PastForward: The National Preservation Conference

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March 17, 2014 - 5:00 pm CFP Deadline

PastForward: The National Preservation Conference

Call for Ideas and Proposals

PastForward: The National Preservation

Mark your calendars for the National Preservation Conference, PastForward, Nov. 11-14, 2014 in Savannah, GA. As the premier educational and networking event for those who care about saving places, this year’s conference introduces new, innovative programming that will inspire, engage and educate. With expert practitioners leading signature talks, intensive workshops, and educational and field sessions, PastForward will provide you with the tools and resources to push new frontiers in both academia and practice.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is rolling out a new conference format and has formed an exciting partnership with the Savannah College of Art and Design and Historic Savannah Foundation to bring you the best thinking in the preservation movement.  

Call for Ideas —Signature Talks/Learning Labs/Power Sessions/Speakers

Have an opinion on what you think hot topics are for preservation? Heard an inspiring speaker you think would resonate with the audience at the National Preservation Conference? Have a suggestion on what people need and want to hear in Savannah? Now is your chance to tell us! 

Unlike years past where we did a call for session proposals, which required responsibility for content and delivery from start to finish, a call for ideas encourages you to just submit your thoughts, and we will work with you to potentially bring them to life for the conference.  Here are areas where your ideas may ultimately take shape:

  • Signature Talk - Live streamed, dynamic, multi-media presentations, similar to seminars or general sessions, will bring new voices and new ideas together to identify and leverage the intersections between historic preservation and larger issues including climate change, community health, and economic reinvestment. 60 minutes long.
  • Learning Lab - In-depth, interactive learning in a classroom setting that allows for a rich investigation of the preservation-related issues raised by the signature talks. 90 minutes long.
  • Power Session - Quick, intensive, learning sessions, just 30 minutes long that give need-to-know information on recent reports or current issues.
  • Speaker - Experienced, dynamic, and engaging individuals with expertise in a specialized subject area. Please note: You will need to supply speaker contact information.

The process for submitting an idea is quick and easy. Simply fill out our form to share your ideas. Please submit as many ideas as you like!  Submissions are due March 17, 2014.

Call for Proposals —Field Studies

At this year’s conference, we expect to see a large number of attendees who are visiting Savannah for the first time as well as those who are returning to the city to learn about its progress in preservation since the 1998 National Preservation Conference was held in Savannah.  As such, tours of the local community, one of the conference’s most popular features, will remain a mainstay of the conference.  Under the new conference model, the tours will be referred to as “field studies” to signal the offering of in-depth educational content by which the attendees may fully immerse themselves in local preservation projects.

Field studies tell the preservation story of place.  This could be a single building, a downtown retail corridor, a historic neighborhood, a rural landscape, a series of bridges, a historic rail or road corridor, a park, a culturally significant place, a series of homes or buildings by the same architect, etc.

Field studies can be half-day (up to 4 hours) or full-day (6-9 hours), and can go as far as 90 miles outside the city of Savannah, and offer an opportunity to deeply engage with experts from around the country—the field study manager and attendees can learn from each other alike.

Click here to read the field study guidelines.  To submit your field study proposal, click here. Submissions are due March 17, 2014.

For more information on submitting a session idea and/or field study proposal, please visit or contact the National Trust for Historic Preservation conference staff at 202-588-6100 or e-mail