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Tips for Creating Great ESIPFed Meeting Session Proposals

With just under one month away from the ESIP Summer Meeting session proposal deadline (4/13) I thought I would share some tips and ideas on creating a successful meeting session. I love these tips from the Open Knowledge Foundation (OKFN) and thought many apply to ESIP sessions.

Who can submit? Anyone. ESIP meeting sessions can be submitted by both those affiliated with an ESIP member organization or not. Often ESIP collaboration areas submit a session or set of sessions. Sessions ideas that have been submitted can evolve, so if you are interested in contributing to a session already submitted reach out.

Things to think about when creating your session: 

  • ESIP is cross-domain and sector. Who is your audience? Is this session for a particular group only or is attendance by particular groups encouraged? Could my session idea work across topics?

  • Does the proposal advance the theme of the meeting, Linking It Together: Sustainable Software Advancing Science Data and Services (not required)?

  • Does the proposal offer concrete value to participants via its proposed outcome?

  • Is the proposal interactive, participatory or creative? Hint: slides and lectures are strongly discouraged (see session type ideas below)!

Ideas for types of sessions: 

  • Hands-on workshops – engage participants in a collective learning process, allowing them to build on and broaden their own knowledge.
  • Knowledge sharing sessions – more traditional presentation-based sessions
  • Kick-off meet-ups – Do you have an idea for a cluster, working on a project that needs community input or just want to know if there are others who have a similar issue?
  • Round table – Collective unpacking of a particular topic
  • Hack-a-thons or sprints – a session with the agreed goal of producing a prototype, a tool, a toolkit – a tangible outcome. If the time of the scheduled session is not enough to complete the sprint, no worries! There is plenty of space and time to continue your session informally.

ESIP loves session proposals that (from AMC conference, but totally applicable to ESIP):

  • Make complex ideas accessible and exciting
  • Share hands-on, creative skills
  • Value the expertise of people most impacted by a problem to solve that problem
  • Use clear language that welcomes people from any background or experience level
  • Result in tangible resources, and strategic next steps
  • Explore solutions that span the internal, interpersonal, and systemic dimensions of the problems we face
  • Exercise imagination
  • Draws together people from across the community.

I hope that you'll consider submitting a session. Click here to submit a session and instructionsIf you have other questions or would like to talk through a session idea feel free to email me, erinrobinson@esipfed.org. Thanks in advance for your contributions!