The goal of this initiative is to help conferences reach out beyond the usual research papers that present completed work and to seek out papers that present ideas and visions that can stimulate the research community to pursue new directions.

Papers in a “Blue Sky Ideas” track should be open-ended, possibly “outrageous” or “wacky”, and present new problems, new application domains, or new methodologies that are likely to stimulate significant new research.

Conferences may request CCC sponsorship of such tracks along with a CCC grant that provides prize money for the top 3 papers (first prize $1000, second prize $750, and third prize $500), to be awarded as travel grants. (See below for details about selecting and awarding these prizes.)

To Request a Blue Sky Idea Conference Track:

Short proposals for CCC sponsorship should include information on the conference, a proposed list of program committee members for the track and a timeline. See below for a prototype call for papers and suggestions regarding the review process. These proposals should be sent to the CCC, at blueskyideas@cra.org. Please reach out to us before your papers have been selected.

Program Committee Guidelines

Note that these are guidelines and the host conference should make a final decision in a way that is compatible with the goals and culture of the conference.

Papers for the Blue Sky Ideas Track should be reviewed by a PC separate from the main conference PC.

The PC should consist of 5 or 6 senior researchers with a broad perspective of the field.

Since this track usually gets fewer submissions than the regular conference tracks and since the papers are short, it is recommended that the entire PC read every submission and hold a teleconference to discuss to top-rated papers.

The nature of papers for this track makes asynchronous commenting less productive than a spirited discussion.

Prototype Call for Papers: Blue Sky Ideas Track

In cooperation with the Computing Community Consortium (CCC), invites submissions to a special “Blue Sky Ideas” track. The emphasis of this track will be on visionary ideas, long term challenges, and opportunities inresearch that are outside of the current mainstream topics of the field.

Submissions will be judged on the extent to which they expand the possibilities and horizons of the field or challenge existing assumptions prevalent in the field.

Submissions to this track should follow the same formatting guidelines as submissions to the research track, but are limited to at most FOUR pages in length for both submission and final publication. Accepted papers will be published in the conference proceedings and on the web.

To encourage researchers to present truly visionary concepts, the CCC is offering prizes for up to 3 top papers in this special track: first prize $1000, second prize $750, and third prize $500, to be awarded as travel grants.

Winner Selection Guidelines

Selections of winners can be done as part of the review process or done at the conference. Deferring selection to the conference creates a strong incentive for authors to prepare a compelling presentation. Selection at the conference can by done by the committee or by audience ranking. This choice is left to the discretion of the program committee and may be guided by such factors as the degree of conflicts-of-interest on the committee and the practicality of audience balloting.

Award Guidelines

CCC awards are subject to the current reimbursement rules of the Computing Research Association. The committee should provide the names and email addresses of the winners to the CCC Director who will then inform the winners of the reimbursement rules. Division of the prize money among co-authors is to be determined among the co-authors themselves.

Upon selection of a Research Visions and Challenges Track, the program committee will be asked to coordinate with a member of the CCC Council, who will be selected to serve as a liaison to the conference. The CCC liaison will serve as either a member or ex-officio member of the program committee (as specified by the CCC on a case-by-case basis) and will review award selection plans, provide input should any questions arise, and assist in preparation of a post-session report, etc.

Current Open Blue Sky Tracks

There are no current blue sky tracks at this time. Please continue to check back.

Recent Blue Sky Winners

33rd ACM Conference on Hypertext and Social Media, June 28 – July 1, 2022 (CCC Blog Post).

Prior Vision Tracks

2022

  • 36th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, February 22-March 1, 2022
  • 33rd ACM Conference on Hypertext and Social Media, June 28 – July 1, 2022

2021

  • Ninth AAAI Conference on Human Computation and Crowdsourcing (HCOMP)
    November, 2021, Remote
    CCC Blog Post
  • 23rd ACM International Conference on Multimodal Interaction (ICMI ’22)                                                                                October 18-22nd, 2021, Hybrid – Montreal, Canada                                                                                                                                CCC Blog Post
  • 20th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS 2021)
    May 2021, Remote
    CCC Blog Post

2020

  • 28th ACM SIGSPATIAL International Conference on Advances in Geographic Information Systems (ACM SIGSPATIAL 2020), November 2020, Remote
    CCC Blog Post
  • AAAI Conference on Human Computation and Crowdsourcing (HCOMP 2020), October 2020, Remote
    CCC Blog Post
  • 31st ACM Conference on Hypertext and Social Media, July 2020, Remote
    CCC Blog Post
  • International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems, May 2020, Remote
  • 34th AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, February 2020, New York, NY
    CCC Blog Post 

2019

  • 27th ACM SIGSPATIAL International Conference on Advances in Geographic Information Systems (ACM SIGSPATIAL 2019), November 2019, Chicago, Illinois
    CCC Blog Post
  • International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC 2019), October 2019, Auckland, New Zealand
    CCC Blog Post  Call for papers
  • Symposium on Spatial & Temporal Databases, August 2019, Vienna, Austria
    CCC Blog Post
  • NAACL 2019 Student Research Workshop, June 2019, Minneapolis, MN
    CCC Blog PostCall for papers
  • iConference 2019, April 2019, Washington, DC
    CCC Blog PostCall for papers
  • Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-19), February 2019, Hawaii
    CCC Blog Post

2018

  • 26th ACM SIGSPATIAL International Conference on Advances in Geographic Information Systems (ACM SIGSPATIAL 2018), November 2018, Seattle, WA
    CCC Blog Post
  • International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC), October 2018, Monterey, CA
    CCC Blog PostCall for papers
  • ACM Conference on Hypertext and Social Media, July 2018, Baltimore, MD
    CCC Blog PostCall for papers
  • NAACL 2018 Student Research Workshop, June 2018, New Orleans, LA
    CCC Blog PostCall for papers
  • Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-18), February 2018, New Orleans, LA
    CCC Blog PostCall for papers

2017

  • International Symposium on Robotics Research, December 2017, Puerto Varas, Chile
    CCC Blog PostCall for Papers
  • 25th ACM SIGSPATIAL International Conference on Advances in Geographic Information Systems (ACM SIGSPATIAL 2017), November 2017, Redondo Beach, CA
    CCC Blog Post
  • 15th International Symposium on Spatial & Temporal Databases (SSTD), August 2017, Arlington, VA
    CCC Blog PostCall for papers
  • Material Robotics (MaRo)- Bridging Materials Science and Robotics Workshop at the Robotics: Science and Systems (RSS) Conference, July 2017, Cambridge, MA
    CCC Blog Post –  Call for papers
  • Sixteenth International Conference on Autonomous Agents and MutliAgent Systems (AAMAS), May 2017, Sao Paulo, Brazil
    CCC Blog Post – Call for papers
  • Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-17), February 2017, San Francisco, CA
    CCC Blog PostCall for papers

2016

  • 24th ACM SIGSPATIAL International Conference on Advances in Geographic Information Systems (ACM SIGSPATIAL 2016), November 2016, San Francisco, CA
    CCC Blog PostCall for papers
  • 38th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE), May 2016, Austin, Texas
    CCC Blog PostCall for papers
  • Fifteenth International Conference on Autonomous Agents and MutliAgent Systems (AAMAS), May 2016, Singapore
    Call for papers
  • Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-16), February 2016, Phoenix, Arizona
    CCC Blog PostCall for papers

2015

  • 23rd ACM SIGSPATIAL International Conference on Advances in Geographic Information Systems (ACM SIGSPATIAL 2015), November 2015, Seattle, Washington
    CCC Blog PostCall for papers
  • The 2015 Robotics: Science and Systems (RSS) Conference, July 13-17, 2015, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy
    CCC Blog PostCall for papers
  • Fourteenth International Conference on Autonomous Agents and MutliAgent Systems (AAMAS), May 2015, Istanbul, Turkey
    Call for papers
  • Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-15), January 2015, Austin, Texas
    CCC Blog PostCall for papers

2014

  • Twenty-Second Annual ACM SIGSOFT International Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering (FSE 2014), November 2014, Hong Kong, China
    CCC Blog PostCall for papers
  • Thirteenth International Conference on Autonomous Agents and MutliAgent Systems (AAMAS), May 2014, Paris, France
    CCC Blog PostCall for papers

2013

  • Outrageous Ideas and Visions (OIV) session, at the 6th Biennial Conference on Innovative Data Systems (CIDR), January 2013, Asilomar, CA
    CCC Blog Post – Call for papers

2011

  • 9th IEEE International Symposium on Safety, Security, and Rescue Robotics – “Outrageous Visions for Computing in Rescue Robotics”, November, 1-6, 2011, Kyoto, Japan.
    CCC Blog Post
  • First International Workshop on Managing Interoperability and compleXity in Health (MIXHS11), October 2011, Glasgow, Scotland, U.K.
    CCC Blog PostCall for papers (see “Challenges and Visions Track”)
  • Outrageous Ideas Track, 10th International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC2011), October 2011, Bonn, Germany
    Call for papers
  • Challenges & Visions Track, 37th International Conference on Very Large Data Bases (VLDB 2011), August-September 2011, Seattle, WA
    CCC Blog PostCall for papers
  • Challenges and Visions Track, at the 12th International Symposium on Spatial and Temporal Databases (SSTD 2011), August 2011, Minneapolis, MN.
    CCC Blog PostAccepted Vision and Challenge Track Papers
  • Computational Sustainability: The CCC sponsored a set of computational sustainability challenges & visions tracks at relevant conferences (AAAI, BuildSys, CHI, ICML, and Pervasive) in order 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.
  • Outrageous Ideas and Visions (OIV) session, at the 5th Biennial Conference on Innovative Data Systems (CIDR), January 2011, Asilomar, CA
    CCC Blog PostSession Information Page
  • Research Vision session, at the 9th Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation (OSDI), October 2011, Vancouver, BC, Canada
    CCC Blog PostSession Information Page

2010

  • Fun Ideas and Thoughts (FIT) session, at the 2010 ACM SIGPLAN Conference on Programming Language Design and Implementation (PLDI), June 2010, Toronto, ON, Canada
    CCC Blog PostSession Information Page