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Call for Workshop Proposals

The International Western Dharma Teachers Gathering is putting out a request for workshop proposals that address this year’s theme: Facing Truth: Love, Equity & Justice on the Path of Awakening. All completed submissions will be reviewed by the Steering Committee and the final program will be announced in July 2021. Here are some frequently asked questions for submission:

How should I submit my proposal?
What is the deadline to complete a submission?
The deadline to submit proposals is February 28, 2021.

When will I find out if my proposal is accepted?
We will notify all who submit proposals by April 15, 2021.

What information will be asked on the proposal form?

  • Title of Presentation
  • Presenter Information (Short Bio, Sangha/Organization, Title, and Email)
  • Time(s) you are available to present
  • Presentation Description

What is the review criteria for presentations?
All proposals will be reviewed by Steering Committee members and will be selected based on the overall relevance of its topic and the expertise and experience of the workshop presenters. We are looking to create a program that is diverse in topics, presenters, perspectives, and presentation format. We are especially interested in workshops that are active, creative, and/or collaborative in nature.

What topic should I submit for consideration?
The theme for this year’s conference is Facing Truth: Love, Equity & Justice on the Path of Awakening. We are seeking workshops related to the following topics:

  • Environmental Justice and Climate Change
  • Difficult conversations: Race, Class, Gender
  • The foundation of faith in Buddhist practice
  • What does it mean to live the Dharma?
  • Co-operation between sanghas and between Buddhist teachers
  • Socially Engaged Buddhism
  • Christianity/liberation theology and buddhism
  • Secular v. religious buddhism
  • Buddhism/buddhist practice and kids/young people
  • Systemic othering of people

How much time will be given to present?
The maximum time allowed per workshop is 60 minutes, including Q&A (if applicable).

Since this is a virtual conference, what platform will be used?
The conference will be accessed via Socio, an online platform, and Zoom. All participants will be able to access the conference via mobile device, tablet, laptop or desktop with the email you used to register. We will prompt you to log on a few days before the conference to create a personal profile, view event details and connect with other attendees. Please note that we recommend attendees use Chrome on a laptop or desktop for the best experience and performance.

Does my presentation need to be done in English?
Yes. Due to limited resources, we do not have the capacity to offer translation services.

What happens if I do not have all the required information to complete my proposal?
You will be able to edit your proposal submission until the deadline.

If my proposal is accepted, will I receive any compensation for presenting?
Yes, we will provide a stipend of $200 to all workshop presenters.

If my proposal is accepted, will I receive complimentary registration for the conference?
Unfortunately, we are unable to provide complimentary registrations as registrations are used to cover our expenses for the event. The current registration fee is $125 and will increase to $150 on April 1st, then to $200 on July 1st.

When do presentations take place?
The conference will have two primary blocks of content every day during the conference:

  • 7:00 AM – 10:00 AM (PST)
  • 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM (PST)

Workshops will likely be offered during the second half of each block to maximize access across time zones in North America, Europe and Australia. We will also consider times outside these blocks on a case by case basis.

Submission of a proposal is a commitment that the speakers will be available to speak on any conference day and time as assigned by the Steering Committee. We will do our best to accommodate your time requests (if any).

Can I promote any products or services during my presentation?
We ask that all presenters refrain from actively promoting or pitching products or services. Presenters will have the ability to create a profile page on our virtual event platform Socio, where links to additional information may be listed.

I have never presented at this conference before. What is expected of me?
The International Western Dharma Teachers Gathering (IWDTG) is the largest of its kind and only meets every 4-5 years. For these reasons, the Steering Committee works hard to ensure each and every session at the conference realizes its full potential. Our teachers expect:

  • Presenters will prepare for their session prior to arrival
  • Presenters have a significant knowledge and expertise of the subject area, and have sufficient presentation skills to effectively communicate
  • Presenters will engage the audience whenever possible. Some of the best practices for online workshops include engaging audiences as quickly as possible and throughout the session.
  • Presenters will be conscious of the time limitation of their presentation.
  • Presenters will not simply read directly from written statements.

Will my session be recorded and available for viewing after the conference?
Yes, we will record all workshop sessions on Zoom and make the recording available for on demand viewing. Recordings will be made available to all attendees until November 12, 2021. IWDTG retains the right to use parts of the recordings for future promotional videos related to future gatherings.

If you have any other questions not addressed above, please email us at and we will get back to you. Thank you!

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