Call for Sessions for the 2018 Collective Impact Convening - Submissions due by August 3, 2017.

Posted 3 years ago at 2:02 pm

The Collective Impact Forum invites you to propose a session for the 2018 Collective Impact Convening.

Please submit your proposal using this online form  by 11:59 p.m. ET on Thursday, August 3, 2017.

Please read the following information carefully before beginning your submission. You can also access a copy of the session nomination questions, so that you can plan your responses before submitting in the online form by the deadline.

Visit our Online Submission Form

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 (e.g., identifying shared measures; using shared measurement systems / platforms; learning from data; evaluating the progress of collective impact work)
  • Equity: Bringing an equity focus 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
  • Leadership: Developing the system leadership capacities needed to work on a collective impact approach (e.g., co-creation with others, visualizing complex systems)
  • Sustainability: Identifying sustainable sources of funding for backbone infrastructure, and/or sustaining buy-in and momentum among collective impact partners over the long term
  • Other: (Please specify)

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., not yet initiated, early stages of developing, mid stages of implementing, late stages of refining/sustaining). Staff of the Collective Impact Forum will curate the 2018 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 four different session formats:

  • 90-minute how-to session: These concurrent sessions will focus on how-to “nuts and bolts” advice for collective impact leaders (e.g., how to evaluate collective impact, how to distribute leadership through working groups); maximum of 3 presenters
  • 75-minute case study: These concurrent sessions will provide in-depth case studies where a collective impact initiative has overcome a significant challenge or has achieved systems or population-level impact; maximum of 3 presenters, including moderator
  • 60-minute tool session: These concurrent sessions will give attendees a chance to practice using a concrete tool (e.g., actor mapping, data visualization, eco-cycle) that they can adapt for use in their own collective impact initiatives; maximum of 2 presenters
  • 30-minute short talk: 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. For example, we received 140 session proposals for the 2017 convening, and we selected less than one-third of these sessions. We will also develop other breakout and plenary sessions in coordination with our partners and advisory committee.  Note that sessions will take place at various points in the agenda from Tuesday afternoon (April 3) through Thursday morning (April 5).

To submit a proposal, please complete this form by 11:59 p.m. ET on Thursday, August 3, 2017. When developing a proposal, please consider the connection to the priority topics listed above, the intended audience, target stage of collective impact, and 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) – particularly for sessions targeting attendees in the mid to late stages of collective impact
  • Practical, actionable advice: presenting ideas that provide practical, actionable 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)
  • Engaging 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. For additional ideas on engaging facilitation techniques, visit the Liberating Structures online resources)
  • 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
  • Community and beneficiary perspectives: including community members (where possible) who are involved with your initiative and/or are directly impacted by your initiative’s work. This may include youth, parents, seniors, or other community residents.  

We are seeking proposals from both U.S. and non-U.S. contexts. Given the growing interest in collective impact around the world, we will consider selecting more sessions in 2018 that share lessons learned from outside the U.S.

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 Austin.

  • We invite speakers to participate in all three days of the convening. The Collective Impact Forum does not provide comps / free passes for speakers to attend. Confirmed speakers will receive a discount of $150 off the individual three-day registration rate of $1,145 for funders and $995 for all other attendees. We will also offer a one-day speaker rate of $300 for those speakers who wish to attend only the convening during the day when they are speaking.
  • We encourage including community member voices on sessions when appropriate. For this purpose, we define “community members” as those who will be impacted by the collective impact initiative, and are participating in that capacity rather than as the employee of an organization that is part of the collective impact initiative. Session leaders are encouraged to consider providing a small honoraria and covering travel costs for community members who are speaking on their session. For community members with lived experience who are invited to participate in leading/speaking on a session, the Collective Impact Forum will offer reduced-rate community member speaker registrations of $500 for the 3-day event or $150 for a day pass. 

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 fellow session speakers
  • 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

  • Wednesday, June 28, 2017: Call for session proposals are available online.
  • Thursday, August 3, 2017 (11:59 p.m. ET): All session proposals must be completed and submitted online. 
  • August to October 2017: Collective Impact Forum staff review session proposals, with feedback from an external advisory committee.
  • Late October 2017: Collective Impact Forum staff communicates session decisions. The point-of-contact for accepted proposals may receive session upgrade recommendations, as needed.
  • November 2017 to January 2018: Session designers select final speakers and re-submit to Collective Impact Forum an updated speaker lineup and session description.
  • February to March 2018: Session designers and speakers refine their sessions, with support from Collective Impact Forum staff.
  • April 3-5, 2018: The 2018 Collective Impact Convening takes place Tuesday afternoon (April 3) to Thursday mid-day (April 5) at the Hyatt Regency in Austin, Texas. On Tuesday morning (April 3), 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 or 617.502.6132.

Visit our Online Session Submission Form: Submit a 2018 Session


The Collective Impact Forum’s online community provides a peer network, discussion spaces, resources, and news for collective impact practitioners.

Questions? Contact us.