The eighth IEEE Photonics Society Optical Interconnects Conference, whose roots trace back to the original 1990 Workshop on Interconnections within High Speed Digital Systems, seeks to facilitate the collaboration required to drive new interconnect architectures and technologies from concepts in research labs to commercial realities. The conference covers the complete spectrum of high performance interconnect challenges in network systems, architectures, applications, subsystems, and devices. The crucial role that any interconnect strategy plays can only be fully realized when optimized at the system level. This is particularly so in large future peta- and exa-scale platforms in datacenters and supercomputers. So we look forward to the participation of system architects, programmers and everyone researching the interconnect role in a more self-aware next generation platform.