By moving beyond just creating sustainable campuses and curricula, institutions can realise their unique potential to champion sustainable development and shape a motived generation of leaders with the skills to tackle the critical environmental, economic and socio-political challenges we face today. We must recognise the urgency of these challenges and expand our impact to become global leaders working towards a sustainable future.


Why present at the ACTS Conference?

This is your chance to present at a conference that features a wide range of learning and knowledge sharing opportunities: plenary sessions; inspirational case study presentations; site tours, and; facilitated networking events all feature within the 3-day program. The focus for all sessions is to actively engage attendees in interactive learning relevant to the conference theme.

Deadlines and important dates

* Dates and deadlines are subject to change.

Who can present?

The ACTS Conference Committee invites proposal submissions from campus based staff and students, Not-For-Profit (NFP) representatives and government agency representatives, which deliver academic, operational and/or student perspectives to the conference theme.

Business and corporate partners

ACTS, and our members, work closely with a large number of affiliate business and corporate organisations to undertake research, deliver products and services and develop innovative solutions for the education and sustainability sectors. To support and share the outcomes of these collaborations, ACTS provides the opportunity for a limited number of sponsored presentations from businesses or corporate organisations to be included in the program.

Sponsored presentations are the only channel for for-profit organisations to be included in the program. These sessions must focus on results and/or outcome driven case studies that are relevant to sustainability practitioners, researchers and educators. Discounted opportunities are available for those that co-present directly a representative from an ACTS member institution.

Proposals from business or corporate organisations submitted via the standard Call for Proposals online platform will not be reviewed by the ACTS Conference Committee. For further information on available opportunities please contact ACTS’ General Manager Rhiannon Boyd rboyd@acts.asn.au.

Breakout streams

The program provides opportunity for four breakout streams to run concurrently on Day 1 and Day 2 of the conference and are based on the priority areas of the Learning in Future Environments (LiFE) framework. Proposals must nominate at least one stream that is most relevant for their session:

Leadership and Governance

This stream incorporates aspects of leadership, staff engagement and human resources. With the increasing responsibilities being placed on senior management, there are further demands for governing bodies to review the non-financial risks and opportunities that may impact on an institution. Leadership and Governance examines and encourages not only ambitious strategic intent but also focuses on building capacity through human capital and development.

Partnership and Engagement 

This stream incorporates aspects of business and industry interface, community and public engagement and procurement and suppliers. It is widely accepted that educational institutions, and especially those which are publicly funded, have a civic duty or social responsibility to engage with the wider community. Partnerships and Engagement considers external engagement but also considers the importance of internal communities and how these can be supported and developed to the benefit of the individual and the institution.

Learning and Teaching 

This stream incorporates aspects of learning, teaching and research. Through formal and informal curricula, skills training and development, knowledge transfer and research, institutions will have a significant, positive long-term impact on society. Ensuring students are exposed to learning experiences that maximise their opportunities to graduate as sustainability-literate citizens is arguably the most important step towards a sustainable future.

Facilities and Operations 

This stream incorporates aspects of biodiversity, sustainable ICT, utilities, travel, transport, construction and renovation, resource efficiency and waste. The Facilities and Operations stream provides an opportunity for institutions to demonstrate how they are planning, managing and implementing measures through sustainable development and addressing social responsibility across campus and the built environment.

Presentation types

Proposals are invited for breakout session in the following formats:

  • Case study (30/45/60 minutes)  Presentation sharing good practices and experiences on a broadly applicable and replicable topic. Proposals must demonstrate how the presentation will actively engage participants in interactive learning.

  • Workshop (60 minutes)  Workshops provide participants with professional development opportunities by presenting hands-on tools and/or resources. Interactive sessions are structured with small group learning activities.

  • Roundtable/Panel  Chaired topical discussion; that may have a panel of experts.  The session can address multiple perspectives on a project, topic, or initiative fostering conversation and brainstorming with the audience.

  • Virtual presentation  New for 2020! Virtual presentations will be delivered to an online global audience from the conference venue. They will be adapted from standard case study sessions, condensed to a 20 minute highlight presentation and delivered by a single presenter.

  • Poster  Visual presentations of practice or research to be displayed during conference.  A poster session will take place allowing the author to give a short overview of their poster and answer any questions. It is the responsibility of the author to bring their poster and mount it before the conference begins. (Presentation size A2).

  • Professional development  Interactive Professional Development sessions must be delivered by presenters with experience in leading and facilitating outcome driven workshops. Two concurrent three hour PD sessions are available in the program.

Level of presentations

Those submitting proposals are asked to objectively evaluate the content you’re presenting and to select the most appropriate level as defined below:

  • Just Starting  Content covered is introductory and/or foundational and attendees require no background knowledge or competencies.

  • Intermediate  Content is moderately advanced, and attendees will require working knowledge or experience in the topic.

  • Advanced  Content is advanced and attendees will require detailed knowledge of the topic and specific experience applying or using this knowledge.


All Conference proposal submissions will be asked to identify which Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) their session’s content relates to. Furthermore, proposals that demonstrate objectives aimed at understanding, committing to and/or delivering the SDGs will be highly regarded in consideration for the conference program.

Visit the UN SDG Knowledge Platform for more detailed information on each of the 17 goals.

Presenter guidelines

Thank you for your interest in presenting at the ACTS Conference! The conference would not be a success without the contributions and support from sustainability leaders like you. Please review the following presenter guidelines before submitting your proposal, to ensure you understand the expectations from the ACTS Conference Committee:

  • Proposals will only be accepted via the ‘Conference proposal application form’, uploaded to conference.acts.asn.au within the submission deadlines as outlined on page 2.

  • Deadlines are set. Late or incomplete proposals will not be considered.

  • All proposed presenters must be listed on the application form. An individual is limited to two (2) conference presentations within the confirmed program, however there is no limit to the number of proposals that may be submitted by any eligible institution or organisation during the call for proposals.

  • All proposed presenters must be able and willing to present at the conference between 18 – 20 November 2020. Please do not list contributors who are not planning to attend.

  • All presenters must be registered by September 22, 2020. Presenters who do not register by the deadline risk having their presentation removed from the program.

  • Accepted presenters who are not able to attend the conference must notify ACTS staff immediately. Registered presenters who are not able to attend can send a substitute for their presentation if change is made by October 16, 2020. Changes are this deadline are not guaranteed. Canceled registrations incur cancellation fees per ACTS’s registration policies.

  • All costs to attend the ACTS Conference – including registration, travel and accommodation – are the responsibility of each presenter. Presenters who are not registered by September 22, 2020 risk having their session removed from the program.

  • As thanks for contributing content to the ACTS Conference, presenters will receive a 10% discount on a full conference registration. Presenters must register by August 26, 2020 to receive this discount.

  • Current ACTS members receive additional discounts for conference registration. Membership extends to every person at a member institution or organisation. Not a member? Learn about ACTS membership and sign up today to take advantage of discounted conference rates and a multitude of other benefits.

  • Proposals from for-profit organisations will not be accepted.

  • Presentations cannot be sales pitches. Advertisements of a product, service or memberships to outside organisations are not allowed and will be not accepted.

  • Presenters must be prepared to accept recommendations from the ACTS Conference Committee regarding any revisions that are deemed to be appropriate for the final session.

  • Presenters will have the opportunity to make minor edits to accepted sessions until October 16, 2020. No edits will be accepted after this deadline.

  • Acceptance of a proposal is deemed to have the approval of all presenters for uploading on the ACTS conference website. Authors retain all copyright of their materials.

  • All presenters are required to complete a 2-page case study (template provided) in conjunction with their presentation, to be shared as a resource with the ACTS network.

  • ACTS generally discourages using printed handouts during sessions and are happy to assist with the distribution of online resources and materials. Presenters are responsible for bringing any handouts or physical resources they wish to distribute.

  • The decisions of the ACTS Conference Committee on the acceptance of proposals is final.