KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America

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Co-Chair Selection Guidelines


Thank you in advance for selecting the final sessions to build the agenda for KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America! Please bookmark this page for easy reference.

By participating as a co-chair, you agree to the CNCF Program Committee and Events Volunteer Guidelines.


  • Co-Chair Selection Period: August 7-18
  • Content Lead Builds Schedule: August 21-25
  • Schedule Announced: Wednesday, August 30, 2023
  • Event Dates: November 6-10, 2023

Getting Started

An event from a Content Manager team role perspective. The menu on the left enables them to view (and edit) sessions and speakers, as well as manage and do evaluations

An event from a Content Manager team role perspective. The menu on the left enables you to view (and edit) sessions and speakers, as well as manage and do evaluations

As a co-chair, you are given special permissions in Sessionize as a Content Manager. Content managers can view and edit sessions and speakers, manage evaluation plans, and do evaluations. They can’t, however, send group mailings, inform speakers about their session status, access the API / Embed page, or do anything else not directly content-related. Rest assured that you cannot accidentally notify any speakers when making your selections.

Viewing the results of each track’s evaluation plan is simple:

  • Click on Sessions on the left sidebar
  • Click on Evaluation results above the filters
  • Find the Track Chair Ranking evaluation plan you would like to view
  • Make sure Rank (best first) is selected to the right of the evaluation plan

You now have a view of that track’s sessions ranked highest to lowest. Starting from the top will take into account the best recommendations made by track chairs.

Tip: adjusting the dropdown filters to include Team Comments will help you easily see the comments left by the program committee to help with your decisions.

Changing Session Statuses

To change the status of a session, simply click on the Nominated dropdown to the right and move it to the desired status.

  • Accepted = Awarded
  • Accept Queue = Keynote
  • Nominated = Submitted
  • Decline Queue = Waitlist
  • Declined = Declined

Change all statuses except declined. The content lead will change all unselected sessions to declined as a final step.

Screenshot of Sessionize Statuses

Target Numbers

The maximum number of breakout sessions to award from the tracks below is: 184

This maximum does not include the maintainer track, Contribfest, lightning talks, or tutorials. Award up to 10 lightning talks and 9 tutorials in addition to the number above. These can span across all tracks, so keep this in mind when looking at your final numbers.

To remain fair, try to keep the quantity of awarded sessions proportional to what was submitted to the CFP. Below are the target numbers, but these are flexible as long as you do not exceed the number of sessions above.

TrackSubmitted SessionsPercentage SubmittedTarget to Award
Cloud Native Experience19210%18
Service Mesh603%6
Emerging + Advanced664%7
Cloud Native Novice1538%15
Security27315%18 (Holding 9 for Security TAG)
Operations + Performance23312%22
Platform Engineering29216%29
ML/AI + Data Processing + Storage1528%15
Networking + Edge + Telco1036%11
Table displaying target number of sessions to award

Diversity Dashboard

CNCF looks carefully at diversity metrics to ensure we have an enriched speaker lineup that all attendees can identify with. As you begin to make selections, you may want to adjust depending on a number of factors such as company diversity, gender diversity, geodiversity, and whether or not the speakers have spoken previously.

The co-chairs will be sent a Diversity Dashboard sheet that is connected to Sessionize’s API. Follow these steps to run diversity metrics on all sessions that are changed to Accepted:

  • Click on the 🪄 Magic Menu at the top
  • Select 🧑‍🤝‍🧑 Sessionize Diversity
  • Select 🏆 Accepted Sessions

Run this script as often as necessary until you are satisfied with the breakout session diversity metrics.

Note: this does not take into account the blue Accept Queue sessions selected for keynotes. Treat those separately and consider gender diversity when making your keynote selections.

You will already see a tab for Sessionize Nominated Diversity on your sheet to see what the overall submitted diversity stats look like for the event.

Diversity Fields Explained

Your diversity dashboard will populate eight different metrics. Please review the descriptions below before you begin making your selections. Many of these are targets to aim for but we recognize that it’s an art and a science to balance these figures with high-quality content that will resonate with attendees. CNCF asks that you take all of these factors under consideration when making your selections.

Speaker Name

Speakers are only allowed to be listed on up to one breakout session and one panel (excluding the Maintainer Track and Contribfest sessions). If you notice a speaker listed on 2+ CFP sessions, please investigate to make sure they are not speaking on more sessions than allowed.


Verify company diversity to ensure that one company is not dominating. Check the Sessionize Nominated Diversity to see if the representation aligns with the proportion of submissions.


Target to have at least 20% or more speakers who do not identify as a man. These can be speakers who identify as a woman or other gender identity.


We do not have any formal goals set for people of color, but keep an eye on this to ensure that there is ample representation for this metric.

Country of Residence

This is for reference only and is used to calculate geodiversity in the next section ⬇️


Country of residence is translated into regional classifications based on the designations made by the International Telecommunications Union. The goal is to ensure that the region in which the event is taking place has the majority of the representation (i.e. KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe is not dominated by American speakers from North America). Try to ensure at least 50% of the speakers are coming from the region in which the event resides.

End User Speakers

Try to award at least 25% of speakers who work for an end user company or organization if possible.

Spoken Previously

Try to award at least 50% of speakers who are new speakers if possible.

Maintainer Track + ContribFest

Update the statuses of Maintainer Track and Contribfest sessions only after you have finalized your decisions from the CFP submissions. Diversity metrics for the event do not include these groups as these speakers are nominated by maintainers and not hand-selected by the co-chairs from the CFP.

Maintainer Track

Review the maintainer track submissions to ensure the proposal qualifies. As long as it meets the requirements, we will hold a space for them on the schedule. These are treated separately from the maximum CFP sessions to award as we have separate maintainer track rooms held specifically for these sessions.

Some things to keep an eye on:

  • Check if there are multiple submissions from the same project or SIG. Award at least one, but use your judgment as co-chairs to decide if you want to include more (space permitting). Otherwise, let the content lead know if we need to decline a maintainer track submission and why.
  • If submitters are listed on more than one maintainer track session, first confirm whether they are only nominating others (this is a question we ask on the signup form). If they truly are requesting to speak on more than one maintainer track session, flag to the content lead so this can be addressed. Speakers are only allowed to be listed on up to 1 maintainer track submission each and the same diversity requirements apply for any session that has 3+ speakers.
  • Advise the content lead why any others were declined so this can be flagged with the appropriate team.

Select up to 9 sessions for Contribfest. These are also treated separately from the CFP sessions you award above. Space is limited for Contribfest, so take the following under consideration when making your selections:

  • Does it sound like the project will make good use out of the Contribfest session?
  • Did this project have a Contribfest session last event and we may want to give a new project some space?
  • Is the session description more compelling compared to the others?

Finishing Selections

Once you have finished your selections, please do the following:

  • Verify the number of awarded CFP sessions does not exceed the total target number. Take the additional 10 lightning talks and 9 tutorials into account.
  • Run the Accepted Diversity script one final time to calculate your final CFP diversity stats.
  • Proceed with awarding Maintainer Track and Contribfest sessions using the criteria above.
  • Add a new worksheet to your diversity sheet and list the top 10 sessions you are most excited for.
  • Notify the content lead via Slack once you are finished.

The content lead will then build the schedule and send to the co-chairs for final approval before the schedule announcement.

CNCF Program Committee + Event Volunteer Guidelines

Volunteers who help with the planning, organization, or production of a CNCF event are often seen as representatives of the CNCF community or CNCF project that the event relates to, and their actions can meaningfully impact participants’ experience and perception of the event.  Therefore, and in the interest of fostering an open, positive, and welcoming environment for our community, it’s important that all event volunteers hold themselves to a high standard of professional conduct as described below.

These guidelines apply to a volunteer’s conduct and statements that relate to or could have an impact on any CNCF event that the volunteer helps plan, organize, select speakers for, or otherwise serve as a volunteer for.  These guidelines apply to relevant conduct occurring before, during, and after the event, both within community spaces and outside such spaces (including statements from personal social media accounts), and to both virtual and physical events. In addition to these guidelines, event volunteers must also comply with The Linux Foundation Event Code of Conduct and the CNCF Code of Conduct.

Be professional and courteous

Event volunteers will:

  • Conduct themselves in a professional manner suitable for a workplace environment;
  • Treat other event participants (including speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, volunteers, and staff) with courtesy and kindness; and
  • In their event-related communications, express their opinions in a courteous and respectful manner, even when disagreeing with others, and refrain from using obscenities, insults, rude or derisive language, excessive profanity, or other unprofessional language, images, or content.

Express feedback constructively, not destructively

The manner in which event volunteers communicate can have a large impact personally and professionally on others in the community. Event volunteers should strive to provide feedback or criticism relating to the event or any person or organization’s participation in the event in a constructive manner that supports others in learning, growing, and improving (e.g., offering suggestions for improvement).  Event volunteers should avoid providing feedback in a destructive or demeaning manner (e.g., insulting or publicly shaming someone for their mistakes).

Be considerate when choosing communication channels

Event volunteers should be considerate in choosing channels for communicating feedback.  Positive or neutral feedback may be communicated in any channel or medium.  In contrast, criticism about any individual event participant, staff member, or volunteer should be communicated in one or more private channels (rather than publicly) to avoid causing unnecessary embarrassment.  Criticism about an event that is not about specific individuals may be expressed privately or publicly, so long as it is expressed in a respectful, considerate, and professional manner.

Changes to These Guidelines and Consequences for Noncompliance 

The event organizers may update these guidelines from time to time, and will notify volunteers by email and via the CNCF Slack channels designated for event volunteersHowever, any changes to these guidelines will not apply retroactively.  If the Linux Foundation Events team determines that a volunteer has violated these guidelines or The Linux Foundation Event Code of Conduct, it may result in the volunteer’s immediate suspension or removal from any event-related volunteer positions they hold, including participation in event-related committees. If these guidelines are updated and a volunteer does not wish to agree, their participation in the event-related volunteer position will cease until such time as they do agree.

CNCF Program Committee + Event Volunteer Guidelines







End User

Diversity Supporters

Media Partners