Community input on 20NTC proposals is now open

It’s time to shape the educational agenda for the 2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference (20NTC)! Over 600 proposals were submitted this year, so we need your help deciding which ones will become sessions next March in Baltimore. You can review all the proposals and select your favorites through August 30.

Each year we try to improve the selection process based on community feedback. Here’s a quick summary of what’s new for 20NTC.

Clean-up week

This year we added a week between when proposals closed and when we open for community input to do some high-level review and clean up of proposals. For the past week we’ve been:

  • Adjusting appropriate category and tag assignments
  • Removing inappropriate language
  • Fixing significant formatting errors (copy and paste gone awry)

Goodbye, voting. Hello, favoriting.

Input from the community has always been central to selecting sessions for the NTC, but it’s not the sole decider. Public input is 60% of a final weighted score with the remaining 40% coming from the Session Advisory Committee. Even with this final score, creating a balanced agenda within and across each of the categories can mean a proposal voted on by many people may still not be accepted for a variety of reasons.

In recent years, we heard that displaying the public vote count reinforced the mistaken belief that it was all that determined if a session was selected. To help address this, we’re implementing two changes:

  1. Instead of voting for a proposal, we’re asking you to choose your favorites. You’re not committing to attend them if they’re selected to be sessions. We’re just asking you to think about which topics would be relevant, practical, and of high quality to conference attendees.
  2. We’re not displaying how many times a proposal is favorited. Since there’s not a direct correlation between community input and session selection, we’ve stopped implying this process is voting for sessions.

Community input on final selection

The last step in session selection is ensuring there is a balanced agenda within and across topic categories. We’ll also make sure any critical topics are not missing from the lineup. If so, we’ll hold spots for these topics and seek to fill them. To increase opportunities for community input in our process, the Session Advisory Committee will be included in this final step as well.

If you have any questions about the community input process then please feel free to email us. Otherwise, you have until Friday, August 30 to review the proposals. Start favoriting today!

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.