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virtual conference | Sep 23, Sep 30, Oct 7 & Oct 14
Finding a Place in
Sep 23, Sep 30, Oct 7 & Oct 14
Finding a Place
in Evolving Communities
Conference themes are determined by member input. In recent years, the “Mega Issues” identified by members during the Inspire OPPI Strategic Planning Process has served as a starting point, and is supplemented by other input, such as District and OPPI event feedback, OPPI volunteers, like the Planning Knowledge Exchange (PKE) Committee, and also through monitoring of emerging topics, current events, and current learning needs.
The 2020 themes of demographics and housing were identified as separate but complementary “Mega Issues,” and serve each other well. In the context of the current planning climate, housing is a popular and much-discussed topic across Ontario and Canada. Additionally, conference content will always be influenced by mega issues of the day.
While these topics were chosen at the end of 2019, OPPI is not ignoring what is currently happening in the world. OPPI is mindful of current events and the ongoing protests against systemic racism in our society. It is our hope that through sessions at this year’s event, future learning events and future Conferences hosted by OPPI, we can work together with equity-seeking organizations and diverse people and communities to elevate their voices, perspectives and lived experiences. OPPI would like to provide greater attention to the realities of racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and ableism within our society and explore how we, as professional planners, can work to create more inclusive and equitable communities in Ontario.
The PKE Committee develops a list of Essential Questions for each Conference theme, which are designed to promote further learning and questioning, and encourage individuals to embrace the concept of lifelong learning.
These questions are shared during the Call for Presentations each year, and prospective speakers are asked to align their proposals with them to ensure that the content on offer at the Conference is able to explore multiple facets of each theme.
Proposals that are received go through a rigorous jurying process. Each proposal is peer reviewed against a proposal evaluation rubric by no less than three PKE Committee jurors, and an average score is assigned. If the average score falls below a certain threshold, that proposal is not considered further.
Proposals with an average score above the cut-off are further discussed in a series of smaller group teleconferences, where they are prioritized based on their content and the perceived ability to deliver on the learning needs of Conference delegates.
Finally, proposals are fit into a cohesive program in a day-long meeting. Once complete, speakers are contacted and invited to participate in the event.
For any questions on processes utilized by OPPI to select Conference themes or sessions, please contact OPPI’s Education Manager, Ryan Des Roches.