Welcoming Session Proposals

Please respond no later than MondayFebruary 22, 2021

The Organization Design Forum is a global professional association linking practitioners, organizational leaders, academics, and students in ongoing learning about the field of organization design.

As a cornerstone event for the ODF community, the annual conference offers exploration and learning around the latest developments, theories, and practices of organization design.  Focused on expanding the toolkits of practitioners, as well leaders, academics, and students, the Conference provides opportunities for knowledge sharing in a highly participative format for building connections and networks within the organization design community.

Designing Authentic Connections . . .

Why this for our 2021 Theme?


2020 challenged us all to excel in different ways of working. Organization designers, already at the forefront in exploring and implementing ways of working and operating model innovations, were optimally positioned for the acceleration of change in the last year.  Remote work, future of work, decentralization, global organizations, and recent innovations such as outdoor offices, ghost kitchens, and virtual socials have long been organization design topics. ​

The distinct difference is a new scope and scale regarding distance.  More and more, we are working with people who we do not see or speak to every day, or perhaps, have never met face-to-face, all while trying to deliver value to stakeholders.  We will be meeting people and building our personal networks in an entirely different context and environment in the future.

Join us at our virtual conference this June where we will be exploring:​

  • Beyond corridors:  how will we design organizations and work-life to foster authentic relationships, collaboration, and connection in a largely, if not entirely, virtual workplace?​
  • Who do we need to be:  what is the future of an Organization Designer in our roles as practitioners and facilitators?

Call for Knowledge-Sharing Presentation Proposals

We are looking for dynamic, outside the box thinkers who will engage our conference participants in diverse conversation and experiential learning.

ODF is committed to providing a conference experience that inspires, connects, enables, and supports the exciting work of organization design.  Join a group of experienced, committed, enthusiastic practitioners to learn and share client needs and solutions that advance organizational capacities to more nimbly adapt and innovate.

Inspire us with your creative session design!

This year we are looking for sessions that will actively engage attendees in a virtual setting. To optimize engagement and learning we will be partnering with HowSpace, a social event platform and AI-powered digital facilitation tool that thrives on high levels of involvement and collaboration.  We aspire to provide our attendees with both asynchronous and synchronous knowledge-sharing opportunities and a fun and memorable way. (And, yes, we will collaborate with presenters in getting the most out of the platform.) 

Click or tap to learn more!

Wow us with your creativity!

We are giving you the freedom to propose a session with very few boundaries that have existed in previous years.

We have provided three examples of session lengths and types below:

20 minutes

  • A brief presentation or demonstration
  • A lab or small group experiential exercise
  • A pre-recorded lesson or pre-read with debrief discussion

45 minutes

  • Peer Workshop with knowledge sharing followed by small group engagement
  • A problem solving session – bring a challenge for open discussion
  • A pre-recording lesson or reading with de-brief discussion

90 minutes

  • Keynote with a deep dive into the topic incorporating participant interaction
  • A case-study including your client, with interactive discussion at key points
  • Panel Discussion that you design and provide the participants

How to Provide a Submission

In the past we have asked submissions be in the form of a standard template. This year you have carte blanche on your proposal, so get creative! We are happy to see presentations, videos, documents. Whatever you like, just make it creative!

Remember, we’ll help with integrating your design into HowSpace.

When you’re ready to share your proposal, you can click on the scrolling “submission button” or email [email protected]

  •  Please ensure that your submission clearly covers:

  • Why your session topic will draw in attendees – Specific content that is likely to be of high interest to ODF community members – appealing to a diverse, global audience and offering ideas, case studies, etc., that can be adapted and executed in organizations of all types and sizes.

  • Relevance of your session to our theme (Designing Authentic Connections We are looking for topics that address the practical applications of organization design work and also provide thought leadership on future trends.

  • How your session is going to be fun and interactive – Our guideline is you limit your speaking to 15-20 minutes between group conversation and/or participant exercises. We are looking for new and ‘out of the box’ ways for participants to engage while learning. Go beyond the traditional conference presentation format and have a little fun playing with alternative concepts!

  • How your session will be well received in a virtual setting – Sessions that have been designed to specifically embrace digital delivery. Sessions that work in-person do not work as well in a virtual environment.

  • Any fun tools, techniques, and tips attendees will walk away with – The extent the proposal offers experiential exercises with tangible, practical information / skills / tools.  Or, alternatively, a collaborative session that will engage participants as solution architects for an interesting, current organizational challenge.

Benefits of Presenting:

  • An opportunity to influence representatives from major corporations and organizations who are very supportive of organization design and influence the design-related decisions their organizations make.
  • The opportunity for exposure to an audience of global organization designers.
  • An opportunity for peer review of new organization design methodologies, processes, and tools.
  • Authors can market and sell their books and resources throughout the conference.
  • Work with an assigned coach who will assist you in tailoring your presentation to ensure a successful outcome at the conference, making it a win-win for the presenter and the audience.
  • ODF does not offer speaking fees. However, we will waive the general conference registration fee for one presenter for each session, as a token of our appreciation and to encourage participation in the entire conference.

Submission FAQs

Does ODF pay speakers to present at the conference?

No. ODF is a non-profit community driven organization which looks for speakers who wish to be part of a community of deep Org Design practitioners. Conference registration is waived for chosen speakers, so you benefit from being able to attend the rest of our sessions free of charge.

Will I be able to join the rest of the conference?

Presenters are encouraged to attend and participate in the entire conference as both a collaborator in knowledge-sharing and a participant.

When will the Agenda be shared?

We hope to have the agenda published in late March.

If you have attended an ODF Conference, you know the consistently high quality of our programs and the dynamic mix of our attendees.  We will share more details on our speakers in the coming weeks.

Do you have a referral program?

Yes! Refer a first-time conference attendee and if you attend the conference, to recognize your support to grow the community, we’ll put you in a drawing for a $200 Amazon Gift Card. Each person you refer will give you an additional chance to win!

When will registration open?

Registration will open soon. An email will be sent out providing the link to register for the conference.

Will there be planning sessions?

Yes, we will be holding planning sessions to discuss the platform and design of your session.

Will I receive guidance or coaching for my presentation?

Presenters agree to work with an assigned conference coach who will advise on the design of your experience so it integrates into the theme and flow of the conference, as well as assisting in ensuring that the engagement/presentation methodology is interactive.

What is the Conference Design or Agenda?

Presenters agree to present on any one of the days of the conference (TBC between June 8 – 17), as decided by the Conference Design Team.  Schedule requests may be made for special circumstance, however, the Design Team may not be able to honor those requests as they work through the “art” of designing conference activities and flow.

What is the primary purpose of my presentation?

It is intended that every conference session will be designed as an educational offering aimed at advancing the skills, knowledge, and tools of practitioners. Presenters must commit to keeping their sessions interactive, with significant practical, adaptable examples, tools, and case studies. They also agree to refrain from including any sales messages in their presentations.

How will my materials be used?

Conference presenters agree to provide electronic submissions of their presentations and handouts on or before published ODF deadlines. Presenters will retain the copyright to original work, but will need to grant permission to ODF for the downloading or distribution of their content via ODF’s website as a .pdf file. 

Will equipment be provided?

Presenters will be asked to use their own audio/visual equipment for their session. We will conduct pre-conference testing to ensure that video and audio quality is adequate. In 2020 there were some cases where ODF purchased HQ microphones for presenters to ensure audio quality. This will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

Can I do my own marketing for the conference?

Yes! We encourage presenters to invite their network to join the conference.  Presenters agree to start a conversation within ODF’s LinkedIn Group and to participate in conversation threads encouraging interest in their presentation, and in the conference.  We aim to engage the registrants before, during, and after the conference.


What if I have more questions?

You can reach out to our administrator, Tanya, at [email protected]