What we learned from the 20NTC session proposal process

The 20NTC session selection process is underway with over 600 proposals submitted! However, we want to share that we made a mistake and have learned from the experience.

We require that anyone submitting a session have an “Organization” affiliation listed in their profile. Our guidelines include session application limits for individuals and teams or organizations to avoid having large organizations overrepresented. We failed to include enough information in the proposal support materials and on the proposal page that you could list an entity you work for, your name, or anything else that makes sense for your work. We do not require that people have to work for an established organization to submit sessions. But we see now how unclear and confusing that was in this year’s proposal process.

Learning, changing, improving, and doing so transparently is part of NTEN’s values. We are sorry to all those who felt excluded from the session proposal process this year because of the affiliation requirement. We appreciate the community member who took the time and energy to bring this to our attention.

We have already made notes and decisions around how to improve this so that you’ll see a clearer direction next year. And for anyone who experienced this and would like to discuss it further, please feel free to email me. Onward!

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.