Call for Sessions for the 2017 Collective Impact Convening

Posted 4 years ago at 12:56 pm

The Collective Impact Forum invites you to propose a session for the 2017 Collective Impact Convening on May 23-25 in Boston. Please submit your proposal using this online form by 11:59 p.m. PST on Sunday, December 11, 2016. Please read the following information carefully before beginning your submission.

You can access the session nomination questions here, so that you can plan your responses before submitting by the deadline.

Conference Content Priorities

Through a mix of session topics and formats, networking opportunities, and a variety of speakers, Collective Impact Convening participants will explore key topics related to achieving results through collective impact such as:

  • Community Engagement: Authentically engaging those with lived experiences by ensuring that community members actively contribute to and co-lead a collective impact initiative
  • Data and Continuous Learning: Using qualitative and quantitative data for continuous learning and decision-making in collective impact
  • Engaging the Private Sector: Engaging the business community’s assets and expertise in a collective impact initiative
  • Equity: Bringing an equity lens to collective impact by creating the conditions that enable just and fair inclusion into a society in which all can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential
  • Openness: Sharing goals and strategies, transparently sharing how decisions are made and progress is measured, listening and engaging in dialogue with others, and acting on feedback
  • Leadership: Developing the system leadership capacities needed to work on a collective impact approach (e.g., co-creation with others, visualizing complex systems)

Please indicate the intended audience for your session (e.g., funders, backbones, and/or any audience), and the target stage of collective impact for your session (e.g., early stages of initiating collective impact, mid stages of implementing, late stages of sustaining momentum, or applicable to any stage). Staff of the Collective Impact Forum will curate the 2017 Collective Impact Convening program, with feedback from an external advisory committee of funders and other field-building partners.

Proposal Submission Instructions

You are invited to submit a session proposal for one of three different session formats:

  • 90-minute deep dive sessions: These concurrent sessions will provide in-depth case studies and interactive audience participation on one of the topics listed above; maximum of 4 presenters, including moderator
  • 60-minute tool sessions: These concurrent sessions will present concrete, actionable tools that attendees can adapt for use in their own collective impact initiatives; maximum of 2 presenters
  • 20-minute short-talks: These short-talks will feature engaging stories of successes and failure in collective impact; maximum of one presenter per story

We anticipate selecting a small number of sessions from this proposal process, and we will also develop other breakout and plenary sessions in coordination with our partners and advisory committee. We anticipate receiving a far greater number of proposal submissions than space allows. Sessions will take place at various points in the agenda from Tuesday afternoon (May 23) through Thursday morning (May 25).

To submit a proposal, please complete this form by 11:59 p.m. PST on Sunday, December 11, 2016. When developing a proposal, please consider the connection to the priority topics listed above, the intended audience, and an interactive session design.

Suggestions for Submitting a Strong Session Proposal

The Collective Impact Forum also gives priority consideration to session proposals that demonstrate:

  • Evidence of impact: highlighting examples where collective impact has contributed to systems change (i.e., shifts in behavior funding flows, policy change) or population-level impact (i.e., improvements in outcomes for your target population)
  • Actionable takeaways: presenting ideas that provide concrete insights for attendees (i.e., sessions that provide practical information or tools, and give participants ideas about how to make specific changes in collective impact)
  • Innovative session design: allowing attendees to hear from and interact with their peers with varied facilitation techniques (i.e., minimize traditional panels with no time for participant interaction)
  • Diverse perspectives: bringing together diverse points of view and experiences on a topic. Examples of diverse perspectives might include speakers who are people of color, people with disabilities, people who identify on the LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual) spectrum, and/or programming that promotes gender equity among speakers

Please note: the Collective Impact Forum reserves the right to make adjustments or recommendations to final session designs, including speaker lineup, format and description.

Additional Considerations

Conference Costs

When selecting speakers, we ask that you keep in mind the costs associated with traveling to and attending the 2017 Collective Impact Convening in Boston.

  • The Collective Impact Forum does not have funds to cover breakout speakers’ flight or hotel costs to attend the convening.
  • We invite speakers to participate in all three days of the convening. Confirmed speakers who are attending all three days of the convening will receive a promo code to receive $150 off the individual three-day registration rate of $1095 for funders and $945 for all other attendees.
  • If a confirmed speaker is only planning to attend part of the convening (i.e., the morning or afternoon of their session, and not multiple days of the meeting), we can extend a “half day” speaker rate of $150 to attend the morning only or afternoon only that their session will take place.
  • We encourage including community voices on sessions when appropriate. Session leaders are encouraged to consider providing a small honoraria and covering travel costs for community members who are speaking on their session.

Speaker and Session Designer Responsibilities

Throughout the coming months, Collective Impact Forum staff will provide one-on-one support to selected session designers in developing high-quality sessions. Among other responsibilities, session designers and speakers will be expected to: 

  • Incorporate recommendations from Collective Impact Forum staff into their sessions, such as diversifying speakers or increasing time for peer-to-peer interaction
  • Plan and participate in 1-2 planning calls with each other and Collective Impact Forum staff
  • Make session resources and/or slides available on the conference website after the event
  • Agree to have their sessions photographed or videotaped at the Collective Impact Forum’s discretion

Key Dates

  • October 27, 2016: Call for session proposals are available online.
  • Sunday, December 11, 2016 (11:59 p.m. PST): All session proposals must be completed and submitted online. 
  • Mid December 2016 to mid January 2017: Collective Impact Forum staff review session proposals, with feedback from an external advisory committee.
  • Mid January 2017: Collective Impact Forum staff communicates session decisions. The point-of-contact for accepted proposals may receive session upgrade recommendations, as needed.
  • Mid January to late February 2017: Session designers select final speakers and re-submit to Collective Impact Forum an updated speaker lineup and session description.
  • March to May 2017: Session designers and speakers refine their sessions, with support from Collective Impact Forum staff.
  • May 23-25, 2017: The convening takes place Tuesday afternoon (May 23) to Thursday mid-day (May 25) at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel. On Tuesday morning (May 23), we will offer two pre-conference sessions: 1) a funder-only track of content and 2) a “backbone boot camp” for those playing the backbone role.

If you have any questions or experience technical difficulties, please contact Robert Albright at


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