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Call For 2020 Summit Content Proposals


Important Dates

July 16 - September 13

Submissions open

September 14 - September 30

Sorenson staff and Summit team review and vote on deep dives

October 1

Selection notification for content organizers

October 1 - December

Summit team and content organizers refine content

All content publicly announced

What are Deep Dives?

Deep Dives are 90-minute sessions that either build off topics raised on the morning mainstage, or are free-standing, but all are designed to facilitate meaningful, action-oriented conversations and networking around a specific topic. It is a time for those working in the field to share approaches, raise challenging questions, and help further understanding, collaboration, and progress.


- All speakers must be confirmed at the time of proposal submission. Unconfirmed speakers will result in rejection of the proposal.

- Mainstage content will be chosen from the Deep Dive proposals. If your Deep Dive is selected, you may be asked to create additional content for the mainstage.

- All proposals must be submitted individually.


How are Deep Dives organized?

Deeps Dives are organized by Summit attendees with support from the Sorenson Impact Center. No two are alike. With 90 minutes available, some will involve a brief presentation followed by a discussion. Others will seek to solve a specific issue. Some involve film screenings. We encourage creativity.

What are my obligations as a Deep Dive Designer?

  1. Lead designer. This person's job is to help identify and invite cross-sector domain experts and design the format. Designers are responsible for:

    a. The title for the session

    b. A brief description for our website

    c. Confirming speakers and providing their headshots and bios

    d. Ensuring an equitable lens and equitable representation among speakers

  2. Facilitator: This individual’s role is to help the conversation move forward, facilitate a robust exploration of the critical issues raised, and help ensure participation from diverse perspectives. See the Facilitator Guidelines.

  3. Speakers: Depending on the format, deep dives usually have two or more speakers. We ask that experts help set the stage for a productive discussion and guide the conversation toward actionable solutions.

Is there a diversity requirement?

Yes. It is the responsibility of Deep Dive organizers to ensure that participants represent a diversity of gender and racial/ethnic identities. Why? Innovation is for everyone. We want our commitment to equity reflected in the summit's thought leadership. A diversity of backgrounds is part of a robust meeting of ideas. We understand that structural inequality makes inclusivity especially difficult in some fields. Please plan accordingly when proposing a topic and considering Deep Dive participants.

What is the room setup?

Most rooms have tiered, fixed seating but are easily utilized for breakouts. If the space does not fit your breakout needs, please use the designated breakout rooms surrounding your classroom. A/V equipment includes: on-site tech support, desktop, adaptors, projectors, handheld and wireless mics. Whiteboard, markers, and flip charts will be provided. Each Deep Dive will have Summit support staff and a student notetaker.

How long are deep dives?

You can take up to 90 minutes. We encourage all deep dives to limit panels or presentations to 30 minutes in order to use the majority of the time for interactive participation with your audience. Robust attendee participation is key to a successful deep dive.

How many people can we expect in a deep dive? Who is in the room?

30–80 people, depending on your content and the interest of those attending the Summit.

What’s the engagement level?

High. Attendees are expected to contribute their ideas and actively listen to move the conversation forward. While you may open the session with a panel, please do not host a 90-minute panel or lecture! Be creative!

What is the desired outcome?

Aside from an invaluable opportunity to network with individuals with a shared interest, Deep Dives are designed to capture thoughts and predictions from the present — imagine a kind of time capsule of how a sector’s changemakers are thinking at a certain point in time. Ingenious solutions and actionable insights will be written up in articles, blog posts, and the 2020 Winter Innovation Summit Report. 2020s dialogue will be captured and shared as a starting point for the 2021 Summit conversations around these topics, spurring continuous learning and advancement.



2019 Winter Innovation Summit Recap

Read the official report here!

Read the official report here!

Read the official report here!

Read the official report here!

Photo Gallery

Day 1 (Wednesday)

Day 2 (Thursday)

Day 3 (Friday)


Four bold social enterprises and innovative nonprofits pitched before representatives of high-profile banks, national foundations, family offices, corporations, and independent investors—as well as an audience of influential individuals and peers—during the 2019 Winter Innovation Summit.

Edovo, a rehabilitative and educational technology program for inmates at correctional facilities, was selected as the winner. Not only did their pitch team receive critical feedback and acclaim from the judges, Edovo will receive five hours of legal consultation with competition sponsor Dorsey & Whitney LLP, five hours of communications consultation with Sorenson Impact, and will be featured in an upcoming video for the Forbes x Sorenson Impact series, a $25,000 prize.

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