2023 Virtual Conference: Fostering Conversations on Questions that Matter

October 31 – November 2

Core to the work of Smithsonian Affiliations is catalyzing public engagement, sparking curiosity and learning, and ultimately inspiring a deeper understanding of our world and how it can be changed for the better. We know that to make this kind of change, we have to start—and continue—to have conversations with our audiences, our stakeholders, our colleagues, and ourselves. We have to commit to looking deep within our organizations to amplify untold or neglected perspectives, experiences, and stories of people and communities, and be sure they are represented in all that we do. This is ongoing work, and at the 2023 Smithsonian Affiliations Virtual Conference, we will come together to hear from different and diverse perspectives sharing the ways we are all fostering conversations around questions that matter.

Smithsonian Affiliates and Smithsonian colleagues are invited to join us over three, half-days of sessions and workshops that can lead to new ideas and rich collaborations. The relationships we build when our Affiliate and Smithsonian colleagues share their work often results in projects that reach new and greater audiences and provide a platform for initiating important and often crucial conversations.

2023 Session and Workshop Proposal Guidelines

Download the full proposal guidelines here.

The Program Committee seeks proposals that share successes and challenges, opportunities for collaboration, resource sharing, and brainstorming about your work with programs, education, exhibitions, research, collections, administration, policy, fundraising, communications, and more.

Questions to ask yourself as you develop your session and/or workshop idea:

  • What are the conversations you are having, or should be having—internally and externally—to be more intentional in your work?
  • Who is driving the conversation?
  • How are you having these conversations?
  • How are conversations with your stakeholders informing your work?

Only current Smithsonian Affiliates and Smithsonian staff may submit proposals. Each session must have an organizer responsible for identifying and confirming speakers and coordinating logistics with the Smithsonian Affiliations conference planner. All presenters must be available to present on any conference day or time until final session agenda is confirmed. Sessions may be pre-recorded, but speakers must be available for Q&A on the date the session is scheduled. All sessions and workshops will take place within a Zoom meeting.

Proposals must be submitted online through the Smithsonian Affiliations website. You cannot save and return to the form once you have started your session proposal.

Session proposals are due by CLOSE OF BUSINESS (5 pm ET) on MONDAY, JUNE 26, 2023.

The Smithsonian Affiliations Virtual Conference is for current Smithsonian Affiliates and Smithsonian staff members only. If you are interested in learning more about a Smithsonian Affiliation, please visit our Applying for Affiliation pages.