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"OzCHI 2050" - Call for Speculative Abstracts

We would like to extend an invitation to the OzCHI community to engage in a speculative activity of taking this year’s OzCHI theme of “Engagement, Responsibility, Impact” and projecting 30 years into the future. We would like you to consider how the design decisions we are making today will impact and define our technological progress, society, environment, and field of study in 2050. 

We invite you to consider what our work could look like in 2050, from best to worst case and everything in-between. If we are standing at a precipice, where we need to critically assess the ethical implications of technology design with a backdrop of global, large-scale developments of social (e.g., refugee crisis, rising automation, and the future of work) and environmental impact (e.g., climate emergency), what are the implications and opportunities that arise from our actions and decisions today, and what could and should our future look like? 


We therefore invite you, and challenge you, to submit a speculative abstract for a paper that could be submitted to OzCHI 2050. We will then curate a design fiction [1] paper, based on your submitted abstracts, that highlights the themes that emerge related to ethical responsibility for HCI in 2050, to be submitted as a full paper to OzCHI 2020. We will also be drawing on this work to propose a workshop for OzCHI 2020 and will invite contributors to participate. 

Similar to speculative research papers curated by Baumer [2] for alt.CHI 2014 and Buruk [3] for alt.CHI 2020, a selection of the submitted abstracts will be used to develop an OzCHI full paper (rather than the shorter-style alt.CHI papers in the previous examples). We welcome all styles of proposals, including speculative technologies and futures, critical reflections, cautionary tales, and progressive visions. We hope to attract submissions from diverse perspectives and communities, within and beyond HCI. 

Our aim is to use design fiction to portray, project, and analyse the opportunities and threats, as well as our diverse visions, for the future of technology and our role in shepherding the future as designers and researchers of technology. We hope to evoke critical and reflective thinking about our future, our evolving role as HCI researchers, and to highlight the importance of ethical consideration in our work today. 

Please write your abstract as if it were written in the year 2050, to be submitted to OzCHI 2050. Abstracts should be submitted via Easy Chair, along with Title, Authors, and Affiliation. Abstracts can be accompanied by an image (e.g., diagram, sketch, illustration). Abstracts should be a maximum of 250 words. Abstracts will be selected based on quality as a speculative abstract (see [4] for a guide on how to write one), contribution to key themes, provocative nature, and potential to create discussion. Authors of accepted abstracts will be added as co-authors to the OzCHI 2020 full paper submission.


Submission Deadline – 17 April 2020, 23:59 AEST
Notification of Decision – 24 April 2020, 23:59 AEST
Draft Submission sent to Authors – 22 May 2020, 23:59 AEST
Revisions due by Authors – 5 June 2020, 23:59 AEST
Submission to OzCHI 2020 Long Paper track – 12 June 2020
OzCHI 2020 conference dates – 1 - 4 December 2020 (Sydney, Australia) 

Penny Kyburz (Sweetser), Australian National University ( 
Duncan Stevenson, Australian National University ( 
Jennyfer Lawrence Taylor, Queensland University of Technology ( 

[1] Understanding the Past, Present, and Future of Design Fictions. CHI 2020 Workshop.

[2] Eric P.S. Baumer, et al. CHI 2039: speculative research visions. In CHI ’14 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI EA ’14). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 761–770. DOI: 

[3] Children in 2077: Designing Children’s Technologies in the Age of Transhumanism.

[4] Guidelines for Fictional Abstracts. NordiCHI 2018.

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