Think about the enormous potential when thousands of changemakers – each one with unique perspectives, experiences, and skills – gather virtually this October 14-16 for Upswell. We’re talking about literally tens of thousands of years of doing good – all in one place.

Our focus is clear: we must end racism and heal the nation. It won’t be easy and our work won’t be perfect. But it will become possible if all of us make the very most of our time together, and squeeze out every drop of energy and impact.

As we collectively strive to build a better future for our country, you’re invited to share your best thinking, your deepest expertise, and your boldest ideas by submitting a proposal to be part of the Upswell program.

Our co-creation campaign officially ended on August 21, 2020. If you have additional input, ideas, or questions please contact us at


Anti-racism and COVID-19 are highly intersectional so ask yourself which theme is the focus of your activity.


We need more than just honest conversations and increased awareness. Now is the moment to take necessary and decisive action to permanently eradicate the treacherous racism that has poisoned our nation’s soul.


As architects of a better tomorrow, it’s our job to design the strategies to recover from the health, economic, and cultural wreckage that stands in our way.


We’re all used to being together in person. But let’s consider the incredible opportunity before us: we have the chance to create brand new ways of collaborating. Ones we might not have imagined before 2020…and ones we might not have imagined yet.

As we’re adjusting to a rapidly evolving virtual world, we want to explore wildly creative and innovative ways of doing good together. So, as you design your proposal, you’re encouraged to suggest session formats that match your ambition.  

In terms of the general program structure, we’re looking for proposals that range from 10-minute inspirational talks to 90-minute deep dives — and anything thing in between. Here are a few guidelines about what your proposal should do:

  • Build community & cultivate connections
  • Showcase the tools and resources needed to operationalize ideas
  • Inspire, motivate, and energize attendees
  • Build space for attendees to come together for courageous and rewarding conversations
  • Allow attendees to connect with their inner life by refreshing their minds and spirits
  • Center space for diverse presenters


The Upswell Co-Creation campaign is competitive. We’re looking for proposals that are imaginative, unusual, energetic, creative, powerful, impactful, and deep. With so many changemakers together for a short amount time, every single minute at Upswell matters. Tell us how you’ll make the most of your time — and show us how you stand out!

We’re looking to capture the essence of your content and how you’ll engage attendees virtually. We want to know how your proposal furthers the themes of Upswell. We’re not asking you to fit your activity into a neat box – instead, we invite you to offer us your approach on delivering a virtual activity that makes an impact on participants.

Here’s what you’ll need for your proposal:

  • Themes: Tell us what your focus is and how your proposal furthers outcomes related to the Upswell themes
  • Engagement: Tell us how you plan to engage attendees, who your intended audience is, and your goals for them
  • Experience: We want to know about your experience and how you’re equipped to facilitate content in a virtual environment
  • Time: We want to know the ideal time segment for your proposal and we also want to know what time segments you would be willing to flex your content into
  • Diversity & Inclusion: We aim to dedicate 75% of program space to Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) voices so please tell us if the demographics of your session presenter(s) will achieve this goal

Our co-creation campaign officially ended on August 21, 2020. If you have additional input, ideas, or questions please contact us at


Here are the answers to the most common questions we receive. Don’t see your question below? Email and we’ll be glad to answer it.

All proposals will be reviewed and evaluated by Independent Sector’s Upswell team, as well as partners and collaborators.

Absolutely! You can pitch an idea with friends, colleagues, or strangers. You don’t have to be at the same organization or even in the same field.

Yes! You can submit multiple proposals, just be sure the content is different and submit a separate form for each proposal.

If you submitted after July 7, 2020 – you can modify your proposal submission by logging back into your account here.

Those who submitted a proposal prior to July 7, 2020 should email to provide us with an answer about your original submission or submit a new proposal for a session with different content.