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Delivered virtually, the CNU 29 program breaks the mold of previous Congresses, with multiple session formats that maximize the benefits of the online platform and encourage creativity and innovation from those proposing content. The program will be built on a foundation of three themed tracks:
- Social Track: These sessions will examine how design has the power to change the way our communities function, from investigating who has access to resources to ensuring all voices have the opportunity to shape the future. What should society look like and how can design contribute to communicating and achieving this vision?
- Policy Track: In this era of change, policy is often the software that drives the planning, designing, and development of our built and natural environment. Sessions will investigate the present and future of policies, their implications, and opportunities how to achieve future-focused results that align with the Charter.
- Physical Track: Shaped by both Policy and Society, the theme of physical change is focused on the output: the built environment. The design of places, buildings, and even cities is changing before our eyes. Sessions will focus on the bricks, sticks, asphalt, concrete, landscape, and the design ideas that shape them all, and how they can align with the Charter.
Main Session Formats
- Panel Discussions: The closest thing you’ll find to a traditional Congress session at CNU 29 is in the Panel Discussions, which will feature a small panel of short presentations followed by discussion and Q&A that engages attendees. New to CNU 29 is the opportunity to forgo a panel presentation in favor of an emcee who will ask specific questions of each panelist to get their perspectives, before launching into a robust guided discussion. Panels will be 75 minutes long and run concurrently with other sessions.
- Deep Dives: Recreating the depth of discussion that happens in smaller groups at each Congress is one of the main goals of CNU 29. Deep Dive sessions are shorter than a traditional Congress panel and can focus on a single question, topic, idea, or discussion. Deep Dives require a “room host” or emcee and a list of potential speakers, but will not require presentations. Deep dives concepts must be focused on audience engagement, a structured concept of how you will encourage discussion, and sample questions for how you will guide attendees throughout. These sessions will be from 30-45 minutes and occur concurrently with others.
- Virtual Tour: While we won’t be walking neighborhoods and main streets together at CNU 29, our Virtual Tours provide the opportunity for you to show off your favorite place, project, city, or streetscape. Get creative and do a multi-city tour with colleagues or friends to show similarities or differences between projects, places, or even approaches. Virtual Tours will be pre-recorded, require post production from submitters, and can run from 5 to 20 minutes.
Other Session Formats
Outside of the main sessions listed above, CNU staff will be curating sessions that fall into the categories listed below. You are encouraged to submit a proposal that fits into these concepts, but CNU staff will continue to promote these opportunities outside of this call for proposals.
- Debates: In case you didn't have your fill of debates in 2020, CNU 29 is bringing back this popular session type, with participants exploring two sides to a question or topic with the help of a moderator. Debates will occur throughout the Congress week and will last from 60-75 minutes.
- Social Events: Last summer’s virtual Congress included happy hours and game nights that lasted well into the evening. These critical opportunities for attendees to learn, network, and blow off steam are organized by members and partners. If you’re interested in hosting a social event, please email Matt Lambert (email@example.com).
- Innovations in Urbanism: A small group of sessions will focus specifically on uplifting new groups, voices, and topics within the movement, Innovations in Urbanism will be round-table format discussions featuring four speakers learning from one another. These sessions will be 75 minutes.
- Marketplace of Ideas: New to the Congress, CNU 29’s Marketplace of Ideas will provide a flexible platform for attendees to share lessons learned, take a quick look at new projects or innovations, or participate in a critique. These sessions will be a variety of length and format, stay tuned.
- Critiques: Learning from each other is one of the most valuable aspects of any Congress gathering. For many years, plan critiques lasted late into the night and resulted in some of the more heated discussions - with lasting impact. This year, we bring back this format. Please contact Todd Zimmerman (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested in participating in the critiques, including as a jury member.
- Shoulder Events: While the main Congress program will last from Wednesday-Friday, we are encouraging you to think about events that could happen before or after that window. Send ideas to Margaret O’Neal (email@example.com).