Hi folks — I’m on the Board of Netroots Nation and also on the Agenda Committee. I believe strongly in this organization. The first Netroots Nation, then Yearly Kos, was so dynamic and inspirational that it’s one of the reasons I started this blog in the first place and co-founded it with Jack Turner.

This is the fifth anniversary and we’re going back to Las Vegas. Who’s we? Well, only thousands of bloggers, journalists, lawmakers, candidates (and their staff) plus activists and NGOs from around the country. It’s an amazing energy — you’ve got to be there to believe. It makes the news each year.

Today is the deadline for panel submissions (although due to the snopocalypse, they are being understanding if you need another day or two). Diversity is very important to the conference organizers so I’d really urge you to apply. I’ll be looking out for ya, although I can’t make any promises. Certainly though we will be alert to new voices and ideals for panels. So please do consider pulling together a panel.

Here’s more info:

In order to create the most well-rounded agenda possible, we need your help. As members of the community, we ask you to help us develop and organize the sessions you’ll attend at Netroots Nation 2010.

The deadline for submissions is February 8, 2010.

Click here to submit a Session Proposal for Netroots Nation 2010

We’re looking for sessions that range from policy discussions to best practices to case studies. Netroots Nation panels run the gamut of progressive policy, but we’ve set a few priority areas this year. We’ll be sure to cover these areas:

  • Immigration reform
  • Employee free choice/labor topics
  • Economic/financial reform topics
  • Organizing around the 2010 election
  • Organizing for long term systematic and infrastructure changes to our political process

We also want forward-looking ideas, ones that provide attendees with tools to make change and ideas to build upon. Feel free to browse our archive of previous sessions and check out our video archiveto see what has been done in years past.

Things to think about when preparing a submission:

  • How does the session help the broader progressive movement? How will it teach and empower activists to take what they’ve learned and use it for the greater good?
  • Does your session offer a fresh angle? One of the Netroots’ great strengths is its ability to shun conventional wisdom in favor of a new approach. Each session should offer a Netroots hook and cover interesting topics from new perspectives.
  • If we have similar ideas that are submitted, we reserve the right to work with both submitters to include the best ideas and most diverse participants.
  • No astroturfing. A session is not for the sole purpose of selling your book, non-profit, business, software, website idea or Facebook application.
  • We strive for diversity at Netroots Nation. We favor sessions that offer a range of diversity (ethnicity, gender, age, viewpoints, geography, etc) over those that do not. If your session is accepted we may ask you to make panelist changes accordingly.
  • Does your idea engage an underrepresented community? Does it reach out beyond the traditional areas of the Netroots to other activists who may not yet identify with our community?
  • Give it a simple and straightforward title or name: Clever titles and/or descriptions make it harder for people (committee and attendees) to figure out what you’re really talking about
  • Take a look at some tips for writing a successful speaking proposal.

The nuts and bolts of a Netroots Nation session:

  • The deadline for session submissions is Monday, February 8, 2010.
  • Organizers will be notified the week of April 5, 2010 about their submissions.
  • Sessions are almost always scheduled for 75 minutes. There are rare exceptions made, but this is by far the most common. Structuring your time to provide as much audience interaction as possible is encouraged.
  • On the submission form there is a long drop-down list that asks you to pick a category for your panel. This helps the Selection Committee group similar ideas together and isn’t etched in stone, so don’t over-think it.
  • You don’t need to have specific names for each panel role. Feel free to include a role/title as opposed to a specific name. (examples are: “Expert on Government Transparency” or “State-level blogger who specializes in X” or “Local Labor Union Rep”) Use the “Panelist Info” field to further describe who the possible participants might be and what they would discuss.
  • By submitting a proposal, you are taking responsibility as the organizer of the session. It is your responsibility to secure commitments from all participants, communicate with your panelists about the panel and Netroots Nation news, to monitor logistics for your session (such as exceptional AV needs) and to enter all of the data about your session and its participants into our participant portal (details on the portal will be provided at a later date).
  • The three broad criteria sessions will be judge upon are: (1) Is this a session we should have? Is the idea creative, interesting and relevant? Would you attend this session? (2) Does it engage an under represented community? Is it a unique mix of panelists? Are panelists diverse? (3) Does it empower attendees? Will it be an interactive session? Does it give people tools or allow for action beyond NN?

Organizer roles and responsibilities:

  • If needed, speakers and organizers may request up to 5 complimentary registrations per panel. Speakers and organizers are responsible for booking and paying for their own travel expenses. Information about Netroots Nation’s hotel block can be found here (http://www.netrootsnation.org/location)
  • If you’re selected to speak on a panel and you’ve already purchased a registration to attend Netroots Nation 2010, Netroots Nation’s refund policy still applies.
  • The organizer and panelists should promote and engage the session prior to Netroots Nation. This can include blog posts, tweets, diaries, social networking, etc.
  • The Organizer will be expected to arrange one or more conference calls with speakers and members of the selection committee prior to Netroots Nation to discuss content and format.

Because of the nature of this submission process, some session organizers may be asked to combine similar proposals. The proposals will be judged by a panel comprised of people from all corners of the Netroots based on the criteria above.

The Selection Committee includes: Netroots Nation staff members Raven Brooks, Mary Rickles and Nolan Treadway; Jenifer Fernandez Ancona; Adam Bonin (aka Adam B); Cheryl Contee (aka Jill Tubman); Nathaniel Charny (NN Program Coordinator 2007-10); Carolyn Dulchinos (aka No One Owns Me); Barry Kendall; Tina Lee; Mike Lux of OpenLeft.comJackie Mahendra; Adam MordecaiMichael MoschellaTanya TarrMarcy Wheeler.

If you have questions on the session submission process, please feel free to email us at panels2010 at netrootsnation.org

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