Your Guide to a
Successful Proposal

Welcome to our guide for the RightsCon Call for Proposals! This guide offers an overview of the five steps to a successful session proposal and explains how we evaluate and build the program. We will be updating this guide ahead of the 2022 Call for Proposals.

The 11th edition of RightsCon will take place June 6 to 10, 2022. Stay tuned for more information about the public program by subscribing to our newsletter!

Before you start

Whether you’re a new or returning member of our community, take a moment to review frequently asked questions about our program priorities and policies in 2021.

Explore more resources for session success

Ready to start? Here are our five steps to success:

Step 1: Pick your program category

The RightsCon program is divided into tracks to help participants navigate the many issue areas our community covers. The categories listed below inform the creation of our final program tracks. Take a look to determine which category is most relevant to your chosen topic.

Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and the Algorithm

Civil Society Resistance and Resilience

Content Control and Censorship

Cyber Norms, Accountability, and Practice

Data Protection and User Control

Democracy, Elections, and Political Participation

Digital Security for Individuals and Communities

Freedom of the Media

Futures, Fictions, and Creativity

Human Rights-Centered Design

Internet Access, Education, and Inclusion

Internet Shutdowns and Network Disruptions

Justice, Documentation, and Investigation

New Models for Business and Labor

Next Frontier Technologies

Online Hate and Violent Extremism

Organizational Growth, Impact, and Resources

Peacebuilding and Digital Humanitarianism

Privacy and Surveillance

Trade, Innovation, and Intellectual Property

Step 2: Define your goal and choose a session format

The RightsCon program emphasizes community learning and strong outcomes. In the proposal form, when you choose the format for your session, you will see a series of questions tailored to that format. The questions will prompt you to think critically about your session design. Consider carefully which format will help you tap into the expertise of participants and deliver on your goal. Once the proposal form is submitted, you will not be able to change the session format.


Panels, community labs, and strategy sessions are full-length (60 minute) formats that occur live during the summit. Each format comes with a specific set of features and limitations, so make sure to review the options available to you by clicking on the goals in the next section.


Lightning talks and tech demos are brief (8-10 minute), prepared presentations, which are recorded in advance. Talks and demos are available for participants to view at any point during the summit and offer the opportunity to reach new audiences and collaborators.