About PILnet's Global Forum

PILnet is a global non-profit organization that partners with legal professionals and civil society organizations (CSOs) globally to protect civic space, address global challenges, and work to build just, equitable and sustainable societies. 

The Global Forum is PILnet’s flagship annual event, convening 300+ of the world’s leading lawyers and advocates, CSOs, change-makers, and innovators to find solutions to the most pressing access to justice issues of our time. Diverse participants from across the public and private sectors come together to problem-solve, share lessons learned, learn from each other, and co-design solutions and approaches that draw on expertise from corporate and public interest law and practice, technology, research, and other sectors and disciplines.

PILnet has organized five global and 14 regional forums. The Global Forum, which takes place in a different city each year, serves to shine a spotlight on local innovation and best practice, and offers an opportunity for the local pro bono community to develop collaborations with and replicate the success of other initiatives around the world. The event has played a major role in building support for pro bono legal advice and using law in the public interest around the globe.

We are requesting proposals to partner with us at PILnet in hosting the 2023 Global Forum. Application window is 31 October to 20 November.

Submit your proposal

2023 Forum Request for Proposals

We welcome proposals to partner with us to co-host the 2023 Global Forum. It will take place over three days sometimes in the period from October to the middle of November. The final dates will be decided based on the availability of venues and avoiding conflicts with other relevant events. Co-hosting partners will be formally recognized at the event. 

To ensure the Global Forum fulfills its goal, we ask that co-hosts and their cities meet certain considerations and criteria. Please include responses to each of these in your proposal.

Conceptual considerations

  • Context – There is a local pro bono community that the forum can add momentum to, support its growth, and shine a spotlight on.
    • In the proposal, tell us how the Forum would make a positive impact on local pro bono and what your goals for the Forum are.
  • Collaboration – Preference will be given to bids that include collaboration between organizations and across the legal, civil society, academic, public and corporate sectors.
    • In the proposal, list all confirmed and/or likely partners.

Supervisory duties

  • Local organizing team – Sufficient capacity to assist with various elements of the forum will be required, including:
    • Assisting PILnet with development of the agenda and helping to identify relevant local speakers,
    • Sourcing and liaising with local venues and contractors (such as, local volunteers, technical support, photographer etc.),
    • Assisting with promotion of the Forum online and through meetings and events in the months leading up to the conference,
    • Assistance with convening the local Forum Host Committee,
    • Supporting Forum participants requiring visas to enter by providing invitation letters.
  • Fundraising – The Forum is a revenue-neutral event, meaning we aim to simply cover the costs of the event rather than make a profit. Preference will be given to proposals that include local support and suggestions for local fundraising opportunities. Local organizing teams should also be able and willing to support local fundraising efforts.

Logistical criteria

  • Location – The city is easily accessible for participants from around the world to travel to and travel around in. The location provides reasonable security and safety for international travelers, no current travel restrictions or sanctions are in force or reasonably expected for the time when Forum is to be organized. The country’s visa regime is generally supportive of international business travel. 
    • Conference venue – There are at least two available venue options for the Tuesday and Wednesday (second and third day) of the Global Forum. The venue should be able to hold:
      • 300-350 participants banquet (preferable) or theater style in plenary with a small stage at the front
      • Space for 3 workshops in parallel holding up to 120 people banquet style with a top table for speakers
      • Additional 1-2 meeting spaces for smaller focused side-meeting of up to 30 people seated round-table
      • Catering options for conference participants, including three coffee breaks and lunch for 300-350 people, taking into account the ability to cater to various dietary restrictions and needs of international participants.
    • Side-meeting venues for the Day 1 meetings (see schedule below) – Ideally the space and catering for these meetings is sponsored/provided for free by local NGO, law firm, or other partners and the different venues are easily accessible and relatively close to the joint meeting venue. Alternatively (some of the) side-meetings could be considered in the same venue where Day 2 and Day 3 program would take place.
      • Global Meeting of Pro Bono Clearinghouses: up to 100 people banquet or roundtable style, including refreshments and lunch
      • Global Meeting of Law Firm Pro Bono Professionals: up to 120 people banquet or roundtable style, including refreshments and lunch
      • Global Meeting of In-House Counsel: up to 30 people banquet or roundtable style, including refreshments and lunch
      • Joint Meeting: up to 150 people banquet style, including refreshments
    • Social venues – Spaces are available for the evening events:
  • Global Forum Welcome Reception (see schedule below): space and light catering for a standing reception for up to 280 participants. 
    • Pro Bono Awards Dinner (see schedule below): space and catering (buffet or served dinner) for up to 300 people
  • Accommodations Affordable accommodation is available either in the conference venue or close by, with the possibility of block booking rooms in advance and preferably with a discounted rate for conference participants.

Indicative schedule of the Global Forum

  • Day 1: 
    • Global Meeting of Pro Bono Clearinghouses (morning)
    • Global Meeting of Law Firm Pro Bono Professionals (morning)
    • Global Meeting of In-House Counsel (morning)
    • Joint Meeting of Clearinghouses, Law Firm Professionals  and In-house Pro Bono (afternoon)
    • Global Forum Welcome Reception (evening)
  • Day 2:
    • Global Forum conferencing (all day)
    • Pro Bono Awards Dinner (evening)
  • Day 3:
    • Global Forum conferencing (all day)

Please note that all final Global Forum-related decisions on logistics, agenda and speakers will be made by PILnet. Schedule may be further adjusted to cater for and take into account the local preferences and business-culture and customs.

Submit your proposal

Submission Process

 Who can submit a proposal?

  • Local clearinghouses or other pro bono organizations
  • NGOs, civil society organizations, pro bono roundtables, bar associations, or other interested stakeholders, charities supporting civil society and/or public interest law.
  • Coalitions of clearinghouses, NGOs, lawyers, law firms, bar associations, or law schools are particularly welcome (In the proposal, identify which organization is the lead partner taking responsibility)

Proposal format

Prospective hosts should provide a 1-2 page proposal that describes how they meet the criteria and considerations listed above. We acknowledge that at this stage of the process, you may not be able to provide concrete details on every item, but please provide as much information as you can.

How to submit your proposal

The application window will open on 31 October and close on 20 November 2022. The submission form can be found here. For questions, please contact Sarah Gibbs at [email protected].