Call for Proposals

The Bike+Walk Minnesota Conference is a multidisciplinary conversation about the intersection of active transportation, community development, public health, inequities, and advocacy. Our success hinges on a diverse range of perspectives coming together to share big ideas and the details on how to implement them. We want you at the table if your background comes from parks and recreation, research, the business community, grant funding, public health, tourism, non-motorized transportation, elected office (state and local), or advocacy.

This Call For Proposals includes our conference theme and tracks (we’re calling them “Paths”), presentation formats, and detailed instructions for how to apply. Submission deadline was Thursday, February 1, 2018, 11:59pm. If you would like to reach out to the programming committee, please email


Conference Theme+Paths

Our Theme: Intersections

Minnesota embraces biking and walking because of numerous factors and stakeholders. At Bike+Walk Minnesota 2018, we want to cross paths with some of the conventional and unconventional intersections of partners and ideas that have resulted in best practices, new ideas, and work around equity.



Adventure + Economics Minnesota is full of bike+walk adventures and events that have huge economic benefits as a result of strengthening health, social connections, and business. They take people across town and all over the state. Inspiring stories of adventure and how these active trips are fueling our MN livelihood.

These sessions will:

  • Demonstrate the power of rural, suburban, and urban bike+walk communities in creating thriving downtowns, vibrant main streets and dynamic economies of all shape and sizes.
  • Explore Minnesota-specific adventures by bike and on foot.
  • Share community benefits of the bike+walk movement to economic strength and stability for elected officials.
  • Demonstrate how bike+walk communities create new development and opportunities for growth.


Design + Development Best practices in bike and walk design are evolving rapidly. Local context always matters. Development for bike and walk facilities means creating access to affordable housing. Bike lanes should not just be “white lanes;” how is your community creating safe access to active transportation for children, seniors, persons of color, immigrants, and low-income members? Non-inclusive transportation policies have contributed to racial injustice and community segregation historically. Speakers will discuss their knowledge and experience in addressing racial and socio-economic inequities.

These sessions will:

  • Demonstrate programs, policies, and techniques available to promote safe, accessible and available active transportation and smart placemaking that works for varied populations in a community.
  • Share examples of successful and creative partnerships and collaborations to achieve shared community objectives.
  • Explore how connecting affordable transportation to affordable housing creates a stronger community and/or reduces gentrification.
  • Provide techniques and training on ways to engage new partners and develop collaborations.


Art + Engagement Vital and vibrant communities are places where art thrives. The word engagement has become a buzzword, yet getting it right remains both an enigma and the key to better bike+walk places. The use of art, music, technology and creative problem-solving have all become valuable resources to the bike+walk movement. True engagement is filling the deep gaps between what some think and everyone needs.

These sessions will:

  • Provide tools, technology, and techniques that have helped art to move the bike+walk movement forward.
  • Share success stories of out of the box thinking and techniques that have brought people together and informed projects that transform communities.
  • Demonstrate how creativity, art, and other place elements can help promote healthy communities.


Safe Routes To School + Community SRTS as a movement has taken Minnesota by storm. From our biggest cities to our smallest towns and from multi-faceted plans to poster contests, SRTS is transforming Minnesota communities many ways big and small… well, beyond simply serving just some kids and some schools.

These sessions will:

  • Demonstrate the power of SRTS at the community level
  • Showcase how being effective in all 6 Es goes further than the sum of the parts
  • Sharing success stories in partnerships with law enforcement on SRTS and active living efforts in Minnesota.
  • Provide the latest in innovative tools that are making it easier for parents, volunteers, and community members to take SRTS from movement to mainstream.


Speaker Deliverables

Submission deadline was Thursday, February 1, 2018, 11:59pm. Bike+Walk Minnesota Speaker selection notification: February 12, 2018.

When you submit a proposal, you agree to provide the deliverables and meet the deadlines established by the Bike+Walk Minnesota Conference, if your presentation is accepted. These include:

  1. Confirming your participation and that of other people included in your proposal;
  2. Providing conference organizers with complete and accurate contact and biographical information for all speakers included in your proposal;
  3. Collaborating with the track or session chair to deliver a planning meeting;
  4. Delivering a final version of your presentation in PowerPoint or PDF format before the conference. Please make a note in your submission if you have other preferred software such as Prezi.
  5. Register for the BikeWalkMN in advance, OR to indicate that you plan to participate in your session only.

Additional speaker deliverables/ deadlines include:

  • Speaker Photo due – Feb 26
  • Speaker registration – March 16
  • Planning with co-presenters – March 23
  • Handouts and presentations due – April 23

Selected speakers will receive a registration discount of $100 (50% off early bird).

BikeWalkMN will provide each session with a moderator, and a room host to assist with facilitation and technology.


Presentation Formats

  • Lecture: A 75-minute session with up to 3 lectures on related topics. You present your contribution in a maximum of 15 minutes. A moderator leads the discussion following the presentations.
  • Interactive workshops: A 75-minute interactive session that you lead together with another expert on the topic submitted. Tell us about your topic and the approach you suggest for the workshop in your submission form.
  • Panel session: Together with other experts you join a panel around a common theme. Each panel member makes a short presentation. After, a moderator interviews the panel and engages the audience.
  • Pecha Kucha: 20 slides, 20 seconds per slide, this is the formula for a Pecha Kucha presentation. A great format for succinct and entertaining presentations, Pecha Kuchas will be integrated throughout the program.
  • Mobile tour or workshop: Do you know a great Rochester route that our visitors need to experience? Do you have a great mobile workshop idea and need a local partner to plan? Mobile tours should be planned with weather in mind!
  • Exhibition: Would you like to demonstrate your business’s products or services, your book or your art? No need to fill out the form. Please contact Jo Olson at


Selection Criteria

Preference will be given to proposals that:

  1. Meet the needs of multiple learning styles AND/OR provide interactive or hands-on exercises (practice implementation, design review, role-play, etc.) BikeWalkMN can provide assistance with this upon request.
  2. Deliver cutting-edge information about issues related to pedestrian and bicycle policy, planning, engineering, design, maintenance, implementation, evaluation and encouragement.
  3. Address biking and walking through the lens of equity – this could mean discussing distribution of infrastructure, providing equal maintenance, encouraging marginalized groups to use biking and walking, and other topics related to equity in a four-season state.
  4. Emphasize innovative approaches and replicable examples.


Bike+Walk Minnesota Conference
2018 Sessions Guidelines

Information to include in your proposal:

Proposals must be submitted using the online form available on the Bike+Walk Minnesota Conference website, which will include questions to prompt you to submit all required details. However, it will be helpful if you assemble the required information in advance so that you can complete and submit the form all at once.

This information will be used through multiple communication channels to help the conference committee market the conference and your session, in addition to selecting the speaker line-up for the conference.

The deadline to submit was 11:59 p.m. Central Time on Feb 1. Proposals submitted by other means or after the deadline will not be considered.

  1. Your bio (400 characters maximum) and contact information: name, title, organization, mailing address, e-mail address, and phone number.
  2. What format are you proposing? (see “Presentation Formats” section above): Standard Lecture, Interactive Workshop, Panel Session, Pecha Kucha, Mobile Tour or Workshop, Exhibition.
  3. The session for which your proposal should be considered? (see “Bike+Walk Minnesota Conference 2018 Sessions” section above)
  4. Working title of your presentation (be clear and specific)
  5. Keywords (3-5) list the words that best describe your presentation.
  6. Presentation abstract (2,000 characters maximum). Describe the purpose and goals of the presentation(s), explaining why it is timely and compelling; provide as much detail as you can within the allotted space. Include specific information on resources, tools, and examples. Remember that a key scoring criterion is to “address biking and walking through the lens of equity.” Convince the reader to accept/attend your presentation.
  7. Abbreviated abstract (400 characters maximum). Summarize your presentation.
  8. Learning objectives (600 characters maximum). One to two objectives per 20-30 minutes of presentation. A description of the learning objectives is required so that BikeWalkMN can secure continuing education credits for planners, engineers, public health professionals, and landscape architects in sessions where appropriate. State the objectives briefly using verbs such as define, describe, estimate, give examples, identify, predict, recognize, state, discuss, and learn.
  9. What is the interactive component of your presentation? (E.g., practice implementation, design review, role-play, etc.)?

Proposals must have been submitted by Thursday, February 1st, 11:59pm.

Questions: Contact