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Submit a Session Proposal for Horizons 2020

Log in below to submit a proposal. All proposals must be submitted by Friday, December 13, 2019.
See below for RFP instructions, or click here to download as a PDF (including what questions will be asked during the submission process).

Let’s face it: our traditional education and workforce systems got us this far, but they are fundamentally broken, and they weren’t designed for the rapidly emerging future of work.

With an eye toward creating systems that will enable everyone to thrive in the future, JFF invites leaders at the forefront of workforce and education innovation to propose concurrent sessions for our 2020 summit—Horizons: Designing a Future that Works.

Horizons is the nation’s foremost convening of trailblazers from the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. Attendees will include Fortune 500 executives, policymakers, entrepreneurs, heads of foundations, and workforce and education system leaders. The opportunity at hand is to drive lasting changes that fuel the economic advancement of workers, learners, businesses, economies, and communities across the nation.

We seek proposals for provocative sessions that will equip attendees with the ability to reposition our systems and sectors today and create the innovation needed to transform them for tomorrow. Presenting a concurrent session at Horizons is your opportunity to help drive the national conversation toward action.

Concurrent Session Overview

We are looking for experts in their fields who are focused on what we’re doing now and on building the future. What do you think the future of work, training, and education will look like, and how do we get there? What innovative stakeholder groups will we need to bring together? How do we design a robust and inclusive ecosystem that will drive transformation? What current solutions should we scale, and how? Where do we need to influence policy—at the local, state, or federal level? What tactics do we use to do that? What investments need to be made, and at what point in a system or a process? How do we incubate, accelerate, and scale new solutions at the systems level and on the ground?

Think about next year, five years from now, 50 years from now. Think big picture and implementation. Think about the conversation you’ll regret not being a part of, and bring it to Horizons.

Concurrent Session Format

These are 60-minute sessions with one to three presenters or session leads, and an anticipated audience of around 50 people each. The design of each session should explicitly include audience engagement and interaction.

What We Are Looking For

Smaller sessions do not mean smaller ideas. Be provocative! We want you to challenge the audience and yourself: How are we going to move this country’s workforce and education systems forward to help shape the future we want to see? How do we transform existing systems and build new solutions at the same time? How can we build on our current expertise? What is broken, and how do we fix it?

Frame your session however you see fit using engaging formats, innovative ideas, and diverse perspectives. Constructive debate and dissension are welcome—not every session needs to present a tidy solution. Sometimes we need to take a step back and make sure we are grappling with the right problem. You are the expert; you know the best way to approach your topic.

That said, successful submissions will:
  • Consider the future in a new way.
  • Move beyond the traditional and demonstrate new and exciting cross-system strategies.
  • Present a clearly-articulated plan for audience engagement.
  • Include a diverse lineup of speakers. Note that diversity is measured in many different ways, including but not limited to: gender and gender identity, location, socio-economic background, perspective, age, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation.
  • Push people’s thinking—what hasn’t this audience considered?

We also encourage you to include as one of your speakers an end-user of your program: a youth or adult learner, an apprentice, etc.

Make sure to review the Concurrent Session Overview above and keep those themes and questions in mind as you craft your session. You don’t have to answer all of the questions, but submissions that don't answer any will not be successful.

What We Are Not Looking For
  • An hour of talking heads.
  • A discussion or “showcase” of one particular project—don’t look backward, look forward!
  • Presenters who all agree on every topic. Three people telling each other how great they are for an hour makes for a dull session.
  • Anything that smells like a product demo.

Some Brass Tacks
  • You may submit proposals for as many sessions as you like, but please note that in an effort to have a diversity of perspectives we will only allow any speaker to participate in one session.
  • All session proposals must be submitted by Friday, December 13, 2019.
  • Reviewer decisions will be shared starting in mid-February 2020.
  • You will have 60 minutes for your session, and you will be assigned a time slot on either Tuesday, June 9, or Wednesday, June 10, at the discretion of the conference organizers.
  • All concurrent session presenters are required to register for Horizons 2020 and will receive a discounted registration rate.
  • All concurrent session presenters must pay for their own travel and lodging costs and other incidental expenses.

You will be using this form to provide your contact information and your required submission details for review. Click Join Now below to begin.

Log in to the Submission Site

Questions? Event Contact: Grace Ausick -