Leading Together Conference | Miami, Florida | April 29-May 1, 2019

Call for Sessions

Key Dates

  • Submission Deadline – May 31, 2018 
  • Notifications of Acceptance — Late August 2018
  • Schedule Announcement — Mid-September 2018

LEADING TOGETHER 2019 is your conference and we want to give you the national platform to highlight your foundation’s work, innovation, and latest research—and spotlight your professional expertise.

We are offering Council members only the exclusive opportunity to suggest sessions for LEADING TOGETHER 2019 on topics that revolve around the convening’s three core themes.

The session submission window is now closed. 

Submitted proposals are under review and notifications of proposal status will be made in late August.

This year’s talks will focus on:

Bridging divides

Philanthropy is an important bridge within societies. In today’s world of growing nationalism and division, it has an even more critical role to play. We see funders of all types and sizes working across divides to drive social change, from strengthening democracy and civic engagement in increasingly partisan societies to facilitating interfaith dialogue amidst growing multiculturalism. Within our sector, we also see new types of funders challenging long-held conventions of philanthropy and working in news ways to drive change. How best can foundations continue serving as a critical bridge across these divides? Together, we will explore how foundations can leverage a variety of assets, whether financial, intellectual, or the power to convene, in order to facilitate conversation, develop unlikely collaborations, and ask difficult questions that bring people together across perspectives and positions. 

Inclusive Economic Prosperity

The economy is rapidly changing. The public and private sectors, anchor institutions, and philanthropy play a vital role in strengthening local economies, and if knitted together, can serve as powerful drivers for building inclusive economic opportunities, ensuring further democratizing of philanthropy among the communities it is intended to serve. Set against a backdrop of often oppressed communities, philanthropy’s role can vary in fostering inclusive prosperity strategies, and we will showcase growing trends that are likely to present unfamiliar challenges to traditional community institutions, including artificial intelligence, automation, and economic development approaches such as innovation corridors and opportunity zones.  Using tools like impact investing and program-related investments alongside traditional grantmaking, we want to showcase interesting ideas and theories of change that foundations are acting on to build resilient, productive, equitable, and sustainable communities that improve local economic outcomes for all residents. 

Climate Impacts & Vulnerability

Throughout history, from the Green Revolution to the proliferation of renewable energy at local levels today, foundations have catalyzed action that helps communities adapt to changing ecosystems. Today, major environmental grantmakers are calling for increased investment in climate initiatives, since less than 2 percent of philanthropic dollars fund climate-related initiatives. How are foundations helping to create more resilient communities in the US and around the world? Learn how foundations of all types are responding to climate’s complex challenges, from work on energy systems to strengthening infrastructure and funding technological innovation.

We also take diversity and inclusion seriously. The strongest proposals will reflect a diverse range of presenters encompassing but not limited to ethnicity, race, age, gender, sexual orientation and identification, economic circumstance, disability, and political philosophy.


Presenters and speakers participating in the conference are expected to register for the conference at the discounted speaker rate of $600 and cover your own expenses. If speakers only plan to attend the conference to present at their session, the Council will offer complimentary registration for their speaking day only.


The Council will provide one $750 honorarium for each session. Once a session has been accepted and the panelist have been confirmed, the session lead will follow up with the Programming Team to identify which panelist(s) from that session will be the recipient of the honorarium.


Occasionally at Council conferences, presenters who are not members of the Council use sessions as forums to solicit business for their firms. Emphasize to your non-foundation-affiliated presenters that the Council appreciates their willingness to share time, expertise, and knowledge with conference participants but requests that they refrain from soliciting business or contributions during sessions.