Reimagining Livelihoods Forum: Call for Proposals

You are invited to submit a proposal for the “Reimagining Livelihoods” Forum, hosted by the Live Work Well Research Centre (LWWRC), University of Guelph. This three-day hybrid forum welcomes proposals from both individuals and organizations and will be held between August 22nd and 24th, with in-person components taking place at 10 Carden Shared Space in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. The deadline for proposal submissions was previously May 31st, 2023, and has now been extended until June 12th, 2023.

This page includes the following information:

What are "livelihoods"?

Livelihoods are about making a living and a life. They describe the means to secure the necessities of life – through practices such as paid work, caregiving, volunteering, market gardens, fishing, artistry, bartering, and others.

We are living in a time of extreme change and uncertainty, given our current pandemic reality, rising sociopolitical conflicts, and intensifying climate change – among other challenges. This presents an opportunity to reimagine what “livelihoods” are made of, and collaboratively identify the supports, structures, and systems we need to live and work well.

What is the Reimagining Livelihoods Forum about?

The overall goal of the “Reimagining Livelihoods” Forum is to share, discuss, and engage with diverse perspectives, experiences, and knowledges about livelihoods. We aim to address the following themes:

We will explore different forms and dimensions of livelihoods, including: labour, employment, and livelihoods; parenting and livelihoods; graduate and mature students’ experiences of livelihoods; well-being in and outside of institutional and formal work spaces; and material and non-material barriers to well-being.
We will use an intersectional livelihoods approach to understand topics including: influences of social contexts on livelihood choices; tensions around family support; in-person and online social networks; intersections of culture, race, ethnicity, and accessibility; health and disability; poverty, precarity, and homelessness; age and aging processes; gender and sexuality; gender-based violence; education and training; and thinking through ways of making a living beyond paid employment.
We will reimagine livelihoods through: asking how we can live and work well despite existing crises (e.g. growing economic inequality, climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic); identifying and challenging power dynamics; creating new common grounds for building solidarity and resistance; and generating space and opportunities for creativity, care, and fulfilment within our homes, communities, and institutions.

Example questions to be discussed throughout the forum include:

  • How do people imagine, find, and create opportunities to take care of themselves, their families, and communities? 
  • What have we learned about diverse people’s livelihoods and how they make choices about how they live and work?   
  • What questions and new insights have come from our work on livelihoods? 
  • How do different social locations (e.g. gender, race, immigration status, language, disability) interact to shape experiences of livelihoods? 
  • How has the pandemic changed our understandings of what it means to live and work well? 
  • What are the necessary supports, structures, and systems for living and working well in our current contexts? 
  • How can we make connections between these diverse experiences and create systemic changes to relevant policies and practices?

How can I participate?

We are seeking proposals for different types of sessions from community organizations, researchers, academics, students, and other interested parties. Collaboration among community and university partners is strongly encouraged. Participants will have opportunities to engage with community members and leaders, researchers, students, policy-makers, and practitioners to learn from each other about livelihoods, and barriers and opportunities for living and working well.

Together with our partners, the Live Work Well Research Centre will co-create a multimedia platform to share the outcomes of the forum in creative ways. This platform will provide opportunities for ongoing engagement, contributions, and learning about livelihoods. Resources, recordings, and other session materials will be posted on the multimedia platform. 

All proposals, regardless of format, must address a topic in at least one of the themes identified above. We especially encourage sessions that highlight stories of community engagement, resilience, and inclusion.

Possible session formats include:

Short individual presentations. Each presentation will be 10 minutes in length, followed by a 5-minute Q&A session (15 minutes total). Presenters may choose to share ideas in development, evaluations of programs/projects, findings from community-engaged research, and/or opportunities for collective problem-solving of identified challenges.
Group discussions on a common topic. Each panel will be 20-30 minutes in length, followed by a 20-30 minute Q&A session (60 minutes total). Panel proposals should identify a moderator and 3-4 speakers.
Training or activity sessions where presenters teach and discuss skills and techniques involved in community-based work or research. In your proposal, please identify specific learning goals as they relate to one or more of the forum themes, your preferred format (virtual or in-person), as well as the preferred number of participants. Workshops will be between 60-90 minutes long.

Sessions where presenters share a story about their livelihood experiences. Presenters will then invite attendees to share their own stories related to what the presenter and other attendees share, and moderate the discussion. Storytelling sessions will then close with presenters offering reflections, connections, and learning. These sessions will be 60 minutes in length.

Activities including skits, dramatizations, films, videos, performances, poetry, dance, music, or other expressive and artistic forms. Proposals should provide details about how you will present your creative work, including the length of the performance and any requests for technical support or special equipment. Also, please include whether you wish to introduce your performance and lead a Q&A session afterwards. The maximum length of each performance will be 15 minutes.
Displays such as artwork, photography, research posters, or other artistic and expressive forms that relate to one or more of the forum themes. Proposals should provide details about how you will display your work, including whether you wish to lead a Q&A discussion session on your display and any requests for technical support or special equipment.


If your proposal does not fit within any of the above formats, please contact the Organizing Committee for guidance:

How do I submit my proposal?

Have an idea you want to share? Fill out this form, and tell us about your proposal. For alternative submission arrangements, please contact the Organizing Committee at

What will I need to include in my proposal?

  • Name(s), pronoun(s), email, and affiliation(s) of lead presenter or co-presenters (up to three co-presenters)
  • Name(s), pronoun(s), contact information, and affiliation(s) of any collaborators or co-authors (if applicable)
  • Proposed session format
  • Preference for an in-person or virtual session
  • Title of the proposal
  • 100 words or less about how your proposal connects to a forum theme 
  • 250-word summary of your proposal 
  • Any accessibility supports and accommodations we can provide to ensure your full participation
  • Identify a confirmed moderator
  • Identify 3-4 confirmed speakers
  • Indicate preferred number of participants
  • Identify any space/material needs

Important dates

  • Submission Deadline: May 31st, 2023 - Deadline extended until June 12th, 2023
  • Notification of Decisions: Before July 15th, 2023

Please note that successful applicants must also register to attend the Forum (registration details coming soon)

Who will review my proposal, and what criteria will they use?

All proposals will be reviewed by the Organizing Committee of the “Reimagining Livelihoods” Forum. The following criteria for proposal acceptance will be used to review proposals:

  • Completion of all submission requirements.
  • Clarity and organization of written proposal summary, including meeting all requirements listed above.
  • Relevance to the Forum themes and goals. 
  • Originality of the proposal and potential impact on livelihood-related research/policymaking/practices.

Funding for the Reimagining Livelihoods Forum is supported by a Social Science and Humanities Research Council Connection Grant.