Material Health and Social Justice

Healthy building materials are a valuable component of today's sustainable design practice. Who currently benefits the most from healthier, more sustainable materials? How can we ensure that the benefits of healthier materials are disbursed equitably? And how do we balance positive impact on all people and the environment? 

Climate Justice and Conservation
Climate change is a worldwide issue, but its negative effects are borne disproportionately by resource-scarce and marginalized populations. How do issues of access, privilege, and social justice manifest themselves in resource distribution and conservation? Topics may include climate refugee-ism, or equity in energy and water access and conservation. 

Resilient design and planning equips communities to better withstand increased weather extremes associated with climate change. How can resilient design benefit the most vulnerable populations, regardless of their means or level of influence? 

Community Engagement
Community engagement is where the rubber meets the road- where those who design and create meet with the people that use their buildings and systems. How can we get communities meaningfully engaged in the design process, and use that engagement as a tool for authentic placemaking and true community ownership of the end product? How do these interactions create positive outcomes for all people, as well as the environment?​

Affordable Housing
Sustainability is sometimes seen as a privilege of the rich; high-performance affordable housing brings the benefits of sustainable design to people of all means. Topics may include housing project case studies, housing policy, or the economic case for green affordable housing.

Call for presentations

  • - Sessions are estimated to be 90-120 minutes long.

  • - Audience is estimated to be between 30-150 per session.

  • - Sessions are encouraged to have 2 to 3 presenters with an optional moderator. 

  • - Presenters submitting as individuals may be combined with others during the selection process, and will be expected to work with their assigned panel to generate the final presentation.

  • - Proposal must be educational and not a sales presentation.

  • - Sessions are encouraged to incorporate an interactive breakout component. 

  • - Sessions are encouraged to be Northeast regionally specific.

Please submit the following: 

  • - Session title (15 words maximum)

  • - Session subtopic

  • - Abstract (approximately 50-200 words)

  • - Presenter Biographies (maximum 100 words each)

  • - Ideal session length and audience size

  • - Target Audience: Academics, Advocates, Architects, Contractors, Developers, Engineers, Owners, Policymakers, Other

Presentations will be selected ​based on overall quality, relevance to the industry, well-defined focus within the subtopics, practical application of material, timeliness of the topic, regional specificity, and speaker qualifications. Presenters will be notified by January  14, 2019 only if selected, and will receive a discounted summit pass. Selected presenters will be required to submit their completed presentations by February 4, 2019.  The organizers will seek CEU accreditation for all selected presentations. 


Questions? Contact

Submit your propsal to this website:


Call for Presentations

Equity of Place: 
Social Justice in the Built Environment
Submissions Due December 17, 2018

Questions? Email

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Yale Office of Sustainability