Call for Proposals: 2014 Alliance Leadership Retreat

Attention advocates: We are now accepting applications for sessions at the 2014 Alliance Leadership Retreat.

The Leadership Retreat is the best and most in-depth networking opportunity for local and state biking and walking advocates – and it only comes around once every two years. Advocates pour in from all over to connect with peers.

Leadership Retreat table

The benefits are enormous: advocates have the opportunity to learn others’ best practices, get new ideas, share expertise, and talk through challenges. All with people who understand the work of advocating for better biking and walking in our communities.

Keep reading for more information about the session proposal process. The deadline for submission is Friday, June 6. 


We are organizing the Leadership Retreat in five sections:

  • Organizational development – growing biking and walking advocacy groups to their fullest, most expert potential

    Examples: Sharing innovative fundraising tactics; spotlighting essential software tools for advocacy organizations; methods to take your organization to the next level.
  • Programs – Creating, growing, and executing organizational activities to maximize biking and walking

    Examples: Vanguard practices for engaging volunteers; running innovative education programs; designing a killer communications strategy
  • Advocacy – Focusing on the best methods, practices, and innovations to facilitate public policy progress for better active transportation

    Examples: Running campaigns for transportation referenda; gathering data to support your case; developing a legislative agenda
  • Leadership development – Building professional capacity to foster the next generation of biking and walking advocacy leaders

    Examples: Essential practices for working in teams; mastering public speaking; ensuring leadership roles of women, youth, and people of color
  • Movement building – Organizing and reaching out to broaden and grow the scope of active transportation advocacy

    Examples: Engaging transit advocates; building external partnerships; incorporating walking and biking

There will also be special sessions for organizations based on size and focus area: 

  • Large city organizations
  • Rural organizations
  • Statewide organizations
  • Pedestrian advocacy organizations
  • Community bike shops and collectives 

Some sessions will be specifically for people in certain roles in their organization. There will be sessions specifically for: 

  • Executive Directors
  • Advocacy Directors
  • Education staff 
  • Communications staff
  • ... And more, depending on attendee composition


The Leadership Retreat Planning Committee will prioritize sessions with creative and collaborative formats. Applicants are asked to identify which of the following formats they will utilize to make the session interactive, engaging, and creative. Unless otherwise noted, sessions will be 75 minutes. Shorter formats will be grouped with other presenters.

  • Peer-to-peer coaching session / workshop
  • Active / walking meeting
  • Panel discussion
  • Improv / comedy / theater
  • Long-form storytelling (e.g. TED Talks) - up to 20 minutes each
  • Short-form storytelling (e.g. Ignite or Pecha Kucha) - 7 minutes each
  • Art-based / visioning facilitation
  • Popular education techniques (e.g. World Cafe or Fishbowl discussions)
  • Other

Submission questions

Proposals will be reviewed and evaluated by the Leadership Retreat Planning Committee and chosen based on: how the proposal addresses a challenge within the movement; how the proposal aims to build leadership skills; how the proposal addresses issues of equity and inclusion; and the creativity of the session format.

The request for proposals asks the following questions:

  • Abstract: Describe your session in 200 words or fewer.
  • Learning objectives: List up to 3 learning objectives for session participants.
  • Evaluation & spread: How will these learning objectives be measured, evaluated, and shared with the larger group of Retreat participants?
  • Diversity: Address how session SPEAKER(S) represent diversity in race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical ability, or socioeconomic background. See Question 14 to address how this session addresses the topics of equity and inclusion.
  • Content level: We want to make sure that session descriptions are tailored to help participants understand which will benefit them most. Please identify any baseline requirements for participants of this workshop (e.g. board members, advocates from large organizations, leaders from single-staff organizations, advocates with over 5 years of experience).
  • Equity considerations: How will your session address issues of inclusion and equity and share examples of work you've done across community lines and in coalitions (e.g. successes working with transit advocates or faith-based groups)?
  • Additional considerations: We want to create safe spaces for open discussion at this Retreat. Please note any sensitive issues this session may explore, and if there are any participant considerations (e.g. women only).


Questions about Leadership Retreat proposals should be directed to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Membership Coordinator for the Alliance for Biking & Walking, by This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or at (202) 449-9692 x 8.