Call for Presenters 2024

The Twin Oaks Communities Conference is looking for presenters for this year’s event. If you are confident you should be presenting, please fill out the form. You can find it embedded in the post below, you can also go directly to the google form here.

If you are unsure, the following article introduces the culture of the event and background to help you decide. The application deadline is July 15. Submissions are considered on a rolling basis so early responses are encouraged. 

Please note this is the Call for Presenters of curated workshops on intentional communities. The Communities Conference has two types of workshops, these IC specific curated workshops which are selected in advance and Open Space workshops on any topic. The Open Space technique self selects for each workshop’s audience, so all are welcome to present on Sunday of the event. So if you hate filling out forms, aren’t sure yet what topic you’d like to focus on, or don’t want to be constrained by having your workshop focused in large part on intentional communities, the Open Space section of workshops is likely best for you.

We are especially looking for workshops on the two 2024 topic threads/themes:

  • How can communities network more effectively? 
  • How can our communities be more equitable and diverse?

Twin Oaks Communities Conference (TOCC) is looking for some compelling workshop presenters on the topic of intentional community. Perhaps you are asking yourself “Am I a talented workshop presenter?”, but there are other considerations as well. 

Here are some ways you can tell if your workshop might be a good fit for the TOCC:

Are you on topic? Let’s say you are an expert in sustainable building design, every community needs these types of structures, you have done dozens of workshops and seminars on how to design and build sustainable structures of many types. Certainly, it would seem you are an appropriate presenter for this event, but not necessarily.

The focus of this event is Intentional Communities (self-selecting, place-based, residential communities who share material and cultural things). The only way a workshop on sustainable design fits our program is if it demonstrates how this technology serves the needs of ICs specifically. The intentional community focus needs to be baked into the content of the workshop.

Are you flexible? We’re looking for workshop facilitators that can sense the energy level of the participants. Does it look like a playful group? Perhaps games and simulations will be helpful. Is this a serious (perhaps intense) group or topic? A Q&A or a hotseat format could be more appropriate. Conversely, perhaps the opposite prescription will work – the serious and intense folks could lighten up with games. 

The point is that you as the workshop presenter want to build a good connection with your participants and tailor your presentation to the group you have before you. One way to do this is with a go round (if there are less than 20 people), where you could ask everyone for a single sentence about why they are in the workshop. Their answers will guide you to adjust your presentation for their level of expertise and their areas of excitement.

Reflect on Impact Is it possible that you are going to share an exercise that will engage your participants beliefs or behavior? Is it likely they will be amused and entertained? We’re looking for workshops that will lead participants towards a greater understanding of themselves and how they present in community. How can we have more healthy and transparent relationships with fellow communitarians? How can libraries of shared material goods be created so we are living more sustainably and cooperatively? Can we be in romantic relationships with more than one person, in the same place? What are the details we can learn and share to live together more cooperatively? 

Are you an expert giving instructions, or a guide? What we’re looking for are interactive workshops that draw from the participants, or a guide helping the group explore. Most successful TOCC presentations begin with the premise that “The truth is in the room”. If your plan is to give a 90 minute lecture in a 90 minute workshop block, this is the wrong event for you to present at. We’re hoping for workshops that introduce participants to ideas that they perhaps have never considered before or advance beliefs which are challenging or engage everyone in the space, including the presenter. We’ve found that open-ended questions and role plays are methods that work well with our participants.

Not a fancy event: The conference will provide chairs, rain protection, white boards, and, with advance notice, some sound system, but we’re in quite a rustic environment. Your powerpoint presentation, for example, might dictate which workshop time slot your workshop will need to be in.

It’s important to us to maintain the low cost and low overhead for this conference, so we cannot afford to pay you to present. Presenters of curated workshops receive a free ticket to the conference. While paid travel reimbursement (such as plane or bus tickets) is unlikely, we can usually help coordinate transportation for presenters- especially those on the east coast or who are coming from an area near an established intentional community.

This is a typical workshop space at the comm conf

If you are convinced, fill out the form embedded below (if the embed is missing or difficult to use, you can access the Call for Presenters form directly here). The deadline for submission is July 15th. If you just want to buy a ticket and come to the event you can do so here, if cost is a concern discounted work exchange tickets are available. If you would like to receive email updates about this event you can sign up for our newsletter with the form on the right hand column of this page, RSVP on the event facebook page, or you can find all of the 2024 TOCC Updates on our blog here.

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