Plenary speakers, chosen from among the world’s leading thinkers, offer formal presentations on topics of broad interest to the network and conference delegation. One or more speakers are scheduled into a plenary session, most often the first session of the day. As a general rule, there are no questions or discussion during these sessions. Instead, plenary speakers answer questions and participate in informal, extended discussions during their Garden Conversation.
Garden Conversations are informal, unstructured sessions that allow delegates a chance to meet plenary speakers and talk with them at length about the issues arising from their presentation. When the venue and weather allow, we try to arrange for a circle of chairs to be placed outdoors.
Held on the first day of the conference, Talking Circles offer an early 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 network. Questions like “Who are we?”, ”What is our common ground?”, “What are the current challenges facing society in this area?”, “What challenges do we face in constructing knowledge and effecting meaningful change in this area?” may guide the conversation. When possible, a second Talking Circle is held on the final day of the conference, for the original group to reconvene and discuss changes in their perspectives and understandings as a result of the conference experience. Reports from the Talking Circles provide a framework for the delegates’ final discussions during the Closing Session.
Paper presentations are grouped by general themes or topics into sessions comprised of three or four presentations followed by group discussion. Each presenter in the session makes a formal twenty-minute presentation of their work; Q&A and group discussion follow after all have presented. Session Chairs introduce the speakers, keep time on the presentations, and facilitate the discussion. Each presenter's formal, written paper will be available to participants if accepted to the journal.
Colloquium sessions are organized by a group of colleagues who wish to present various dimensions of a project or perspectives on an issue. Four or five short formal presentations are followed by commentary and/or group discussion. A single article or multiple articles may be submitted to the journal based on the content of a colloquium session.
For work that is best discussed or debated, rather than reported on through a formal presentation, these sessions provide a forum for an extended “roundtable” conversation between an author and a small group of interested colleagues. Several such discussions occur simultaneously in a specified area, with each author’s table designated by a number corresponding to the title and topic listed in the program schedule. Summaries of the author’s key ideas, or points of discussion, are used to stimulate and guide the discourse. A single article, based on the scholarly work and informed by the focused discussion as appropriate, may be submitted to the journal.
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.
Poster sessions present preliminary results of works in progress or projects that lend themselves to visual displays and representations. These sessions allow for engagement in informal discussions about the work with interested delegates throughout.
Virtual sessions are designed for presenters who are not able to be present in person at the conference. Travel, funding, and schedule can sometimes make it difficult for participants to attend the conference in-person. In order to support more inclusive participation, virtual sessions enable participants to present work to a body of peers and to engage with colleagues from afar, bringing global ideas to the local. We offer two virtual presentation formats:
Virtual Lightning Talk
Lightning talks are 5-minute "flash" video presentations. Authors present summaries or overviews of their work, describing the essential features (related to purpose, procedures, outcomes, or product). Like Paper Presentations, Lightning Talks are grouped according to topic or perspective into themed sessions. Authors are welcome to submit traditional "lecture style" videos or videos that use visual supports like PowerPoint. Final videos must be submitted at least one month prior to the conference start date. After the conference, videos are then presented on the network YouTube channel. Full papers can based in the virtual poster can also be submitted for consideration in the journal.
This format is ideal for presenting preliminary results of work in progress or for projects that lend themselves to visual displays and representations. Each poster should include a brief abstract of the purpose and procedures of the work. After acceptance, presenters are provided with a template, and Virtual Posters are submitted as a PDF or in PowerPoint. Final posters must be submitted at least one month prior to the conference start date. Full papers can based in the virtual poster can also be submitted for consideration in the journal.