IOA Conference 2020: Call for Presentations

Vision 2020: Innovation, Integrity, and Importance in Ombuds Work

The Call for Presentations is now closed. 

The International Ombudsman Association warmly invites interested parties to submit presentation proposals and speaker suggestions to shape our 15th Annual Conference, Vision 2020: Innovation, Integrity, and Importance in Ombuds Work, to be held 30 March – 01 April 2020 in Portland, Oregon, USA.

IOA Annual Conferences draw attendees from diverse sectors around the world. Participants and presenters represent professionals in academia, corporations, government, non-profits, healthcare, faith communities, and many other organizations. At #IOA2020, they hope to engage with both experts and co-learners in order to share ideas, collaborate, and explore new theories, concepts, and practices.

It is IOA's goal to continually improve the content we offer conference attendees. Based on evaluations of past conferences, we have developed a list of requested topics and areas of interest for #IOA2020. Details about our program can be found below.


What are we looking for in #IOA2020?

We are calling for proposals of presentations and suggestions of keynote speakers that focus on our theme for this year: Vision 2020: Innovation, Integrity, and Importance in Ombuds Work. Proposals should use this lens to help attendees consider: 

Where the ombuds field is now and where it may be going, 
What it means to ombuds with integrity, and 
How ombuds work is relevant to our visitors, organizations, and the world at large. 

General topics of interest include:

  • all aspects of conflict engagement and ombuds practice
  • new and/or alternative means of providing ombuds services
  • maximizing ombuds’ positive impact on organizations
  • sector-specific constituent issues
  • ombuds as coaches, facilitators, and trainers
  • working with others within an organization, including legal counsel, human relations, compliance, and risk management officials
  • the ombuds role in preventing and addressing sexual harassment
  • updates on relevant legal and regulatory frameworks
  • the value of CO-OP certification

Specific topics requested by previous conference attendees include:

  • ombudsing in light of shifting cultural norms and organizational imperatives
  • ombuds and equity, justice, and diversity and inclusion work
  • self-reflection, personal growth, and self-care for ombuds practitioners
  • working with data - collecting, analyzing, communicating, effectively and ethically reporting, leveraging for change
  • how to direct and/or work within an ombuds team - set-up, roles, challenges, best practices
  • techniques drawn from models such as Gestalt, Non-Violent Communication, Narrative Mediation, and Restorative Justice practices
  • ombuds’ relation and value to leaders, decision-makers, and stakeholders
  • advanced content designed specifically for very experienced (15+ years) ombuds

Program Formats & Content Levels

The Conference Programming Subcommittee welcomes suggestions for keynote and plenary speakers and/or topics for the below via email.

  • Keynote speech (60 minutes) – Address to all attendees by an individual expert regarding issue(s) or idea(s) pertinent to organizational ombuds.
  • Plenary (60 minutes) – Presentation to all attendees by an individual or small group on topic(s) relevant to ombuds work

The session proposal submission process for the formats below requires the selection of an intended format and designation of a content level.

  • Pre-conference session (4 or 8 hours, presented on Sunday 29 March) – Please note pre-conference sessions may be limited in 2020. Priority will be given to concurrent sessions proposals. Creative format ideas are welcome.
  • Concurrent session (70 minutes) – Presentation of the following type(s) that attendees self-select to attend. Proposal submissions must specify which session format they plan to utilize
    • Training – Designed to train participants in a particular technique; to transfer a specific skill or set of skills
    • Workshop – Designed to collaboratively engage participants around a particular problem or question, and build new knowledge together in a structured way
    • Topic Presentation – Designed to convey topical knowledge to participants through lecture by subject-area expert(s); may also include thoughtful, limited use of closely-guided discussion
    • Knowledge Forum – Designed for a small group of expert presenters (3-6) to discuss a specific topic from different perspectives in front of a participant audience; facilitated yet intentionally open-ended, with a robust Q&A component
    • Other – A new model for instruction, dialogue, collaboration, or professional development outside the options described above, including “bridging” other concurrent sessions and splitting or expanding time slots to enhance collaboration with other sessions and presenters.

Content level designation categories are:

  • Emerging (0-5 years of practice and/or knowledge)
  • Established (5-15 years of practice and/or knowledge)
  • Experienced (over 15 years of practice and/or knowledge)

Please note that these categories describe one’s relation to the content at hand not overall years of experience or practice, i.e., one may be emerging when it comes to one content area yet experienced in another.

Required Information for Your Proposal

Please prepare this information before completing the proposal form.

Lead Presenter & Co-Presenter Details

All correspondence/communication will be addressed to the primary contact who submits the form. The following information will also be requested for the lead presenter and co-presenter(s).

  • First & Last Name
  • Employer/Affiliation
  • Position/Title
  • Mailing Address
  • Email Address
  • Phone Number
  • Presenter Biography
  • Professional Photo (Headshot)
  • Knowledge / Experience Level

Presentation Information

  • Presentation Title
  • Full Presentation Description
  • Brief Description (for conference publications)
  • Learning Objective 1
  • Learning Objective 2
  • Learning Objective 3
  • Expertise in Topic
  • Presentation Format (see types listed above)
  • Presentation Focus
  • Relevance to IOA Sector(s)
  • Has the presentation been presented before?
  • Content Domains and Level

The IOA Conference Committee welcomes and encourages your suggestions and feedback via email. See you in Portland!