SLEM, the educational initiative spearheaded by the Dutch design studio of Nicoline van Enter, is organizing two special international footwear conferences, or “SLEMinars,” that will be held on Dec. 10 and 11 at the Hi-Tech Campus of Eindhoven, in the Netherlands. On the first day, the Footwear Health Tech Conference will focus on innovative technologies that combat arthritis with shoes, customization of orthotics through 3-D printing, and footwear projects for people affected by Parkinson's disease or visual handicaps. Leading companies like Materialise, Delcam and Feetz will demonstrate their technologies in an exhibition space. The other conference on the next day will cover the future of footwear materials, with a supporting exhibition. It will present smart textiles and synthetics with pre-programmed behavior, wool made from recycled plastics, sustainable performance coatings by Stahl, flexible filament for 3-D printed shoes by Recreus and micro-lasering technology by Lightmotif to improve the functions of outsoles. Jaakajima, a company described as a matchmaker for innovators, is co-organizing the two events. The idea is to create connections between the footwear industry and other innovative industries and universities and allow the parties, through these SLEMinars, to get to know each other and build a relationship.