June 22-24, Online!

Session proposal guide

Are you thinking about proposing a session for SRCCON 2022? We’ll have your back throughout the process. Here are some answers to questions that might be on your mind right now, and if you’re curious about anything else, please let us know!

Key dates

How will participatory sessions work at an online conference?

SRCCON 2022 will be online, and we’re excited about the ways that will make this event accessible to even more people. We’ve traded in easels, sharpies, and post-it notes for a set of digital collaboration tools, and here’s how all of that will work:

Many of the things that make SRCCON sessions great will stay the same, too. Sessions will last 75 minutes. You’ll be in conversation with a bunch of other smart, engaged people, so no one expects you to have all the answers—sometimes it’s important just to bring the right questions! We find that the best sessions are often led by facilitators who:

Effective SRCCON facilitation is about effort and preparation more than expertise. We support facilitators as they prepare for their sessions, and we can help match you with a co-facilitator if you don’t have someone in mind already. If you’re thinking about pitching a session for SRCCON 2022, we’d love to hear from you!

What if I kind of have a session idea, but it’s not fully formed yet?

That’s completely okay! If you’re excited about being part of the SRCCON program, we’re excited to work with you to refine your topic. Successful sessions often emerge from a single question or problem—if you’ve been struggling with just about any aspect of your work, you can bet others have dealt with it, too.

We don’t consult a list of the latest trends to figure out which sessions to invite; we want SRCCON to be a place where passionate facilitators challenge us in ways that couldn’t happen at any other conference.

Whatever shape your ideas are taking, please share them with us! You should feel free to talk about things at whatever level of detail you feel good about—we’d love to think things through with you.

Our session review process

Our goal is to build a program with a mix of technical workshops, culturally focused discussions, and sessions that exist somewhere in between. As the SRCCON team reviews proposals, we look for:

OpenNews staff reviews session proposals as they come in, and invites a diverse group of community members to provide feedback during the review process. Our priority is to build a balanced program that reflects the entire community, and we actively welcome session proposals from members of communities underrepresented in journalism and technology, and from non-coastal and small-market news organizations.

Qualities that make a session proposal stand out

What kind of planning support is there for session facilitators?

If your session is selected, we’ll support you during your planning process. That starts as soon as we confirm your session for the program, when we’ll share a Facilitator Guide that should look a lot like this one (with changes specific to this year). We know you might have questions about how things will work at an online conference, so we’re planning facilitator training calls that will use the same platforms and tools you’ll have available for your session.

We’ll also check in with you individually to ask about scheduling needs, make sure you’re happy with your session name and description, and offer any feedback you need on your session plan. And we’re always happy to jump on a call to talk through any questions or brainstorms that come up.

And we believe that conferences like SRCCON are where amazing work only begins, so we’re already thinking about ways to support you in moving ideas forward after your session is done.

Is there any financial support for session facilitators? Do facilitators have to purchase a ticket?

Yes, financial support is available. We have both free scholarship tickets and stipends to help you attend or cover unpaid time preparing to facilitate your session.

Because SRCCON is a collaborative, peer-to-peer event, we ask that all participants, including facilitators, pick up a ticket. This approach to ticketing is part of how we make the event accessible to as many people as we can. If you or your company are not able to pay for a ticket, there will be an option right on the Eventbrite registration form to pick up a free scholarship ticket directly.

This year, we’re also offering $250 stipends to facilitators whose time preparing for their session would otherwise be uncompensated. If this applies to you, you can apply for a stipend when you’re proposing your session in our call for participation form.

More information about how we’re doing stipends and scholarships for SRCCON 2022.

What happens when the conference is over?

One of the most exhilarating things for us as conference organizers is to see people go out and DO THE WORK. Maybe that’ll be you, as a session leader, with newfound energy after sharing how you’re changing your organization. Maybe it’ll be an attendee who learned something new in your session, and takes home a plan to change their community’s relationship with journalism.

There are so many exciting things that can happen when passionate people get together at an event like SRCCON. And we want to help you plan for those outcomes! If there’s something you’d like to build together or move forward after the event is over, we’re here to support that work. We just want you to tell us what you need.

Additional resources

Sessions from previous SRCCONs

We archive each year’s conference site and schedule, so if you’d like to take a look back at the topics we’ve tackled before, dig in!