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Panels & Fireside Chats

Quick Facts

Important Dates:

  • Submission deadline: 7th January 2019 12pm (noon) PST / 3pm EST / 8pm GMT
  • Notification deadline: 4th February 2019
  • Publication-ready deadline: 10th February 2019 12pm (noon) PST / 3pm EST / 8pm GMT

Submission Details:

Selection process: Curated

Archives: Extended abstracts; ACM Digital Library

Message from the Panels Chairs

Panels are an interactive, discussion oriented forum in which audience members are participants in the discussion. Panelists are strongly encouraged to propose topics likely to be of broad interest in the CHI community and interactive sessions that will engage both the panelists and the audience in creative ways. Panels should not be a series of short talks, akin to a papers session.

Panels differ from Papers in that panels do not need to contain original research. They differ from other venues like Demonstrations in that they do not need to present a system or service. Panels are distinctive in their focus on: 1) discussing topics of interest to the CHI community; 2) focusing on audience interaction with the panelists. At CHI 2019, we are also encouraging other discussion formats, including fireside chats, roundtable discussions, and Ask Me Anything (AMA) formats.

Hot Topics
A key feature of Panels is the importance of the issue in our community. The following list is a few examples that we have considered may be exciting for CHI2019, but look forward to receiving proposals based on your ideas too.

  • Data ethics
  • HCI factors on Security and Algorithms
  • Meta-CHI issues
  • Inclusivity
  • Weaving different research styles, communities, or industry & academia

Albrecht Schmidt, University of Stuttgart, Germany
Jeni Paay, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia
Max L. Wilson, University of Nottingham, United Kingdom
Sunny Consolvo, Google, Mountain View, CA, USA

Panel Format

Panels & Fireside Chats are held in their own 80-minute session at the conference.

In previous conferences, highly successful panels had the following characteristics:

  • The presence of a strong moderator who was able to facilitate, help people express their opinions as well as limit off-topic discussions.
  • Frame the discussion as a debate with a clear question.
  • Pick speakers with naturally opposing viewpoints, positions and backgrounds.
  • Ensure that speakers are prepped and debriefed for the session.

Effective panels have been designed in many forms and formats. For example, a panels session may include a group of experts who debate a topic or theme, enact some aspect of their expertise, or reflect on and compare their diverse experiences. Panels & Fireside Chats must include involvement from the audience, through questions and answers, voting or critique of the experts’ presentations, and discussion, using web-based or mobile technologies, use of the physical room, or other mechanisms, and your proposal should clearly explain how you would involve the audience. Panels can take the form of a traditional panel of discussants with a moderator, a fireside chat in which an individual gets interviewed by a moderator, a roundtable in which the moderator(s) pose the questions to the audience for discussion, or another proposed format. While we encourage discussions that provide multiple perspectives and controversy, rancor or ad hominem attacks are not professional and must be avoided.

We highly encourage panel organizers to minimize the number of panelists to provide for fruitful and cohesive discussion; we will not allow more than five panelists and note that the best panels tend to have fewer speakers and more interaction with the audience. We also encourage debate and discussion; we will not accept panels where time is primarily allocated to pre-prepared presentations by panel members.

It is important to us that panels represent the diversity of CHI’s community, including diversity of gender, experience, national origin, native language, race, ethnicity, and sexual identity. Panels that have all representatives from one part of the globe or one gender may be less favorably considered. Additionally, a diversity of ideas is strongly encouraged. Panels can cover issues of pragmatic or applied importance in addition to research issues. Panels are a great place to sound some of the major debates of the field, whether about how we develop scholarly knowledge or teach and apply that knowledge.

Preparing and Submitting your Panel

Please Note: CHI 2019 is using a new version of Precision Conference System (PCS 2.0): Important: you will need to create a new login/password for this system.

Panels proposals must be submitted by January 7th, 2019 12pm (noon) PST / 3pm EST / 8pm GMT. The Panel proposal must submit an Extended Abstract submitted as a single PDF file.

  • Extended Abstract: A maximum 6 page proposal (including references) in the Extended Abstracts Format: The extended abstract should include the title of the panel; the names and affiliations of the organizer(s), confirmed participants, and participants who have been invited but have not yet confirmed. Although they can be invited only at the time of the submission, we encourage organizers to get confirmation from as many participants as possible prior to submission. All participants must be confirmed at the time of camera ready, no exceptions. Within the 6-page constraint you should summarize the main topic(s) to be presented, debated, discussed, enacted, and any lessons or experiences you hope to convey in the session, as well as contrasting or controversial perspectives on the topic(s). You need to persuade the chairs that your panel will be exciting, enjoyable, well-attended, and relevant to the CHI community. You must list who will participate, how they have been recruited, why these people were selected, what qualifications they bring, and so on.

All speakers must be listed as Authors in the proposal and in the PCS Submission System for scheduling reasons, and all authors must be panelists or the panel moderator, no exceptions. You must include the session format: how you will run it, the invited participants’ role, your role, the audience role, and any special logistical needs (e.g., special seating or A/V, audience size limitations, use of student volunteers, expectations about attendee background or interests, etc.).

Your proposal must stand alone; readers must be able to get something out of the abstract even if they do not attend the panel session. Regardless of the topic, all session proposals should include a plan for engaging audience members in the interaction.

Submissions should not contain sensitive, private, or proprietary information that cannot be disclosed at publication time.  Submissions should NOT be anonymous. However, confidentiality of submissions will be maintained during the review process. All rejected submissions will be kept confidential. All submitted materials for accepted submissions will be kept confidential until the start of the conference, with the exception of title and author information which will be published on the website prior to the conference.

Selection Process

Panels will have a mix of invited and curated content. All proposals submitted through this open call will be Curated. We will determine which panels are accepted on the basis of the review criteria below, and may decide to bring in outside experts for further review. There is no mechanism for author response in the review of panels, and decisions are final. In some special cases, the Panels Chairs may request changes to the panel proposal as a condition of its acceptance: a “conditional accept.” We encourage panel organizers to respond to suggestions from the Panel Chairs as part of the conditional accept rapidly and to engage in constructive dialog to produce the best overall panel experience for the conference.

Authors will be notified of acceptance, conditional acceptance or rejection on 4th February 2019. The organizer (i.e., the “contact author”) of accepted panels will receive instructions on how to prepare and submit the camera-ready version of their panel. These will be due on 10th February 2019.

Review Criteria

Panels present ideas that are novel, controversial, or engaging, inspiring the audience to respond and further elaborate the ideas. We aim to select a balance of panels to appeal to the wide variety of CHI attendees. The review criteria will consider the extent to which the session includes:

  • One or more topics likely to evoke a lively response from the CHI attendees,
  • Invited participants who will contribute unique perspectives, content, or other interactive content to the session,
  • A well-organized and feasible session plan,
  • A novel and creative session plan that emphasizes audience interaction,
  • Useful and interesting contributions to HCI,
  • Appropriate levels of diversity in panelist selection,
  • Likely to draw large attendance, and
  • Content that is unlikely to be seen by CHI audiences elsewhere in the conference.

At the Conference

Panels & Fireside Chats will be included in the conference program, and will have an 80-minute slot in parallel with other sessions. Session organizers are strongly advised to meet with their invited participants prior to their session to ensure a coordinated effort. If any special logistics are involved (e.g., seating, student volunteers, special A/V) organizers should also check in with the panels co-chairs (

Panel organizers are also reminded that panelists invited to speak/present at the session are responsible for their conference registration fees. There are one day registrations available for panelists who do not wish to attend the entire conference.

After the Conference

Panels & Fireside Chats can often be a jumping-off point for future work. Previous panels have become the starting point for special issues of journals or books, or follow-up panels, papers, workshops, SIG meetings or Communities. We encourage panel organizers to think about the potential of their panels to inform future work or public audiences. Accepted Panel abstracts will be distributed in the CHI Conference Extended Abstracts and in the ACM Digital Library, where they will remain accessible to thousands of researchers and practitioners worldwide. Some of these discussions may also be recorded at the conference and distributed by the ACM.

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