Call for Presentations

Conferences and events have certainly not been spared from the impacts of COVID-19 that can truly be felt everywhere. As such, we have decided to make CICan’s 2021 conference fully virtual. We are choosing to look on the bright side and use this as an opportunity to welcome a broader community of attendees, including those who might not normally be able to attend an in-person conference.

The theme Changing Narratives reflects how the global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced post-secondary institutions to dramatically change the way they operated – from the classroom to the boardroom. Not only has “how” we teach and learn changed, so too has “what” we teach. As the labour market re-invents itself, graduates must have the relevant skills and competencies to contribute to our country’s prosperity and sustainability.

Our call for presentations is now open and we invite you to submit a proposal by December 21st, 2020!

Submit a proposal

Conference Streams

The conference is organized into six streams, outlined below, and will reflect the following:

  • As colleges and institutes are helping rewrite the future of post-secondary education, sessions should address opportunities and lessons learned for the future as we navigate through the new COVID-19 reality.
  • Indigenous education, diversity and inclusion are cross-cutting topics.
  • We welcome presentations in both official languages and encourage bilingualism.
  • Be creative in your proposals and please highlight how your session fits with the overall conference theme: Changing Narratives.
For future-oriented leadership teams, including board members and CEOs, this stream will present sessions related to institutional planning, and creating institutional structures that drive change and capitalize on the diverse abilities of faculty, staff, and technology.

Examples include:

  • Building intelligent partnerships to develop a leadership role within the larger community
  • Creating nimble institutions able to seize opportunities while mitigating risk
  • Inclusive governance: facilitating the recruitment, retention, and success of Indigenous peoples, and other underrepresented groups such as immigrants, international students, LGBTQ2+ individuals, and students with disabilities
  • The role of the CEO and the Board in “friendraising” and fundraising
Sessions in this stream will explore how to better orient institutions to ensure the success of their students, including creating inclusive and intelligent campus spaces, promoting both physical and mental health, and using new technologies to strengthen support services from application to career placement.

Examples include:

  • Partnering with Indigenous leaders and communities to improve student outcomes
  • Institutional research and assessment: using data and evidence to validate investment in services to students
  • Creating a physical and a virtual campus that offers services, programs, and facilities to promote physical and mental health among students with diverse backgrounds and needs
  • New disruptive technologies and approaches to student services that reflect how today’s students engage
Education must adapt to tackle disruption in the classroom. This stream will explore how colleges and institutes can use innovative teaching and assessment methods to take learning beyond the typical classroom setting, including virtual and blended learning, traditional Indigenous ways of knowing, and work-integrated learning in the world of AI.

Examples include:

  • New approaches to hands-on learning: complementing in-class teaching with applied research projects, work-integrated learning, apprenticeship, and co-op placements
  • Meeting upskilling and reskilling needs through continuing education, essential skills training, or adult basic education, and enhanced prior learning assessment and recognition (PLAR)
  • Embedding Indigenous knowledge and cultural traditions in curricula and teaching approaches
  • Partnerships to bridge gaps: strategies incorporating new technologies and blended learning options to expand learning options for all Canadians, particularly in rural, remote, and northern communities
In the context of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, sessions in this stream will explore how colleges and institutes can expand their leadership role in contributing to pursue (or achieve) the SDG’s and ensure sustainability in multiple sectors, including curriculum development, solutions-oriented approaches to applied research, and designing smart green campuses.

Examples include:

  • Embedding environmental sustainability principles and competency development in curricula
  • Institutional sustainability plans: successes, challenges, strategies, and best practices
  • Setting green standards: including environmental concerns when designing new buildings and implementing new projects, relying on alternate energy sources, making energy efficient transportation accessible
  • Strengthening partnerships with community members, small and medium sized businesses, Indigenous peoples, and government partnerships to increase sustainability
This stream will present sessions related to building a culture of innovation on campus, encouraging students to pursue entrepreneurial ventures, incorporating applied research into curriculum, and developing intelligent solutions to tackle current challenges.

Examples include:

  • Increasing the capacity of applied research departments to meet the expanding needs of local businesses and entrepreneurs
  • Building a culture of innovation on campus: engaging students in entrepreneurial and innovative activities
  • Social entrepreneurship and innovation to achieve corporate responsibility goals
  • Incorporating applied research into curriculum
Expanding global intelligence and international strategy will be the focus of this stream. Sessions will cover the full range of international activities undertaken by colleges and institutes, including international student recruitment, TVET development and gender equality abroad, and inbound and outbound student mobility activities.

Examples include:

  • The future of student recruitment: how to continue establishing a presence in target markets and diversifying future international student demographics
  • International development projects as an element of corporate social responsibility for colleges and institutes
  • Colleges and institutes leading applied research partnerships internationally
  • Best practices for International Student Services

Selection Process

Each proposal will be assessed using the criteria below. CICan will use the ratings and comments to create the overall program with the objective of ensuring that the conference program includes a well-balanced mix of high-quality sessions that will meet the diverse interests of attendees.

Selection Criteria

Proposals will be reviewed and evaluated using the following criteria:

  • The proposed session/presentation will provide attendees with broadly applicable lessons, tools, and ideas which participants can share with their institution, organization, or community.
  • The proposed session/presentation will inspire attendees with new, high-impact and solutions-oriented initiatives or research.
  • The proposed session/presentation will equip attendees with new skills or strengthen existing skills.
  • The proposed session/presentation will promote active learning by making effective use of audience engagement techniques.
  • The proposed session/presentation is relevant to the overall conference theme of Changing Narratives and fits within a specific stream and/or addresses cross-cutting themes e.g. Indigenous education, diversity, and inclusion.

Recommendations for Preparing a Successful Proposal

  • Know your audience. What can you offer that is likely to be relevant and useful to attendees? Include the takeaways.
  • Focus your proposal on something specific and unique with implications for the future of the PSE system (e.g., a successful initiative or research project).
  • Do not be afraid to go deep! Many of our attendees are seeking advanced, in-depth content.
  • Describe the evidence you will be using to support your presentation.
  • Find partners from other institutions. Proposals that offer insights from multiple institutions engaged in similar work are highly desirable.

Key Information for Potential Speakers

Presenters are required to register to the Conference. We are pleased to announce that special rates have been put in place for speakers.
$225 for the three-day conference and $75 daily.
The virtual conference platform will allow speakers and participants to:

  • Stream live sessions and connect with others via online polls and live Q&A.
  • Interact with other participants directly and share contact information.
  • Engage in live discussion forums where participants can ask and answer questions.
  • Connect with attendees, sponsors, and exhibitors.
  • Take notes directly in the platform to export or print following the session.
All sessions will be live streamed in English and French and will be recorded for future viewing.


Submission deadline to CICan: December 21, 2020
Confirmation of submission status by CICan: by January 22, 2021

Presentation Options

Note: All sessions will be fully supported technically.

Panel sessions may be organized and submitted as a group or an individual may submit a topic they would like to speak about. Proposals must include how the panel will be moderated, either with a named moderator, or self-moderated by the panelists. Maximum of three speakers per panel session. Session time includes Q&A period.
Campfire sessions begin with presenter(s) speaking about an idea, an initiative, or a project to participants. After 15 or 20 minutes, the focus shifts from the presenter(s) to the audience. The presenter(s) then become facilitators, inviting comments, insights, and questions from participants. This format allows participants to drive their own learning and share experiences with others. Maximum of three presenters per campfire session.
Lightning Talks provide an opportunity for participants to hear multiple presentations on a similar topic. Talks are limited to one presenter and 10 minutes. Each session will feature up to 4 lightning talk presentations. The remainder of the session will be dedicated to Q&A.
You may choose to submit to be part of the Gallery which will feature a maximum of 45 minutes pre-recorded presentations which will be posted and available on demand. If your submission has not been accepted to be in the dedicated presentation time in the conference agenda, you may also be invited to participate in the Presentation Gallery. Presenters are encouraged to include their contact details in the pre-recorded presentations to foster on-going collaborations.

Submit a proposal