Propose a Panel

The submission period for Netroots Nation 2020 opens February 3. Below are some key dates that relate to the selection process and agenda roll-out.

The submission period has now closed. Proposals are being evaluated and scored, and selections will be announced in April.

Submissions open February 3
Submission webinar* February 11 (3pm ET)
Submission webinar* February 25 (3pm ET)
Submissions close February 28
Public voting period March 4-9
Selections announced Late April 2020
Netroots Nation August 13-15, Denver

What to Submit

Here are a few things to consider when preparing your submission:

  • We strive for full inclusion and favor sessions that offer a range of diversity (ethnicity, gender, age, viewpoint, geography, etc). In 2019, 76% of our selected speakers were people of color; 64% were women; and 28% identify as LGBTQ. If your proposal is accepted, we may ask you to make changes to reflect our commitment to diversity.
  • Panels with a variety of viewpoints and/or that cross silos are preferred. The most interesting sessions bring in multiple perspectives.
  • How will your session help move progressive ideas forward? Can the case study of your campaign provide lessons for those working on other issues? Does your issue or discussion inspire activists to take action and provide suggestions on how and where to get started?
  • Does your idea engage an underrepresented community? Does it reach out to activists who may not yet identify with the progressive movement?
  • No astroturfing. A session is not for the sole purpose of selling your book, non-profit, business, software, website idea or Facebook application.
  • Submit early if possible! This helps us gauge issue interest and see how much speaker/topic overlap exists.
  • Give your panel a simple and straightforward title or name. Unclear but clever titles and/or descriptions make it harder for attendees to know what your session is really about.
  • Don’t just submit a bio for your proposed speakers; explain the expertise/role they bring to your session. Are they intended to be a dissenting voice? Did they run an important campaign? Are they organizing on the ground for your issue?


Things to Remember

When submitting, remember:

  • Panels should include a moderator and no more than four panelists.
  • We highly encourage Q&A or other audience interaction.
  • Session blocks are 60 minutes. We’ll do our best to accommodate scheduling needs of your participants but cannot guarantee timing.
  • Because we have more than 400 presenters each year, we ask that speakers/trainers pay for their registrations. For those who need assistance, we offer subsidized registrations. This discounted earlybird speaker rate is $195 for the full conference. In addition, on a limited basis, we will waive all fees based on need. Information on how to request a complimentary pass will be sent to panel organizers once sessions are accepted.
  • The panel process is very competitive, so sessions that are incomplete or not clearly written won’t fare well. It’s possible to submit “TBD Speakers” but remember, you’ll be judged against other submissions that are more complete, which could put yours at a disadvantage.
  • On the submission form, you will be asked what level of commitment you’ve secured from each speaker. The review committee may consider panels with confirmed or tentative speakers ahead of those with no prior contact.
  • Once the submission period closes, the public will have a chance to vote on the sessions they want to see presented in Denver. This public vote is one consideration used in scoring the panel submissions. Proposals are also broken up by issue area or topic and reviewed by small committees of community leaders. Panels that advance past the first round are then reviewed again by the 2020 final selection committee, which makes the final decisions about what sessions are ultimately presented at Netroots Nation.


Organizer Roles and Responsibilities

  • 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 regarding session details, monitor logistics for your session (such as special AV needs) and enter information about your session and speakers into our participant portal.
  • As panel organizer, you play a pivotal role as intermediary between Netroots Nation staff and your panelists. We’ll do our best to ensure you are kept up to date, but you will hold the primary responsibility for communicating information to your panelists. If we’re not getting responses from you in a timely manner, we may cancel your session.
  • Each speaker and moderator will be required to register at the speaker rate.
  • Speakers and organizers are responsible for booking and paying for their own travel expenses. Information about our 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, our refund policy applies.
  • There are a lot of things going on during a session block, so we encourage you and your panelists to promote your session in advance. Many organizers and panelists have had great success starting the conversation before Netroots Nation even begins through blog posts, social media and listservs.

If you have questions, send an email to