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Jenny Baker
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A Look Ahead to the SIOP 2020 Conference

Elizabeth McCune, SIOP 2020 Program Chair, Microsoft; Emily Solberg, SIOP 2020 Program Committee-Theme Track Chair and Program Chair-in-Training, SHL; Tyree Mitchell, SIOP 2020 Program Committee-Special Sessions Chair, Louisiana State University; Kristin Weiss, SIOP 2020 Program Committee-Friday Seminars Chair, Amazon; Jason Randall, SIOP 2020 Program Committee-Communities of Interest Chair, University of Albany; Scott Tonidandel, SIOP 2020 Conference Chair, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

The 35th Annual SIOP Conference will take place at the JW Marriott in Austin, Texas on April 23−25, 2020, with preconference workshops on April 22. The SIOP 2020 program promises to engage and energize all audiences! The SIOP Conference and Program Committees have been working diligently over the past several months to begin preparations for a memorable conference. Special thanks to the Call for Proposals Committee Chair Meghan Thornton-Lugo and her team, Bharati Belwalkar and Caitlin Porter, for the incredible work they did this year to streamline the content for the Call to make it easier for prospective submitters to navigate. We welcome any feedback on the Call for Proposals and the submission process (please email program@siop.org).

Here are a few things that are in store for SIOP 2020!

SIOP Select Sessions

SIOP Select sessions at the conference are curated by the SIOP Program Committee and Executive Board, and planning for these sessions has been underway since April 2019. We are pleased to provide a preview of the SIOP Select sessions for 2020.

Presidential theme track.

This year’s presidential theme track, taking place on Thursday, April 23, will focus on inclusion and aim to enlighten attendees on the what, why, who, how, and where of inclusion. Under the direction of SIOP Theme Track Chair Emily Solberg and the Theme Track Committee comprising Bernardo Ferdman, Veronica Gilrane, Aarti Shyamsunder, Stuart Carr, and Katina Sawyer, a full-day immersive experience will deliver compelling content via innovative session formats and high-audience engagement. The goal of the 2020 theme track is to improve understanding of the past, present, and future of inclusion with a focus on helping the audience learn and become inspired around the future of inclusion within their own work. The track will begin with a session focused on “what” is inclusion, which will help ground the audience in the history of inclusion as well as how it is defined and applied today. A midday session will focus on “why” we (as I-O psychologists) should care about inclusion by sharing various cases for inclusion (e.g., ethical, business, legal) as well as engaging the audience in smaller group discussions around the topic. Another of the midday sessions will focus on “who” is being served and who should be involved when it comes to inclusion discussions. An afternoon session will discuss “how” inclusion can be best practiced by sharing and brainstorming innovative ideas for implementing inclusive practices.  Finally, the day will conclude with an inspiring session focused on “where” we should go in the area of inclusion with part of the session dedicated to discussing what we can do to make SIOP as an organization more inclusive.

Special events.

We are excited to feature several special events throughout the conference, coordinated by Special Sessions Chair Tyree Mitchell and committee members David Geller, Jay Hardy, Andrea Hetrick, Eileen Linnabery, and Stephanie Murphy. We will be hosting the third annual machine learning competition, which is a great opportunity for the SIOP community to connect in order to address challenging methodological problems and to share insights as well as reproducible code. The goal this year is to make the competition as inclusive as possible. We will also be hosting two events for which we held special calls for submission, including an academic story-telling session and a scientist–practitioner collaboration special session. For the story-telling session, members of the SIOP community will share short stories of events or experiences that have shaped their careers as I-O psychologists (e.g., research area, practitioner focus). The scientist–practitioner session will provide a novel platform for scientist–practitioner teams to showcase and discuss their recently completed (or underway) collaborations, allowing SIOP attendees to learn and gain valuable insights on how to create and cultivate successful scientist–practitioner partnerships.

Creating a culture of psychological safety will be the focus of another special event. In this session, top experts from academia and practice will explore what cultural factors need to be in place for psychological safety to emerge, how to build people practices and systems that contribute to a culture of psychological safety, common barriers that impede the emergence of such a culture, and how to mitigate the emergence and impact of these barriers. The final special event will consider best practices on how to communicate your research to a lay audience through media platforms (e.g., podcasts, Twitter, TED talks). Academics and practitioners will share insights, personal experiences, and tools that will help SIOP attendees dazzle in their efforts to communicate the value of their work to members outside the SIOP community. We are also pleased to announce that the SIOP 2020 Living History session will feature Neal Schmitt.

Executive board sessions and award winners.

The SIOP Executive Board is in the process of curating a selected set of sessions for the 2020 conference. Two sessions will be hosted by the Alliance for Organizational Psychology and reflect I-O topics of global interest. The SIOP presidential trio of Eden King (current president), Talya Bauer (past president) and Georgia Chao (president elect) will host a town hall where all are welcome. Five additional sessions will address the business of SIOP and highlight key initiatives or committee work. Attending one or more of these sessions is a wonderful way to learn more about the work SIOP is doing as an organization, both locally and across the globe. Selected SIOP award winners are given the opportunity to present their work during the conference. We encourage you to attend at least one of these sessions and be inspired and energized by these incredible accomplishments.

Friday Seminars

Friday Seminars offer a unique educational opportunity within the main part of the confer­ence. Friday Seminars Chair Kristin Weiss and committee members Eccho Yu, Ho Kwan Cheung, Tori Crain, Jennifer Kim, Jessica Blackburn, and Yolanda Winberg are building a program of 3-hour sessions (the only extended-length sessions in the program) that will take place on Friday, April 24. These sessions provide an immersive ex­perience for attendees on timely, cutting-edge content areas presented by true content experts. A sample of seminar topics slated for SIOP 2020 include an R Shiny tutorial, Assessments and Machine Learning, Managing Your External Workforce, Organizational Network Analysis, Python Programming for I-O Psychology, and Pay Equity. Each session has defined learning objectives to ensure that professional developmental goals are met (CE credit will be available). Please note that Fri­day Seminars require advance registration and an additional fee. Space is limited so plan to sign up early! 

Communities of Interest

Are you interested in an “open space” SIOP format that is attendee driven, informal, and focused on a topic of particular interest to you?  The Community of Interest format will allow you to meet new people, catch up with colleagues, learn about new advances, discuss ideas, have a provocative discussion, and play a part in driving breakthrough research and practice ideas on a hot topic at the forefront of I-O psychology. Communities of Interest Chair Jason Randall and his committee comprising Katharine O’Brien, Erin Richard, Eileen Toomey, and Stephanie Zajac have developed sessions designed to enhance existing communities and create new ones around common themes or interests. Although the sessions are facilitated by experts—one practitioner and one academic—session attendees drive the conversation with their questions and insights. A few of the topics for 2020 will include emerging privacy laws, neurodiversity, I-Os in healthcare, text analytics, dual-career issues, and international affairs. All are welcome to become a part of the conversation and to help to build communities of interest.

Featured Posters

We will once again showcase the top-rated posters at an evening all-conference reception. Come view some of the best sub­missions to the conference while enjoying drinks in a relaxed atmosphere with the presenters. If you’ve never been to this event, make 2020 the year you check it out!

Closing Plenary and Reception

Your Conference Committee is in the process of finalizing our closing plenary speaker. We will follow the closing plenary with our closing reception. The Conference Committee invites you to join us on Saturday evening at a themed closing reception that will be filled with music, dance, and delicious food.

Location and the Conference Hotel

With over 250 music venues, a vibrant art scene, stunning scenery, and beautiful spring weather, you are going to love the opportunity to visit Austin for SIOP 2020! Located in the heart of downtown and directly on iconic Congress Avenue, the JW Marriott Austin is within walking distance of over 200 uniquely Austin shops, restaurants, and nightlife venues. In the coming months, the conference website will be updated with details on room rates and reservations, along with additional information about Austin to help you make the most of your SIOP 2020 experience.

We hope we’ve sparked your excitement the conference. We can’t wait to see you there!


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