FOSS Backstage Design

Call for Participation

Join us for the inaugural edition of FOSS Backstage Design – a FOSS Backstage sub-event on UX and Design in Open Source

FOSS Backstage Design – taking place on March 6th 2024 in Berlin – is an open platform and we thrive on your contributions. Together with our dedicated program committee we want to shape a program that truly is “by the community for the community”. Therefore we are excited for your input & submissions!

We are looking for a diverse range of sessions and formats all around the topic of UX and design in Open Source and Free Software: Whether it is a talk on effective design collaboration, an open discussion on how to contribute design to OSS, a workshop on accessibility or an exhibition of best practice examples – anything is possible.
Our aim is to provide a stage and platform for the topics relevant to you, the wider FOSS Design community. FOSS Backstage Design is the place to meet like-minded people, discuss the latest developments and just generally jam together on all things UX and Design.

Related topics or formats not explicitly listed are of course welcome as well. We do not, however, accept product presentations or company marketing pitches. If you are seeking to market your company at FOSS Backstage Design, we’ll be delighted to send you our sponsoring prospectus and discuss all the benefits that a sponsorship entails. Please reach out to Paul at to learn more.


We are offering the the following formats at FOSS Backstage Design:

Talk (20 min)

Talks are the standard session format. You present your topic in front of the audience within 20min. Please include time for Q&A.

Workshop (60 min)

Workshops are an interactive format which require active audience participation during the session. Usually all participants of a workshop will have worked on a task at the end of the session.

Panel (40 min)

Panels are discussions between a group of experts. Please provide contact details for all participants of your panel when submitting a panel discussion in our CfP.

Off Stage

This could be a piece of art, a performance or a hardware demonstration that doesn't need to be presented on a stage.

Rules & Guidelines

If you want to submit your proposal, please consider the following:

  • We don‘t allow product presentations or company marketing pitches.
  • You are not allowed to switch the topic or content of the talk after the CfP submission period is over, except for in emergencies. If the topic is swapped after the CfP is concluded, the talk needs to be reviewed by the program committee again.
  • All Cospeakers have to be declared before the CfP submission period ends. Cospeakers that are added after the CfP is concluded do not receive free conference tickets and we reserve the right to reject the addition of cospeakers after the CfP.
  • We require direct email contact to our speakers for planing purposes.
  • By submitting your proposal, you consent that your talk title and description along with your photo and biography will be made publicly available, if your session is accepted.
  • Due to budgetary constraints, we cannot cover costs for travel or accommodation for our speakers.

Make sure you take the following guidelines to heart:

  • Titles should be descriptive and must be less than 60 characters long.
  • The abstract and talk description is the most important part of your proposal, since talks will be rated by our program committee on the basis of those. A good abstract contains a focused description of your talk and explains why your topic is relevant.
  • The talk description is a more detailed look into your session: What will you be talking about? What will the audience learn? etc
  • Please don’t include your biography or personal details in your abstract, since personal information will be removed before the review process starts to avoid bias.
  • Title and abstract of your talk will be visible to everyone and will be used on our talk description pages if your proposal is accepted, so be sure to write a clear and concise abstract in full sentences and don’t just use bullet points.


All submissions will be reviewed blindly, meaning that the program committee is unable to see the submitter’s personal details. Only the title of the talk and the describing abstract will be visible to the reviewers in order to reduce unconscious bias. After all talks are rated, we will inform you about the status of your submission. Talks can either be accepted, rejected or waitlisted. In case your talk is waitlisted, we will message you if a speaking slot opens up before the conference.

First time speakers

Please don’t hesitate to submit your proposal if you haven’t spoken at a conference before. We are always looking for new and exciting topics and speakers, and want to grow a community that is open to new people and ideas, and therefore explicitly encourage first-time speakers to submit their proposals.

If you need help with the CfP process or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at

Speaker perks

As a speaker you will of course get a free conference pass for the entire duration of the conference. If you already bought a ticket before your talk was accepted, we will refund the ticket you bought.


We are looking for a diverse range of sessions on the topic of UX and Design in Open Source. Your submissions will go through a blind review by our program committee. We will inform you about the status of your session as soon as the review process is concluded.

In case you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us at

You can enter proposals until 2024-01-07 23:59 (Europe/Brussels).