Call For Abstracts & Participation

Panel Sessions & Workshop

Kortrijk, Belgium | 5 & 6 September 2024
Deadline to apply: 1 May

The Living Summer School is pleased to invite proposals for short papers (max. 3000 words) for a research conference on informal education. We are looking for contributions that would share practices, insights, challenges and opportunities linked to education outside or at the margins of academia. Contributions can cover any field such as architecture, urban planning, social and environmental justice and youth work, innovation, entrepreneurship etc... Authors are asked to bring forth novel ideas and inspirational practices that will be shared and discussed with a range of European and Flemish audiences.

Authors are expected to share their final paper no later than the 19th of August to give all panellists and conference participants time to read through the contributions. The final papers will be published in a conference book shortly after the conference, and made available online on the website of the Living Summer School. 

Event Description: 

What better way to share knowledge on informal education than through an informal conference?

Participants in the panel sessions will hold their panels in the different partner sites that our Summer School program will be working on in parallel. This will allow participants to discover our summer school program and the inspiring work our local partners are doing. A bus will be organised to transport the entire group from site to site. To learn more about these sites visit the summer school event page.

Each of the 3 panels will bring together researchers, educators, social workers, architects, young entrepreneurs etc. who all share a passion for the conference topic, and will be moderated by members of the LSS team. The panels will be held outdoors, making use of the natural settings of the sites we will be visiting. Panellists will be sorted into their panels by the LSS team depending on the content of their contributions.

The panel sessions will end on a public forum, where the key findings of the day will be shared with a wide public, alongside a keynote presentation and a roundtable session. Finally, the first day will culminate in a party so that participants can continue to exchange informally.

The second day of the conference will focus on a practical hands-on workshop where panellists and guests will be divided into focus groups and lead concrete discussions using design thinking methodologies that will be facilitated by expert facilitators.

Conference theme:

Academia is slowly becoming less accessible to the outside world, and the spaces and practices of knowledge sharing are rapidly changing. Different formats are emerging, mixing education, experimentation and practice across professions and geographies. From seasonal schools such as spring or winter schools to residencies, hackathons, laboratories, floating universities, construction camps etc. different modes of bringing knowledge sharing to the real world are being explored. Temporary and long lasting initiatives are redefining what it means to be a student and a teacher, and where the class room is in the first place.

We invite you to take a step back on your own practices or experiences in informal education and question methodologies, values, success stories, failures, challenges, opportunities in informal education. We also welcome historical and prospective insights, ongoing research projects as well as non-formal non-academic contributions.

Selection Process:

Selection for participation in the conference will occur throughout the month of May. The process will be a collaborative effort involving the Living Summer School team, along with our local site partners Bolwerk, Heerlikheid Van Heule, and Wilderbras, as well as our esteemed education partners Constructlab, Fablab Torino, and Forecast.

In evaluating submissions, we will consider the ideas presented in the texts, assessing their alignment with the conference program and their potential contribution to the broader discussion at hand. The LSS team will design the panel sessions by grouping together relevant speakers.

Non-standardised non-academic contributions such as image essays, poems, narratives etc. are all welcome!


Everyone is welcome to apply!

We welcome persons of all ages, professional and academic backgrounds, and fields of study. This will be a pluridisciplinary event, sharing knowledge across fields such as architecture, art, tech, music, urban planning, design, social work, academia, youth work, entrepreneurship etc.

Participants need to have hands-on experience in organising or participating in informal education initiatives and present compelling insights. 

The papers and panel sessions will be in English.

Costs & Expenses:

The entire conference is free! 

Housing: The conference will be held in Kortrijk, Belgium, and the Living summer school will cover all housing costs in a hotel room for two nights for contributing panellists. The hotel location will be communicated soon.

Travel: The LSS will provide panel authors with financial assistance covering parts or the whole of travel expenses for European destinations. The final ammount of financial assistance will be confirmed when participants are notified of their acceptance.

Food: We will cover all food and beverages for the days of the 5th and 6th for panellists and guests.

Participants will have access to Bolwerk’s pool, swimming suits are highly recommended!

Application Requirements:

- Bio. This will help us present final panellists in the conference book. PDF, 250 words, max 10 MB.

- Abstract of Paper. The Abstract needs to summarise the key ideas of your contribution. PDF, 500 words, max 10 MB. Only English abstracts will be accepted.

- 5 Keywords. 

Deadlines and submission process:

- Registration open: 1 March

- Deadline to submit abstract: 1 May

- Acceptance notification: 15 June

- Final Program Communication: 25 August

- Submission of Final Paper: 19 August

- Arrival in Kortrijk: 4 September (free check in at hotel)

- Conference: 5 & 6 September

- Departure from Kortrijk: 6 september after 15:00

Conference Planning:

05 sept. 2024

- 3 Panel Sessions: 9 am to 5 pm
(These sessions are for all panel authors who have been invited to join the sessions, and guests who have registered in advance)

- Public Forum: 5 pm to 7 pm
(free and open to the public)

- Open Party: 7 pm to 12 am

06 sept. 2024

- Workshop: 10 am to 15 pm
(For panellists and registered guests)

The final program will be communicated in June.

Submit your 500 word abstract by the 1st of May!