Session speakers share knowledge at 19NTC. (Image: NTEN)

20NTC session proposals: updates & changes

In a little over a week, we open the community-driven process to gather session proposals for the 2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference (20NTC), held in Baltimore, MD.

Session proposals open on July 8, 2019.

As always, we look for opportunities to continually evolve the conference based on attendee and speaker feedback, lessons learned, and new ideas we want to pilot. Here are the key changes and updates you can expect at 20NTC.

Continued Focus on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

NTEN continues to emphasize diversity, equity, and inclusion at the conference, including the proposal and session selection process. This year there will be a field on the proposal form that allows you to share how your session will directly support these efforts. The Session Advisory Committee will continue using this as part of their criteria as well and there will be new fields providing opportunities to share this type of information about your proposal during the community input part of the process.


Ignites are your opportunity to present from the main stage in front of 2,200 of your peers. In previous years applications to present an Ignite opened after the main session selection process was complete. Beginning this year, applications will be accepted during the same period of time as other sessions proposals. However, Ignites will continue to go through an internal review process only and will not be part of the public input process

An Expanded Presence of Short-Form Sessions

At 19NTC we piloted the use of a 30 min format to add both some variety to session formats and address the natural lull that comes directly after lunch. The response from both attendees and presenters was so positive that we’re extending the shorter format session to all three days. This means more unique sessions for attendees to choose from overall.

Community-Driven Sessions

As part of our continued exploration on better ways to include community-driven sessions to be more integrated with the rest of the program, we are exploring a new option this year. Rather than happening during lunch times, competing with educational sessions or only on the pre-conference day, we will be run community-driven events (such as Connect Sessions) in the late afternoons over the course of the three days of the conference. By making this shift, we will be putting our community-driven sessions in parallel with other community type event times rather than opposite them.

Session Advisory Committee — Final Review

The Session Advisory Committee will be adding an additional layer of review to the final selection of sessions. Historically, their votes are aggregated with community input to create a final score which is then used to build the final agenda. Beginning this year they will also look over the final selection to offer insights into missing key topics and the overall balance of topics within their assigned category.

Have additional questions or want to learn more? Join us for a free community call on July 9.

Ash Shepherd
Education Director
Ash has been in love with the nonprofit sector for nearly two decades, where he has worked in the areas of conservation, environmental education, social work, youth program development, and technology consulting. He has been an active member of the NTEN Community, serving as a co-organizer of Portland’s 501 Tech Club, and completing a three-year term on the NTEN: Change Journal's Editorial Committee. Ash earned a B.S. from the University of Montana in Resource Management and a Masters in Environment and Development from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in South Africa.