Sponsorship Opportunities

Conference Overview

What is ISTAS21?

The IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society (ISTAS) is the flagship conference of the IEEE Society on Social Implications of Technology (SSIT); IEEE is “the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity.”

ISTAS is a multi/inter/trans‐disciplinary forum for engineers, policy makers, entrepreneurs, philosophers, researchers, social scientists, technologists, and polymaths to collaborate, exchange experiences, and discuss the social implications of technology. Recent ISTAS conferences have been hosted by:

ISTAS21 – Technological Stewardship & Responsible Innovation will take place from 28-31 October 2021 as a primarily online event hosted by the University of Waterloo and University of Guelph (Ontario, Canada); Select in-person, live-streamed activities will be held in Waterloo, COVID-19 permitting.

The ISTAS21 theme invites participation from academics and practitioners who are engaged in current debates about the status, future, and significance of technology in today’s society, and who are interested in topics related to ethics, sustainability, equity, and social values within the tech industry. Through this theme, we seek to foster trans-disciplinary and cross-sector conversations about how technological innovation can embrace and build from principles related to “stewardship” and “responsibility,” broadly conceived.

The ISTAS21 program will feature keynotes, workshops, panels, and papers related to several sub-themes:

  • Health Systems
  • Technology Policy & Governance
  • Artificial Intelligence & Automation
  • Privacy & Security
  • Sustainable Cities & Communities
  • Ethical & Human Values in Emerging Technology

In addition, we are pleased to announce that the IEEE International Symposium on Ethics in Engineering, Science, and Technology (originally launched in 2014) will be convened as a theme track of ISTAS21. The theme for ETHICS-2021 is “Engineering and Corporate Social Responsibility.”

This diverse programming is supported through partnerships with: the IEEE TechEthics program; the University of Waterloo’s Centre for Responsible Innovation and Technology (CRIT), Cybersecurity & Privacy Institute (CPI), and Urban Engineering Initiative; and the University of Guelph’s OneHealth Institute and Centre for Advancing Responsible and Ethical Artificial Intelligence (CARE-AI).

The ISTAS21 Proceedings will be published through IEEEXplore, and select, invited papers will be featured in a 2022 Special Issue of the award-winning IEEE Technology & Society Magazine.

Sponsorship Benefits & Tier Levels

Why should my organization sponsor ISTAS21?

As an ISTAS21 sponsor, your organization will be connected to a diverse, interdisciplinary, and international community of engaged students, scholars, and professionals. The IEEE SSIT network boasts 27 active chapters; their membership draws from academia, industry, and the non-profit and public-sectors, and it includes representatives from across the spectrum of IEEE technical societies. SSIT’s members are invested in addressing the complex challenges and valuable opportunities that technology provides today’s society. By contributing to ISTAS21’s success, your organization signals its commitment to this important mission.

ISTAS21 Sponsor Benefits: Visibility, Recognition, Partnership

The names and logos of all ISTAS21 sponsors will be clearly displayed on the conference website to ensure that sponsoring organizations benefit from pre-conference promotion and outreach activity. To draw traffic, we will publicize the event’s CFP, keynote speakers, and feature programming through several channels:

  • Regular news announcements on the SSIT website, newsletter, social media, and publications (IEEE Technology & Society Magazine, IEEE Transactions in Technology & Society);
  • E-notices to a range of IEEE groups (such as Women in Engineering, IEEE TechEthics, and local/regional IEEE sections and chapters), other partner organizations, and interdisciplinary networks.

Your organization will also have the opportunity to build relationships with participants and other professional and academic stakeholders during the conference. We are expecting approximately 400 participants including students, scholars, and representatives from industry and both public & non-profit sectors. At the conference, we look forward to highlighting your organization’s support through:

  • Conference Program recognition (name/logo, tier-level, and credit for specific sponsored activities/items);
  • Sponsor-recognition slideshows (running before and after panel sessions, and posted on our website);
  • Social/networking events (where you can meet and chat informally with conference attendees).

After the conference, we invite your organization to continue its affiliation with the IEEE SSIT community through involvement with future society activities, such as our active Distinguished Lecture program, Chapter-level meetings and events, and our broader Conferences and Technical Activities portfolio.

ISTAS21 Sponsorship Tiers

Sponsors will receive the following additional benefits based on their tier of support:

Sponsorship Options

How can my organization sponsor ISTAS21?

Your financial contribution to ISTAS21 will help us deliver a high-quality conference experience that is intellectually stimulating, interpersonally enriching, and accessible to all attendees regardless of geographic location, financial situation, or academic/professional background.

We welcome donations of all size, and we invite you to discuss a targeted sponsorship that best reflects your organization’s core values and areas of interest (note that all figures are listed in USD).

Conference Track Sponsorship

Sponsor an ISTAS21 virtual conference “track” for high-profile recognition: your organization’s name will be the advertised title of the track and featured prominently in its sponsor-recognition slideshows. Funds will cover tech support services.

  • $17,500 = Live-stream track, full conf.
  • $8,000 = Live-stream track, 1 day
  • $5,000 = Virtual Plenary track, full conf.
  • $2,000 = Virtual Plenary track, 1 day
  • $3,000 = Regular track (virtual), full conf.
  • $1,000 =Regular track (virtual), 1 day

Keynote Speaker Sponsorship

We welcome keynote speaker sponsorships; this option may be of interest to organizations that focus on one or more specific ISTAS21 sub-theme.

Sponsorship rates will vary depending on the keynote format (in-person/virtual) and fees, so please let us know if you are interested in this option, and we can discuss details.

Student Paper Awards

We also seek sponsorship(s) for student paper awards. Please let us know if you are interested in this option, and we can discuss details.

Student Registration Sponsorship

We are seeking sponsorship to cover mandatory registration processing fees for students and other financially disadvantaged attendees. You may elect to cover registrations for a specific demographic (e.g., students who are affiliated with your organization, based in a particular region, focused on a particular area of study, etc.); you will receive recognition in conference materials for facilitating student participation at ISTAS.

  • $500 = 20 students*
  • $1,000 = 45 students*
  • $2,000 = 100 students*
  • $5,000 = 300 students*

*additional possibilities for sponsoring reduced-rate student registrations are available.

Hospitality Sponsorship

Depending on our ability to host in-person events, hospitality sponsorships at the following rates (based on 100 attendees) may be available. Your organization’s name will be clearly publicized at the event you sponsor. CAD figures are available upon request.

  • $3,000 = Conference Banquet
  • $1,500 = Luncheon
  • $800 = Breakfast
  • $400 = Coffee break

Contact us today (ISTAS.21@uwaterloo.ca) to discuss the ISTAS21 sponsorship level and focus that best suits your organization.

On behalf of the ISTAS21 committee and SSIT more broadly, thank you for supporting this conference and helping to ensure its success.


Heather A. Love & Rozita Dara

ISTAS21 Conference Co-Chairs