By UW Sustainability | Jun 2, 2017

The first Washington & Oregon Higher Education Sustainability Conference (WOHESC) will take place February 6-8, 2018, at Portland State University. This regional conference merges the Oregon and Washington higher education sustainability conferences to create a platform for empowering and inspiring change making, facilitating action, and for sharing, networking, and collaboration related to sustainability within the region's higher education institutions. Through facilitated conversation, workshops, presentations and networking opportunities, participants will play a role in advancing environmental performance at Washington and Oregon State institutions of higher education, support regional policy goals and initiatives, and drive the development of a generation of professionals for whom sustainability is a core tenant of their work and life philosophy.

WOHESC is currently accepting proposals for speakers, sessions, and case studies around the theme of Equity & Diversity- Planning for Equitable Actions through Climate Resilience. The deadline for submission is July 17, 2017 - read the full submission guidelines here.

Full details:

Event Summary

The Washington & Oregon Higher Education Sustainability Conference (WOHESC) is an opportunity for collective direction and solidarity in higher education for our region. As political, social and environmental issues become more complex, WOHESC convenes and empowers stakeholders who are driving leadership and generating solutions for a more sustainable future. Our aim is to both enliven the role of higher education in the future of Washington and Oregon and the role students play in a future world.

2018 Spotlight

Equity and Diversity - Planning for Equitable Actions through Climate Resilience

Explore the opportunities and barriers of marginalized and vulnerable communities through environmental, climate, and social justice work as we weave this idea throughout this year’s conference. Why is it important to address diversity and equity issues in our sustainability efforts? What is social sustainability and how can we work to increase its relevance? We will draw connections between environmental impacts, economic impacts, and social impacts as we gain insight and understanding about the vital role equity and diversity plays in our sustainable future. 2018 conference programming will highlight, but is not limited to, this topic.

Selection Criteria

  • Actionable Takeaways We want attendees to leave breakout sessions with a skill they can put to use, a project they can implement, or new knowledge of a subject to take back to their own work. Generating meaningful learning objectives for well thought-out proposals will increase your likelihood of selection for inclusion in the program.
  • Creativity of Subject Matter. We are interested in creative problem solving that goes beyond what has been tried before and will inspire action and thinking outside of the box. We are particularly looking for innovative proposals that will inspire solutions building in the sessions with attendees.
  • Connectivity. We seek proposals that assemble linkages among faculty and curriculum development activities, campus operations, research, student affairs, and student initiatives. This event aspires to bring stakeholders together from separate divisions of the campus to create collaborations and break down traditional silos.
  • Transferability. We are looking for sustainable practices and ideas that transfer between institutions and will launch discussion about overcoming the limitations of replication.
  • Quality. We are looking for high quality session abstracts that describe how the proposal will convey a clearly articulated subject and objective. We are dedicated to ensuring that the presentations at our conference meet the high standards of the academic institutions that host the conference.
  • Interaction and Inclusivity. Above all, our selection team is committed to proposals that will bring an engaging delivery of presentations and inclusive interaction for everyone. Preference will be given to proposals that outline participative and experiential formats.

How to Submit

All proposals must be submitted through the WOHESC online submission form. Below is the information required for all proposals:

  • Submitter’s full name and contact information: The "submitter" is the individual completing the online form and who will be available to answer any logistical questions about its contents, regardless of whether he/she is the proposed speaker/presenter.
  • Proposal Title (20 words maximum)
  • Abstract (500 words maximum)
  • Proposal type/session style
  • Relevant Audience- please specify if you are submitting your session for a student focused audience
  • Learning objectives (please list 3-4 lessons/insights the audience will take away from this session and be able to utilize in their work)
  • Speakers (name, affiliation, title, email address)

Interactive Workshops and Collaboration Corner proposals will require the below additional information:

  • Session timing outline
  • Session pedagogy including learning design, activities and engagement tasks and actionable takeaways achieved from attending the workshop. Please also make note of any special materials, room structure or capabilities your session requires.

Submit a proposal

The deadline for proposal submissions is July 27, 2017. Selection decisions will be announced November 3rd, 2017 and the conference program will be announced in December. For additional information, contact: Sierra Winegarner at