SOCAP hosts over 140 sessions, bringing together entrepreneurs, funders, thinkers, and doers to grow the social capital markets. There is as much inspiration and experience in the crowd as on stage, so we invite our community to help us plan great sessions. Participation in SOCAP Open only works if we follow a few guidelines both at the event and here on this platform:

  • Respect diversity. Differences make this ecosystem diverse and inclusive. Through SOCAP Open we ask that critique is handled in a constructive way, helping to push ideas forward. We will flag any concerns, and reserve the right to ask community members to take it elsewhere if their critique proves less than respectful.
  • Keep it on topic.  We welcome a wide variety of submissions, but please make sure the topic fits under the umbrella of social innovation.
  • SOCAP is a conversation among equals. Because this is a community conversation, speakers pay to participate in the convening just like those who come to listen and connect. If your session idea is selected, we offer you one free ticket as the session organizer. Your other speakers or panelists will receive a speaker discount code to purchase tickets for the whole event, or they may attend for just the session they are speaking on.







Why do I need to create an account?

Starting in 2019, SOCAP Open requires you to create an account to submit a session idea. This enables you to log in and edit your session if you have corrections or additions after your original submission.

What are my obligations as a SOCAP session organizer?

  • All SOCAP sessions must include gender diversity and racial/ethnic diversity in the final panel selection.
  • SOCAP session organizers will receive a free conference ticket, but are responsible for their own travel and arrangements. Session speakers are given the option to purchase a discounted ticket to the conference or attend for only their session. As a session organizer, you need to make sure your proposed speakers understand these terms. If you have financial challenges, there are a variety of options for scholarships, volunteering, and further discounted pricing–please see the ‘Get Involved’ section for options. Please consider your own ability to pay relative to others who could bring value to the event but have financial hardship.
  • Organizing a session involves inviting speakers, writing the title and session description, scheduling a prep call with panelists before conference, and some coordination with the SOCAP conference team, totalling approximately 10 hours of work leading up to the conference.
  • SOCAP organizers and speakers must work within the SOCAP team’s process & deadlines to ensure the best results. If they don’t, the SOCAP team reserves the right to cancel their participation.

Why is there a diversity requirement?

All SOCAP sessions must include gender diversity and racial/ethnic diversity in their final panel selection. The social capital markets must be inclusive, and that begins with a diversity of thought leadership at impact convenings. We recognize that this can be difficult in some industries or niche topics with a small group of experts, but we ask that organizers consider this requirement early in designing their session and consider it a key factor in proposing the topic and panel composition.

Who can submit an idea?

Anyone with an idea that’s related to social innovation and social capital markets is welcome to submit!

How many ideas can I submit?

Pick your best idea for submission. Multiple submissions are permitted, but it is rare that more than one session is selected from the same organizer so we advise focusing your efforts on your strongest session idea.

Can I edit my proposed idea?

Yes, by logging into your account you can access and edit your proposed idea(s).

Can we submit session ideas after the deadline?

No. We will not be accepting session ideas after the deadline, so we encourage you to submit early.

How do I select my session type?

Panel: A panel composed of approximately 3-5 people and one panel moderator. This is an ideal format for highlighting differing perspectives on a topic, the ecosystem of stakeholders affecting an issue, or a case study. Panels are oftentimes part presentation, conversation, and Q&A with the audience.

Interactive Workshop: Workshops, design sessions, intentional networking and other facilitated modes that help attendees meet a valuable stranger, collaborate, dig in, and work through challenges.

Keynote: An individual presentation that shares expertise, an inspiring story, a call to action, or key insight and value for the SOCAP community. Keynote sessions require preparation, rehearsal, and excellent on-stage delivery.

Interview/Debate: There are so many great two-person formats that allow for a deeper discussion. By proposing to interview a peer, thought leader, or cross-sector collaborator, a fireside chat can provide a different way of engaging with the deep practitioner experience and visionary frameworks around social and environmental impact. Alternatively, a rousing debate can be equally illuminating of the many valid and varied opinions in this space!

Film/Art/Music: Artistic forms of creating and advancing social and environmental change which may fit within scheduled content or elsewhere in the SOCAP experience.

How do I select my session level?

Think through what level of experience the audience will need to interact thoughtfully with your session.

Beginner: Very basic information (0-1 years of experience)

Intermediate: More complicated information (2-3 years of experience)

Advanced: Expert level information (5+ years of experience)

N/A: Amount of experience is irrelevant

What are supporting materials?

Supporting materials include anything that provides more context on the idea that you’ve submitted, such as relevant links to presentations, articles, videos, companies, projects, reports, etc.

Will my contact information be publicly available?

No, SOCAP does not share your information publicly. We collect emails of all individuals who submit sessions so that we can contact you if your idea is selected or if there are any questions about your submission, etc.

What does SOCAP suggest for a successful selection of fellow participants?

We require that all SOCAP19 panels include gender diversity as well as racial or ethnic diversity in order for participants to view perspectives from many lenses. We encourage you to activate your network for fellow participants that contribute diversity in experience, opinions, expertise, backgrounds, geographic locations, and more. It will be your responsibility to bring a balanced representation to the conversation.

Can I enter an idea submission on behalf of an organizer?

Yes, but please note the contact information you provide in your registration form will be the information that is used by SOCAP to contact you regarding the submission and they will be responsible as SOCAP's initial point of contact regarding the session idea.



How many sessions will SOCAP Open have at the conference?

SOCAP traditionally hosts 140+ sessions of various types at our flagship event in San Francisco. In 2018, more than 50% of our content (~75 sessions) came from SOCAP Open, and our programming team develops additional content independent of SOCAP Open. This is our seventh year democratizing the programming of the event and the quality and quantity of the submissions keeps rising!

How much weight do votes from the public have in the selection process?

Public voting accounts for about 30% of the decision-making process. The remainder of our decision-making process lies with our SOCAP programming staff (40%) and advisory team (30%).

Who can vote?

Anyone who has access to the Internet can vote.

How many times can I vote for a session idea?

You can ‘vote up’ a session only once.

Why don’t you share the # of votes each session receives?

The core purpose of SOCAP Open is to provide our community with a greater opportunity to co-create SOCAP in the months leading up to the event — to crowdsource ideas, make those ideas visible to everyone, engage in dialogue, and indicate which ideas you’d like to see at SOCAP via the voting function. While receiving votes is relatively important, we’d rather focus our community’s attention on the ideas and not the voting status.

How can my idea compete with individuals and organizations that have more resources, a broader reach, etc?

This is taken into consideration in our selection process. Voting from the public only accounts for 30% of our selection. Therefore, if your idea shows great promise but has not received as many votes relative to other ideas, we will take that into consideration. That said, we encourage you to share your session idea through social media and email channels available to you to encourage voting by your community.

What is the SOCAP Advisory Board?

The Advisory Board is a group of experienced industry professionals whose advice and insights about programming are trusted by the SOCAP staff.

Do you have any specific programming needs for SOCAP19?

SOCAP19 will be focused on a number of core themes. While we do seek supporting content within those themes, we are also very interested in having SOCAP Open help us discover content that we would not have found otherwise. We want SOCAP19 to be a representation of what our community is witnessing globally, and therefore welcome any and all ideas.

If I have spoken at SOCAP before, is my proposal more likely to be accepted?

No. While we recognize that there are some individuals who continue to provide leading expertise, we also greatly value the participation of new talent, perspectives, and experience.

Do I or any of my panelists get free admission to SOCAP if our idea is selected?

Session organizers who are selected will receive a complimentary ticket to SOCAP19. Other speakers will be able to purchase a discounted ticket to the conference, or receive a session pass for the session they are speaking in. Our discounted rate recognizes speakers as part of the community, while recognizing that they should be compensated for investing their time, talent and resources to contribute to a session.

If my idea is selected, does SOCAP pay for my travel or lodging?

No. SOCAP is unable to provide for travel or lodging for speakers.

If my idea is selected, how will SOCAP support the success of my session?

Our goal is for all sessions to meet their fullest potential. In order to support this, SOCAP will offer you suggested timelines, best practices for session moderation and preparation, available resources, and our staff’s advice to support your success. However, there is also a limit to our capacity when supporting 140+ sessions and much of your success is dependent upon your own independent work and preparation.