The Parliament of the World’s Religions (PoWR) brings persons of faith and conscience together to cultivate harmony and foster their engagement in the world and its guiding institutions to achieve a more just, peaceful, and sustainable world. We are looking for a Conference Coordinator to join with us in harnessing the power of interfaith collaboration to advance peace, justice, and sustainability throughout the world. We are looking for a professional who is skilled in the development and execution of meetings and conferences for our seventh Parliament of the World’s Religions in Toronto in November of 2018. The theme is “The Promise of Inclusion, The Power of Love: Pursuing Global Understanding, Reconciliation, Change.” This position is a full time, permanent position that will continue after the parliament with wrap-up, smaller-scale events, and preparations for subsequent parliaments.
The first Parliament of the World’s Religions was held in Chicago in 1893 as part of the World’s Fair. This event, which attracted an estimated 7,000 participants, is often referred to as the birthplace of the interfaith movement. The next parliament occurred in 1993, again in Chicago, with subsequent parliaments every five years thereafter at locations including Cape Town, Barcelona, Melbourne, and Salt Lake City. The Salt Lake City parliament attracted 10,359 participants from 75 countries and 30 major religious traditions and 212 sub-traditions. We organized 1,977 presenters who hosted 855 programs, including workshops and plenaries, and official receptions.
Attendees at our parliaments look forward to getting know persons of other faith traditions and learning about social justice movements that make the world a better place. For many, it is a life changing event. For some, it’s the start of a mission in life: to help the vulnerable, protect our planet, and collaborate with people of good will in ways they never dreamed possible.
Current ongoing programs and initiatives that have arisen from the enthusiasm generated by the parliaments include climate action, solidarity with Indigenous persons, empowering women, children’s food and nutrition, global ethics, and countering hate. We have several programs for member and stakeholder engagement, including an international Ambassador program, a UN task force, a partner cities program, and a next gen program. Our web presence allows us to reach out to persons of faith and conscience around the world.
We seek the guidance of someone skilled in conference planning and coordination who can plan, manage, and coordinate the conference in collaboration with staff, trustees, contractors, and volunteers in Chicago and Toronto. We have a great start on organizing it, but need a professional to help us make it the best parliament yet. While a significant degree of planning for this conference has already taken place, planning for smaller events and subsequent conferences will also be part of this position.
This new position reports directly to the Executive Director and works closely staff and contractors in Toronto as well as the Directors of Communications, Programs, IT & Operations, and Resource Development. It is a full time, permanent, exempt position located in Chicago. We are an equal opportunity employer.
Work closely with the Executive Director to integrate program goals into activities at the Parliament in Toronto in 2018 and develop strategies for harnessing the enthusiasm that the Parliament will generate.
Integrate conference goals with ongoing programs to develop a synergistic program that advances the mission of the organization.
Work collaboratively with staff, board, committee chairs, volunteers, and contractors in Chicago and Toronto to plan content and logistics. Develop logic models for conference, including defining objectives, activities, outputs, and planned outcomes and impact.
Work collaboratively with the Director of Communications to develop consistent messaging, marketing, social media, and reporting for the conference. Collaborate to maintain overall look and feel of the conference. Set and meet deadlines for input on marketing materials.
Work collaboratively with Director of Development to develop funding proposals for sponsors and grants. Ensure that activities are conducted in accordance with grant and sponsorship obligations. Coordinate on a stakeholder relations plan for during conference.
Negotiate contracts with subcontractors and local staff for final approval by Executive Director. Oversee contractors and ensure contract compliance by all parties.
Propose conference budget in accordance with projected revenue.
Oversee pre-conference operations in Toronto, including supervising temporary staff in Toronto.
Coordinate advance planning for speakers and events, including organizing committee meetings to suggest and vet presenters and issue an RFP.
Develop methods for tracking, measuring, and reporting on impact of conference and the participant experience.
Coordinate execution of grant and sponsorship obligations, including recognition, branding, artwork, speaking opportunities, and reporting.
Work with subcontractors to coordinate exhibit hall and exhibitors.
Prepare timelines, work plans, staff assignments, and contractor assignments.
Work collaboratively with the Director of IT & Operations to ensure a smooth registration process, including maintaining the web-based registration process, ensuring staffing for fielding inquiries, storing and accessing registration data, integrating the mobile app, and reporting on metrics.
Work collaboratively with the Director of IT & Operations to review proposals, invite and communicate with presenters, make room assignments, integrate with the mobile app, coordinate presentation materials, and retain speaker-related information and presentation materials.
Monitor expenses. Review conference invoices and submit for payment. Work with bookkeeper to track conference expenses. Report on income and expenses.
Coordinate logistics for conference, including hotel blocks, workshop and plenary locations, reception areas and worship spaces, pre-parliament workshops, conference shipments, onsite print materials, speaker presentation materials, catering, transportation, floorplans, travel arrangement for staff and key speakers, shipment of conference materials to and from site, and participant kits.
Continuously review conference marketing materials to ensure that current information is provided to Directors of Communications and IT & Operations. Coordinate with Directors of Communications and IT & Operations on conference schedule, printed materials, and mobile app.
Collaborate with Director of Communications on signage, speaker name plates, audio visuals for plenaries, and common areas at conference.
On-site management of conference including but not limited to registrations, speakers and scheduling, set up and tear down, volunteer coordination, and speaker collaterals.
Coordinate photographic, video and audio capture of presentations during conference.
Conference follow up and reporting
Prepare, present, and analyze financial, attendance, metrics, and impact reports.
Prepare reports for sponsors and grantors.
Coordinate timeline, planning, and site selection for the next parliament in 2020 or 2021.
Local meetings and events
Work collaboratively with the Director of Programs and Director of Resource Development to coordinate smaller scale meetings and events such as local interfaith gatherings, issue-related programs, fundraising events, and pre-parliament events.
Manage logistics for board meetings,
Supervisory and general Responsibilities
Recruit, train, supervise, mentor, and coach temporary conference staff, interns and volunteers. Ensure that they have clear performance goals and regular feedback and coaching to ensure top-quality performance.
Ensure that personnel files are complete and up to date for all conference staff and contractors.
Participate in staff meetings, strategic planning, and board meetings as requested.
Maintain an organized workspace that accommodates temporary staff and volunteers.
Education, Experience, and Qualifications
Four year college degree preferred
5 years experience in meeting planning preferred
Certification in meeting planning preferred
Management and interpersonal skills
Ability to meet deadlines, manage multiple priorities, and stay organized.
Ability to motivate others, manage staff and volunteers, and collaborate with trustees and executive staff.
A willingness to learn about and work with persons of religious traditions and spiritualities other than your own and the capacity for dialogue, tolerance, and respect.
Ability to travel Internationally and work evening and weekend hours as needed.
Moderate physical activity required during conference, including working long hours lifting up to 30 pounds, visually identifying issues with conference set up, and traversing conference area.
Excellent verbal, written, and computer skills.
Ability to leverage technology such as video conferencing, social media, data collection tools, and word processing software. Familiarity with G-Suite and Google platforms preferred.
PoWR is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of any class protected by state or federal law, including race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy), national origin, age, disability or genetic information.
Location: Chicago, IL
Type: Full time, exempt
Categories: Social Action, Program management, program design, interfaith, religion, meeting, conference
We accept online applications only. Address Cover letter to Dr Larry Greenfield, Executive Director
The Parliament of the World's Religions was created to cultivate harmony among the world's religious and spiritual communities and foster their engagement with the world and its guiding institutions in order to achieve a just, peaceful and sustainable world.
To accomplish this, we invite individuals and communities who are equally invested in attaining this goal.