Join us this summer at Peace Corps Connect 2019: Innovation for Good. Returned Peace Corps Volunteers from across the country will gather in Austin, TX to connect at the intersection of creativity and impact. Meet other RPCVs, mix with local changemakers, and learn about creating a sustainable impact on your community. These two and a half days will be full of keynote speakers, expert panels, interactive sessions, and a whole lot of fun.
Peace Corps Connect 2019 is hosted by NPCA and the Heart of Texas Peace Corps Association (HoTPCA), Austin’s local RPCV association. Located in Texas’s capital city of Austin, HoTPCA is an RPCV association that keeps the Third Goal alive through chapter meetups, community service, and a lot discussion around the dinner table. Austin has been named a Top 10 city for technology, social entrepreneurship, education, creativity, startup density, talent, and innovation. We're looking forward to welcoming you!
As of January 24, 2019 - Times subject to change
Thursday, June 20, 2019
3:00 pm: Registration Opens
6:00 pm - 10:00 pm: Welcome Reception and Conference Kick-off at the Austin Library
Friday, June 21, 2019
9:00 am - 10:30 am: Opening Conference Plenary - Welcome Conversation with Peace Corps Director Jody Olsen; presentation of Debra Harding & Loret Miller Ruppe Awards
10:30 am - 10:45 am: Coffee and Networking
10:50 am - 11:40 am: Community Content Sessions and Workshops
11:45 am - 1:15 pm: Lunch (provided)
1:15 pm - 2:45 pm: Pitch Competition
3:00 pm - 6:30 pm: NPCA Affiliate Group Network Annual Meeting and Exhibitor Booths Open
4:00 pm - 6:30 pm: Exhibitor Showcase
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm: Regions of Service Dinners Around Austin
Please join this year’s host affiliate group, the Heart of Texas Peace Corps Association, for some delicious international dinners around town! Dinners will be held in restaurants or catered to homes near the Alumni Center, and will be themed by Peace Corps service regions. Regional dinner tickets can be purchased at the same time as your conference registration, and will include the following choices:
Central America & the Caribbean
Eastern Europe & Central Asia
East Asia & the Pacific Islands
Tex-Mex/BBQ (Why not? You’re in Texas, after all!)
Pick your favorite cuisine and get ready for a delicious meal and lots of shared memories! All proceeds from the regional dinners will benefit the operations and grants program of the Heart of Texas Peace Corps Association.
Saturday, June 22, 2018
9:00 am - 4:00 pm: Exhibitor Showcase (Open)
9:30 am - 10:30 am: General Membership Annual Meeting
10:40 am - 12:30 pm: Community Content Sessions and Workshops
12:30 pm - 1:45 pm: Lunch (provided) and Exhibitor Showcase
1:45 pm - 2:45 pm: Community Content Sessions and Workshops
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm: Closing Plenary and Awards Ceremony (Sargent Shriver Award for Distinguished Humanitarian Service and Harris Wofford Global Citizen Award)
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm: Harris Wofford Award Reception
We are looking for dynamic presenters to share new ideas about innovation that spark social change. Austin is a major innovation hub and the program will reflect how leveraging innovative thinking and technology can improve communities. The conference will also focus on how the Peace Corps community can be better connected to work together toward common goals. All ideas will be considered so please do not hesitate to submit an application!
Potential presentations can include:
Individuals working in the field of technology or using technology to improve communities locally and abroad. Topics can intersect with the areas of education, business, health, and politics.
Members of an affiliate group engaged in innovative activities in their communities
Anyone with ideas on how the RPCV community can improve connectivity as groups or individuals
Anyone partnering with host country nationals from their Peace Corps country on a great project that utilizes technology
The submission deadline is March 17, 2019. Proposals submitted after to be considered on a rolling basis.
Session length is expected to be about 50 minutes (other sessions will run concurrently). Additional time can be requested.
Peace Corps Connect sessions aim to share ideas, best practices, and solutions to global challenges. Proposals should consider the Peace Corps community’s agenda for the future. Sessions will be forward-looking and inspire conversations on how Peace Corps and our communities can continue to be influential in these areas and increase our global impact.
Competitive proposals will focus on NPCA’s three key pillars and this year’s conference theme:
Impact: Proposed activities will feature service-oriented activities that show the RPCV community is creating a positive impact, both globally and at home, as well as spurring innovation in global development and social entrepreneurship within the RPCV broader community.
Community: Proposed activities will seek to increase the RPCV community’s connectivity and/or foster the continued growth of NPCA affiliate groups and their broader networks. This also may include special interest or cause-related activities.
Advocacy: Proposed activities will showcase how our community can raise its voice as citizens in support of a bigger, better Peace Corps; rally for needed legislative changes; and encourage debate about policy issues that affect our current and returned volunteers.
“Innovation for Good” conference theme: Proposed activities should showcase innovative strategies and tools which create solutions to global and local challenges, or which promote social good. Topics involving technology and digital innovation are encouraged, but not required.
Know Before You Submit
All proposals must be submitted through the online application system. Paper applications will not be considered.
NPCA reserves the right to request that applicants with similar topics combine efforts to produce a more dynamic session.
NPCA also reserves the right to modify content within a session as deemed necessary by the review committee.
NPCA does not cover hotel or travel expenses for speakers or session organizers and does not provide a stipend of any kind.
Elements of a Successful Session
Winning sessions will engage the audience and provide participants with a substantial learning experience.
Engagement: Sessions will provoke thoughtful and interactive discussion and activities about the direction of the Peace Corps community in the future. They might highlight new developments, technology, or innovations. Strong proposals will explore existing and/or potential relationships between the Peace Corps, the community, and like-minded organizations (i.e. think tanks, USAID, the United Nations, businesses, universities, AmeriCorps, Rotary, etc.). Proposals that promote only a specific organization, program, or product will not be accepted.
Format: Sessions can take a variety of forms, including thought-provoking activities, interactive games, or spirited competitions, a single speaker, a panel, a debate, etc. Creative and interactive session formats are highly encouraged.
Speakers: Speakers should represent a variety of perspectives and backgrounds. For panel-style sessions, we recommend no more than 3 speakers, including the moderator. Sessions will be small workshops and will not be integrated into the Conference Plenary or Keynote speaker schedules.
Responsibilities of Session Organizers
If selected, you are responsible for organizing and executing the session in its entirety. This includes determining the content, selecting and confirming speakers, and developing all materials, including PowerPoints, videos, handouts, and other items.
You must ensure that all speakers are registered through the NPCA registration website.
Visual presentations and handouts for accepted sessions must be submitted to NPCA for pre-approval no later than May 20, 2019. Session organizers are responsible for printing and providing any handouts they wish to bring. If materials are not approved in advance, they cannot be used during the session.
Presenter should come prepared to give their presentations without the assistance of a projector or other A/V support. Requests for A/V will be honored on a first-come-first-serve bases and provided based on equipment availability. After selection, organizers can request A/V equipment, but there is no guarantee that all requests can be granted.
Organizers must submit a brief description of the session for inclusion in the conference program.
After the conference, organizer must submit a 500-word (maximum) article discussing the content and outcome of the session for the NPCA blog.
Session Review Criteria
Priority consideration will be given to proposal submitted by March 4, 2019. Sessions are selected based on the following criteria:
The session is relevant to one of the core pillars or the theme of the conference (listed above) and will be of interest to a broad audience.
The session is forward-looking and addresses the potential for the Peace Corps community to have (or continue to have) impact.
The format and topic of the session are interesting and engaging. Preference will be given to sessions that present opportunities for attendees to engage with the material.
The session is inclusive. It offers a diverse perspective and/or engages multiple demographics or organizations.
*REMINDER: Sessions that solely promote a specific organization, program, or product will not be considered.
All session proposals submitted by this date will be given first consideration based on the availability of venue capacity and how much time is available in the conference program for conducting proposed sessions. Applications received after will be considered on a rolling basis.
March 20, 2019 - Session Selections Announced
Session organizers of selected proposals will be contacted with news of their acceptance.
April 20, 2019 - Final Session Content Due
Sessions organizers will submit a detailed overview of the content to be discussed, an outline of their session’s activities, and logistical support requests. The overview should also include, if applicable, a list of confirmed speakers.
April 20, 2019 - Conference Program Information Due
Session organizers must submit the final title of the session and a brief description to be printed in the conference program. No changes are accepted after this date. Organizers will also provide the names, brief biographies, and photos of any confirmed speakers.
April 20, 2019 - A/V Request Form Due
Organizers can request microphones, projector, screen, etc., but there is no guarantee that all requests can be accommodated.
May 20, 2019 - Presentations and Handout Materials Due
Visual presentation (PowerPoint, video, etc) and any handouts must be submitted for pre-approval.
June 20-22, 2019 - Peace Corps Connect Conference
Even if the organizer is not participating as a speaker, the organizer must still be present to help direct their speakers to the appropriate location and facilitate the session.
July 1, 2019 - Blog Post Submission Due
Session organizers submit a 500-word article about the session’s content and outcome for publication on the NPCA blog.
This year, NPCA and HoTPCA are committed to providing the lowest possible cost for conference registration by offering deeply discounted Early Bird pricing available until these tickets sell out or the close of Early Bird sales on March 17th, whichever comes first.
Register today to take advantage of this special pricing offer!
Open Call For Exhibitors
NPCA is proud to offer the opportunity to purchase Exhibitor booth ticket packages at this year's Peace Corps Connect Conference. All potential exhibitors interested in connecting their activities, programs, and organizations to the Peace Corps community are encouraged to submit an application to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include the subject line "Exhibitor Information Request, PCC 2019."
Please provide the following information with your email:
Information detailing any activities/products/or services you intend to feature at this year's conference
Estimated number of attendees that will be associated with your exhibit table.
After submitting this information you will be contacted with more information regarding exhibitor pricing, dedicated exhibitor hours, and any other information needed to secure your exhibitor table. Please note, exhibitor space is limited at this year's conference and applications to become a featured exhibitor will be reviewed on a rolling bases, so be sure to submit your interest today!
Please remember, your ticket for the conference does not include lodging or travel arrangements.
The University of Texas (UT) at Austin has made their dormitories available at a discounted rate for the 2019 Peace Corps Connect Conference! The conference venue, the Etter-Harbin Alumni Center at UT, is a short walk from the dormitories and there are ample dining options available in the dorms as well. Reservations for the UT dorms will open in March at a price of $24 per person, per night for a 2-person shared room. Please note that bed linens are included with the dorms, but guests must bring their own towels, as the dorms do not provide these.
NOTE: If you’ve already purchased your registration for the conference, please look out for more information in March about how to reserve a dorm.
Hotels & Hostels
Hotels within walking distance of the UT Austin's Etter-Harbin Alumni Center:
The Hampton Inn ($$$): less than one mile from the Etter-Harbin Alumni Center and includes free breakfast for guests. Parking is an additional $24 per night.
Affordable hotels within 3-5 miles of the Etter-Harbin Alumni Center for those seeking hotels on a smaller budget ($-$$) and who are comfortable staying further from the event center, there are many reasonably priced hotels several miles north of the Alumni Center:
Days Inn ($): approximately 1.5 miles from the Alumni Center.
Important Note: All arrangement for travel, lodging, and other special accommodations is the sole responsibility of attendees. NPCA and its affiliates are not liable for providing any financial compensation for losses incurred related to attending this conference.