Call for Sessions for the 2019 Collective Impact Convening: Submissions due Sept. 7

Posted 3 years ago at 4:47 pm

The Collective Impact Forum invites you to propose a session for the 2019 Collective Impact Convening.

Please submit your proposal using this online form by 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday, September 7, 2018.

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)
  • Systems Change: Shifting the conditions that are holding inequities in place (e.g., changing mindsets, policies, funding flows, relationships, connections between actors, and behavior of key actors)
  • Sustainability: Identifying sustainable sources of funding for backbone infrastructure, and/or sustaining buy-in and momentum among collective impact partners over the long term

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 2019 Collective Impact Convening program, with feedback from a local host 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 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, including moderator
  • 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

Note that sessions will take place at various points in the agenda from Tuesday morning (May 14) through Thursday morning (May 16).

To submit a proposal, please complete this form by 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday, September 7, 2018.

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) recommend using straightforward language and minimal jargon in your session description
  • 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. 
  • Clear learning objectives: identifying and clearly stating learning objectives for attendees to easily choose sessions that are most applicable to them. This may include key learnings from a case study or takeaways from introducing a tool.

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 2019 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 2019 Collective Impact Convening in Chicago.

  • Three-Day Speaker Rates: 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, but we will provide a reduced rate for speakers to attend the general conference. Confirmed speakers who are funders can register to attend for $950, which is $100 off the early-bird funder rate. Confirmed speakers who are practitioners – and not funders – with organizational budgets above $500K per year can register to attend for $750, which is $100 off the early-bird practitioner rate. Confirmed speakers who are practitioners from smaller organizations (with annual budgets below $500K per year) can register to attend for $500, which is $100 off the early-bird rate for registrants at this level. Practitioner speakers also have the option to pay an additional $150 to attend a backbone bootcamp pre-conference session on Tuesday morning, May 14. Funder speakers will be automatically registered to attend a funder pre-conference on Tuesday morning, May 14 (for no additional charge).
  • One-Day Speaker Rate: 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.
  • Supporting Speakers from the Community: We encourage including community member voices on sessions when appropriate. 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 $450 for the 3-day event or $150 for a day pass. 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.

We kindly request that confirmed speakers not combine their speaker registration request with other reduced price registrations. For example, if a speaker is already planning to attend using another reduced price registration (e.g., scholarship recipient or group registration discount), they should register at the lowest individual price point and not combine multiple discounts together.

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 one planning call 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


  • Wednesday, June 27, 2018: Call for session proposals are available online.
  • Friday, September 7, 2018 (11:59 p.m. ET): All session proposals must be completed and submitted online.
  • September to October 2018: Sessions under review.
  • November 2018 to December 2018: Collective Impact Forum staff communicates session decisions. The point-of-contact for accepted proposals may receive session recommendations, as needed.
  • December 2018 to February 2019: Session designers select final speakers and re-submit to Collective Impact Forum an updated speaker lineup and session description.
  • March to April 2019: Session designers and speakers refine their sessions, with support from Collective Impact Forum staff.
  • May 14-16, 2019: The 2019 Collective Impact Convening takes place Tuesday afternoon (May 14) to Thursday mid-day (May 16) at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago, Illinois. On Tuesday morning (May 14), we will offer two pre-conference sessions: 1) a funder-only track of content and 2) a “backbone bootcamp” for those playing the backbone role.

If you have any questions or experience technical difficulties, please contact Sharon Jeong at or 415-689-3885.

Visit our Online Session Submission Form: Submit a 2019 Session


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