Birds of a Feather (BoF) lunch sessions on the future of our international community, Tuesday Feb 28th

This year at CSCW 2017, we are having Birds of a Feather lunch sessions, so that small groups of 8-10 attendees can discuss various topics relating to the future of our international community & other issues of a broader impact. Any CSCW attendee can sign up to facilitate a session on a topic of their choosing, then other attendees can sign up to attend. We will be helping make lunch reservations for groups at nearby resturants.

Sign up for sessions (as soon as possible!)

Use this password-protected link to sign up for sessions as a facilitator or attendee, following the instructions on the spreadsheet at that link. The password was e-mailed to all CSCW 2017 registered attendees on 23 Feb from Yvonne Lopez in an e-mail titled “CSCW 2017: Welcome to Portland!” Please contact Stuart Geiger (stuart at stuartgeiger dot com) if you did not receive it or are having issues. Please sign up as soon as possible to ensure that we can help everyone make lunch reservations. Sessions that form later may have to make their own reservations, and we will have a deadline soon.


Many of us in CSCW and related fields are concerned with the future of our international community of research and practice, given the current political climate in the United States and around the world. Like many of you, we have been having conversations about many different topics, including: the impact of immigration regulations on research, teaching, and conferences, the funding of research (both in our field and science more broadly), the role of CSCW systems in political action and discourse, inclusion and diversity (in many contexts), strategies for political mobilization and activism, actions professional associations can take, as well as how to build and sustain international perspectives in our community.

We considered adding a panel or session to the main program on these topics, but we wanted to make sure that all CSCW attendees could participate in these important and multifaceted conversations. We will therefore be coordinating Birds of a Feather (BoF) lunch sessions on Tuesday, Feb 28th. These sessions will be independently led by volunteer attendees, who will propose a topic or question for discussion over lunch. About 8-10 people will be able to sign up for each session – having too many people can make it difficult to have a conversation.

We do not wish to constrain the topics of discussion, but we are particularly seeking volunteers to facilitate sessions that in some way involve a reflective discussion of how we as CSCW researchers and practitioners are engaging with issues of a broader impact in our institutions, communities, and world. We ask that BoF facilitators begin with a short discussion of norms for the conversation (e.g. if public notes will be taken, if people can quote others) and that all participants adhere to the ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.

The role of a facilitator

A BoF facilitator’s role is supposed to be informal and lightweight. The roles include:

  1. Leading participants to where the session will take place (we will help find a place for you)
  2. Briefly discussing norms for the session (e.g. if everything said will remain private in that group)
  3. Starting the discussion and helping ensure everyone gets a chance to speak and be heard
  4. Making sure everyone cleans up (if not meeting in a restaurant) and gets back on time