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Call for Volunteers: Help Shape the Future of CHI

The annual CHI Conference — SIGCHI’s flagship event — is nearing its fortieth year. It is bigger than ever, attracting large numbers of attendees, technical submissions, and content in a wide variety of forms. Many in our community marvel at the breadth and depth of offerings and enjoy the energy of our community coming together. Others lament the “12-ring circus” and fear the conference has lost its ability to provide common ground and advance the field across specialized sub-fields. And the volunteers who put the conference together each year undertake a heroic effort, at times wondering if there is a way to make this easier without compromising the quality of the attendee experience.

Part of CHI’s complexity is the extensive diversity of its mission. Among other things, CHI serves as:

  • A venue for an extensive collection of workshops and professional gatherings
  • A top-quality publication venue for authors in the field
  • A place to teach and learn about human-computer interaction research and practice from introductory overviews to deep dive technique courses
  • A venue for discovering products and jobs, and in turn for seeking new customers and employees
  • A place to showcase new technologies, interactions, designs, and experiences — and to experience and learn from these
  • A community gathering where people reconnect with old friends and make new ones
  • And much, much more.

SIGCHI is convening a CHI 2030 Visioning Task Force. This task force will meet, review data, vision, and interact with the CHI community to recommend one or more visions for what the CHI Conference could be by 2030. It will report to both SIGCHI’s Executive Committee and the CHI Conference Steering Committee, offering a vision for where to go.

We are seeking committed volunteers who are willing to dedicate substantial time over the next five months to this task. In addition to e-mail communications, the task force will have two face-to-face meetings and two video-conference calls, plus a half-day meeting at CHI 2019 (remote participation will be available for those not attending CHI):

  1. Videoconference: March 15 (14:30 – 16:30 GMT; 10:30 – 12:30 EDT; 7:30 – 9:30 PDT)
  2. Chicago, Illinois, USA: March 30 (3pm) – March 31 (4:30 pm)
  3. Videoconference: April 26 (14:30 – 16:30 GMT (15:30 – 17:30 UK Daylight time); 10:30 – 12:30 EDT; 7:30 – 9:30 PDT; 16:30 – 18:30 CEDT)
  4. Glasgow, Scotland, UK: May 10 (9am – 2:30 pm)
  5. New York, NY, USA: June 21 (8:30 am) – June 22 (1pm)

In addition, task force members who are able to attend CHI 2019 in Glasgow will be asked to spend part of the conference interacting with conference attendees.

We realize this is a significant commitment, and we know we are making a significant investment. SIGCHI will cover travel, accommodation, and meal costs for the two face-to-face meetings, and will provide partial reimbursement for task force member to attend CHI (including community meetings and the half-day debriefing meeting). Most of all, we hope you will feel the satisfaction of contributing to the direction of our community’s flagship event.

We are seeking broad representation. This includes people from different backgrounds and those who interact with CHI in different roles:

  • students, teachers, researchers, practitioners
  • academia, industry, government, and others
  • volunteers from all regions and demographics
  • authors, course instructors, exhibitors, demonstrators, volunteers, attendees of all of these
  • even people in our community who don’t come to CHI often, but would if …

We’ll be selecting a committee of 12-15 volunteers chaired by:

  • Elizabeth Churchill, Google
  • Joseph A. Konstan, University of Minnesota
  • Marianna Obrist, University of Sussex

To apply, please fill out the Google Form at You will be asked to describe your prior relationship with CHI and the CHI Community, why you are interested in serving on the task force, and to verify your availability to participate in the task force’s meetings. We will review applications starting February 1, and expect to notify applicants no later than February 15.

SIGCHI membership is not required to serve on this task force; if you know people who should volunteer, please forward this message to them.