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Sustainable Detroit Forum

Call for Presentations

Hosted by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) - Detroit Region and many local partner organizations and volunteers, the Sustainable Detroit Forum (SDF) convenes over 200 industry leaders and influential local advocates to cross-fertilize the sustainable communities of Detroit. We strive to create a space to maintain and build a strong network of connections by bringing together Detroit’s most prominent community leaders to discuss the current sustainability landscape in the local business, residential, and non-profit communities. 

How to Submit a Proposal

To be considered, please submit your proposed title, a minimum of two learning objectives, a short description, and a full description. We also request that you identify at least one confirmed speaker. You will have the opportunity to upload attachments during the online submittal process, including presenter bio and headshot. You may submit more than one proposal, but presenters are only allowed to present during one session in order to share the speaking opportunities across our community.


  • May 10: Announce SDF 2023 call for presenters

  • July 28: Call for proposals submission deadline

  • July 28 - Aug 4: Programming Committee submission review and selection

  • Aug 8: Emails sent out regarding status (accepted, not accepted, waitlist) of proposals

  • Aug 11: Deadline to accept invitation to present at SDF 2023

  • November 6: Sustainable Detroit Forum


Presentation Topic

Presentation proposals should support and align with the 2023 SDF Theme and USGBC’s vision to deliver green buildings and sustainable, healthy communities for all within a generation. USGBC’s mission is to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated, enabling an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy, and prosperous environment that improves the quality of life. The following are potential topic areas to consider:


  • Climate Change

  • Health & Wellness

  • Resilience & Adaptation

  • Technology & Innovation

  • Building sustainable communities

  • Climate Resilience

  • Net Zero Emissions

  • Climate Justice

  • Climate Change


A group of volunteers with diverse backgrounds and years of industry experience will review, score and select proposals based on the following criteria: 

  • Session Quality - Relevant, timely, and applicable topic (5 points) 

  • Innovation, creativity, and inspiration (5 points)

  • Knowledgeable speaker(s) (3 points) 

  • Clear learning objectives (2 points)

  • Clear connection to 2023 Forum Theme (2 points)

  • Social Impact of Topic (1 point)

  • LEED Rating System Specific -  (1 point)

  • Current USGBC Individual or Company Membership (1 point)


Conference Policies 

  • Speakers or panelists will be limited in the number of sessions he or she may present, but it is OK to submit more than one proposal. Organizations will also be limited in the number of sessions they are represented on. 

  •  All selected speakers will be asked to complete an electronic Speaker Agreement and to provide a professional photo for marketing purposes. 

  • The SDF 2023 Planning Committee reserves the right to develop these sessions using a combination of proposals and/or invited presenters. 

  • Sessions can be scheduled at any time during the conference and speakers must be available any time during the day of the conference. You may select a preference for AM or PM presentation, and the Planning Committee will try to accommodate you.

  • Submissions promoting only specific product brands, services, or proprietary technologies will not be selected. 

  • Proposals are received with the understanding that speakers are providing their time preparing and delivering the presentation without compensation. You are submitting with no expectation of compensation.

  • All selected presenters will receive a discounted ticket to the conference. A maximum of 3 speakers per presentation will receive this discounted pass. No additional compensation or reimbursement is offered. This discount cannot be combined or transferred. 

  • Session submitters may not propose speakers without the knowledge and permission of the proposed speakers. All proposed speakers must be able and willing to present at the conference at the time and date assigned. Proposals that are submitted without the knowledge of proposed speakers are subject to immediate rejection; if the proposal is selected and it is found that all speakers did not know about the proposal or did not agree to present, the session is subject to immediate cancellation. 

  • Accepted presenters who are not able to attend must notify USGBC staff immediately. Replacement presenters must be suggested and approved by the Program Committee Co-Chairs. The Co-Chairs reserve the right to modify or cancel any session based on a change in presenter.



In-person Health and Safety Statement

The safety and well-being of our community is our top priority. USGBC continues to monitor policy and procedures and is working actively to remain in compliance with federal, state, and local agencies to implement best practices aimed at managing the spread of COVID-19. To protect the health and peace of mind of our attendees, USGBC has implemented preventive measures outlined on our Health and Safety Protocols page.

  • Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)

  • Energy Audits

  • Public spaces and LEED ND

  • Sustainability Financing

  • Urban farming communities

  • Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG)

  • Green for All (equity, accessibility, diversity)

  • Energy Infrastructure

  • Flooding

  • Transportation

  • Zero Waste

  • Electric Vehicles

  • Public infrastructure

  • Weatherization

  • Biodiversity

  • Community Resiliency

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