Call for Presenters

The Twin Oaks Communities Conference is looking for presenters for this year’s gathering which will take place Sept 1 through 4th in Louisa Virginia.  If you are confident you should be presenting, here is the form to become a presenter.  [Deadline Aug 1, 2023]

If you are unsure, the following article introduces the culture of the event and background to help you decide. Please note this is the Call for Presenters of curated workshops on intentional communities. There are also Open Space workshops where anyone can present on any topic without asking in advance.

We are especially looking for workshops on the two 2023 topic threads/themes:

  • Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion
  • How to found or find an intentional community

Should you offer a workshop at the Twin Oaks Communities Conference?

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?”  Here are some ways you can tell:

“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, 

“The truth is in the room”: What we’re looking for are interactive workshops that draw from the participants and the collective truth from the room. If your plan is to give a lecture, 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.

The room has no walls, but the truth is still in there

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. You could do a go round (if there are less than 20 people) and 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.

Flexible is key [Image by Bing/Dalle]

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?  

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 space you 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, although we can provide presenters with a free or reduced cost ticket.  We can also help coordinate transportation for presenters from many places.

If you are convinced, here is the Call for Presenters form to complete, and the deadline for submission is Aug 1st.  If you just want to buy a ticket and come to the event here is the link, if cost is a concern you can request a discounted work exchange ticket here.  If you want to read about how to get the most out of this conference check out this article.  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 simply read them on the communities conference blog (Here is Update 1).

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, or don’t want to be constrained by having your workshop in part on intentional communities, the Open Space section of workshops is likely best for you.

We are very proud to have Avi Kruley and Sky Blue doing the keynote address: Doing the Impossible: Generating what we need to manifest the potential of Intentional Community

Avi & Sky

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