Panel Submission Timeline
Panel Submissions Open Feb 10, 2016
Submission Deadline March 11, 2016
First round of selections Approx April 22, 2016
Final selection Approx May 10, 2016
Netroots Nation July 14-17, 2016
St. Louis, MO

Make sure to check out our 2015 program to see what was presented last year.

Please note we’ve made some changes to the panel and training submissions: This year, for the first time, we are opening up voting for panels and trainings to the public. Panels can be viewed here and trainings can be viewed here. When the voting period closes, the top 10 panels and top 4 trainings with the most votes will automatically get a spot at Netroots Nation 2016 in St. Louis. The rest of the panels (that aren’t selected by public vote) will be turned over to our selection committees.

Things to think about when preparing a submission:

  • We strive for diversity at Netroots Nation. We favor sessions that offer a range of diversity (ethnicity, gender, age, viewpoints, geography, etc) over those that do not. For reference, in 2015, based on the submissions as accepted, 62% of our speakers were people of color and 63% were women. If your session is accepted, we may ask you to make changes to reflect our commitment to diversity.
  • Unlike in previous years, panels and training submissions will be posted online for voting as soon as they are submitted. Not all fields are displayed publicly and those fields are identified on the form.
  • Submit early! The panels are posted as soon as they’re submitted and voting begins immediately, so submit early!
  • Give it a simple and straightforward title or name. Clever titles and/or descriptions can be unclear and make it harder for people (selection committee members and attendees) to figure out what your session is really about.
  • How does the session help the broader progressive movement? Can the case study of your campaign provide lessons for those working on other issues? Does your issue or policy discussion inspire activists to take action and provide suggestions on where to get started?
  • Does your session offer a fresh angle? Does it challenge the audience? One of the Netroots’ great strengths is its ability to shun conventional wisdom in favor of a new approach. Each session should offer a Netroots hook and cover interesting topics from new perspectives.
  • Panels with a variety of viewpoints and/or that cross silos are preferred. Please avoid having many voices who are essentially saying the same thing or represent similar interests. It is more interesting to bring in other perspectives!
  • No astroturfing. A session is not for the sole purpose of selling your book, non-profit, business, software, website idea or Facebook application.
  • Does your idea engage an underrepresented community? Does it reach out beyond the traditional areas of the Netroots to other activists who may not yet identify with our community?
  • If we have similar ideas that are submitted, we reserve the right to work with both submitters to include the best ideas and most diverse participants.
  • Have you built in interaction with the audience? The expertise in the audience is just as valuable as the expertise at the table.
  • Don’t just submit a bio for speakers/trainers. We’d like to know who the speaker is, but more importantly what expertise they bring to the table and what role you see them playing on the panel. Are they intended to be a dissenting voice? Did they run an important campaign? Are they organizing on the ground for your issue?

The nuts and bolts of a Netroots Nation session:

  • The deadline for session submissions is March 11, 2016.
  • There is a registration cost for panelists, trainers and speakers. Because we have more than 400 speakers each year, we ask that panelists and trainers pay something to help us cover some of the cost of attendance. The earlybird speaker rate is just $125 for the entire conference (less than the cost of a day pass), it will increase as the conference approaches. We will also be offering exemptions to this policy based on need. You will be able to request a complimentary speaker pass for your panelists after panels have been accepted, and we’ll send that information to along to panel organizers at that time. If you have more questions about this policy, email us at
  • Put your best foot forward with your submission. What you write is the only thing the committee will be able to judge. The panel process is incredibly competitive, so sessions which are incomplete, poorly thought out or not clearly written won’t fare well. It’s possible to submit “TBD Speakers” but you’ll be judged against other submissions which are more complete and this could put you at a disadvantage.
  • On the submission form, you are asked what level of commitment you’ve secured from each speaker, the review committee will consider panels with confirmed speakers ahead of those with unconfirmed speakers.
  • Panel submissions are broken up by category and reviewed by about a dozen committees made up of experts and community members. We will inform session organizers in early April if they have made it through the first round of selections.
  • Those panels which advance passed the first round are given to the final selection committee, which makes the final decision about which panels are presented at NN16. We will inform session organizers of our final decision in early May.
  • The panel will be scheduled for Thursday, Friday or Saturday, July 14, 15 or 16. We’ll do our best to accommodate scheduling needs of panelists, but cannot guarantee timing. Panels are scheduled for 75 minutes.
  • By submitting a proposal, you are taking responsibility as the organizer of the session. It is your responsibility to secure commitments from all participants, communicate with your panelists about the panel and Netroots Nation news, monitor logistics for your session (such as special AV needs) and enter all of the data about your session and its participants into our participant portal (details on the portal will be provided at a later date).
  • Because of the nature of this submission process, we may ask some session organizers to combine similar proposals.

Organizer roles and responsibilities:

  • Each speaker and moderator will be required to register for Netroots Nation. The earlybird speaker rate is just $125 for the entire conference (less than the cost of a day pass), it will increase as the conference approaches. We will also be offering panel a limited pool of scholarships based on need. We’ll provide more information about that process after panels have been accepted. If you’re communicating with potential panelists before you submit you should be sure to mention this new policy.We will be offering panel organizers scholarships based on need. If you have more questions about this policy, email us at
  • Speakers and organizers are responsible for booking and paying for their own travel expenses. Information about Netroots Nation’s hotel block can be found here.
  • If you’re selected to speak on a panel and you’ve already purchased a registration to attend Netroots Nation, Netroots Nation’s refund policy applies.
  • The organizer and panelists should promote the session in advance of Netroots Nation. Many organizers and panelists have had great success starting the conversation of the session before Netroots Nation even begins through blog posts, social media, listservs, etc. There’s a lot of competition in each time slot, so you have to promote yourself to get the best audience in the room.
  • The organizer will be expected to arrange one or more conference calls with speakers and members of the selection committee prior to Netroots Nation to discuss content and format.
  • As a panel organizer, you will play a pivotal role as an intermediary between Netroots Nation and your panelists. Netroots Nation will do all we can to make ensure you are kept up to date, but you will hold the primary responsibility for communicating information to your panelists. We’ll also need your help to ensure all speakers are confirmed in a timely manner and submit bios and photos to our web site. If we’re not getting responses from you in a timely manner we reserve the right to cancel your session and replace it with another.

If you have questions, please feel free to email us at panelsNN16 at

Netroots Nation 2017