May 6: Google/Facebook Day

On May 6th, Nithya Sambasivan at Google and Shaddi Hasan at Facebook have organized a day of talks and mixing at their respective headquarters. We will spend the first half at Google and the second at Facebook. Transportation from the San Jose Convention Center (SJCC) to Google then Facebook and back will be provided, courtesy Google and Facebook buses. Ishtiaque Ahmed will be the DevCon organizer helping to ship you back and forth.

Also note:

  • The Google (Storer) bus in the morning will stop at a cut-out area in front of SJCC, where there is a large art sculpture. Please call Ishtiaque if you cannot find the bus. If it’s 7.45am, it has left.
  • If you are late for the bus and need to arrange your own transportation to Google, please find your way to 1255 Pear Ave. (Mountain View, CA 94043) and call/text Nithya or the Google lobby at 650-214-2915 for instructions. If you are driving, you can use designated parking spots for visitors, street parking, or a Google valet.
  • If you are jet lagged enough to be arranging your own transportation to Facebook, please get to 1 Facebook Way, Building 20 (Menlo Park, CA 94025) and call/text Shaddi. If you are driving, you can park anywhere, or find a Facebook valet if all spots are taken.
  • At both companies, you will need a badge to move around. These can be printed at the reception.
  • Be sure to bring your CV if you’d like to meet with G/FB recruiters and apply for internships or full-time opportunities. You are invited to ask about positions in UX, engineering, or product management.
  • All kinds of dietary restrictions will be catered to. Do not let food be a cause for concern.

May 7-8: DevCon

The primary goal of DevCon is to advance the conversations that we – as a community – have been having, so we can work with each other and collaborate across borders. This translates to two concrete sub-goals —

    1. Building, strengthening, and maintaining community ties, and
    2. Identifying and working towards concrete topics for collaboration.

Everything we do on both days will be targeted towards realizing these two goals.

Day One

When we meet at 9am, we will meet as one complete group, discuss many things, then work in teams for the rest of the day, reporting back at the end of each working session to the larger group.

In the introductory session, after we do some ice-breaking, Susan and Neha will introduce the Rules of the Game. These rules are critical for us to keep in mind as we get through the weekend. We will borrow from the ‘World Cafe Guidelines’ here (see Appendix C) and ask that we all listen carefully, contribute constructively, and – most importantly – remember to have fun!

In Session I, teams will come together, share their research interests with each other, tell their assigned mentors what they are interested in studying, and use their mentors’ guidance to identify the lowest common denominator as a team – the smallest circle, so to speak, that includes all team members’ research questions. In 1-minute summaries, they will report back to the group, sharing these questions that they identified.

In Session II, teams will work with their mentors to identify tangible deliverables to work towards. This could be a grant proposal for a targeted deadline (e.g. NSF, Gates Grand Challenges, etc.), a workshop proposal for CHI 2017, an agenda-setting paper, or whatever teams collectively decide upon as a team. Of course, they will be expected to address their research circles, as identified in Session I.

In Session III, teams will break down their goal into smaller, actionable items and divide these into concrete tasks to be completed by each team member before we disperse. We certainly do not expect our participants to be doing homework on Saturday evening, but they might give some time and thought to their team deliverables before reconvening Sunday morning.

We do not intend to be tyrannical about it, but our plan is to go to dinner in pairs of teams.

Day Two

In Session IV, teams will pair up and get feedback on their ideas and progress from each other. They will iterate based on this feedback. Mentors, too, will get a chance to interact with and give feedback to a different team thus.

In Session V, teams will come together to make 5-minute presentations to the larger group. In this presentation, they will be expected to clearly state their desired deliverable, describe the progress they have made towards it, and how they plan to proceed, also giving careful thought to how they will be accountable to their plans of action.

The closing session will be as closing sessions are – it will give us a chance to reflect on what we accomplished in our three days together and to discuss plans for the future. We could all proceed to the CHI Welcome Reception (or the Stanford HCI+Design Open House at the after this is done.

Virtual Participation

For those of you participating virtually, or simply interested in knowing what’s going on, we are working on live streaming at both Google and Facebook. At CHI, the workshop will be much more hands-on, so we are putting together a team of volunteers to help us post frequent online updates as we go along. Twitter, Facebook, Medium, everything is part of the plan. If you would like to help, please get in touch with Rui Zhou ( and/or Michaelanne Dye ( If you are participating remotely and would like to make requests or suggestions, we are totally open.

When in Doubt

These are the people to get in touch with. For general queries, please get in touch with Susan or Neha. For local queries, get in touch with Nithya. For housing/reimbursement related queries, get in touch with Nicki.