Call For Proposals

CALL FOR PROPOSALS                

Presentation Proposal Submission Form 

Deadline for Submission of Proposals is October 14, 2016.


 Engaging in Collective Purpose

2017 Urban Extension Conference

Bloomington, MN

 The University of Minnesota Extension and the National Urban Extension Leaders are pleased to jointly announce a call for proposals for the National Urban Extension Conference on “Engaging in Collective Purpose,” which will be held in Bloomington, Minnesota, May 7-11, 2017.    

Some of the most pressing social problems and policy issues confronting America and the rest of the world involve urban people and places.   Extension professionals across the nation are working in and across various program areas to address these issues. However, urban settings are often competitive environments for Extension educators, so novel approaches to programming are increasingly necessary in order for Extension to gain and maintain its place as a premier institution for the betterment of urban individuals, families, and communities.

The National Urban Extension Conference provides an opportunity for Extension professionals to learn first-hand about these innovative approaches from their colleagues and receive inspiration for their work at home.  Now is the time for a new dialogue to integrate urban Extension scholarship and practice and to define the role that Extension will play in engaging in collective purpose. 

The conference will provide opportunities for Extension professionals from all program areas to share their research and innovative educational strategies that address the needs of urban, suburban, and peri-urban populations as well as urban-rural interdependencies.  The program planning committee plans for participants to learn about cutting edge research and to see innovative outreach efforts that successfully transfer research-based information to various urban clientele.  Proposals may be for presentations, workshops, posters, and panels (defined below) for the 2017 Conference.  Abstracts that highlight research and/or outreach activities that involve partnerships between practitioners and Extension professionals are especially encouraged.  We are also looking for innovative ideas that are just that, ideas; which can be presented in an Ignite format.



 Below are examples of topics of interest and to help the planning committee organize sessions, we will ask you to indicate how your proposal aligns with one of these areas.


          Positioning: How Extension is positioned at the national, state, regional, and city levels.  Proposals may include, but are not limited to, examples and impacts based on how Extension operates in city or regional centers; city neighborhoods through shared partnered offices; or through traditional county operations.

          Programs: How Extension addresses the multitude of issues and priorities in the city. Proposals should focus on the uniquely urban/metropolitan aspects of the programming and may include, but are not limited to:

o   Strengthening Communities

o   Protecting the Environment

o   Improving Health

o   Enriching Youth

o   Feeding our Communities: Local food systems and networks

          Personnel: How Extension attracts, develops, retains, and structures competent talent, focusing on the uniquely urban/metropolitan aspects.

          Partnerships: How Extension collaborates to leverage resources for collective impact while documenting its contributions and impacts within a collaborative framework.

          Applied Research: Leveraging University or community expertise to develop outcome and place – based solutions.

          Futuring – Do you have an idea that you would like to share, get input on to help refine, and even develop a national team to help develop and implement your idea?  While the Ignite format is limited to the futuring topic, the futuring topic is not restricted to the Ignite format; you can choose other formats (e.g. paper presentation or panel that is on the futring topic).

          Other: The Conference encourages interactive formats that engage participants in a variety of learning styles. The conference planning committee will accept proposals that address the conference theme and goals.



All presenters except exhibitors are required to submit an abstract. The following guidelines apply to everyone submitting a proposal using the online systems.  Proposals will be submitted electronically using the online portal located at:
We will be asking for the following information (please be prepared to enter all information):


1.       Each submission must select ONE proposal category type (defined below):

·         oral  presentation;

·         organized presentation session;

·         panel presentation;

·         workshop;

·         poster session;

·         Ignite talk;

·         other


2.       Contact information for the session presenter or organizer (if you have multiple presenters you will be asked for the contact information for each):

  • name
  • organization or affiliation
  • complete address (include specific department or bureau, if applicable)
  • phone number
  • active email address 


3.       Presentation topic area:

a.       Positioning

b.      Programs:

                                                               i.      Strengthening Communities

                                                             ii.      Protecting the Environment

                                                            iii.      Improving Health

                                                           iv.      Enriching Youth

                                                             v.      Feeding our Communities: Local food systems and networks

c.       Personnel:

d.      Partnerships:

e.      Applied Research:

    1. Futuring


4.       Provide an abstract of no more than 200 words, addressing the conference theme, focusing on the innovative aspects of your topic / program and how it addresses urban issues.  High priority will be given to abstracts with a clear presentation of methodology or approach, results or outcomes obtained. 


Proposed sessions, such as panels that involve multiple presenters, should list the information for all participants in addition to the name and contact information of the session organizer. The Program Committee will communicate with the session organizer.


5.       List specific audio-visual needs. The Conference will provide laptops, overhead projectors, LCD projectors (for PowerPoint presentations), and audio equipment if needed. All rooms will have access to the internet via Wi-Fi, but we recommend any videos or band-width intensive content be downloaded to avoid connectivity issues.


6.       All presenters are expected to submit their presentations in electronic form by April 24, 2017 for uploading on to the computers for presentation at the conference.




Oral Presentations

 Format:  Abstract submissions are sought for individual oral presentations on topics related to the conference theme or other topical areas of interest. These traditional oral presentations will be for approximately 25 minutes, with an additional five minutes allotted for questions and discussion of the research. Sessions will be moderated to enforce time restrictions. Oral presentations should present well-developed concepts, applications, and impacts.

 Requirements:  Submit an Abstract as described above indicating oral presentation format.


Organized Sessions

Organized Presentation Sessions

Format: Proposals for organized presentation sessions will be considered for inclusion in the program and will be 90 minutes in length. Requirements: Organized presentation sessions should be comprised of three oral presentations and include geographically and intellectually diverse presenters if at all possible.  You will be asked to provide an overview of the proposed session (limited to 75 words) and abstracts for each oral presentation and contact information at the time of submission. The decision to accept organized presentation sessions will be made by the program committee. 

In the Presentation Description field, please describe the purpose and organizing theme of the session. The person submitting the organized presentation session description will be considered the session organizer (though they need not be one of the three oral presentations).


Panel Presentations


Format:  Panel Presentations will be 90 minutes in length involving three to five colleagues or peers in an open conversation or discussion on a topic, and will engage the audience in a question and answer/conversational session.  Requirements:  Submit an Abstract as described above that also includes an outline of the topic, names of panelists, background information on the topic, and questions that may be used to stimulate audience participation.



 Format:  Workshops are innovative, interactive sessions in which participants learn about or use tools, techniques, and approaches that they can apply. Workshops must involve participants, using formats such as role playing, simulations, practice sessions, tool application, case studies, success/failure stories, or discussion. Workshops are typically 90 minutes in length. Requirements:  Submit an Abstract as described above that also includes a brief agenda that summarizes the learning objectives.



 Format:  A poster is used for the presenter to describe a project, research results, program summaries, or lessons learned as a visual display on poster board. The poster usually includes a brief narrative paper along with tables, graphs, pictures, and other presentation formats. The presenter are expected to stand next to the poster during the Tuesday evening reception so that conference participants can view the presentation and interact with the presenter.


Requirements:  Submit an Abstract as described above. In addition, each poster must…

·         include the title of the presentation, the institution, agency or community where the work was completed, and author names in large letters at the top center of the poster;

·         be easy to read at a distance of 4 feet (1.5 m). A point size of 16-18 (5-6 mm) or larger is recommended;

·         post an abstract;

·         include at least one of the authors at the assigned space during the designated time to discuss the work presented, and be ready to respond to questions concerning all aspects of the presentation;

·         a photo of the presenter(s), will be requested upon acceptance of a presentation, so that conference participants can locate them during the conference to ask questions outside of formal in-person presentation period.

·         provide handouts;

·         be constructed to be mounted on either free-standing poster board or foam board/foam core that.  One easel and foam board will be provided for each poster.  Additional formatting details will be provided following acceptance of proposals. 



 Format: Ignite talks are very structured.  You will have exactly 5 minutes to present, using 20 slides.  Slides will automatically advance every 15 seconds. Here's a sample presentation: and a how to video: Ignite talks are limited to the futuring topic and will be conducted following the Poster Session / Reception on Tuesday evening.  Requirements:  Submit an abstract as described above. 



The Conference encourages interactive formats that engage participants in a variety of learning styles. Abstracts that propose a format other than one that is already listed above must describe the format and provide details on the learning styles employed.



The Conference intends to share the conference presentations through a variety of media. Presenters will be asked to provide electronic copies of their materials at the conference so that they can be further disseminated.




The Program Committee will review all proposals. Initial selection decisions will be made in October 2016 with notice to applicants by November 18, 2016.  Selected presenters will have 30 days to accept.  The Program Committee has the authority and responsibility for placing sessions in the program at a day and time that best suits the overall program.





Registration for Presenters


Those interesting in presenting at the conference are required to be registered and paid by March 20, 2017.  Those not registered and paid will be dropped from the program.







For more info, please contact:


Brent Hales                                                        Brad Gaolach

Conference Co-Chair                                     Conference Co-Chair

University of Minnesota Extension Washington State University Extension

612-626-8256                                             425-405-1734