Explore the ORFC archive

ORFC 2025

ORFC Session Submission Guide

ORFC 2025 Call for Submissions Form

Recommendations for submitting an idea or proposal

What makes a good submission:

  • Innovative ideas that are only starting to be explored and developed
  • Hot topics receiving a lot of attention, especially when they relate to current events
  • On-going  issues that deserve further conversation and development
  • Fresh angles on old debates, particularly where there are new voices to be heard. 
  • New research or evidence which advances our knowledge or understanding
  • Practical, hands-on information. 
  • Honing in on the detail.  We love to hear about the small stuff. 
  • A good story….of experimentation, collaboration, creativity, community, triumph, failure, survival…you get the idea…
  • It is aligned with our Guiding Principles (see ORFC Guiding Principles)

What doesn’t make a good submission:

  • Anything that promotes one specific product or brand
  • Anything that is too broad
  • Anything too heavy on jargon and inaccessible language

Guidance for a good title and blurb

Title length:

Titles need to say what the session is about.  Please be concise and informative, with no more than eight words. Think about the audience and tell them what they will get from your session. Don’t waste words with puns or meaningless phrases.  Remember the whole conference is about “agroecology” so if you’re going to use broad terms, have a good reason for doing so. 

Blurb length:

Blurbs must be no more than 100 words long. Please be as clear, simple and descriptive as possible. Don’t use jargon or words that wouldn’t be recognised by everyone, unless there’s a good reason to do so I.e. it is the name of your research project. Remember you are trying to get people to come to your session so tell them what it is about and what makes it relevant to them. 

*Please note that the ORFC programme team reserves the right to recommend suggestions to improve titles and blurbs. These will be communicated to the relevant session coordinators.

Guidance for a good panel

  • We recommend having a maximum of four speakers and one chair to ensure that each speaker has enough time to share their knowledge and experience.  Three speakers is often more than enough. 
  • Panels must have diversity in gender, age, ethnicity, geography,  activity and/or experience to ensure that the exchange is representative of our diverse community and is enriched by it.
  • Maximum of two sessions per person to ensure a wide range of voices and experiences.

Session types

Our regular sessions are 90 minutes long.  Our lunchtime sessions are 45 minutes long.  Some of these sessions are livestreamed. 

  • Keynote talk:  an in-depth exploration of a highly relevant issue, usually by one person. 
  • Panel discussion: typically a group of up to four speakers and a chair gathered to discuss a topic in front of an audience. 
  • Workshop: an interactive session led by one or more facilitators which is intended to bring together people to discuss a topic or issue, or a practical session led by one or more tutors involving an activity and practical learning.  
  • 1-to-1 interview or dialogue: a session with two people. These can work well in the 45-minute slots, though longer slots are available too. 
  • Exhibitions and film screenings: display of work or tools sometimes involving demonstrations or screening of a film. 
  • Cultural event: this could be anything you can dream up but historically we have hosted music, storytelling, poetry, theatre, tastings and food tours.
  • Other: we are open to different session formats, so if you’d like to propose a new idea, please do! 


Session types People involved Content Audiences and room sizes Session length Can be livestreamed?
Panel discussion A chair and up to four speakers Discussion of a topic in front of an audience From small to very large  45 or 90 minutes Yes
Workshop One or more facilitators Interactive discussion/ activity or practical learning Small to medium 45 or 90 minutes No
1-to-1 interview or dialogue Two speakers,

OR one chair and one speaker

Dialogue between two people debating an issue or interview From small to very large  45 or 90 minutes Yes
Exhibitions and film screenings One or more facilitators Display of work or tools sometimes involving demonstrations or screening of a film From small to very large  45 or 90 minutes No


Responsibilities of session organisers

  • It is for the session coordinator and their team to decide how to organise the session, and to communicate these choices to the ORFC Programme Team. This includes:
    • How the sessions will flow – conversationally, presentations etc, including rough timings
    • whether there is interaction with delegates (incl. Q&A)
    • use of presentation materials (films, PowerPoint, props, etc.)
    • Ideally, the type and number of audience you are looking for
  • Ensure speakers can attend in person and support them as necessary
  • Ensure all speakers have registered for an in-person ticket by the deadline (please see Ticket policy and support available section)
  • Ensure all speakers submitted their presentation materials by the deadline
  • Ensure all speakers have submitted their biography by the deadline in order to be featured in the programme
  • Ensure all speakers have access to the information shared in the ORFC Speaker Group
  • Flag to the ORFC Programme team as early as possible if there are any concerns regarding any speaker’s access and participation at the conference so that the different support streams can be discussed (please see Ticket policy and support available section)
  • Meet beforehand with the people involved in the session to discuss how the session will flow and review the speaker and chair guide
  • Liaise with the ORFC Programme Team for support and guidance and to inform of the development of the session
  • Be a direct point of contact during the conference between the panel and the ORFC Programme Team

Ticket policy and support available

ORFC always asks everyone who attends the conference and can afford to pay for their ticket to do so, regardless of whether they are a speaker or a delegate. 

The programme is a collective endeavour, and one-third of delegates contribute to the conference as a speaker or presenter. This means it is only possible to keep ticket prices relatively low when the speakers who can afford to pay do so. ORFC is part of a charity and ticket sales ensure ORFC can happen each year while maintaining strong principles about where funding is accepted so that the conference can maintain its radical edge. 

We also recognise the work that goes into making sessions happen and the inequitable systems under which we are organising. There are several streams of support which speakers can access, including:

  • subsidised tickets (these are released with general tickets in September – please book early, as numbers are limited)
  • a lift share and accommodation share spreadsheet to help with cost sharing
  • speakers can also apply for a bursary by midday BST on Monday, 2nd September 2024 (these are limited and not guaranteed). 

Conversely, if your organisation can purchase supporter tickets, please do so, as these enable us to offer bursaries to those who would not otherwise be able to attend. Session organisers should also be proactive in supporting speakers to attend the conference. 

If cost would be a barrier for you or the speakers to attend, please let the conference team know directly at carla@orfc.org.uk, no later than Thursday, 10th October 2024. (This will not affect whether your submission gets accepted.)

Overview of the session selection process

All session ideas and proposals submitted are analysed by the Selection Committee constituted by the Real Farming Trust staff and representatives of ORFC partners.

We aim to create as much space for everyone’s brilliant ideas as possible. This year, we are offering a proposal support surgery for people who haven’t run a session at ORFC before on Monday 25th March and Wednesday 16th April. This is a chance to discuss your proposal with the ORFC team before submitting it. Book a spot in the proposal support surgery.

We will be looking through the submissions from May and contacting all those whose suggestions we would like to develop for the conference by the end of September. 

Where sessions overlap or where there may be synergy, ORFC may contact each session coordinator to propose that the session organisers work together on a collaborative session.

By early October, we must have all speaker and programme details confirmed. Unfortunately, due to a high volume of submissions, we are not always able to get back to everyone who submitted ideas for the conference. If you haven’t heard from us by the end of September, please do get in touch.


March, 6 March 2024: Call for submissions opens

Monday, 25 March 2024 from 1-4pm BST: Proposal support surgery (book here)

Tuesday, 16 April 2024 from 1-4pm BST:  Proposal support surgery (book here)

Thursday, 18 April 2024 at 12pm BST (midday): Deadline for submissions

Monday, 30 September 2024: All applicants notified whether selected

Thursday, 10 October 2024: Deadline to submit final session details and speaker bios

Thursday, 14 November 2024: Deadline for speakers to register 

Thursday, 19 December 2024: Deadline for submitting session videos

Tuesday 7 January 2025 at 12pm GMT (midday): Deadline for submitting presentation materials (PPTs or PDFs)

Thursday 9 and Friday 10 January 2025: Conference takes place in Oxford

ORFC 2025 Call for Submissions Form