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Sustainability Featured Community

A list of all communities can be found on the Communities page.

Computational Sustainability Awards

Computing Community Consortium web site (new window) CHI 2012 is joining with the Computing Community Consortium (CCC), to promote work at the intersection of computing and sustainability, on principles and applications that address environmental, economic, and societal needs in support of a sustainable future. The sustainability awards will be selected from the CHI Best Papers or Nominations in the area of sustainability and HCI and provide travel awards provided by CCC to authors of these related papers.

Important Dates

Message from the Chairs

About the Sustainability Community: Thinking Big

Our goal is to create a sense of community for those who contribute and attend the conference who are interested in issues of sustainability—not just issues of environmental sustainability, but also issues of the implications of our design and use of interactive technologies within and beyond HCI for climate change mitigation and adaptation, health, regional concerns especially coastal regions, food, ecosystems, water, as well as economic systems, reducing consumption, re-constructing business practices, and more. We specifically invite you to think beyond individual behaviors to consider HCI and interaction design’s roles and potential roles in changing the foundations of how we as societies use and conserve the Earth’s precious balance of resources.

Eli Blevis, Indiana University at Bloomington
Samuel Mann, Otago Polytechnic


If you are new to the idea of sustainability as part of the HCI and interaction design agenda, a good starting point is this best-paper award winning paper from 2010:

This paper is also a good model for those of you who are considering contributing to the Papers and Notes archival format tracks.

Our appeal to you and our community is a call to think big. Another personal carbon calculator will not help much as progress towards sustainability. Another application that induces people to save water at the expense of the health sustainability implications of washing oneself less carefully will not help as progress towards sustainability. We invite contributions that address HCI and interaction design’s roles and potential roles in:

  • Energy use by business
  • Energy use by existing buildings
  • Reducing consumerism of materials
  • Making climate science visible
  • Interaction design patterns for sustainable behavior
  • Tools for changing business practices
  • Sustainable practices with respect to food, health, water, and ecosystems
  • Adaptation as well as mitigation of climate change
  • Sustainability in education
  • Biomimicry, identity, ownership
  • Scale, especially in business venues
  • New economic models

to name only a few things that may help to elevate the discourse about sustainability in the CHI community.

Contributing as an Author or Participant

The important dates above show the variety of contribution types that are possible within CHI. Our goal is to promote sustainability concerns in a way which cross-cuts these different sub-venue types. We will also hold a community wide SIG meeting, a panel, as well as a workshop dedicated to uniting the community of CHI attendees who are interested in sustainability issues.

If you are interested in sustainability, please consider attending at least:

1. The Sustainability Community Special Interest Group Meeting (SIG)
2. The Sustainability Community Panel
3. The Sustainability Community Workshop

If you are interested in actively participating in any of these three events, please do write to the sustainability community co-chairs at to express your interest. Let us know if you have any particular, unique qualifications that we can leverage to make these events more successful.

Contributing as a Mentor

If you are experienced at CHI and willing to mentor others who may want to make contributions that are highly related to sustainability, please do write to the co-chairs at and we will add your name to a pool of mentors and do our best to match mentors to folks requesting help.


CHI Workshops take place on Saturday May 5th and Sunday May 6th. They present an opportunity to connect with other researchers and practitioners on a specific topic area. Workshops aim at deepening our understanding of specific topics through interactive presentations, discussions, and break-out sessions, facilitated by the workshop organizers. Submission deadlines are spread through January and February 2012 - please refer to each individual workshop’s Call for Participation for more information. There will be at least one workshop relating to sustainability.

Special Interest Group Meetings

The special interest group meeting (SIG) is an opportunity for you to add your insights to how to improve the sustainability community going forward. Important Note: This SIG is open to all participants of the CHI conference.


The panel format is a unique way to hear a variety of perspectives and engage in dialogue as a community. We welcome your suggestions for invited panelists, or comments about format.

Preparing a Contribution

You must prepare your submission in the format that is required for each type. Please refer to the list of important dates at the top of the page for the various types of contributions that are possible. Please use the term "sustainability" in the title, abstract, or author's keywords to help us get it to qualified reviewers. You can contact us at if you have questions about sustainability submissions. We encourage you to check the due dates, read the requirements for your submission ideas, and start now, if you haven't already.

Sustainable CHI Google Group

A few years ago, Jennifer Mankoff kindly created the sustainable CHI Google group. Please consider joining this group and fostering discussion: