our allies?  What is the role of records and archives professionals in the area of internet governance? 

Trust and evidence also mean reaching out and understanding what our users need, so that they can believe in what we do and how we acquire, preserve and make accessible information. How do we empower them? To empower us?

  1. Advance your professional development: learn from and interact with colleagues, experts and thought leaders in archives and related fields
  2. Contribute your perspective and experience to the global discussion. We need to hear from YOU
  3. Take advantage of a series of practical workshops to extend your skills; learn creative solutions to 21st Century challenges
  4. Renew acquaintances and make new friends
  5. Develop your network of colleagues, internationally; a network for mutual benefit throughout your professional career: you are not alone
  6. Participate in meetings of your regional ICA branch: think globally; act locally
  7. Test your ideas and plans with colleagues: seek and offer advice
  8. Plan joint initiatives and projects; collaborate
  9. Get involved in the International Council on Archives; understand current issues and challenges; participate
  10. Speak with suppliers in the exhibit area
  11. Become known internationally as a resource person or expert in some aspect of archival science

Venue: Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre – ADNEC

The venue for ICA Abu Dhabi 2020, ADNEC is a world-class exhibitions and conferences hub in the heart of the city, surrounded by urban architecture and international hotel chains.
The contemporary spaces feature purpose-built conference halls offering a superior environment for business functions, with premium facilities and stylish modern interiors.