Call For Proposals

The 2018 Sustainability Summit & Exposition is Southeast Wisconsin’s largest and most influential gathering for industry, academia and non-profits to unite around sustainability. The event brings together more than 1000 industry stakeholders to learn and share better practices and the latest innovations in sustainable practices and emerging trends. This is truly a unique conference, in that we are addressing how academia, business, government and non-profits are collaborating to develop competitive global communities.


Because the Summit will be held at MATC’s downtown campus and is free to college students, there will be a significant number of college students in attendance.  Milwaukee Area Technical College, Gateway Technical College, UW-Milwaukee, Concordia University and Marquette University,   as well as several other technical colleges and universities are major participants as well. There will also be significant business participation and tracks that address those initiatives as well as community activism.

Tracks and Topics:

Sustainable Communities & Global Health

The path to sustainability is different for every community. Making neighborhoods and urban areas more environmentally sustainable requires applying better urban planning principals, community residents coming together in support of sustainability, awareness of the needs of the residents, and more effective delivery of sustainability services by both government, non-profit groups, and sustainability-minded businesses.  This session will explore national and local frameworks for making neighborhoods more sustainable.


  • Sustainable Urban Planning
  • Driving Business an Social Benefits Through Inclusive Community Investment
  • Meeting the Sustainability Needs of Residents
  • Sustainable Buildings and Processes
  • Global Health Initiatives

Sustainable Businesses and Economies

Sustainability is also a business practice. What are the drivers/impediments to sustainable growth and progress?   Challenges such as resource scarcity, demographics and climate change are redefining expectations, public policies, regulatory frameworks and business environments. Discuss how companies anticipate and manage current and future economic, environmental and social opportunities and risks


  • Benefits of a circular economy: Innovation in design – rethinking product design for a circular economy
  • Changing business models and shifting systems thinking
  • Zero Waste Initiatives and Impacts on Climate Change
  • Packaging and Material Reduction Practices
  • Global Impacts on Supply Chain
  • Sustainable Manufacturing

Sustainable Energy and Water

Discuss the development of clear and realistic long-term options for sustainable energy, water and infrastructure through research evidence-based information and advice. Discuss the scope of smart grid/distributed generation opportunities, overview of existing technologies, potential future technologies, and cost/benefit of distributed generation. Communication and Connectedness attract future leaders as we deal with an aging workforce.


  • Smart Grid/Distributed Generation Opportunities: Existing and Future Technologies, Cost/Benefit of Distributed Generation
  • Renewable Energy Regional and National Update
  • Sustainable Water Practices
  • The Global and Local Challenges of Clean Water

Sustainable Transportation & Logistics

Discuss the need for a variety of transportation options. Examine the challenges of getting those needing employment to where the jobs area in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Share best practices and latest trends on how to focus on creating greater sustainable value across supply chains for shippers and carriers alike, and ultimately for society overall.


  • Wisconsin Clean Transportation Initiatives
  • Efficient Processes throughout the Supply Chain
  • Alternative Fuel Technologies
  • Sustainable Transportation Options

Interactive Demonstrations (High School, Technical College, Higher Ed, Industry)

The Summit will also feature workshops and interactive demonstrations throughout both days of the conference. This will allow for collaboration and interaction as a means to identify and develop outcomes that will keep the discussions going throughout the year and to keep our organizers and participants engaged in providing sustainability outcomes that were addressed at the conference. It will also provide a forum to demonstrate successful products and new technologies.

Session Types

The Sustainability Summit is seeking proposals for the following session types:

Panel Discussions (50 min)

Panel discussions provide stories and discussion with diverse perspectives around a particular topic followed by audience Q&A. Panels discussions may be selected for mainstage opportunities or concurrent breakout sessions.

Breakout Presentations (50 min)

Presentations may be delivered in a panel format or a larger discussion group that provides a highly engaging, in-depth exploration of a topic followed by audience Q&A. Presentations will be scheduled as concurrent breakout sessions.

Interactive Demonstrations and Workshops (Up to 75 min)

Workshops are expanded sessions centered on clearly defined goals and impart attendees with specific skills and strategies through hands-on training. Attendees should leave with action-oriented tools and resources. Workshops will be scheduled as concurrent breakout sessions. Proposals for How-To Workshops require a session outline, content description, proposed agenda and timing, additional speakers and interactive learning examples.

Poster Presentations (50 min)

Poster Presentations make use of graphics like maps, photographs, and charts to describe your research project, leaving you available for personal interaction and in-depth discussions with colleagues. Benefits of doing a poster include the capacity to make use of creative visual elements, to engage in intimate interaction with audience, and to address particular points of interest. College and University students, researchers and faculty are encouraged to submit as individuals or small (3 person or less) teams. Based on limited space capacity, posters may be on display one half day to one full day.


Title (10 words maximum)

The session title is the hook. Be sure to submit a creative title that accurately describes your session content.

Facebook Description (60 word maximum)

How we’d share your session on social media.

Twitter Title (144 characters maximum)

How we’d share your session on social media.

Topic Area

Please choose from the list of session topics explained above.

Session Type

Please choose from the list of session types explained above.

Abstract (200 words max)

Session abstracts or descriptions should address the 2018 Summit Theme: Working Toward a Sustainable Economy: Engaging Future Leaders! Discuss the primary topic, goal of the session, the target audience, and any essential background information.

Session Outline (500 words max)

Please include a description of the proposed session agenda and timing, and additional speakers (as necessary). Preference will be given to session formats that emphasize creativity.

Relevant Audience(s)

Please indicate the target audience: facility operators, marketing & sponsorship representatives, community relations representatives, team and venue executives, brands, vendors, etc.

Learning Objectives

Please list 3‐4 lessons/insights the audience will take away from your proposed session and be able to use in their work.

Speaker Details

Including name, title, company, email address & phone number, session roles (e.g. panelist, presenter, moderator, facilitator), bio (100‐250 words), and 1-3 examples of speaking experience (event, presentation title, length, date, and audience size).

Submitter’s Contact Information

The “submitter” is the individual completing the online form, and who will be available to answer any logistical questions about the submission, regardless of whether they are the proposed speaker/presenter.


The Sustainability Summit team will use the following criteria as a means for evaluating proposals:

  • Represents an innovative contribution to a timely and important topic of interest that reflects our program themes and topics.
  • Expertise and experience of presenters, as demonstrated by presenter bios and speaking experience.
  • Originality and demonstrated commitment to enhancing sustainability in the areas of industry, academia and non-profit initiatives.


Proposals should be received no later than March 1, 2018.

Submit Your Proposal

Proposal Information

Speaker Information

Submitter Information