Growing Our Networks in Uncertain Times/Places

August 7–9, 2020

Online, Distributed

Based out of UTC-4 from America/Toronto

This year we’re taking a different approach given the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation. A lot remains unknown about how travel and ways to gather will develop between now and Our Networks 2020, and we take seriously our obligations as hosts and to our local community.

We are moving beyond an in-person event, instead inviting you all to collectively invent the future of our networks in virtual spaces. In the presence of so many unknowns, how can alternative network infrastructures support the creation of radically equitable futures? What tactics of distributed collective care allow us to offer mutual aid in this moment? How can we apply more broadly what we learn as we go about decentralizing the conference across time and place?

This is a call to face the uncertainty together—come meet us online. We’re looking for a range of virtual activations through the month of July leading up to and including the weekend of August 7–9! There will be room for familiar formats, including streamed talks and virtual workshops, but we are especially interested in activations that break free from the bounds of an “online conference.” For example, you could host a durational study group, run a meetup in a game world, exhibit an art project using a platform in some unexpected way, experiment with collective forms of distributed expression (à la Twitch Plays Pokémon). We are excited to draw on the possibilities for shared online experiences that a remote event affords. Leaning into new forms of interaction that build collective experiences at a distance, we can collectively cultivate virtual experiences that feel intimate, exploratory, and expansive.

Submission deadline

The deadline for proposals is June 1, 2020. We highly encourage you to email us or attend an open hour if you have questions about formats and activations—we’re here to offer support. Submissions should follow our template and be submitted as a GitHub issue in our submissions repository. There will be additional opportunities closer to and during the event to put forward ideas and actively participate. We encourage you to sign up to our mailing list to hear more.

Submit your proposal

First time GitHub users will need to create a free account before they can open an issue.

Who can submit?

Anyone interested in how we can build better online futures! Our Networks is excited for sessions that centre the voices of those less often heard at technical events. We encourage BIPOC and LGBTQ2S folks to lead sessions and acknowledge the multiple marginalizations those with intersecting identities face. For 2020 we are also seeking to support those voices in their preferred language. If you are interested in leading a session in a language other than English please indicate so in your submission.

We want to provide a welcoming space for those speaking for the first time, email us if you’d like assistance workshopping a proposal.

Not sure? Ask us!

If you have any additional questions let us know at orga@ournetworks.ca! We’re also hosting two open hours while the CFP is open for any questions:

Open hour: CFP #1

Thursday April 30, 2020, 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm EDT [UTC-04]

Mozilla Hubs (details to follow)

  Add to Google Calendar

Open hour: CFP #2

Saturday May 02, 2020, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm EDT [UTC-04]

Details to follow

  Add to Google Calendar

Mailing list

Our Networks 2020 is happening! Want to receive updates?

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