Accepted Open Sessions can be found here

IMPORTANT NOTICE: If you have yet to receive any notification about submitted Open Sessions, please email

Important Links

Call for Open Sessions

Days 1 (December 7th) and 4 (December 10th) of the 2013 ICTD conference in Cape Town, South Africa are dedicated to open sessions. We invite you to contribute to this lively, informal, and interactive component of the ICTD conference. Successful proposals will work towards the conferences goals of (1) accessibility and inclusion (2) participation and dialogue and (3) excellence.

The upcoming ICTD conference will be hosted for the first time on the African continent. We especially encourage open sessions with a regional focus exploring unique ICTD needs and opportunities in Africa. Though the language of the main conference is English, we also encourage open session proposals held in other languages widely spoken on the continent including (though not necessarily limited to) French, Portuguese, and Swahili.

Instructions for Open Sessions

The open sessions have been an especially successful venue for:

  • workshops that include highly interactive, hands-on training for participants
  • panels or roundtables: i.e. on particular areas of theory; definition work (what is development? What is technology? Ethics in ICTD); emergent new approaches in ICTD; reflections on the state of the field; and efforts to chart a future course for ICTD research and practice.
  • conversations about methods and proposals for methodological innovation
  • special interest groups (SIGs); presentation of projects by participants from diverse institutions on a common theme (i.e. climate change, gender, or regional)
  • many other formal and informal formats including debates, live performances, video screenings, fishbowls, and wildcard sessions. (Note: demos should be submitted to the demo track)

See accepted open sessions from ICTD 2012 and ICTD 2010.

While organizers may extend a special invitation to particular participants to attend or present, the sessions themselves must be open to any conference attendee who wishes to join on the day of (up to room capacity).

To propose an open session please fill out the proposal form providing a 50-word summary and an additional 2-page elaboration of your proposed open session topic with details requested in the proposal form.

Send the completed proposal to by the deadline, June 28, 2013 (11:59pm UTC).


The aim of the open sessions is to bring as diverse a group of people as possible together who share an interest in the ICTD space. However, the proposal review process is also competitive as there is limited time and space to hold these sessions. Proposals will be judged on the following criteria:

  • accessibility and inclusiveness – proposals should reflect an effort to reach an interdisciplinary ICTD crowd maximizing the diversity of topics covered and voices heard at the conference
  • participation and dialogue – open sessions should aim to have a greater element of participation than the full paper and notes tracks, or the demo sessions. We will look for proposals that demonstrate some way of engaging those who join the session in conversation, activities, or training.
  • excellence – we will look for expertise and knowledge among organizers proposing workshops and training sessions where they seek to impart skills to others. The organization of an open session may also demonstrate excellence if its thoughtfully put together, even if the organizers do not themselves have deep expertise in the proposed topic or subject matter.