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2019 IEDC Annual Conference Call for Session Proposals
The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is hosting its 2019 Annual Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, from October 13 -16. IEDC is seeking compelling session proposals to ensure a comprehensive program. The conference theme is 'Driving Growth: the race for talent, innovation & place.' This is an opportunity to highlight success stories, lessons learned, share cutting-edge ideas, and engage your colleagues at the premier event for economic development practitioners.

Session proposals should address trends and topics that reflect the wide-ranging needs and interests of IEDC’s diverse membership.

Concurrent sessions will be organized into five tracks:
1. Livability
2. Future Business, Future Worker
3. Housing and Infrastructure
4. Talent Partnerships
5. Business Clusters (The Circle of Friendship and Prosperity)

About IEDC

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is a non-profit, non-partisan membership organization serving economic developers. With more than 5,200 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind. Economic developers promote economic well-being and quality of life for their communities, by creating, retaining and expanding jobs that facilitate growth, enhance wealth and provide a stable tax base. From public to private, rural to urban, and local to international, IEDC’s members are engaged in the full range of economic development experience. Given the breadth of economic development work, our members are employed in a wide variety of settings including local, state, provincial and federal governments, public private partnerships, chambers of commerce, universities and a variety of other institutions. When we succeed, our members create high-quality jobs, develop vibrant communities, and improve the quality of life in their regions.

About the Audience

Annual Conference attendees will represent communities large and small, domestic and foreign, with varying resources and diversity. Attendees will be looking for the latest technical and policy-related trends in economic development, in addition to core economic development topics. The program at Annual Conference should reflect this profile and present a diverse array of information.


The deadline for submission is January 11, 2019.

Please read the following guidelines carefully before submitting your session proposal.

1. Proposed speakers and moderator without biographies will not be considered.
2. All speakers that you are including in your proposal must be notified by you in advance of your submission.
3. Proposed speakers who are economic development professionals and/or consultants must be current members of IEDC for the proposal to be considered.
4. IEDC reserves the right to accept only the topic, title, and to accept or reject one or more speakers and moderator or any combination of the above list.
5. IEDC reserves the right to add, edit or make changes to the session title, description, and mode of presentation, panel and moderator. IEDC reserves the right to combine proposals on the same or similar topic to ensure a strong session.
6. All proposals become property of IEDC upon receipt. Session topics or speaker recommendations not accepted for the Annual Conference may be used in future IEDC conferences, webinars, newsletters and publications for up to one year. This proposal will not be considered for the 2019 Annual Conference.
7. Strong proposals are respectful of diversity in terms of ethnicity, gender, geographic location and organizational structure.
8. Members may submit a proposal with a minimum of one speaker for the panel. IEDC may confirm additional speakers and a moderator to complete the panel.
9. Panels that include communities of multiple sizes, states/provinces and countries are strongly encouraged. IEDC does not recommend sessions composed of all consultants or representatives from just one community, company or state/province unless it is a case study.
10. In order to keep membership dues and registration fees to a minimum for our members, IEDC is unable to pay speaker’s or moderator’s travel expenses, honorarium or speaker’s bureau fees.
11. Speakers and moderators interested in attending the conference will be expected to register and pay for the conference.
12. Speakers are invited to attend the session before or after their session excluding meals and receptions without paying the registration fee.
13. Speakers may only speak or moderate in one session during the conference program. Speakers who are proposed for several sessions will be confirmed for only one session.
14. It is IEDC policy to allow only one speaker from each organization to participate in the conference. If multiple speakers are proposed from the same organization, we will only be able to accept one of them.
15. Members proposing sessions are responsible for confirming proposed speakers and moderators upon acceptance of session proposal.

Important Dates

September – January 11, 2019 IEDC accepting session proposals

January 11 - February 11, 2019 IEDC Programming Committee reviews sessions

February 11, 2019 IEDC notifies submissions of the outcome of their proposals

March 11, 2019 Successful submissions confirm their moderators and speakers

Conference Tracks Explained

Track 1: Livability (Resilient, livable and equitable communities)
‘Livability’ is about successful development, retention, and attraction of a quality workforce for a community. Partners for Livable Communities defines livability as “the … factors that add up to a community’s quality of life—including the built and natural environments, economic prosperity, social stability and equity, educational opportunity, and cultural, entertainment and recreation possibilities.” These factors are critical to providing a high-quality workforce. Economic development professionals worldwide have embraced the need to integrate livability efforts into community economic development strategies.

Track 2: Future Business, Future Worker
Automation, artificial intelligence, and robotics: These terms mean different things to different people. The idea of automation is not “new” but in the context of 2019, it can mean reducing or eliminating costs to a business, helping boost thin profit margins, or losing a job to a worker in one of the many industries that are adopting technology at accelerating rates.

Technology can be a boon to businesses and workers alike – and can be harnessed in ways that can bring more meaning and profit to both.

Track 3: Housing & Infrastructure
A common conversation in growing communities is that workers do not exist for the industry, and even if workers could be attracted to an area, there is nowhere for them to live, or available housing is either not affordable or desirable. In some places, the lack of available housing stock has driven prices to where service and logistics employees cannot afford them on a single income. In other places, the available housing is in poor condition or there are barriers to home ownership, including inadequate rental housing stock. Housing for the “missing middle” is a hot topic.

Infrastructure has always been important to business attraction, retention, and expansion. In 2019 infrastructure is no longer just about highways, rail access, airports, and energy. The focus is on serving people as much as moving business inputs and outputs. People want transportation choices – the ability to take transit, walk, or bike to work and entertainment. People and businesses demand high speed internet access and robust electrical systems, and more people and communities are concerned about the source of their energy.

Track 4: Talent Partnerships
Employers are creating job opportunities that are unfilled due to lack of qualified candidates, competition from other employers, or a lack of people within a reasonable working distance. Assuming that these are good jobs, states, regions, and communities can adopt strategies to retain existing workers while attracting new talent.

In addition to understanding the reasons why these jobs are going unfilled, states, regions and communities must develop strategies to draw businesses that will provide for a stable employment and engage workforce development agencies and educators in partnership with organizations not typically tapped for talent development or recruitment

Track 5: Business Clusters (The Circle of Friendship and Prosperity)
Perhaps the most important source of profitability is the knowledge and connections made with companies in similar industries. With a robust supply and value chain, companies leverage their resources within their clusters to provide community prosperity and to boost the regional economy.

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The deadline for submission is January 11, 2019.

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