Research and Design Competition


Our planet is our home and it is important for all of us to take good care of it and make sure all its inhabitants share clear air to breathe, clean water to drink and unpolluted soil for plants to grow and flourish.

Unfortunately, our planet currently faces many problems, e.g., climate change, the loss of animal and plant species, inequality between people. Although these problems may sometimes seem too big to handle, young people, like Swedish Greta Thunberg, show us that children can make a difference. This is because children have the power to envision a better world than we have today and boldly stand for their ideas. We therefore invite children all over the world to submit their vision of a world they would like to live in ten years from now. Will we have clean beaches, seas, lakes, and rivers? Will we all use public transport and banish cars? Will we eat seasonal food from nearby? What would you dream of?

Based on this vision, we would like to know how a technology or a range of technologies could help to make this happen. What could this technology do? How would this technology tackle one or more of the global problems? How would it work? What would it look like? There are no wrong answers. Draw it, build it, or tell us about it!

In the first phase of the 2020 ACM Interaction Design and Children (IDC) Research & Design competition, children all over the world are invited to submit their ideas to address some of the problems our planet faces today: e.g. climate change, the loss of animal and plant species, inequality between people. Submissions can be made Individually, in groups, as a classroom and/or an entire school, and when necessary with the help of a teacher/parent. Children are invited to fill out a simple form with a brief textual description of their idea and are encouraged to provide a more detailed version by using drawings, more text, video, presentation, etc. Free to choose the best form and means to express and share comfortably their ideas. 

It could also be worth looking at the material submitted for the 2019 edition, when the theme was technology for kids to feel better physically and mentally. We received an amazing range of ideas that are now the basis for the second stage of the competition. We have created a collection of those ideas here–have a look!

We are more than happy to solve doubts and provide help and guidance, just contact us at

In this second phase, we invite researchers and designers to submit a design concept (not actual artefacts) that responds to the same brief and builds on one or more of the ideas of children. Each submission should have the form of a 2-4 page summary (not including references or acknowledgements) in SIGCHI Extended Abstract Format for the adult judges (the track chairs and expert reviewers), accompanied by a short, 1-minute video (uploaded to a publicly accessible website) that presents the concept to our child judges (think CHI madness made for kids). You can also submit any supplementary material (e.g., drawings, sketches, photos) to explain your concept.

The submissions will be judged by the children who submitted their ideas on the basis of the videos, and by the adult judges, who will consider the paper and all other material. The criteria for selecting the best submissions are:

  • responds to the brief in innovative ways
  • incorporates ideas and triggers from children, and explicitly acknowledges those ideas
  • speculates about the future in interesting ways
  • raises (research) questions for the field
  • is well-designed and presented

Important Dates

  • Child input for challenges open until 9 Dec 2019.
  • R & D Competition (for adults) starts 6 Jan 2020.
  • R & D Competition open until 9 March 2020.
  • Notifications to competition winners by 13 April 2020.
  • Camera-ready deadline on 4 May 2020.
  • Presentation at the conference 22 – 24 Jun 2020.