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Causal Data Science Meeting 2021

Posted November 19, 2021 by Paul Hünermund and Jermain Kaminski and Carla Schmitt and Beyers Louw ‐ 3 min read

We are delighted to share a summary of the Causal Data Science Meeting 2021 with you. The event was jointly organized by Maastricht University and Copenhagen Business School.

“I am thrilled to see people from different disciplines come together”– Guido Imbens

On 15–16th November, the Maastricht University’s School of Business and Economics and Copenhagen Business School jointly hosted the Causal Data Science Meeting 2021. The annual conference is organized by Jermain Kaminski, Carla Schmitt and Beyers Louw from the Department of Organization, Strategy and Entepreneurship at Maastricht University, together with Paul Hünermund from the Department of Strategy and Innovation at Copenhagen Business School.

Over 1,200 participants from academia and industry

The two-day conference was once again held virtually and brought together researchers and experts from academia and industry, but this year with a growing number of participants and a larger line-up of speakers. More than 1,200 participants registered this year and the lineup included 34 speakers from leading universities such as Stanford, MIT, Harvard, Columbia University, Yale, and University of Amsterdam, as well as data scientists from industry such as Uber, Booking.com, Spotify, Toyota Research and Albert Heijn.

The conference established a meeting point to collaborate and share insights in how causal inference methods are used to address the most fundamental and interesting problems that decision-makers are dealing with today, emphasizing the importance of causality in the corporate toolkit.


“Causality questions are ubiquitous in medicine, policy making and science” - Sara Magliacane,

The keynote speaker on the first day was Sara Magliacane, who is an Assistant Professor at the University of Amsterdam and a researcher at the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab. The keynote provided insight into how principles of causal inference allow us to reason about domain adaptation in a systematic way, or more plainly, how causal insights could be transferred from one domain to another when populations differ in underlying characteristics. This is applied in areas such as clinical trials, allowing us to predict with more accuracy whether a certain drug will be effective.

“There is a huge amount more to be done and this is a very exciting time for people starting out in this area” – Guido Imbens

The keynote speaker on the second day was Guido Imbens, who is a Professor at Stanford University and recipient of the 2021 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, jointly with David Card and Joshua Angrist. The keynote provided insights in the newest advances made in the synthetic control literature, a powerful technique for estimating causal effects from observational data. Professor Imbens concluded his keynote with expressing his support for the main goal of the conference, which is to bring industry and academia closer together and establish a fruitful dialog on causal inference applications.

The organizing committee would like to thank Maastricht University and Copenhagen Business School for supporting this event. We also want to thank our industry sponsors, Dataiku, Vianai and Vinted. Their generous financial support enabled us to reach a wider audience. Lastly, we would like to thank the speakers and attendees for turning the second installment of the Causal Data Science Meeting into such a great success.

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