As Indico passes 1 million events, CERN and UN host joint workshop to discuss growth of this open source platform for organising events

Representatives of CERN, the United Nations Office at Geneva and other organisations held a two-day workshop to discuss the future of Indico, a CERN-created, open source platform for organising events


Indico Workshop 3.5
The workshop – attended by 50 people – was held at both CERN and the UN’s Palais des Nations. (Image: CERN)

Over one million events have now been organised at CERN using Indico, a free and open source platform created at the Organization in 2004. On 20 and 21 March, representatives of CERN, the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG) and other organisations met for a workshop on Indico and its future development and growth.

Indico can be used to organise conferences, book meeting rooms, archive presentations and much more. Today it is used by over 200 organisations, including 11 UN agencies, such as the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

Other organisations using Indico include the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research, the Cherenkov Telescope Array and the software company Canonical; representatives of each of these three organisations were also present at the event. In total, the workshop saw 50 experts come together to discuss further development plans for Indico.

Much discussion at the event focused on approaches for further growing the Indico community and coordinating development efforts. In addition to CERN and UNOG, important recent contributions to Indico have recently been made by the Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

The workshop was split across the CERN Meyrin Data Centre building and the UN’s Palais Des Nations. Tim Smith, head of the CERN IT department’s Communication, Education and Outreach section, gave the keynote speech at the event. “Collaboration and sharing knowledge are founding principles of CERN, built into the Organization’s DNA,” says Smith. “Indico is one of many examples of technologies developed to fulfil CERN needs which now is having significant positive impact on wider society.”

Other talks during the workshop focused on topics such as accessibility, searchability, using Indico in conjunction with CERN’s “CERNBox” storage platform, and even harnessing artificial intelligence technologies to improve Indico.

“This workshop happens at a time when we’ve reached the milestone of 1 million events having been organised at CERN using Indico; we’re very proud of this, but it's even more impressive to see how Indico has grown outside CERN,” says Pedro Ferreira, head of the Conferencing Technology section in the CERN IT department. “We’ve identified several priorities for future collaboration, including work on accessibility and further support for multilingualism.”

“The Indico Workshop 3.5 was a real success,” says Kira Kruglikova, director of the Division of Administration at UNOG. “This first joint workshop, co-organised by CERN and the UN, is another example of the strong collaboration between our two organisations and the respective teams.”

“The team felt enriched by the two working days with the Indico community and by the opportunity to share and learn from each other’s experiences and best practices,” continues Kruglikova. “The outcomes of the workshop exemplify the bright future of our project, and we look forward to contributing further with new ideas and concrete development to the success of Indico and its community.”

Find out more about Indico on the official website.