Submit a Proposal

The Call for Proposals is now open!

Before you submit a proposal, please review the Call for Proposal components and the Review Criteria to understand how proposals will be assessed.

Those with questions about the submission process are encouraged to attend one of three Office Hours being held throughout the month of September. You may also reach out to with questions.

About the Forum

The National Adaptation Forum gathers the climate adaptation community to foster knowledge exchange, innovation, and mutual support for a better tomorrow. The Forum includes opportunities for professional development through formal training sessions, facilitated presentations, and informal knowledge sharing and networking opportunities. You can learn more by exploring the yellow menu above.

The National Adaptation Forum seeks to cultivate a dynamic culture of collaboration that transcends boundaries, uniting diverse disciplines, cultures, professions, and communities. By weaving together a rich tapestry of perspectives, the Forum aims to catalyze meaningful dialogue and innovative problem-solving. As you prepare your proposal, we hope you’ll keep this culture of collaboration in mind and embrace new partnerships, worldviews, and knowledge forms.

The 6th National Adaptation Forum will be held from May 14 – 16, 2024 at the RiverCentre in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Overview and Key Planning Milestones

  • The main program will be held from May 14-16, 2024, with pre-event, partner-led programming on Monday, May 13, 2023.
  • The event will take place at the RiverCentre in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Two hotel blocks are available for attendees at the Intercontinental Saint Paul and the Hampton Inn and Suites Downtown Saint Paul.
  • Please note that all attendees will be required to pay a full registration fee. Registration fees will not be waived for session organizers, speakers, facilitators, moderators, or note takers. If registration fees will be a barrier to attendance, please reach out to Attendance support will likely be available through a separate application process, determinant upon sponsor contributions (if your organization would like to support attendance, please see our sponsorship page).

Submission and Review Timeline

This is a draft timeline. Dates are subject to change as the program development continues.

Call for ProposalsAugust 28, 2023September 22, 2023
Proposal ReviewsOctober 2023Early November 2023
Acceptances (Rolling Basis)December 2023Early February 2023
Draft Program ReleasedEarly March 2024
Final Session Details DueEarly April 2024
Final Program ReleasedLate April 2024

Draft 2024 Forum Schedule

All times are displayed in the central time zone.

The schedule is subject to change as the program is solidified.

Click the image above to view the draft schedule

Forum Office Hours

Questions about the Call for Proposals? Join us for Office Hours! During Forum Office Hours, we will:

  • Provide an overview of the Call for Proposals
  • Provide an overview of the Review Criteria that will be used to assess proposals
  • Answer any questions you have about preparing or submitting a proposal

There are no more office hours sessions. A recording of the first session and slides can be found below.

Call for Proposal Components

To encourage and create space for a diverse range of speakers and participation in this year’s event, attendees may only present/participate in one session. Exceptions may be made for groups explicitly mentioned in the Forum Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice, and Belonging goals, and for early career professionals.

Proposal Sections

The following information must be provided for each submitted proposal.

For accepted proposals, session organizers assume responsibility for meeting all deadlines established by the Forum organizers and serving as the liaison between the Forum organizers and session speakers. This includes confirming final speakers, coordinating all aspects of session logistics and flow, submitting final session details, and communicating any session changes or requests to Forum organizers in a timely manner. The session organizer is not required to have a speaking role in their session.

Additional co-organizers can be added in the “Proposed Contributors” section. If you are submitting an individual presentation, you will be the session organizer and contributor/speaker.

The following information will need to be provided for the individual submitting the proposal:

  • Name
  • Position
  • Affiliation
  • Organization Type
  • Pronouns (optional)
  • Email
  • Phone Number
  • Race/Ethnicity (optional)
  • Additional Demographic Information (optional) – Is there anything else about your identities you’d like us to know?
  • Accommodations (optional) – Are there access needs or disability accommodations that you would like to request?

Session/Presentation Title

15-word limit. Provide a title for this session.

Session/Presentation Description

200-word limit. Provide a description of the session.

The description should outline the session’s key focus and objectives in an accessible and concise manner, balancing high-level themes with specific content to be covered. Descriptions should also include expected takeaways for participants and any potential outcomes that could help to catalyze action beyond the session itself. Session descriptions should be provided in paragraph form to align with the final program format. If you need help crafting your proposal, please plan to attend one of the three Forum Office Hours taking place throughout September.

200-word limit. NAF expects that DEIJ considerations are an element of all presented materials. NAF aims to center DEIJ because Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, low-income individuals, people with disabilities, people who are neurodiverse, youth, and older adults, among others, have historically been more sensitive, underserved, or more exposed to the impacts of climate change, thus bearing a disproportionate burden of climate change. 

Additionally, many of these groups have historically, and continue to be, excluded from discussions on climate adaptation solutions and actions. Many of these groups experience relatively more challenges in accessing resources to cope and adapt to climate change, and without involving people with these lived experiences and perspectives, adaptation solutions may reinforce structural inequities or introduce new types of structural inequities that further maintain injustices and disparities. 

NAF encourages you to think critically about how DEIJ is centered in your presentation content. Some of the ways that DEIJ can be centered are listed below. We also encourage presenters to review the DEIJ criterion to understand how proposals will be assessed.

  • Does the listed presenter(s) have lived experiences due to their race, ethnicity, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, neurodiversity, age, career stage, income level, or others?
  • Were specific frontline community groups – or groups that bear a disproportionate burden of climate change while also facing relatively more challenges in adapting to climate change – engaged as part of the project or presentation? 
  • Does the presentation or work address systemic and structural inequities that are exacerbated by or intersect with climate change? 
  • Are there any other DEIJ considerations – such as linguistic diversity, visual accessibility, or innovative approaches that consider intersectionality – that were part of the project? 
  • Is the structure of the presentation carefully crafted in such a way that it is accessible to all people including those who are neurodiverse, those who learn and process information through different processing pathways, and/or those with disabilities? (e.g., shifting away from information dumps or slide-based content, high contrast materials, live captions)

Select one of the following session format options. An “other” option can also be selected, then further described in the “Session Format Details” section.

The Forum encourages proposal submissions that utilize interactive, creative formats and move away from more traditional academic, PowerPoint-centric presentations.  Stories, live experiences, writings, and art are all welcome. You are invited to share in any and all formats that feel accessible to you. 

We encourage you to review this document for additional ideas and formats that can be employed to make your session more interactive and accessible for people with neurodivergence and different styles of learning.

All sessions will be an hour and a half in length. 

  • Working Group: A session focused on a single issue, topic, or question for participants to explore collaboratively. The topic is presented with sufficient context for participants to engage in small group discussion or activities, which is then followed by report outs, a full group discussion, or another exercise to elevate group takeaways. We encourage session organizers to explore the “World Café” and “Birds of a Feather” formats when structuring Working Groups; however, these are not the only formats suited to the Working Group structure.
  • Symposium: A session on a specific topic featuring a moderated panel discussion, a series of presentations, or another format of your choice. Session organizers should describe their chosen Symposium format in the “Session Format Details” section.
  • Poster Presentation: A poster, or objects such as natural materials, artwork, and other visual representations of adaptation, on display at the Networking Reception and Forum breaks to share a particular project, research, or tool. Accepted posters (or objects) will – to the greatest degree possible – be arranged and displayed by priority topic area. Objects, for example, may be a collection of shells that hold meaning in climate work or artwork representing changing perspectives on climate change and adaptation.
  • Training: A presentation or demonstration of a particular framework, tool, method, or skill followed by hands-on exercises for participants to deepen their understanding of the topic and/or explore ways to begin applying the topic to their own practice/setting.
  • Tools Café: Present an online adaptation tool or a suite of tools that help to address a broader topic/challenge. Each presenter will give a short lightning talk to introduce their tool and then participants will circulate throughout the room to demo tools.
  • Individual Oral Presentation: Individuals may submit an individual presentation proposal that aligns with one of our 11 special session topic areas or a topic of their choice. Individual presentations are 15 minutes in length and will be grouped together to form a cohesive session.
  • Other: If an entirely different format is being considered for the session, select this option and describe the session format further in the Session Format Details section.

Session Format Details

100-word limit. Describe the structure and flow of your session, especially if there are any major planned deviations from the session format selected above. For interactive session formats, please describe how you plan to engage attendees. For Working Groups, Trainings, and Symposia, we suggest you leave at least 20 minutes for Q&A or group discussion/report-out at the end. Session organizers are also encouraged to think about alternative session formats that encourage connection and creativity.

Room Set Up Preference

  • Theater (rows of chairs only)
  • Classroom (rows of long tables with chairs behind)
  • Rounds (circular tables with 8-10 chairs around each table)
  • No preference

The information provided in this section will help the Forum Planning Committee to create a program that covers a wide range of topic areas and geographic regions. We recognize that these topics may represent siloes that are not always representative of cohesive and collaborative work. Please feel free to work across topic areas and propose alignment that fits with your work and values.

Select two topic areas that best describe the focus of your session or presentation.

  • Adaptive Behaviors in Practice
  • Agriculture and Food Security
  • Art, Storytelling, and Movement 
  • Biodiversity, Ecosystems, and Natural Resources
  • Built Environment
  • Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Intersection
  • Climate Displacement, Migration, and Gentrification
  • Climate Grief and Anxiety
  • Climate Justice and Equity
  • Communications and Stakeholder Engagement
  • Decision-making Tools and Technology
  • Economics, Workforce Development, and Green Jobs
  • Energy Solutions
  • Extreme Events, Disasters, and Emergency Management
  • Faith-Focused Adaptation
  • Financing Adaptation
  • Floodplain Management
  • Hazardous Waste and Remediation
  • Implementation of Adaptation
  • Infrastructure
  • Insurance and Risk Management
  • International Perspectives
  • Land Use Planning
  • Local Capacity Building 
  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Adaptive Management
  • Natural Hazard Mitigation Planning
  • Nature-based Solutions
  • Network Building
  • Policy Solutions for Adaptation
  • Politics of Climate Change Adaptation
  • Public and Private Sector Partnerships
  • Public Health: Environmental, Physical, Behavioral, and Mental
  • Research and Science of Adaptation
  • Rural and Island Communities
  • Social Resilience and Transformation
  • Sustainability
  • Transportation 
  • Tribal and Indigenous Perspectives
  • Water Resources
  • Youth Engagement and Education

Select one region where your work is taking place.

  • Global
  • National
  • Northeast (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, Washington DC) 
  • Southeast (Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas) 
  • Midwest (Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio)
  • Northern Great Plains (Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska)
  • Southern Great Plains (Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas)
  • Northwest (Washington, Oregon, Idaho)
  • Southwest (California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico)
  • Alaska
  • Hawai’i and Pacific Islands
  • Caribbean
  • Other / Tribal Self Determination

Session organizers are responsible for identifying, recruiting, and confirming contributors for their session. Contributors may include co-organizers, presenters, moderators, facilitators, storytellers, performers, or other roles based on the session format. Contributors should be contacted and tentatively confirmed before submitting a session proposal. 

The following information will need to be provided for each contributor/speaker:

  • Name
  • Position
  • Affiliation
  • Organization Type
  • Pronouns (optional)
  • Email
  • Phone Number
  • Previous National Adaptation Forum participation
  • Race/Ethnicity (optional)
  • Additional Demographic Information (optional) – Is there anything else about your identities you’d like us to know?
  • Career Stage (optional)

Contributor Role

  • Co-organizer: helps to plan and organize the session
  • Presenter: has a speaking or performing role during the session
  • Moderator: directs presentations, leads Q&A, oversees the session
  • Facilitator: leads group discussions, helps the group achieve a goal (likely applicable for working groups or other formats that employ breakout groups)
  • Note taker: takes notes or records session discussions in some way
  • Other

Special Sessions

National Adaptation Forum Committee members and leaders from the American Society of Adaptation Professionals’ peer learning groups co-developed Special Sessions to highlight topics of interest across the field of adaptation. Any individual who wishes to have their work incorporated into a special session is invited to submit an Individual Oral Presentation proposal. The proposal should describe a 15-minute presentation that aligns with one of the 11 topic areas listed below and the proposed format of the presentation (e.g., storytelling, oral presentation, artistic performance). If accepted, your proposal will be incorporated into a larger session based on that topic area.

Review Criteria

All proposals are evaluated by multiple Forum committee members. Names will be hidden during the review process, but organizations and demographic information will be visible. We encourage sessions that illustrate collaboration and submissions from those with diverse lived experiences, especially Indigenous and place-based knowledge holders, elders, teachers, storytellers, and communities with climate-impacted lived experiences.

Abstracts will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

The proposal is clearly related to climate change adaptation (i.e., adjustments in natural or human systems in response to actual or expected changes in climate). This does not exclude fields that intersect with climate adaptation or holistic approaches that might embed climate adaptation as part of a broader planning approach.

The proposal provides details on if and how DEIJ principles are included in adaptation efforts. DEIJ can, and should be, incorporated into all forms of climate adaptation, including projects focused on communities, natural resources, and theoretical frameworks. 

Examples of how DEIJ shows up in climate adaptation include, but are not limited to: grounding decision-making in community-led visioning, planning, and prioritization; evaluating the allocation of burdens and benefits of decisions; increasing the accessibility of climate data and adaptation knowledge; valuing and employing diverse knowledge systems and approaches; creating diverse teams (e.g., based on race, LGBTQIA+, disabilities, neurodivergence, age) with varied life experiences and worldviews; and properly assigning credit.

The proposal is easy to read and clearly defines the project’s goals, observed or expected outcomes, and what attendees will take away and/or learn. The session format section clearly describes how the session will be structured.

The proposal provides insight into how the work has already or has the potential to advance or inspire future climate adaptation practice. Impactful work includes, but is not limited to: scalable or replicable solutions; innovative or out-of-the-box thinking; cross-discipline/demographic/sectoral collaborations; solutions to commonly experienced problems; and exemplary practice in DEIJ.

The proposal provides a clear description of how audience members will be actively engaged (e.g., Q&A, polling, group knowledge exchange, breakout sessions, or other unique formats). Organizers consider how to make sessions accessible to all attendees including those who are neurodiverse, those who learn through different processing pathways, and/or those with disabilities.

Forum reviewers are asked to provide an overall score in order to assess how well the proposal aligns with the criteria above. In addition, the overall score provides the opportunity to highlight proposals that may not exactly align with the review criteria, but would still add significant value to the Forum program. 

Please note: The Forum Team expects to receive a large number of proposals. In the interest of designing an event that expands the field by embracing the worldviews and perspectives of peoples and places under-represented and silenced in planning, policy, publishing and decision-making forums, the Planning Committee and Equity and Climate Justice Working Group reserve the right to select proposals based not only on overall scores, but also on the topics addressed by the session and the diversity of presenters. This will help ensure diversity in the program and that it includes frequently underrepresented content or sectors.