Call for Session Proposals

We invite you to organize a session for the 2024 Global Forum in Bangkok. 

We don’t just want your ideas for sessions, we want you to take full ownership and create, organize, and facilitate a Forum session so that you play an integral role in shaping the conversations at the Forum. At the Forum, we strive to exchange knowledge of best practices using the law to support civil society with the goal to spark new ideas or develop projects and partnerships.

If your session proposal is selected, you will take responsibility for organizing your session, including inviting and liaising with speakers, planning the content and timing of the session, and facilitating it at the Forum. A PILnet staff member will work with and support you on all logistical and technical aspects of your session. Submit your session proposal by April 30.

Questions? Contact us at [email protected]

Please read the Session Proposals Guidelines below. A PDF version is available here.

Submit a Session Proposal

Session Proposal Guidelines


Sessions may relate to any topic relevant to pro bono and public interest lawyering with the goal to generate and share new ideas, make connections, and set actionable plans that use legal tools and the expertise of lawyers to build just, equitable, and sustainable societies. 

We will prioritize high-quality interactive sessions ideas that:

  • feature diverse speakers,
  • interactively engage the audience as active participants, and
  • explore innovative ideas and approaches for the use of pro bono and public interest lawyering.

Session coordinators will be responsible for:

  • planning the content and structure of the session,
  • ensuring interactivity to engage participants,
  • identifying and inviting speakers, confirming and supporting their participation, and communicating with them about the session,
  • ensuring that the coordinator and all speakers are registered for the Forum and provide their headshot and biography to the PILnet team, and
  • facilitating the session at the Forum.  

Session Content, Approach and Speakers

The purpose of the Forum is three-fold. We strive to:

  • exchange knowledge of best practices using the law to support civil society with the goal to spark new ideas or develop new projects and partnerships,
  • provide a platform for our partners to network and strengthen relationships, and
  • boost pro bono and public interest law culture locally, regionally, and across the globe.

Participants repeatedly voice that they want to explore and engage with new ideas that they can take back and apply to their own work. Therefore, we are looking for sessions on best practices and lessons learned from projects that can be expanded to new jurisdictions or communities. We are also interested in sessions that allow participants to grapple with and discuss current themes and challenges in their work and the community at large.  

Proposals that do the following will be given a strong preference:

  • encourage open discussion, collaboration, and interactivity – rather than those that are in a lecture format or a panel featuring a static sequence of presentations with a Q&A, and
  • explore innovative models and approaches, as well as prioritize diversity and inclusion through both participation and format. 

Regarding speakers, you should consider the diversity of Forum participants and the larger community and partners when organizing your session. Please also note that chosen sessions may be streamed to virtual registrants who will be able to comment and pose questions. In your submission please highlight if speakers will join virtually and we will try our best to accommodate your request.

Session Length & Format

All sessions will run 60 minutes. You may state in your session proposal form if you wish to have more or less time for your session (e.g. 90 or 30 mins) and we will do our best to accommodate your request.

In our proposal selection, we will give priority to interactive and diverse session formats over panel discussions. Please consider the following alternative session formats for your submission:

  • Roundtable: group discussion to engage in an open exchange of ideas on a specific topic. Unlike traditional panel discussions where a few individuals speak to an audience, roundtable discussions aim to facilitate active participation and collaboration among all participants.
  • Workshop / Training: provides hands-on learning experiences, allowing participants to develop specific skills, knowledge, or techniques.
  • Fireside Chat: informal conversations between a moderator and one or more guest speakers, providing insights into the speaker’s experiences, perspectives, and lessons learned.
  • Lightning Talks / Pitch: short, dynamic presentations lasting a few minutes each, allowing multiple speakers to share their insights, experiences, or project ideas in a rapid-fire format. These presentations might showcase emblematic examples of good practices, spark provocative thoughts, or pitch concrete projects to recruit volunteers/participants.
  • Hackathon or Innovation Challenge: collaborative session where participants work together to solve specific challenges, develop innovative solutions, or create prototypes within a limited timeframe.
  • Closed-door Meeting: by invitation only. This format is ideal for discussing sensitive topics, creating a safe space for all participants to share knowledge, exchange ideas, or delve into sensitive discussions.

We strongly discourage PowerPoint presentations, except in certain cases. Here are more tips for formatting your session. 


You will be notified by the beginning of June  as to whether your proposal has been accepted or not. 

Forum planners anticipate receiving many high-quality proposals, and all sessions will be given careful consideration by PILnet, with the input of external partners where relevant. If your proposal is accepted, PILnet reserves the right to suggest changes in the recommended speakers, substance, structure, or materials. PILnet will facilitate introductions of groups submitting proposals in that case. Due to the large number of submissions, PILnet may also suggest to merge your session with other similar session proposals. 

If chosen, you will take sole responsibility for organizing your session. A PILnet staff liaison will be assigned to your session to guide you through the process, provide information to you regarding scheduling and logistics, and answer any questions you have. This person will be your primary contact leading up to the Forum. 


PILnet will provide the session coordinator with guidance to organize the session, including a template to prepare a session outline, which must be completed and returned to your staff liaison, detailing the major points and rundown of the session, as well as a one-paragraph summary describing the session for our website. Session coordinators will also be responsible for providing speaker names, photos, and short bios, which will be published on our website. 

Registration and Fees

All speakers have to register for the Forum. 

Session coordinators and speakers who wish to attend any session other than their own are required to pay the appropriate registration fee. Session coordinators and speakers who attend only their session and no other part of the Forum can apply for a “session only” registration fee waiver. PILnet staff will provide information about how to request and register for “session only” waivers after session decisions have been announced. 

Session coordinators are asked to support related costs of their session speakers should they require support, including travel, lodging, and event registration, or to assist their speakers with obtaining support. PILnet is unable to cover the cost of speakers’ travel, lodging, or other costs associated with attending the Forum.

In extremely limited cases, PILnet will waive the registration fees of speakers from NGOs, universities, and bar association staff upon request and subject to the outcome of PILnet’s fundraising efforts.


PILnet will provide meeting space, stationery, limited audio-visual equipment, promotion, logistical support, and session evaluation. 

  • All speakers are expected to be available in-person in Bangkok. In exceptional cases individual speakers may be able to join remotely, ONLY upon specific arrangement and prior agreement with PILnet. In these cases, your staff liaison will provide you with the necessary logistical details. Should one of your speakers become unavailable to attend in-person, please contact your staff liaison immediately. 
  • All speakers are expected to hold availability for November 13 and 14 until session scheduling and the agenda has been finalized. Continued flexibility and availability is appreciated. 
  • PILnet cannot provide travel or accommodation support to coordinators or speakers. Session coordinators are asked to support related costs of their session speakers should they require support, including travel, lodging, and event registration, or to assist their speakers with obtaining support.


April 30: Session proposals due.

June 3: Decisions on selected sessions announced.

June 28: Finalized agenda shared with you, including date and time of your session.                                         

September 2: Finalized session outline due, including title and description for publication on our website

September 15: Speaker biographies and headshots due. Early Bird Registration closes.

October 29: Registration closes (please have your speakers register as soon as possible).

*We are happy to receive these items prior to the deadline as soon as they are finalized.