We’re excited that you want to put together a proposal ☺️ Read through our themes and purpose, then everything below, before applying at the bottom of this page. Applications close on Monday 13 May 2019 at 23:59 AEST (Melbourne, Australia time). We'll then let people know if they've been shortlisted on Monday 10 June. Send us an email at if you have any questions 👋


In the lead up to the conference we engage with the community to learn about the stories our audience would like to hear. We approach this as a qualitative research project, speaking with a diverse group of practitioners and synthesising the outcomes to identify relevant themes.

We then share our call for proposals (the one you’re reading right now) across our global networks, which is open for about a month.

Proposals are assessed by our advisory panel, who do a blind sort (names and details removed) to prioritise them around the selected themes. Shortlisted speakers are then moderated and contacted for a follow up chat, as we balance representation, themes, and the flow of the schedule.

We specifically look for forward-thinking practitioners across the fields of: Service Design, Strategic Design, Speculative Design, and other emerging practices – calling on speakers to bring subversive thinking, new paradigms, and critical approaches that define how these practices grow. We also look for a balance of people from: industry, academia, consultancies, government, not-for-profits, and startups.

Apart from this, we work with highly regarded practitioners, organisations and collectives to curate sections of our events based on the themes identified. This might include: masterclasses, workshops, panels, discussion groups, debates, open houses, exhibitions, performances, screenings, podcasts, design fiction, posters, comics, or zines that run alongside the conference.

Feel free to propose something other than a talk, as we’ll also consider experimental and experiential ideas that might be suited to another format or medium.


We always aim for the program to reflect our community and broader society, with practitioners from across the spectrums of identity, culture, race, gender, sexuality, and life experience. We purposefully work with people from across these spectrums as part of the selection process.

Our advisory panel are aimed at being a representative group of well regarded practitioners and past speakers, although we also acknowledge the limitations of this, changing the panellists each year to bring new thinking and perspectives.

We openly seek to create space for voices from underrepresented communities, and rebalancing systemic inequity is one of the key considerations in all our decision making.


Everyone selected is paid for their time and effort, we’ll work this out with you based on your proposal and unique requirements. This generally starts at around AUD $1000, and can go up to revenue-sharing for multi-day masterclasses.

We have specific budgets to support both local and international speakers, with a focus on practitioners from the Asia-Pacific region, providing: flights, accommodation, payments, nourishment, translators, and any other support you might need.

We provide mentoring to all speakers, and opportunities for less experienced speakers to practice at smaller events in the lead up to the conference.

We also provide feedback to all speakers who aren’t selected, talking through how we could collaborate in future.


Just a couple of practical things to confirm, then start your proposal below:

We acknowledge the Woiwurrung and Boonwurrung people of the Kulin nation as the traditional owners of the lands on which our events are located, and the traditional owners of country on which we practice across Australia. We recognise that sovereignty over these lands and waters has never been ceded, and pay our respects to Elders past, present and future.

RMIT University RMIT Master of Design Futures Paper Giant Think Place Service Design Melbourne Melbourne Speculative Futures