RED Forum 2017 – Call for Proposals


For the second year in a row, RRC is thrilled to be delivering the RED Forum – on Friday, May 12, 2017. RED Forum is a day-long experience that brings all RRC employees together to focus on Relationships, Education and Direction.

Feedback from our inaugural RED Forum last year has helped to shape an even better event this year! Key changes include: consistent session times rather than overlapping sessions, shorter sessions, and even more opportunities for networking.

At this time, proposals are invited from both RRC employees (individually or as a team) as well as members of the public who wish to lead (or co-lead) a professional development session from an area of expertise. The deadline to submit a proposal is February 17.

This year, all PD sessions will be placed within one of four streams that mirror the themes our 2016-21 Strategic Plan: Elevate Student Success, Advance Indigenous Achievement, Foster Sustainable Growth, and Cultivate Strategic Partnerships.

Get to know our 2016-21 Strategic Plan →

Proposal Preparation Checklist

Before starting the proposal submission process, please complete the following steps.

Checklist of Actions

Tips for Completing a Successful Proposal 

  1. Get to know our Strategic Plan. Become familiar with the four Strategic Themes and respective Initiatives. How does your proposal topic align to the plan, and why? Then read below for a description of each of our RED Forum streams that mirror the Plan. After reading these descriptions, can you further shape your idea? Decide how your session will add value to the RED Forum and help us achieve our organizational goals.
  2. Consider your presenter(s). Will you facilitate the session on your own or team up with others? Consider your counterparts in other institutions, or colleagues/leaders in business or community organizations. What value could they add?
  3. Spend some time brainstorming. Once you have alignment between your topic and the Strategic Plan, think about the needs and interests of RRC’s 2,200 staff. What will they walk away with from your session (learning outcomes)? How can you actively involve participants? How will you ensure that your presentation is both engaging and memorable, and that you are viewed as a prepared and dynamic speaker?
  4. Consider a “TED-Talk” style presentation. Feedback from last year’s RED Forum revealed that in addition to other session formats, staff would value some “TED Talks” this year! What makes a TED Talk so distinctive? With credit to Carmine Gallo’s book Talk Like Ted (2014), here’s the 9 magic secrets:
    • Masters the art of storytelling – not a standard presentation, it’s a performance, story and experience
    • Is delivered in under 20 minutes (15 or less is even better)
    • Is conversational in rate, volume, pitch and use of pauses, with engaging body language
    • Teaches something new and delivers it in a fresh way
    • Is highly practiced and polished
    • Shows vulnerability and humanity of the presenter
    • Delivers a jaw-dropping moment – a “hook” or emotionally charged event (could be a prop, a shocking statistic…)
    • Offers light moments with humour, videos and photos
    • Paints a mental picture with multi-sensory experiences
  5. Consider other formats. Have a topic that could be worthy of some thoughtful debate? Propose a point-counterpoint format with a moderator and let us in on the challenging perspectives you grapple with! Have a project that you’d like feedback on? Use the RED forum to invite interaction and input through an exhibit or open café! Want to let us experience what you do? Offer an experiential tour and activity. Bottom line here: Challenge your own comfort zone!
  6. Draft your proposal. Complete each section thoughtfully. Provide supporting materials, if available.  Request feedback from a knowledgeable colleague or another experienced presenter. Keep in mind that your stated learning outcomes and session abstract matter greatly – they factor into the review of proposals, they will be used in our promotional materials, and they will be referenced by participants in session evaluations.

Professional Development Streams

Please click below to read more about each of the strategic themes and how our PD sessions will link to these at the 2017 RED Forum.

Elevate Student Success  More

How does an organization like RRC create the conditions for an integrated, successful student experience from pre-recruitment to graduate, alumni and beyond?

This stream can encompass a wide range of topics, both inside and outside the classroom, within the college and extending out to industry. We encourage presenters to consider a variety of possible formats and topics:

  • Sharing or demonstrating applied methods, techniques and technologies that have worked for you
  • Exploring theoretical concepts
  • Providing an update on interesting projects and/or initiatives in your area
  • Engaging in debates / discussions with other colleagues
  • Facilitating discussion among your peers and other colleagues

Advance Indigenous Achievement More

Through a strong commitment to advancing Indigenous achievement, RRC has made this initiative a strategic priority through to 2021. The College aspires to deliver excellence in Indigenous achievement through partnerships and networks, incorporating Indigenous knowledge, perspectives and content. How does the RRC community achieve this?

Topics that might be explored include:

  • Learning about ongoing College activities and community partnerships that are contributing to the success of this initiative
  • Understanding the impact of historical events on the Indigenous community
  • Learning more about Indigenous cultures and ways of knowing through participation in ceremonies and traditional teachings
  • Understanding how the RRC community will infuse the Indigenous voice and holistic approach into all programs and services

Cultivate Strategic Partnerships More

Strategic partnerships provide opportunities for our students and employees to work with industry and community-based partners locally, nationally and internationally. But what does it mean to cultivate strategic partnerships at RRC either internally or externally?  Do you have a great idea but not sure how to start?   Learn from those who have created successful partnerships.

We encourage presenters to consider a variety of possible formats and topics such as:

  • What are the ways that RRC engages in strategic partnerships?
  • How to develop a partnership within the college– factors to consider for both sides. How to enter these types of conversations. What are front doors and long hallways?
  • Internal and external partnerships. How to identify internal partnership opportunities within and across departments.
  • How to leverage current internal and external partnerships at RRC?
  • Partnerships that bring impact to RRC, to students, staff.
  • Intentional partnerships aligned with vision and mission
  • Work done/partnerships developed by students that benefit the college and community – could this also land under the Elevating Student Success stream?
  • Bringing in a partner that has benefited from an RRC partnership to share their story

Foster Sustainable Growth More

When you think of sustainability, what comes to mind? It’s the stewardship of our people, our dollars and our environment combining interdependently to meet our organizational goals – now and forever.  Our College exists in a competitive, dynamic and financially challenging time, and this compels us to look for ways to innovate, focus, and be open to culture shift. Sessions in this stream will illuminate, inspire, challenge and invite you to be part of fostering sustainable growth at RRC – economically, socially and environmentally. Topics could include:

  • Thriving in change
  • Connections between employee engagement and innovation
  • How can a continuous improvement approach add value to our work?
  • Wellness and personal development, including resilience, mindfulness, emotional intelligence, writing for results, etc.
  • A sustainability primer – what does it really mean?
  • Our buildings, facilities and open spaces
  • Approaches to accessibility and inclusion

Session Lengths

This year, all sessions will be 60 minutes unless otherwise stated. Please note the format information for TED-style talks below.

Session Formats

TED Talk More

Limited to 20 minutes or less, this format embodies the 9 points above. Dynamic, polished storytelling with a punch, a single presenter enraptures the audience and brings new information to light in a fresh way, supported by high-quality multimedia. And yes, we’ll bring the headsets! TED Talks will be grouped into bundles of 2 or 3 per 60-minute timeslot. Want to organize 2 or 3 TED Talks on a common topic with separate presenters? Propose it!

Conversation Panel More

This format involves presenters who represent multiple perspectives on the same issue in a conversational dialogue. The first approach involves two presenters sitting in armchairs at the front of the room.The second approach invites up to 5 presenters in a standard panel set-up with regular chairs. In both cases, presenters create an engaging moderated discussion with dialogue, storytelling, case studies, and lessons learned to help participants apply concepts to their areas.

A moderator will assist the discussion. If you have a moderator in mind, let us know. If you don’t, let us know too, and the RED Forum Planning Group can assist you with suggestions.

Debate Point/Counterpoint  More

Similar to Conversation Panel but with more edge, this format is intended to stimulate conversation and generate fresh perspectives. Take a risk! Select a thought-provoking topic and create a panel with two opposing viewpoints. Add a third panelist to moderate the discussion, frame the conversation, and engage the audience. We’ll bring the podiums!

A moderator will assist the discussion. If you have a moderator in mind, let us know. If you don’t, let us know too, and the RED Forum Planning Group can assist you with suggestions.

Facilitated Content More

The facilitators act as content leaders, presenting a segment of content and then leading engaging activities, group discussions, and participant reflections on how to apply their new knowledge to practice. Session time is split approximately half into content and half into exercises appropriate for large groups to maximize interactivity.

Interactive Sessions  More

These traditional breakout sessions explore topics of common interest using innovative, thought-provoking content blended with audience participation. Sharing and Teaching Circle and other roundtable-style sessions can be included in this format.

Interactive/Experiential Activity More

This format provides an opportunity for you to invite your fellow employees to see the work you do, precisely where you do it. Maybe part tour, part demonstration, and part activity, this provides employees with a sense of your area in action. Consider offering an experiential/hands-on activity for your participants. Not just a walking tour of someone’s office, this is an illuminating experience that surprises and enriches the participant.

Feedback Exhibit/Open Café More

Building on the success of the President’s Open Cafes in 2016, we invite those seeking feedback on a project to harness the power of the RED Forum by proposing a hallway exhibit, open café or other similar format to engage and discuss ideas. Venues for these sessions may be more flexible than other formats depending on the topic and purpose.

Selection Process and Criteria

Proposals are selected to ensure the RED Forum offers a comprehensive, objective, and diverse program. Attention will be given to diversity of facilitators, subject areas, and campus representation. Selections are ranked by RED Forum Advisory Groups specializing in each stream, and final selections are approved by this year’s RED Forum Planning Group. Outcomes will be communicated to all submitters in mid-March.

The criteria for selection are:

Shows a demonstrated alignment to one or more RRC Strategic Plan themes

Offers value to a wide range of employees

Contributes to a well-balanced slate of topics within the stream

Articulates clear learning outcomes and outline

Provides employees with at least one practical tool or ‘takeaway’ that can be applied immediately

Presentation and/or presenters connect to principles of equity, diversity and inclusion

Presenter(s) demonstates skill and experience in delivering engaging sessions

Submission has been reviewed by supervisor for feedback and support

Submission package is complete

Ready to get started on your submission? Submit your proposal today!