open 2022 call for proposals

online // march 15-17, 2022

The OPEN 2022 Call for Proposals is now live!

Each year, OPEN offers content on the most pressing issues in I&E education today. During highly interactive and immersive sessions, you’ll gain effective new practices to apply to your class or program and collaborate meaningfully with fellow attendees—faculty, practitioners, and funders. OPEN 2022 will create space for meaningful conversations and deep connections between attendees through several large group events and small interactive sessions.

This year, plan to lead the conversation and contribute to the field of I&E education by proposing a session for OPEN 2022.

Call for Proposals

We are seeking diverse ideas and perspectives for conference sessions across 4 tracks with 4 interactive format types. Sessions are 30-60 minutes in length.

Though all proposals that fit with our tracks are welcome, special consideration will be given to proposals that:

  • feature students as panelists or co-presenters;
  • share learnings from VentureWell Course & Program (formerly Faculty) Grantees;
  • emphasize programs and practices that foster access and engagement of students from historically underrepresented groups (URGs*) in I&E;
  • share findings from I&E education assessment, evaluation, or research;
  • include presenters or co-presenters self-identified as being from URGs; or
  • include institutions that are Minority Serving Institutions and/or community colleges.

*URGs, as referenced throughout this document, are defined as traditionally underrepresented, underestimated, and under-resourced groups, specifically those who identify as Black, Latinx, and Indigenous, women from all backgrounds, individuals who identify as coming from low-income backgrounds, and others who are marginalized due to racism, sexism, classism, and/or other forms of marginalization.

The deadline for submissions is October 8, 2021.

As a part of this competitive proposal process, we will give preference to sessions that align with our themes and emphasize learning by doing. Applicants will be notified and advised of next steps by November 8, 2021.

Session Tracks

We have created the following four tracks within our overarching theme:

Teaching and Learning

This track focuses on engaging students in I&E content, and developing and assessing relevant knowledge and skills. Potential topics include:

  • Proven and promising practices and activities for teaching I&E
  • Strategies for supporting and mentoring students from URGs in I&E
  • Sustainability and sustainable design
  • Evaluation and assessment of practices or learning outcomes
  • Professional skills development through I&E opportunities
  • Makerspaces and extracurricular activities to support student I&E

Growing the Campus Ecosystem

This track focuses on opportunities and barriers to grow the I&E campus ecosystem. Potential topics include:

  • Recruitment of and/or support for students from URGs in I&E
  • Campus resources, leadership, and policies (including tenure and promotion)
  • Cross-disciplinary collaboration
  • Funding opportunities, sponsorships, and unique methods of leveraging campus financial resources
  • On-campus partnerships
  • Evaluation and assessment of I&E culture

Engaging the Community

This track focuses on leveraging off-campus partners to advance student I&E. Potential topics include:

  • Mentors and leaders from URGs in I&E
  • Addressing local and/or regional environmental and social issues
  • Community partnerships
  • Place-based I&E
  • Industry collaborations
  • Cross/multi-institution collaborations

Advancing Innovations Beyond the Classroom

This track focuses on opportunities and barriers in moving innovations out of the classroom and into the market. Potential topics include:

  • Existing barriers for CEOs from URGs
  • Incubating or accelerating
  • Investment opportunities and challenges
  • Navigating intellectual property
  • Building founding teams around student-driven ideas and research spinouts

Session Formats

OPEN Ignites (30 minutes)

OPEN Ignites are presented by a single participant and up to 2 participant presentations are grouped on a topical theme. To start, each presenter shares their 7-minute pre-recorded video presentation; during that time attendees are invited to post their questions to the chat. The floor then opens for live Q&A.

OPEN Ignites are sure to engage, and you will leave with your questions answered and lots of great ideas you can apply on your campus.

OPEN Workshops (60 minutes)

OPEN Workshop sessions are highly immersive and emphasize learning-by-doing. Presenters begin with a brief overview and then dive right into engaging attendees in applying the featured approach or tool(s). Workshops may have up to a maximum of 3 facilitators; the use of breakout groups is strongly encouraged to enable small group work.

The goal is for attendees to leave the session with a work product, tools, or approaches they can immediately put to good use, as well as new community connections. Limited slots are available.

OPEN Foundations (60 minutes)

OPEN Foundations use a live panel format to provide introductory, foundational content for those new to the field of I&E education. Foundations panelists are seasoned I&E veterans who will share and compare their contrasting experiences on a single topic. We are seeking panelists who are willing to discuss topics in which they have passion, expertise, and/or experience. Foundations sessions will be recorded, edited, and made available for viewing and use after OPEN. Limited slots are available.

There are 2 ways to apply: (1) submit your proposal as an individual and we will match you with other panelists, or (2) submit your proposal including up to 4 panelists total.

Panel topics may include the following–however, other topics may emerge based on expertise of prospective panelists:

  • Starting from zero: initiating I&E course content, standalone courses, programs, or other initiatives on campus, and how to amplify impact.
  • Teaching innovation: ideas for how to teach creativity, design, problem finding, and/or ideation.
  • Engaging a broader audience: underrepresented groups, non-engineering majors, graduate students integrated with undergraduates, nontraditional students, etc.
  • Infusing sustainability into the classroom: bringing hands-on sustainable design content into existing course work, (e.g. leveraging the Engineering for One Planet (EOP) Framework).
  • Regional entrepreneurship: engaging in place-based and/or community-engaged entrepreneurship.
  • The role of faculty with student teams: activating, mentoring, and/or managing.
  • Makerspaces: getting started, specialization, collaboration, centralization, or other related topics.


Posters enable presenters to share their projects with a wide range of interested colleagues during the virtual but dynamic Poster Session. Poster presenters will interact with and answer attendee questions.

Posters may have up to 2 presenters (faculty and/or students).

How to Apply

All proposal materials must be submitted through VentureWell’s online application system. The deadline for submissions is 11:59pm Eastern Time on October 8, 2021. To start, you’ll need to have or create a VentureWell account.

Click here to access an existing account or to create a new one. Then, log in, find the OPEN Call for Proposals link and complete the steps!

To create and submit your proposal, you will need to complete the following:

  • Proposed session title: Make it descriptive and compelling!
  • Additional session presenters and facilitators
  • Track selection: Select one of the four available Session Tracks.
  • Target audience: Who will benefit from this session? (Administrators, Faculty, Other)
  • Experience level: Please select the category that best describes how much experience attendees should have with the topic—Introductory, Advanced, Open to all.
  • Preferred format type: Select one of the five available Session Formats —OPEN Ignite, Meetup, Workshop, Foundation or Poster. If you do not have a preference, or are not sure, please say so and we’ll choose what we think will work best for your session.
  • Proposed session description: Please provide a short and clear description that will “sell” your session to the conference program creators as well as attendees (this is the description that will appear in the program). Please limit your description to 150 words
  • Key takeaways and goals for your session: What will attendees take away from your session?
  • Course and Program (formerly Faculty) Grantees: Is the work you’ll be sharing the result or outcome of a VentureWell Course and Program Grant?

Applicants will be notified of their acceptance status and advised of next steps by November 8, 2021.

Submit Your Proposal

Use this link to access your VentureWell Community account (or create a new one).

Once you are logged in, use the “Proposals” link to respond to the OPEN 2022 Call for Proposals.


Have a session-related question? Contact

Having technical difficulty with the application? Contact

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