PSCE Conference in Brussels 2020

Where ?

Belgium – Brussels


When ?

8 – 9 December 2020

Topics ?

Cross-Border Cooperation
AI applications
Extreme weather conditions

The upcoming PSCE Conference will take place in Brussels on 8-9 December 2020, and is hosted by the Belgian Federal Police. 

Is Society Ready for IT? Or is IT Ready for Society? Exploring Societal Readiness for PPDR Innovation

Public Protection and Disaster Response (PPDR) is changing radically. Three trends are coming together to drive this. Firstly, PPDR practitioners are faced with more frequent and more intense disasters as we enter an era of climate crises. Secondly, a new generation of emergency service professionals is entering the workplaces, and they bring high skills and high expectations for digital augmentation. Thirdly, innovation in digital technologies from Artificial Intelligence to the Internet of Public Safety Things, automation and robotics, and mobile broadband networking is gathering pace. However, as Prefet Guillaume Lambert, Head of the French Public Safety Broadband Network Programme at the French Interior Ministry observed at the last PSCE Conference in Paris, while the technologies might be ready, the public is not ready for these innovations. We need to convince them. This workshop explores questions of, and approaches to, ‘societal readiness’.

We are developing a critical approach to the concept of ‘Societal Readiness Levels’, acknowledging that ‘convincing the public’ demands sound arguments. Rather than seeing ‘societal readiness’ as a matter of society getting ready to ‘take’ innovations, we are asking what design can do to meet the requirements of society. How ready are our technologies for society? To what extent do they support social and material practices, complex socio-technical systems with histories, cultures, and path dependencies, societal values and civil liberties? How high do our innovations (in technologies, policies, organisational structures, emergency plans and planning processes) score on a scale of ‘Societal readiness Levels’ (SRL)? And what can be done to raise their SRL? This is both a substantive and a methodological question, because designing for society translates into a need for designing with society. As a result, this workshop also asks how we can develop better methods for engaging citizens in innovation in PPDR.

Topics to be discussed at the workshop include (but are not limited to):
• Studies of change in PPDR, e.g. towards net-centric approaches, with a focus on citizens and publics
• Experiences from and studies of implementations of innovations focused on public perceptions and public engagement
• Methodologies for co-design in PPDR that engage citizens
• Studies of public perceptions of PPDR innovation, including NGO, such as civil liberty groups

We welcome contributions from NGO and civil liberty groups, community groups and citizens, academics, practitioners, SME and industry, policy-makers, government authorities. Please submit an abstract of your presentation (or demonstration of prototype ‘solutions’) (1000 words max) to

Fee: 50€ if you are registered to the PSCE Conference / 100€ if you participate only to the workshop (this covers lunch and coffee break)

The workshop will combine practitioner, researcher, and industry presentations with ‘unconferencing’ creative interaction formats and prepare an instant journal for the PSCE Conference delegates.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us

  • Cross-Border Cooperation
  • AI applications for Public Safety
  • How to be better prepared against extreme weather conditions


Public Protection and Disaster Response (PPDR) is changing radically. As practitioners are faced with more frequent and more intense disasters in an era of climate emergency, and a new generation of emergency service professionals with high digital skills and expectations is entering the workplace, innovation in digital technologies from Artificial Intelligence to the Internet of Public Safety Things, automation and robotics, and mobile broadband networking is gathering pace. How can your research help us better understand and ‘ride the tiger’ of socio-technical innovation in PPDR, with its many unintended, unexpected, unknowable consequences for practitioners and society?

The Public Safety Europe Network (PSCE) is a community of PPDR practitioners, SME and industry developers of technologies, policy-makers, non-governmental organisations, and researchers. We drive innovation inspired by practice and hold two conferences a year which provide common ground for lively debates amongst experts from many different backgrounds on a wide range of topics. The upcoming conference focuses on Cross-Border Cooperation, AI applications for Public Safety, How to be better prepared against extreme weather conditions. We would like to broaden and deepen these debates by engaging researchers in discussions about the difference their research makes or could make, what impact is has had or might have, and how we might work together to realise deeper and more extensive dialogue and collaborations between research, industry, and practice.

We invite submissions of abstracts (1000 words max) that delineate your research and its (potential) impact. Researchers from any discipline are welcome. If your research is built on collaborations with non-academic partners, joint authorship and attendance is encouraged.

Please submit your abstract to

If your submission is accepted, you will be invited to provide a draft Working Paper of 6000 words. These Working Papers will be reviewed by a mixed panel of PSCE members. You will be expected to give a short presentation at the conference and discuss your work with PSCE members. A revised version of your Working Paper will be published on the PSCE Website after the PSCE Conference.

Meeting location and room access

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The Motel One is ideally located, with easy access to the airport and city centre.

Book your room here

Motorola Solutions

Motorola Solutions is a global communications leader powered by a passion to invent and an unceasing commitment to advance the way the world connects. Motorola communication solutions allow people, businesses and governments to be more connected and more mobile. For more information about the company and their innovations, please visit http:

 Airbus D&S

Airbus Defence and Space is a word leading company of PMR radio systems, terminals, control room 112 call taking, radio dispatching and applications as well as integration of PMR solutions to public safety and civil customers. Airbus Defence and Space develops, manufactures and distributes to all globally relevant today PMR technologies: TETRA, TETRAPOL and P25 radio infrastructure products as well as radio terminals for TETRA and TETRAPOL.

More information is available at:

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