Ways of Speaking

The Design Principles & Practices Research Network was founded with a commitment to providing innovative spaces for Research Network members to interact, converse, and learn from each other. In this critical moment, we must re-imagine the scholarly conference. We should consider our climate impacts, public health obligations, the need to dismantle the enduring blockages of access and participation for segments of our local and global communities, while at the same time supporting the development of meaningful personal relationships. Our mission is to provide a safe, sustainable, and accessible way for us to come together and interact as a Research Network. We are taking on these challenges by offering a blended conference experience, with session types explicitly designed to make the most of both online and in-person social knowledge processes. In conversation with our Research Network Members, we have been reflecting upon the kinds of scholarly conferences we need for our sustainable social futures.

Our blended conference experience is delivered on the CGScholar platform – developed by the Common Ground Media Lab, the research and technology arm of Common Ground Research Networks.

Blended Ways of Participating

We are trying to move away from the either/or of place-based or online conferences. Whichever way you choose to participate, or can participate, we’ll offer a rich experience. This way we build for our Research Network Members flexible and at the same time resilient spaces for communication, engagement, and participation. The choice to participate virtually could also be an ethical decision – for the planet, for security, or when the financial burden of travel is too great. We aim to foster spaces that align with principles of social justice and community development.

Blended Ways of Speaking


Plenary Sessions

Plenary speakers, chosen from among the world’s leading thinkers, offer formal presentations on topics linked to annual themes. As a delivery format, there are no questions or discussions during these sessions. Instead, plenary speakers answer questions and participate in informal, extended discussions in the Garden Conversations.

  • In-Person: A traditional lecture format
  • Online: Online versions of the plenary sessions will be delivered as a mix (depending on the speaker and space) of live or recorded videos for the delegates to view in real time, or at their own pace.

Garden Conversation

Garden Conversations are open, informal sessions that allow Research Network Members a chance to meet Plenary Speakers. Whether you are onsite or participating online, you can talk with them at length, leave comments, and connect as peers.

  • In-Person: An informal discussion space in a non-traditional setting.
  • Online: Online versions of the Garden Sessions will be delivered as a mix (depending on the speaker and space) of live or recorded videos for the delegates to view and engage in real time, or to view at a time of their choosing. An online discussion board will be available to facilitate conversation, and will be open to both in-person and remote participants.

Talking Circles

Talking Circles offer an opportunity to meet other delegates with similar interests and concerns. Delegates self-select into groups based on broad thematic areas and then engage in extended discussion about the issues and concerns they feel are of utmost importance to that segment of the Research Network. Participation is open, encouraged, and supported.

  • In-Person: An in-person space to meet, framed by thematic areas
  • Online: An online space to meet framed by thematic areas. An online discussion board will be available to facilitate conversation, and will be open to both in-person and remote participants.

Themed Paper Presentations

This type of session is best suited for reports on completed research or scholarly work. Authors present summaries or overviews of their work, describing the essential features (related to purpose, procedures, outcomes or product).

  • In-Person: The formal oral presentation of work should be limited to 20 minutes. Presentations are grouped according to topic or perspective into these themed sessions (which are usually either 75 or 100 minutes), with time provided after all of the presentations for Q&A and group discussion. Presenters are welcome to include visual supports (paper handouts, computer slides, or digital displays) to assist delivery of their oral presentation. Please note that we cannot provide photocopying facilities at the conference, but we will provide data projectors in each room. Multiple-authored presentations are welcome, although only one article may be submitted to the journal based on each presentation.
  • Online: We recommend a full presentation of no more than 20 minutes. Presenters are welcome to include visual supports (PDF, PP, ect) to assist delivery of their oral presentation. These will be available to all conference participants. An online discussion board will be available to facilitate conversation, and will be open to both in-person and remote participants.

Colloquium

This conference session is scheduled for 90 minutes and involves four to five authors who are proposing a set of papers based on a shared theme or topic. The papers may present complementary aspects of a specific body of work, or contrasting perspectives on a specified topic. There must be at least four registered participants per session. A colloquium must be submitted as a single proposal. All participants must be listed on the proposal submission form (list as one primary author, and three or more co-authors). The abstract must summarize the entire colloquium and must list the titles of the four to five papers (abstract limit is 250 words). Either a single article or multiple articles may be submitted to the journal based on the content of a colloquium session.

  • In-Person: The presenters should conceive and design the session to allow time for individual presentations (approximately 15 minutes each) and at least 15 minutes of audience discussion or question-and-answer.
  • Online: The presenters should conceive, design and record the session to allow time for individual presentations (approximately 15 minutes each). An online discussion board will be available to facilitate conversation, and will be open to both in-person and remote participants.

Focused Discussion

This type of session is best suited for position papers, reviews of theoretical or conceptual frameworks, works-in-progress, policy analysis, or topics that generate, or benefit from, extended discussion.

  • In-Person: Presenters are each assigned a numbered table in a large meeting room for the full session (usually about 45 minutes), during which time they converse and interact with interested delegates who join them at their table. The discussion may begin with the author presenting a synopsis of their work, to generate discussion on the topic. Authors are encouraged to bring copies of their papers and/or a short handout summarizing their work for distribution at their tables. Multiple authors of a single paper may participate, and one article per roundtable may be submitted for publication.
  • Online: Create discussion-oriented video up to a 45 minutes long. Outline your work, and suggest open questions for exchange of views and dialogue. An online discussion board will be available to facilitate conversation, and will be open to both in-person and remote participants.

Workshop/Interactive Session

Workshop sessions involve extensive interaction between presenters and participants around an idea or hands-on experience of a practice. These sessions may also take the form of a crafted panel, staged conversation, dialogue or debate – all involving substantial interaction with the audience. A single article (jointly authored, if appropriate) may be submitted to the journal based on a workshop session.

  • In-Person: An interactive 45 minute session which involves the audience throughout the session, and involves at least 30 minutes of audience participation.
  • Online: A 45 minute live or recorded video of your workshop. If you are an in-person presenter, you will need to arrange and record this at a different time from your in-person session. If you are a remote presenter, you can offer your workshop at the designated time in the conference program. An online discussion board will be available to facilitate conversation, and will be open to both in-person and remote participants.

Poster Sessions

This format is ideal for presenting preliminary results of work in progress or for projects that lend themselves to visual displays and representations. Each display should include a brief abstract of the purpose and procedures of the work. Authors may submit a formal paper describing their work to the journal associated with their proposal.

  • In-Person: In these sessions (generally about 45 minutes), authors have the opportunity to display or exhibit their work and engage in informal discussion with other delegates throughout the session. Displays may be posters (maximum 121.92 x 91.44 centimeters/4x3 feet), digital/computer displays, artwork, or other visual media. Space for the poster or exhibit will be provided at the conference, however all materials must be organized by the presenter, including posters, displays, handouts or other appropriate materials. We cannot guarantee a dedicated power source for each presenter.
  • Online: Provide your poster in PDF or single PowerPoint slide. Please be sure that the file resolution is sufficient to be able to read these when downloaded. An online discussion board will be available to facilitate conversation, and will be open to both in-person and remote participants.

Innovation Showcase

Researchers and innovators present practices, products or research and development. All presentations should be grounded in presenters' research or teaching experience. Promotional conversations are permissible, however, products or services may not be sold at the in-person conference venue.

  • In-Person: 20min presentation of case studies, process and product showcase, pop-up exhibition, show-and tells, etc.
  • Online: Video demonstrations, online galleries, etc. An online discussion board will be available to facilitate conversation, and will be open to both in-person and remote participants.