As a multi-site conference, INSS encompassed seven different regions across the US and UK. The intent of the conference was to convene academics and practitioners working across the broadly defined arena of social sustainability. Over 80 people participated at the Chicago site, and 150+ were engaged across all the sites.
The conference sessions included on-site presenters as well as cross-site virtual presentations. The format for the on-site sessions was informed by the Permaculture flower design. Each session highlighted unique perspectives from academics, policymakers, and community practitioners on one of the 7 domains, or petals, of the flower. By giving a platform to diverse perspectives, participants were able to create a holistic and nuanced view of social sustainability in 7 different arenas to more fully understand the breadth of a particular area.
During the cross-site sessions, each site had the opportunity to stream a session to the other sites. I facilitated a CSLN member panel, featuring Alvyn Walker, Jamie Ponce, Tim Heppner, Melanie Eckner, and Joseph Taylor. The panel emphasized the value of the network, ranging from new relationships formed to collaborative events and ongoing projects.
Attendees discussed that a cultural paradigm shift and commitment to prioritize equity is necessary for long-term resilience. After each session, attendees wrote down something new they would do or look into as a result of the session to post on a collective sticky wall. I documented the final results in the above image.