Begin forwarded message:

From: "Imre Szeman" <[log in to unmask]>
Date: July 14, 2009 4:04:15 PM PDT
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [CultTheory]Proposal Request: coNvergence: Northwest Regional Gathering on the Economic and Ecological Crises

Dear all,

Here is an activist conference taking place in Portland that welcomes radical scholarly participation.  The organizers have told me that they will do their best to provide a local home stay for anyone who requests it, so as to help keep costs low.  Please forward this to any other lists you feel might be interested.

[log in to unmask].

EcoNvergence: Northwest Regional Gathering
on the Economic and Ecological Crises

October 2 - 4, 2009 in Portland, Oregon

Proposal Due Date: August 8, 2009

Our nation and the world are facing two great crises. The worst economic crisis since the Great Depression is accelerating. Foreclosures, bankruptcies, and layoffs continue to rise as older generations watch hard earned savings vanish, younger families live in fear of layoffs and bills they cannot pay, immigrants face increased detention and deportation, and students despair of finding jobs when they graduate. Meanwhile, the government persists in futile attempts to rescue the insolvent banks whose reckless behavior triggered the crisis through trillion dollar bailouts at taxpayers’ expense.

The greatest ecological crisis humanity has ever faced continues unabated.  Temperatures continue to rise, ice continues to melt and more rain forests are plowed down as the planet lurches forward into dangerous, unchartered waters.  Meanwhile, well-heeled lobbyists for fossil fuel industries and global agribusiness gear up once again in Washington DC and State legislatures across the country to stymie attempts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Northwest region of the United States has pioneered effective responses to environmental and economic problems in the past.  A decade ago the “Battle for Seattle” during the World Trade Organization Ministerial meetings sparked a critical reevaluation of neoliberal globalization. Now that this model has been thoroughly discredited, it is time for us to collectively determine what comes next.

This October, internationally known speakers such as keynote speaker Noam Chomsky will join academics, activists, and others from the Northwest in Portland, Oregon to explore the way forward out of the twin crises challenging humanity. The gathering will be hosted by the First Unitarian Church of Portland whose ministries have a long history of aiding campaigns promoting social justice and environmental preservation.  The Conference is being organized by participating organizations from a variety of sectors.  For a full list of participating organizations, email [log in to unmask].

Environmental, labor, human rights, student, peace, and community organizations are all invited to contribute to the event. There will be dozens of panels and workshops each day exploring how we can make positive changes within our communities as part of a national process to respond to the current economic and ecological crises.

If you would like to be a part of this exciting event by hosting a panel or workshop, we invite you to submit a proposal for consideration.  If you would like to get involved in the conference planning process as an individual or a participating organization, please contact [log in to unmask].
Important Information about Conference Sessions

Please review the information below and contact us if you have any questions.

Session Topics
Each session must focus on some aspect of either the financial and economic crisis or the climate and ecological crisis, or the overlap between the two. The conference intends to provide attendees with an analysis of both “what went wrong” and “what we can do now”.  Sessions analyzing the origins of the crises, sessions presenting a vision of a just and sustainable world, and sessions examining responses and/or solutions to the crises will all be considered.  Analyses from both academic and activist points of view will be welcomed.  Sessions may focus on either a global/national scale or a Northwest regional/local scale.  We encourage creative, innovative proposals that are in alignment with the conference theme.

Session Format
Sessions of many formats will be considered.  Examples of session formats include lectures/panels, interactive workshops, art/music/cultural events, and public actions.  Each session must provide a facilitator or team leader for the session.  We encourage all types of learning and will include sessions from all formats in the conference.

Session Dates & Times
Sessions will be held on the following dates:
·      Friday, October 2 (at First Unitarian Church, depending upon demand)

·      Saturday, October 3 (all day at First Unitarian Church)

·      Sunday, October 4 (morning and early afternoon at Portland State University)

Session Length
The final schedule for the conference has not been determined.  Please indicate your preference for the length of your session (60 minutes, 90 minutes, or 120 minutes).  The Program Committee reserves the right to determine the final length of each session based on schedule demands.

Session Coordinator
All sessions must designate a Session Coordinator on your application.  This person will serve as the primary liaison to the Program Committee in terms of conference planning and scheduling.  Coordinators are responsible for organizing, introducing, and facilitating their sessions and providing the Program Committee with all necessary information prior to the conference.

Presenter Travel & Housing
Unfortunately, we are not able to provide travel reimbursement at this time.  All presenters will need to make their own travel arrangements and cover their own travel expenses to and from the conference.  The Conference Committee will be organizing a limited number of housing accommodations for those traveling from out of town.  If you would like to request a homestay during your time in Portland, please indicate this on your application.

Session Materials
Presenters will be responsible for providing their own handouts and other session materials for conference participants.

Audio-Visual and Other Equipment
A limited amount of audio-visual and other equipment (e.g. screen, projector, DVD player, flipchart & markers, etc.) will be available for presenter use, however, we cannot promise equipment for all sessions.  If you have access to your own audio-visual and other equipment that you could bring, that would be most appreciated.  If you need audio-visual or other equipment provided, please indicate this on your application and we will do our best to accommodate your request.

Presenter Discount
Session presenters will be able to attend other conference sessions at no charge.

Submission Process and Deadline

Submission Process
Proposals are due by August 8, 2009.  Please submit your proposal electronically to [log in to unmask].  The subject line needs to read: “EcoNvergence Session Proposal”.  Only proposals which follow the format below will be considered.

Proposal Format
Your proposal must include all of the following information:

1.    Presenter Information

·   Session Coordinator: Provide full name, organizational affiliation, title, address,  email address, and telephone number.

·   All Other Presenters: Provide full name, organizational affiliation, title, and email address and/or telephone number.

·   Background: Provide a brief description of the presenters’ experience providing workshops and/or presenting the material covered in their session.

·   Participating Organization: Please indicate if any of your presenters are representing a participating organization involved in the planning of the conference and, if so, which organization they represent.

2.    Session Scheduling

·   Date & Time: Please rank your preferences (1, 2, 3, etc.) for the date and time of your session.  If you absolutely cannot present during a particular timeslot, please leave it blank.  Please note, workshops may or may not be held on Friday, October 2 depending upon demand.

            ___ Friday, October 2 – Morning

            ___ Friday, October 2 – Afternoon

            ___ Saturday, October 3 – Morning

            ___ Saturday, October 3 – Afternoon

            ___ Sunday, October 4 – Morning

·   Length: Please rank your preferences (1, 2, 3) for the length of your session.  The Program Committee will determine the final length for all sessions based on schedule availability.

                        ___ 60 minutes
                        ___ 90 minutes
                        ___ 120 minutes

3.    Area of Focus

·   Crisis: Each session must focus on at least one of the following crises.  Please indicate which crisis your session will address (check all that apply):

                        ___ Economic / Financial Crisis
                        ___ Ecological / Environmental Crisis

·   Please explain briefly how your session relates to the economic and/or ecological crisis and the conference theme.

·   Scale: Please indicate the level/scale on which your workshop will focus (check all that apply):

                        ___ Global
                        ___ National
                        ___ Northwest Region
                        ___ Local (City/Neighborhood)

4.    Descriptive Title and Short Session Description

·   Provide a title that captures the subject of your session.  The Program Committee retains the right to work with session coordinators to develop alternative titles at their discretion.

·   Provide a short description of your session (2-6 sentences) that may be used in the conference brochure and/or other conference materials.  This description may be edited at the discretion of the Program Committee.

5.    Presentation Style

·   Please select which of the following best describes your session:

                        ___ Lecture/Panel
                        ___ Interactive Workshop
                        ___ Art/Music/Cultural Event
                        ___ Public Action
                        ___ Other: ________________________________________

·   Provide a brief description of your presentation style and the approximate amount of time dedicated to each style (e.g. 75% panel presentation and 25% question and answer or 25% presentation, 25% discussion, and 50% interactive activity, etc.).

6.    Session Materials

·   Please describe any materials that you will be distributing to participants.

7.    Audio-Visual and Other Equipment

·   Please list any audio-visual or other equipment you will bring with you (please indicate if electricity will be required).

·   Please list any audio-visual or other equipment you are requesting the Conference Committee provide for you (e.g. screen, projector, DVD player, flipchart & markers, etc.).  No guarantees regarding equipment can be made at this time.

8.    Housing for Presenters

If any of your presenters are traveling from out of town and would like a homestay arranged, please provide the following information:
·   Number of presenters requiring housing

·   Names of those requiring housing

·   Dates housing will be required (Thursday, October 1 to Sunday, October 4)

·   Whether you need a private room or are comfortable on a couch or floor

·   Whether you have any special needs (e.g. allergies, no pets, smoking/non-smoking, etc.)

You will be notified whether or not your proposal is accepted.  Notifications will be sent primarily via email and should be sent around the end of August.

If you have any questions about the conference or the proposal application process, please contact us at [log in to unmask].

We look forward to seeing you at EcoNvergence: Northwest Regional Gathering on the Economic and Ecological Crises in Portland, Oregon!
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