Helena Mentis, Cliff Lampe, Regina Bernhaupt, Anirudha Joshi, Susan Fussell, Susan Dray, Dan Olsen, Aaron Quigley, Julie Williamson, Eunice Sari, Loren Terveen, Allison Druin, Philippe Palanque
With the start of any new SIGCHI Executive Committee (EC), it is healthy to assess the state of the organization and lay out a plan to move forward for the new term. Thus, at the start of the July 2018 meeting of the new SIGCHI EC, the new president, Helena Mentis, led the EC in reflecting on the successes and open issues from the past, identifying the values of the new EC in how we conduct our business, and formulating our strategic initiatives for the next three years. The outcome of this strategic-vision session is outlined as follows.
The SIGCHI EC has articulated the following 10 values. Specifically, these are instrumental values: They are our preferred methods of behavior. They are not an end goal, but they translate into a means by which an end goal is accomplished.
- Open. We will have clarity in how we function and how decisions are made.
- Inclusive. We welcome all views and actively seek input.
- Strategic and viable. We are focused and deliberate in what we do and ensure the sustainability of our actions.
- Collaborative. We work together and include the community in our work.
- Bottom up + visionary. We aim to solicit, integrate, and balance ideas that address both immediate needs and long-term goals.
- Flexible and learning. We are open to new perspectives and search out new ways of thinking.
- Nurturing and empowering. We aim to support the development of our community members.
- Fair and respectful. We will serve and protect our community and treat all with respect.
- Straightforward. We are honest in conveying our perspectives and feedback.
- Efficient. We aim to make the best use of both the time and resources of the SIGCHI EC and of our SIGCHI members.
These behaviors guide the EC in their relationship with one another and our relationship with our community, including our conferences’ leadership and volunteers.
The SIGCHI membership roster to date does not fully encompass those we consider part of the SIGCHI community.
In deciding on the strategic initiatives that would be the focus of the EC’s time for the next three years, we aimed to strike a balance between the immediate needs of our membership and the long-term strategic needs of the organization (see “Bottom up” value). The SIGCHI EC has identified the following five strategic initiatives:
- Grow our membership to reflect the community. The SIGCHI membership roster to date does not fully encompass those we consider part of the SIGCHI community. One large reason is that we have learned that many people who consider SIGCHI or any of our 24 conferences to be core to their identity are not members of SIGCHI. This is due to their not knowing they weren’t members (due to the confusing signup process) or their not perceiving a great enough benefit to SIGCHI membership. Or, although they identify with HCI, they might not identify with SIGCHI. This poses a difficulty for the SIGCHI EC, for two major reasons: 1) formal communication with the HCI community is hindered, as many are not on our email distribution lists, and 2) SIGCHI’s influence in ACM is partly based on our membership numbers. Toward the second point, we want to ensure that the HCI community’s needs are being met by ACM; being the second-largest SIG (in terms of members) at this time helps ensure we have strong voice. We want to maintain and even grow that strength. This strategic initiative is also related to the growing global reach of HCI as well as the variety of disciplines that consider HCI (and potentially SIGCHI) an aspect of their identity. We want to welcome all under our umbrella and provide the nurturing and empowerment that we identified earlier in our values.
- Ensure the scalability of our organization and conferences. This strategic initiative covers a number of issues just under the surface of our seemingly smooth-running organization and conferences. First is that our growing family of conferences needs to be structured in a way that is not a strain on the organization or our volunteers. Second, the CHI conference, which is steadily growing in both attendance and number of submissions each year, needs to be strategically managed in its growth trajectory. Third, and related to the first two points, our infrastructure had not been keeping up with our growth. We have already addressed this in many ways over the past three years with continued support for PCS 2.0, the mobile app for conferences, and our new conferences leadership structure and processes , but there is much more to do under this initiative. Fourth is to address the strain on our volunteers with regard to service requests, but also to guide and nurture the next generation of volunteers in our community.
- Enhance HCI knowledge distribution. A core part of the SIGCHI mission is to distribute knowledge created by our community members. Beyond the large use of SIGCHI publications in the ACM Digital Library, we aim to continue to address this initiative through new mechanisms such as our YouTube channel  and by continuing to engage in discussions with ACM regarding new publication models. We also realize that HCI knowledge distribution includes better representing and promoting HCI beyond our fellow community members. Over the past two years, the SIGCHI EC has begun initiatives in public communication of HCI knowledge; we will continue to innovate and push on this front to elevate the public’s awareness of our field and the impact of our work.
- Promote inclusivity. This strategic initiative is in response to many of the issues and requests of our community members. It includes addressing accessibility needs both in our publications and at our conferences, supporting and promoting diversity in all its forms, engaging more regions in the leadership’s decision making, supporting different forms of knowledge creation and sharing to expand our authorship, providing language support for the growing global HCI community, and ensuring we are addressing a healthy geographic spread in the location of our events. This is an ambitious list, as none of these is a simple goal. But we must be aware of every barrier that keeps our community from feeling like they belong.
- Support local and global HCI. HCI is still nascent in many parts of the world, but we are seeing a clear growth in HCI research and practice outside of Europe and North America. We are actively seeking to understand these new communities so we can better meet their needs, making it easier for them to participate in the larger SIGCHI community. Another way in which we are trying to foster HCI growth around the world is through our conferences, such as bringing CHI back to Asia in 2021 and ensuring diversity in the location of our 24 sponsored conferences and many in-cooperation events. We also want to support HCI education needs and facilitate new educators in those regions through better knowledge-dissemination channels and more curated content (see our third strategic vision).
The members of the executive committee welcome feedback from you on how our values and goals can be translated into actions for the benefit of the entire HCI community. We particularly welcome approaches from volunteers looking to invest their time to work with us in achieving these shared goals. Please feel free to write to us at SIGCHI-EC@acm.org.
1. Terveen, L., Mentis, H., Quigley, A., and Palanque, P. The evolution of SIGCHI conferences and the future of CHI. Interactions 25, 5 (Sept.–Oct. 2018), 84–85; https://doi.org/10.1145/3264436
2. ACM SIGCHI YouTube Channel; https://www.youtube.com/user/acmsigchi
Helena Mentis, SIGCHI President, email@example.com
Cliff Lampe, SIGCHI Executive Vice President, firstname.lastname@example.org
Regina Bernhaupt, SIGCHI Vice President for Membership and Communication, email@example.com
Anirudha Joshi, SIGCHI Vice President of Finances, firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Fussell, SIGCHI Vice President at Large, email@example.com
Susan Dray, SIGCHI Vice President at Large, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dan Olsen, SIGCHI Vice President for Operations, email@example.com
Aaron Quigley, SIGCHI Vice President for Conferences, firstname.lastname@example.org
Julie R. Williamson, SIGCHI Vice President for Publications, email@example.com
Eunice Sari, SIGCHI Vice President for Chapters, firstname.lastname@example.org
Loren Terveen, SIGCHI Past President, email@example.com
Allison Druin, SIGCHI Adjunct Chair for Inclusion, firstname.lastname@example.org
Philippe Palanque, SIGCHI Adjunct Chair for CHI, email@example.com
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