Guidelines for Topical Discussion Meetings (TDM) conveners

A major feature of the European Space Weather Week (ESWW) is the live contribution made by the participants. Topical Discussion Meetings (TDMs) are a principal programme component providing this by creating arenas for engaging debate. These meetings provide the opportunity for interested participants to address key issues in a style that complements the sessions but differs substantially as it is much more interactive and participatory. Topical discussions on the newest insights in space weather, on the challenges and threats that space weather can cause, emerging new science – all of these and more are relevant and eligible for TDMs at ESWW. Topical Discussion Meetings are open to all ESWW participants.



A TDM aims at active and engaging participation and interaction between the participants. The participants work and discuss on a predefined theme or problem, ideally heading towards an outcome or target.


Follow up

TDM Convenors must provide a report on their TDM.  These reports will be made available on the ESWW webpage as soon as possible after receiving them.  Please check the ESWW2023 for the reports of the previous ESWW meeting. 


For TDM-Proposing Convenors

The proposal for a TDM is done via an online proposal form ( Below, we provide relevant information and requirements to include in your proposal.

TDM Format Guideline

The working meeting lasts 1 hour, and attendance requires NO abstract submission or formal prior contribution. The purpose of a TDM is the encouragement of open discussion on a specific topic of general interest, augmenting a Plenary or Conference Theme. Thus, proposed TDM descriptions must indicate key questions and issues that will be discussed.

At least two convenors are required, and a maximum of four. At least one convenor must be attending in-person in Coimbra, and at least one convenor will take responsibility to monitor online comments.

Potential convenors are requested to describe in their proposal:

  • The target community: industry, end users, scientists, cross-disciplinary
  • The expected outcomes of the TDM
  • The expected impact of the TDM

As a guide, three types of TDM format are described, each of which is known to have worked well in stimulating open discussion. Convenors proposing their TDM must nominate their use of one of these formats. In exceptional cases, a Convenor may propose an alternative format for consideration, where it can be demonstrated that the form of the meeting encourages open discussion and records audience participation. 


Event Impact Panel Forum Service/Project Feedback
  • The TDM asks how a given event or development manifests
  • Convenors make 1-2 introduction slides or may invite no more than 2 Topic
  • Introducers to set up the discussion using presentations of no more than 20 minutes in duration in total 
  • Attendees should be encouraged to bring any relevant material (1 slide) to show
  • Questions, comments, and discussion come from the audience on any material presented or pertinent to the problem
  • The TDM discusses the status of an area in the space weather domain
  • Convenors invite a ~5-member panel of experts in the area
  • Introduction to session should be short (5-10 minutes)
  • Panellists are given 3-5 minutes to give their view on the topic
  • Questions and comments are encouraged from the audience
  • The TDM addresses a present or new service/project addressing a space weather need
  • The concepts and elements of the service/project are demonstrated (total time max. 25 minutes)
  • Discussion interspersed in demos
  • At any point questions can be asked
  • Convenors must be willing to accept discussion of similar/related concepts


Once a TDM has been selected, successful Convenors are responsible for promoting their Session. Convenors can e.g., make a single slide/small poster to introduce the TDM, give the background of the relevance of the TDM, the type of the TDM, what the TDM expects to achieve, and also who the designated Topic Introducers will be. All TDM material can be uploaded to the ESWW2024 website to be made publicly available.

TDM Convenors commit to prepare and submit a short summarising report and must appoint a TDM Secretary to take TDM Discussion Notes of the session. The PC supports the TDM Secretary by providing the TDM report template annexed in this guide. The completed TDM Session report will be made available to all visitors of the TDM webpage. The TDM report should be emailed to