Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question, chances are you are not alone! Please look for answers here before reaching out by email. Below you will find some of the most common questions we have received as we near the conference dates. 

Q: What do I need to do to get ready for my presentation? Should I ‘show up’ to my session early?

Check out the POLLEN20 pre-conference checklist HERE. Presenters should plan to join the ‘Pre-session prep’ in that is scheduled for 10 minutes prior to their session start time. Join this by clicking on the ‘Pre-session prep’ link before your session in the program. A volunteer stage manager will meet you there and help you to set up your session.

Q: My session is missing a presentation. Why? Can you put the presentation back in for me? 

If your organized session is missing presentations, this most likely means that the presenters did not enter their final title, abstract and author information in the system as requested by any of a number of deadlines. It is now well past the final deadline for adding to and changing sessions, so the answer is no. We regret if this is not the answer you had hoped for.

Q: A stranger has been added to my session – what is going on and why didn’t you ask my permission first? 

Sometimes there are not enough volunteered submissions on a particular theme to build a coherent session. In such cases, it is common programming practice at POLLEN conferences to assign a presentation to a relevant organized session, especially for sessions that are under capacity. This ensures that sessions are evenly filled out and that people who submit individual presentations are brought into relevant dialogues rather than isolated in generic volunteered paper sessions. We assume that session organizers understand and support this collegial practice.

Q: I cannot find my session details on my dashboard! Help! 

There is a long answer for this and a short answer for this. We suspect you want the short answer that helps you find your session details. Session details can be found in the program and are not available from your ExOrdo dashboard, sorry. If you are not sure what session you are in or if you submitted individually (not as part of an organized session), you can find your place in the program easily by searching for your name in the system at Virtual POLLEN. Once the program is final (ie. no further changes possible), presenters will receive an email with their final session program details, but this information is always up to date in the online program. 

Q: I have had an individual submission accepted, but I cannot find my session details on my dashboard. What do I do?  

(See answer above). Individual submissions will have been placed in either an organized session (with a six-digit session code beginning with ‘P’) or a volunteered paper session (with a four digit session code beginning with ‘V’). These are all available in the program. If you were placed I an organized session and need information on timings, please get in touch with the session organizer / chair. Volunteered paper sessions have no organizer and a ‘chair’ has been randomly assigned from among the contributors, but in reality assignees to a volunteer session should take the initiative to contact one another and to decide among themselves which roles are desired and how a session will run in terms of timings. 

Q: Can I make changes to my presentation or my session?  

At this time, further scheduling changes and changes to sessions are possible only in exceptional circumstances. However, organizers are still free to choose the On Demand format if necessary and individual presentations may be edited prior to the conference from your ExOrdo dashboard. 

Q: I am presenting during a live (not an On-demand) session. Can I show a short video during my live presentation? Can one of my presenters show a recorded presentation due to time differences or scheduling conflicts?

Participants in On Demand sessions are uploading pre-recorded videos of their presentations. On the conference platform, uploading videos works really well with this On Demand feature.

However, during live sessions there are glitches that can happen when screen sharing video or showing pre-recorded video files. Of course, a presenter can choose to share their screen to show a clip, but we highly recommend uploading the clip to Vimeo or Youtube in advance and sharing a link in the comment box when you want attendees to watch it. We would say something like, ‘I would like to invite you to take a moment and watch this short video / remote presentation in a separate browser window and then come back here to continue our discussion’. You could even let attendees know at the beginning of the session to have a browser window ready.

Q: How do I download Webex? How can I practice using the video conferencing interface?  

Follow the steps below to download Webex (note: Webex can only be used with systems running on Windows and Mac OS). We are not able to organize rehearsals because the conference is just too big and we do not have the capacity. The conference platform uses Webex, The ExOrdo Virtual conference platform uses Cisco Webex Events for video conferencing and you can use that for practice in advance. It works a lot like other common applications, but you may want to familiarize yourself with the platform’s capabilities and the basic host controls before the conference:  

  1. Create your Webex account: https://cart.webex.com/sign-up-webex 
  1. Download Webex Events - this will also be an automatic configuration when you click the link and will be used later at the live event.   
  1. Start a Webex Meeting in your personal room and invite others to practise navigating around the platform’s features. 

Q: Where can I find additional technical guidance for using the conference platform? 

Exordo has published articles for helping delegates navigate the virtual conference space. You can find them here: https://support.exordo.com/category/899-attending-a-virtual-event 

Q: I do not want my session recorded and made viewable by the public following the conference. How can I opt out? 

Your session organizer can opt out of recording and sharing by filling out a quick form: OPT OUT OF RECORDING

Q: As a presenter, if I upload a presentation or a video to the ExOrdo platform, will ExOrdo own or use my material for their own purposes? Or what is their policy? 

ExOrdo is only contracted to host content for the POLLEN20 conference, and does not have any property rights to it or to use it for data mining. As a representative of ExOrdo explained:

‘The answer is that the content belongs to the person that created it… we host and present the content but we don’t own any of it, nor do we claim to. When it comes to… the specifics of it, we wouldn’t use anyones content for any purpose other than putting it on display in the specific Conference Event Space. In terms of analysing the presentations, while we could view presentations uploaded, we don’t.’

If you are concerned about safeguarding your intellectual property while still making it available to view and use by others in various ways that you choose, we encourage delegates to explore options for Creative Commons copyright and Copyleft licensing.

Q: I want to join the online conference but I am not part of a session. Can I still submit my presentation? Can I register as a non-presenter?

The deadline for all submissions is closed. However, registration is open for presenting and non-presenting conference delegates at https://pollen2020.exordo.com/registration/new.

Q: I am super excited about the conference! Can I organize multiple sessions or present papers in multiple sessions? 

A reminder about the rules is below.

Conference attendees may participate in multiple sessions in different ways, but may not duplicate primary roles of (1) Session organizer, (2) presenter / participant / panelist / poster presenter and (3) discussant in regular 90-minute sessions. This means that none of these primary roles can be served more than once by any individual. As we explain on the conference web site, one individual may not organize multiple sessions (a proposed ‘double session’, if approved, is considered as one session), present in multiple sessions or serve as discussant in multiple sessions. This is to ensure that everyone has equitable space for participation, to avoid crowding out and to encourage a variety of session types.

However, you can be creative in how you use your role allocation. For example, a session organizer may present the introduction to a session (this is considered as part of the organizer role), and can also present research in another session that they aren’t organizing. Also, this rule only applies to paper/ panel / poster sessions. Participants may additionally organize and take part in workshops, exhibitions, multimedia sessions, etc. 

Q: I am a session organizer and my participants need to update session information for the online conference. How do I do this?

Organizers of sessions that have been accepted to the conference must take action to confirm, update or withdraw sessions by 30 June 2020. If you are a session organizer, please follow the instructions below:

We ask you as a session organizer or co-organizer to (1) share updated information about the conference and its move to a virtual platform with participants in your session(s) and (2) confirm or make changes to organized sessions by 30 June 2020. 

Please let us know at your earliest convenience at this link: Session confirmation and changes form. You will need your session code(s) to complete this form. It should ONLY be completed by the session organizer. With this very short form you will have the option to: 

  • Confirm that your sessions, including all submitted presentations / panelists will go ahead as planned,
  • Let us know about changes to a session or sessions that you are organizing, or
  • Let us know if you wish to withdraw a session from the conference.

Q: I am an organizer or participant in an organized session and need to register, re-register or adjust my fees. What do I do?

If you are an organizer of or presenter in a session that has been accepted for POLLEN20 and you missed registrationcancelled or withdrew your prior registration and need to re-register, a new registration can be completed in the ExOrdo system. You will need your session code(s) to complete registration.

If you already registered for POLLEN20 and chose to hold your registration and fees (i.e. did not request to withdraw and have your fees refunded), you will see your completed registration when you log in to the ExOrdo system. If you are already registered, we ask you to complete a ‘Changes to Registration or Fees’ form here to make adjustments to your conference fees no later than 30 June 2020. If you do not take this action, we will assume that you are happy to donate the additional fees that you paid to the POLLEN Solidarity Fund.

Q: How is the event affected by COVID-19 (coronavirus)?

Following the announcement that the Third Biennial Conference of the Political Ecology Network, Contested Natures: Power, Politics, Prefiguration, has been postponed from its original dates in June 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are happy to announce that POLLEN20 will be moving, in a restructured form, to a virtual platform, and the new dates will be the 22nd – 25th of September 2020. Please bear with us as we update the information on the conference site. The organizing group will be getting in touch with session organizers about changes soon.

Q: What is POLLEN and how does it work?

POLLEN refers to The Political Ecology Network, which was established in 2015 to provide a platform for the ‘cross-fertilization’ of ideas in and around political ecology. POLLEN seeks to foster an environment in which rich and diverse traditions can come together, discuss, and debate the latest developments in the field. POLLEN is a de-centralized network made up of autonomous ‘nodes’ around the world, and the network has chosen to govern itself horizontally and non-hierarchically. There are no membership fees, and no ‘president’ or ‘director’. POLLEN is a collaborative commons and everything that POLLEN ‘does’ is because of the initiative and actions of its members.

For more about POLLEN, see the POLLEN Principles and explore the POLLEN online platform for news, announcements, resources and guidance on establishing ‘nodes’ in the network and other ways to get involved.

Q: What’s your refund policy?

See the answer above for information to register, re-register or adjust fees. The same form can be used to cancel registration and request a full refund by 30 June.

Q: I want to present at POLLEN20 but I am not sure where my abstract fits. Can you tell me which CfP to submit to?

The deadline for submitting papers and sessions has now passed, but the previously-issued guidance is below for reference:

Unfortunately the members of the organizing committee can’t choose a CfP to fit your abstract. A variety of calls for papers / participants to organised sessions can be found on the conference site at https://pollen2020.wordpress.com/category/calls-for-papers-participants/. Many others have been circulated on email lists for professional organizations. Others have been circulated on Twitter using the hashtag #POLLEN20. Please have a look and get in touch with the session organizers directly if you think that your paper might be a good fit to the session or if you have any questions about a specific call. If you don’t see a fit, consider organizing a session!

Q: Can I get involved in conference organizing activities?

Absolutely. How would you like to be involved?

If you would like to be part of the local organizing committee in Brighton, you can send an email to pollen@sussex.ac.uk to request updates on meeting times and ongoing planning activities. If you want to get involved at a distance in the lead-up to September 2020, there are many things that you can help with, including publicity, circulating calls, blogging, fundraising for travel bursaries and coordinating services or activities at the conference. If you would like to volunteer as a volunteer session chair or moderator for the online conference, just let us know! If you think that something has been missing from past biennial conferences and you would like to see instituted, you can help make it happen. Of course, as in the past, there will be lots of specific opportunities for volunteering at the conference itself that will be announced in due course.