Call for Proposals frequently asked questions

The conference is held virtually on 10-12 December with the theme
“Radical collaboration for designing the new normal”.

The conference is organised by MyData Global, a non-profit organisation whose vision is a fair, sustainable and prosperous digital society. It is a society in which people have the agency to control data about themselves and use it for their benefit.  

One of the activities of the organisation is to bring the thinkers and doers of human-centric personal data together at conferences.

The main programme of the conference is content submitted through a Call for Proposals. Below you can find the frequently asked questions about the “CfP”.

You can also watch the launch video where programme lead Sille Sepp answers the questions in an interview format.

Why are you doing the conference in the first place?

Starting from the WHY is very important, as we don’t want to create yet another conference JUST for the sake of it.

We, the leadership team, have discussed about this with the MyData community members and debated with the project team. The conclusion was that yes, a MyData conference in 2020 is needed. And especially for these three reasons:

  1. We want to connect communities in the time of exciting developments on one hand, and hardship on the other hand. This is the time to come together – hear each other’s stories and learn from one another.

  2. Different aspects of the human-centric approach to personal data have been developing now for many years. Ranging from legal frameworks, technologies, business models and so forth….. and that work has been strongly facilitated by MyData. We want to continue sharing and advancing relevant thought-leadership, in order to influence policies and accelerate strategic policy developments.

  3. This conference gives the possibility to learn as well as collaborate with high-level presenters and passionate changemakers. It provides the community with the venue where to ask tough questions and find answers to them, and collectively seeks better ways to accelerate change for a better future. For this exceptional year, an online conference is an excellent opportunity for that.
The conference will be the 5th in a row, what’s new this year?

The first thing is of course that we’re meeting online – this will be a great opportunity to expand our reach and be even more inclusive than in the past conferences.

Secondly, we will focus strongly on collaboration – and take this as a guiding principle for curating the programme. 

Which brings to the third point: in order to collaborate, we need to understand each other – and what is a better way than telling stories that are designed so that engage the audience and inspire them to act.

And finally, this year we open the Call for Proposals for full sessions, as compared to last years’ when we had a call for only individual submissions.

This year will be focused on storytelling? Why so?

We want to accelerate change. This means disrupting the current ways of personal data management and how people accept it. We want to find ways to adopt more ethical, fair and trustworthy business models, legal frameworks, technological infrastructures etc. 

To achieve this, we need to collaborate – and understandable and inspiring storytelling can foster that. So it’s not only about providing data or dry facts for making our point clear, but also how we translate these ideas into understandable narratives.

As this conference is about human-centric approach to personal data, we have the big narrative of MyData where we meet.

We ask all programme submitters to describe what is their story of human-centric approach to personal data, what are the main concepts that are used in that story and how does it relate to MyData? 

Tell us more about the new approach of CfP for full sessions?

We ask the submitters to design a proposal for a full session of 90 minutes.

We ask them to

  • define what is the goal of the session,
  • how are they going to meet it with the chosen format,
  • who will be part of it and
  • what is the story they will tell?

It’s also worth mentioning that we might accept the proposals in its original form, while we might also recommend some changes to strengthen the session.

All accepted proposals will also be supported by a dedicated programme team member to ensure continuity and coherence of the overall programme. So already in the curation phase, we expect to build a great collaboration together with the submitters

if a person has only an idea that they’d like to share but no further plans yet how to build this into a session, what should they do?

We definitely recommend you to join MyData Global’s Slack workspace and the #conference-programme channel to share your idea.

We have a community of more than 2000 people there with multiple focused discussion groups – and I’m sure that great ideas will find it’s partners with whom to put together a full session submission!

What makes a good proposal?

We have provided on the website a full checklist to guide all submitters to develop a great proposal. That consists of things like – having identified the goal, format, level of content details etc, but also using the conference design principles as guidance for the session development, and most of all – giving concrete cues for building the conference story.

Do the submitters need to confirm all details like the presenters and formats for the CfP?

No, there’s room to change some details or confirm the full lineup also later during the curation period.

This said, providing a concrete lineup of presenters and a plan for the implementation of the session(s) can help distinguish your proposal from other similar proposals, and hold significant weight in our evaluation process. And definitely, we expect you to elaborate well what would you like to get out of the session!

How many days and sessions will the conference have?

3 days – and more or less 12 sessions per day.

More about the programme here.

As people will be in different time zones – how will you make that work for people around the world?

We want to be as global as possible. With that, we will cover as many time zones as possible and have designed the programme to run over 16 hours each day.

This means that we have an

  • Asia Pacific programme zone starting at 2 pm Tokyo time,
  • Europe & Africa programme zone starting at 2 pm London time, and
  • Americas programme zone starting at 2 pm San Francisco time.

Of course, everybody is welcome to attend all programme zones, we just want to make sure that there is possible to follow some programme also on a comfortable timing of the day!

How long is one session?

90 minutes for breakout sessions as default.

How many people can the expected to join the conference and the sessions?

Again we want to develop as inclusive conference as possible and expect approximately 1000 people to attend the conference.

With that, you could expect hundreds of participants in your session – OR you could define in the session description that a smaller group will be available to attend the session to provide meaningful opportunities to discuss or workshop.

What about the timeline – when will you announce the programme?

The CfP is open until 6 September, we will announce the results by 18 September. And launch the programme on October 7th

How can people learn more about the Call for Proposals?

There’s a lot more to share, and probably more questions will come up.

We’ve tried to provide all relevant information on the CfP page – so we welcome everybody to carefully read through it.


Furthermore, if you have any questions, you can reach out to us via and even better, join the Slack workspace where we can collectively support each other.

What to do now?

  • Mark your calendars for 10-12 December for the conference
  • Start by defining what do you want to get out from the conference session – this helps you identify the story you would tell and design the session  – we give tips for that on the CfP page
  • Submit your proposal latest by the beginning of September
  • Think about who do YOU want to see at the conference and share the Call for Proposals with them
We look forward to your MyData Online 2020 Conference stories!

– Organising team

More questions?

Contact us at conference[at]

Want to have a personal discussion about any of your ideas or questions?

You can schedule a short meeting with the programme lead Sille Sepp for 17 Aug during 12 – 3 pm CEST.