Project for Public Spaces
11th International Public Markets Conference11th International Public Markets Conference

Call for Speakers

Thank you for your interest in speaking at the 11th International Public Markets Conference in Toronto! This is the first time we are organizing a Call for Speakers for this conference, and we hope this process will introduce us to new issues, projects, friends, and colleagues across the globe to the benefit of our entire audience.

The Call for Speakers application closed on November 4th. If you submitted a proposal, please see the bottom of this page for the review and notifications timeline.


This year’s conference theme is Setting a New Table. Public markets have the potential to benefit towns, cities, and regions in countless ways, from fostering food justice to offering economic opportunity for people from all walks of life. However, many communities currently do not have access to these benefits, and existing decision-making processes often keep those inequities in place. 

In order to create market systems for all, market leaders must do more than get a seat at the table—we must work with everyone who has been left out to reimagine the table entirely. This is especially important as we adapt to long-term changes brought about by COVID-19 and consider the impacts of new technologies. To that end, we aim to deliver a conference program that supports market managers, policymakers, and advocates in putting promises of a fairer food system, fairer economies, and social cohesion into action.


We want to hear your experiences, stories, tools, lessons learned, and maybe even some wild ideas for how we can leverage public markets for all. In the proposal form, we list program topics for you to choose from to help provide structure for the conference program overall, but we welcome new ideas and themes that emerge from this process. The hope is that our final program will be inclusive of topics we know appeal to our audience, based on our past experience with the event, as well as the themes that emerge from this process.

In your application you will be asked to provide (or select):

  • Personal information
  • Proposal title
  • Abstract
  • Format
  • A general topic area
  • Supplemental questions for your chosen format


  • You can submit only one application per speaker.
  • Anyone can apply for a speaker role, but our conference speakers have traditionally been made up of market operators and managers, academics and researchers, local government reps, consultants, market advocates and civil society groups.
  • Accepted speakers from this process will receive a discounted registration rate. A limited amount of financial aid to cover registration fees will be available via a scholarship process that speakers are welcome to apply for in Spring 2023.


For our 2023 conference, we are offering two conference session formats. Each format is unique so please review the characteristics and expectations of each, and then in your application form choose the one that’s the best fit for your content.

  1. Short Talk/Single Presentation - Panel Session
    Propose a single, 15-minute presentation to be combined with other presenters into a 90-minute session. The presentations will be followed by a robust audience Q&A session.
  2. Unconference Session
    Propose a 60-90 minute session focused on exploring a particular topic of interest in more of an informal, participatory session. Keep in mind there are a very limited number of unconference sessions available, so selection for this format will be more competitive.

Proposal timeline

  • Application closes: November 4, 2022
  • Review period complete: December, 2022
  • Applicant notifications of status: January, 2023
  • Conference registration opens in Spring 2023

For any questions about the Call for Speakers process, please email us at:

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