SOCAP23 Open Submission Guidance

SOCAP Global February 10, 2023

Share Your Ideas to Help Others and the World Achieve Our Impact Goals

What’s included in SOCAP23 Open Submissions Guide:

  • What Is SOCAP Open?
  • What Kinds of Content Make It to SOCAP?
  • Top Tips for Successful Submissions
  • Get Inspired! Check Out These SOCAP Open Sessions from Previous Years 

What Is SOCAP Open?

Each year, the SOCAP Open process helps us identify the most innovative new ideas from the global SOCAP community — and beyond. Over the past 11 years, many of the most compelling sessions at SOCAP have come directly from this process, and SOCAP Open submissions have made up to half of the content presented at the flagship convening. 

During the SOCAP Open application process, we encourage everyone in the SOCAP community to upload proposals for fireside chats, workshops, pitch sessions, debates, networking, podcasts, and other interactive formats. This year, we are asking applicants to name the theme that they feel their session resonates with — we are planning to let input from the community and the SOCAP23 Open process help guide our themes for this year’s event. 

The application involves an easy-to-follow form that will walk you through the process. You can review the full timeline and steps in the SOCAP23 Open process on the application page. You can also review the sessions that have already been submitted here.

SOCAP Open enables us to ensure that speakers who need to be heard are given the platform to broadcast their ideas. Through the Equitable Access Speakers Fund, seeded by our partnership with Halloran Philanthropies, speakers are not required to pay registration fees for SOCAP23. 

What Kinds of Content Make It to SOCAP?

At SOCAP, we want to hear about you and your network’s expertise, work, and vision for a better future for people and the planet. Most of all, we want to help others achieve their vision to help solve some of the world’s most pressing problems. We are looking for content that:

  1. Drives impact forward and facilitates collaboration.
  2. Breaks down silos and encourages interaction.
  3. Equips impact practitioners to help them achieve their impact goals.
  4. Focuses on outcomes designed for the betterment of people and the planet.
  5. Shares a timely insight, conversation, or thorny challenge with a broader audience.

Top Tips for Successful SOCAP23 Open Submission

Don’t do it alone!

Use this as an opportunity to reach out to potential collaborators in your network and focus your energy on submitting one excellent idea. Put yourself in the position of someone browsing session ideas and make sure that your concise description stands out for the value that it will provide to attendees if selected. These are the sessions that will get the attention and support of SOCAP Open voters during the community voting period. 

Write for your audience.

Write your description directly to the people you think will be most interested in your topic — is it directed at entrepreneurs, investors, or all stakeholders in a particular geographic or issue area? You’ll be able to tag your audience, aligned SDG goals, and session format as part of your entry. Most sessions should be designed for a 2.0-level conversation and interaction. Assume at least a basic level of familiarity with impact investing, social entrepreneurship, and social capital markets. Most of our audience members are active practitioners in the impact economy. Describe what they will learn or take away from your session. 

Widen the solution space. Ensure a range of voices and solutions. 

The impact economy is diverse, and your session should be as well. As you consider the voices you are featuring, aim for inclusivity in terms of gender, race, ability, sexuality, ethnicity, culture, expertise, age, and opinion. We want to ensure the representative voice of those closest to the issues and solutions are heard. 

Avoid overly self-promotional content.

We strongly advise against purely advertorial content. If your session or workshop idea features a product or service, ask yourself if the purpose of your session is only to promote that product or service. Sessions around the launch of a recent study or report and workshops that give participants a sample framework or tools that may be part of a broader service are a good fit.

Suggest a facilitator/moderator for your session.

The anchor of a great session is a facilitator or moderator able to hold the conversation, steer interaction, adapt the agenda along the way, and rein things in when needed. We urge you to name a facilitator or moderator. Who in your network would be able to fulfill that role and attract attendees to your session? Propose moderators or facilitators that you already have a relationship with and you know are very likely to accept your invitation to participate.

Get Inspired by SOCAP Open Sessions From Previous Years

Highlighted below are a few session examples, pitched through SOCAP Open and brought to the flagship convenings, from the past two years. You can see additional sessions from SOCAP and SPECTRUM on the SOCAP Global website and on the SOCAP Global Youtube channel to get a better idea of our conference content and the interests of our community, especially if you have never attended SOCAP before.

Pitch Session: This has it all — fast-moving pitches from social enterprises, Q&A with expert judges, plus prize money! Watch the session: Latinx Launchpad: a pitch competition hosted by Hispanics in Philanthropy

Fireside Chat: This SOCAP Open session ended up being elevated to the Main Stage. Watch the session: The 2% Approach to Dismantling Structural Racism in the U.S. Economy

Panel: Excellent example of a dynamic conversation with skilled moderation. Watch the session: Reimagining & Revolutionizing Investment Through Rematriation

Interactive Session: Great example of presenting a tool for the field with fantastic moderation/facilitation. Watch the session: Power, Risk, and Justice: A Model for Investors to Advance Racial Equity

Podcast Episode: Starting in SOCAP22, SOCAP Open began accepting podcast ideas as a proposed session format. We’re looking for creative ways to use an audio platform that includes live participation, recorded at the event.

Impact Investing / Social Entrepreneurship
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