We have great pleasure in inviting you to read the contents of this special issue of Geographia Polonica as well as the upcoming one (vol. 87, issues 2 and 3 of 2014). The special issues have been prepared to coincide with Krakow’s hosting of the 2014 IGU Regional Conference. However, this year also marks a second important occasion for us - the 50th anniversary of the founding of Geographia Polonica. At the same time it is our hope that the two issues will represent that most important voice in geography since the changes in our editorial team at the beginning of 2012, with special attention being paid in many cases to Central and Eastern Europe (including Poland). Our idea in this case has been to compile and present a series of articles written by key persons of the IGU (i.e. Chairs of the IGU Commissions, and Vice-Presidents of the IGU). My vision was for the Commission Chairs to each prepare and publish an article – theoretical or empirical, or even an essay, concerning the stage that has currently been reached by his/her field of interest (Commission subject/sub-discipline), some of the new trends therein, and future directions of research.