Guidelines for Special Sessions

Special sessions include Panels, Workshops, and Demonstrations. One or more presenters can organize and give a special session. Special sessions should have some form of audience interaction (e.g., Q&A with panelists, hands-on workshop, break-out into groups).

Conference Themes

A submission should emphasize at least one of the conference themes. Authors will be asked to indicate the main theme of their submission.

Stage of Development

For submissions introducing an end-product or service, it is helpful to clearly indicate the stage of work completed, and emphasize the outcomes and impacts of that stage in the product development process. This information will help reviewers and readers to understand the goals and expected outcomes of submissions.

The below stages of development provide a concise guide to help authors understand the scope of their work. Authors should emphasize the strengths and outcomes of their completed work without speculating into other stages of the development process.

  1. Concept—needs identification, market evaluation, concept development
  2. Prototype—prototyping, technology, early implementation, testing, evaluation, results
  3. Deployment—scaling, management, supply chain, monitoring
  4. Other—all development phases, education, sustainability planning, financing, etc.

Submission Content

Deadlines for submitting content for a special session can be found here. Required content includes

  • Abstract submission – 200 word abstract for review (PDF) – indicate type of session in title of abstract (eg: Panel: water technology).
  • Draft submission – Draft presentation for review
  • Final submission – Revised presentation that incorporates reviewer comments

An additional submission may be required if the presentation requires major revisions. You may make minor adjustments to the presentation after final submission and bring an updated copy to the conference.

Sessions that include multiple presentations should submit each presentation separately, and note the session name in the title slide of each presentation.

Submission Requirements

Submissions that do not meet the below requirements may be rejected without review.

  • Language—All submissions must be in English.
  • Formatting—You may use your own slideshow template or the conference slideshow template. The conference template can be found here.
  • Slideshow—Your presentation of the slideshow must be 30-90 minutes in length, including Q&A. Presenters that speak overtime will be stopped as a courtesy to any remaining speakers in the session.
  • Abstract—The maximum size of the abstract is 200 words.
  • Non-commercial—Presentations and abstracts must not be commercial in nature.
  • Submission format—Submissions are only accepted in PDF.

Presentation Guidelines

Guidelines for the slideshow presentation can be found here (PDF).


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