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Introducing Communications’ Regional Special Sections

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In my March 2018 editorial "Here Comes Everybody … to Communications," I announced an initiative to expand the Communications of the ACM community globally. I am pleased to introduce the first regional special section, which we hope will become a feature in Communications that you anticipate and enjoy, and of course value for the insights and perspectives it presents!

The theme for the regional special sections is, "Here Comes Everybody to Communications."a Why bring everybody to the magazine? Because the flagship publication of the world’s leading computing professional society must include important voices and a variety of perspectives regarding the present and future of computing, regardless of where they may be found. Over the years, computing has grown into virtually every industry and every product, impacting every aspect of society and the economy of every nation; at the same time, the computing profession also has expanded into communities around the globe.

Computing’s invention and continuing innovation is a global enterprise. While the technical foundations of computing may be universal, the design of many systems’ most important aspects—how they relate to society, government, the structure of commerce, and individual enlightenment and perspective, as well as fundamental choices about security, privacy, free speech, and control—increasingly reflect distinctive regional, national, and community cultures.

Communications needs to include important voices and a variety of perspectives regarding the present and future of computing, regardless of where they may be found.

Communications should be an inclusive forum that spans the global community, with active participation from everyone, everywhere. The goal of Communications’ global initiative is to bring untapped insights and focused coverage to our readers by providing highlights of computing from regions around the world. We will add a special section to a few issues of Communications each year, highlighting the leadership, unique characteristics, and distinctive development of computing in the region. The Communications global initiative will visit regions around the world in turn, shifting its spotlight to match the pace and impact of interesting developments in computing. We hope to revisit each global region about every two years.

Each of the Special Sections is led by a regional team that nominates, selects, and drives authorship of the section’s content. We began building our team of industry and academic leaders for the China Region nearly one year ago. The team gathered at the University of Chicago Center in Beijing in March 2018 to brainstorm topics and form article writing teams.

To drive this and future regional coverage, we also have added new members to the Communications editorial board specifically focused on Special Sections. Led by Sriram Rajamani, they were actively involved in vetting and improving the articles in this inaugural China Region special section.

Thanks to all of the authors, the section leaders, Wenguang Chen (Tsinghua University), and Xiang-Yang Li (University of Science and Technology of China), and a special thanks to Lihan Chen, who created and drove the process that made the China Region special section a reality.

I hope you enjoy it!

Andrew A. Chien, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

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    a. This title borrows from Clay Shirky's 2008 book Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations, which described the growing power of groups of individuals to organize large-scale activities without relying on traditional corporate organizations.

    P.S. The next regional special section is already under way, focused on Europe. Look for it in early 2019!

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