March 19, 2020
Dear Friends and Colleagues in Critical Thinking:
Due to uncertainties around the coronavirus pandemic, and the fact that many of you are not able to travel for professional development this year, the 40th Annual International Conference on Critical Thinking will be postponed until September and will be held online. We plan to utilize a virtual platform as well as real-time, online discussion groups including question-answer sessions with presenters. We are finalizing plans now. Our virtual conference will enable you to:
- view all presentations on your own time, and
- participate as you wish in real-time discussions with our Fellows and Scholars, and with Guest Presenters, based on those presentations.
One advantage of the online format is that you can attend all available presentations, which will begin in mid-September and continue through the end of October. We plan to present most or all of our already-announced Focal Sessions, and to invite all accepted Concurrent and Roundtable Presenters to conduct virtual presentations as 'Guest Presenters.' We will also reopen our Call for Proposals, since we are able to include more Guest Presentations than at an in-person conference, and many more people will now be able to attend with the need for travel removed.
We will announce the beginning date and further details as soon as we have all plans finalized. All of your registration fees will be good for the postponed dates.
Focal Presentations will include individual activities you may work through in your own time to internalize the content. All Focal Presenters will be available for online scheduled, real-time discussions which you may join as you wish. Focal Presenters will elaborate on and contextualize their presentations during these discussions for those who attend.
Groups will run roughly from September 15th through October 30th, so attendees may join any or all of the discussions. For each Focal Presentation, there will be at least two Discussion Groups, in order to include as many people as possible and to accommodate attendees in differing time zones as best we can.
Though we would have preferred our traditional conference format, we are pleased to give you the opportunity to view all presentations at your leisure, and then to attend the online Discussion Groups after viewing.
We are working out plans for the pre-conference as well, which will be a set of live, interactive online workshops in which our presenter will present foundational content in critical thinking, and you will work with other participants to read, write, and think your way through the content.
Lastly, we regret to announce the cancellation of the International Summit for the Advancement of Critical Thinking Across Human Societies. Thank you to all of you who stepped forward to lead the way on this. We will let you know when we plan to hold this summit in the future.
Thank you for your commitment to advancing and understanding a rich conception of critical thinking across your work and life. We look forward to working with you at this decidedly unusual, but still exciting, learning event.
We will keep you posted on new developments regarding the 40th Annual International Conference.
Dr. Linda Elder
President & Senior Fellow