Pioneering 2022 RFP


The Pioneer Network Annual Pioneering a New Culture of Aging conference, will be held on July 24 – 27 , 2022 at the Sheraton Downtown Denver in Denver, Colorado.

These past few years have reinforced the value and need for being together; for networking, creating opportunities for communication, and learning with and from each other as we share innovative ideas and best practices.

We have seen the value of connections and partnerships, and it is through working together that we will find solutions to the challenges we face.

Pioneer Network’s goal is to bring together individuals from across the United States and other countries who care deeply about changing the culture of aging and to make this event meaningful to people who support culture change in all settings within the elder care continuum.

We aim to support those who are just starting on the culture change journey to build a sense of home and community for Elders – as well as those who have been actively engaged in this mission for some time.

We also strive to assure that we are hearing the voice of Elders residing in long-term care, as well as older adults residing in retirement/independent living, and/or in private homes within the community.

But…we will do all of this in a new, reimagined way.  There will be more opportunities to learn and explore together in general sessions, innovative ways to connect with our “solution partners” (aka vendors and sponsors), and more opportunities for experiential learning.

We challenge our speakers to join us in identifying what reimagining can look like – what we can do better when we come together around a table instead of across a computer screen.



“Culture change” is the common name given to the national movement for the transformation of older adult services, based on person-directed values and practices where the voices of elders and those working most closely with them are solicited, respected and honored. Core person-directed values are relationship, choice, dignity, respect, self-determination and purposeful living.

Pioneer Network envisions a culture of aging that is Life-Affirming, Satisfying and Meaningful and is based on the following values and principles:

  • Know each person
  • Each person can and does make a difference
  • Relationship is the fundamental building block of a transformed culture
  • Respond to spirit, as well as mind and body
  • Risk taking is a normal part of life
  • Put person before task
  • All elders are entitled to self-determination wherever they live
  • Community is the antidote to institutionalization
  • Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
  • Promote the growth and development of all
  • Shape and use the potential of the environment in all its aspects: physical, organizational, psycho/social/spiritual
  • Practice self-examination, searching for new creativity and opportunities for doing better
  • Recognize that culture change and transformation are not destinations but a journey, always a work in progress


  1. To support the conference focus, “Honoring the Past, Treasuring the Present, Shaping the Future”, by providing attendees with “ah-ha” moments, along with practical knowledge and tools that they can use to re-affirm the foundational practices needed to transform a culture, and continue their work in changing the culture of aging care and support.
  2. To explore the lessons learned during the pandemic and how we can use them to create the future that we all deserve.
  3. To continue to build the momentum and change the culture of aging in the US and beyond.
  4. To provide knowledge and tools that attendees can take back to their organizations to support their growth and creativity as learning organizations;  more than just how to teach person-directed practices, but how to embed the values and principles into the organizational culture.
  5. To highlight the use of technology in changing the culture of aging care and support.
  6. To showcase innovations in culture change specific to aging and across diverse settings (e.g., independent living, assisted living, nursing homes, private homes in the community).
  7. To support networking and sharing among constituents from all settings within the long-term care continuum.
  8. To raise awareness about diversity and inclusion, and how ageism in our society influences our practices of care and support – the services we provide and how we provide them.



The conference program will consist of sessions that:

  1. Reflect elements that tie into the vision to Explore Quality of Life, helping to eliminate institutional practices, breakdown barriers to equity and inclusion, and eliminate ageism, which is a fundamental barrier to having a meaningful and purposeful life for many Elders.
  2. Reflect elements of community, both within the care setting and within the community at large, and how this impacts the culture of aging,
  3. Include practical tools for implementation of person-centered practices, providing attendees with what they need to implement what they learn.
  4. Reflect the knowledge and experiences of those who work closest to the Elders and who are engaged in living these practices every day.
  5. Are inclusive, ensuring diverse voices are represented and supported in planning and delivery. The conference program will include the voice of the Elders and engage people of all ages, races, sexual orientation and gender identity in sharing and exploring what it means to experience aging.
  6. Are interactive and experiential, providing a safe and engaging space where participants actively engage with ideas and have opportunities for critical reflection and dialogue with each other. The program will welcome vibrant, creative and non-traditional approaches to share information (e.g., use of technology, performing arts, fine arts, media, narratives, storytelling, poetry, photography, small art installations, etc.), in addition to more traditional panel presentations followed by facilitated discussion.
  7. Build linkages by creating opportunities for strong connections to be made between lived experiences, professional practices, education and research as a means of advancing a strong network of individuals and organizations interested in changing the culture of aging. The conference program will promote the importance of teamwork, collaboration and a shared sense of purpose.
  8. Celebrate the experiences of aging across diverse contexts and settings.



Submissions open:  Monday, January 3, 2022

Deadline for submissions: EXTENDED! Sunday, January 30, 2022

Guides will be informed of decision by Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Guides to confirm attendance by Friday, February 18, 2022


  1. Submission includes a short video presentation (maximum 5 minutes) highlighting primary session objective(s), presentation style and why the session should be selected. (All or parts of submitted videos may be used in conference promotions.) A link to VideoAsk is provided for recording your video. If you prefer to create your recording using another medium (i.e. Zoom, iMovie, cell-phone video), you may do so as long as you are able to submit it in a MP4 format. Access to record using VideoAsk or link to upload a MP4 video are available on the application form.  Questions?  Contact  (You can also click here to Record your VideoAsk.)
  2. The selection committee invites a wide range of engaging session formats including: interactive workshops, panel discussions, and creative expressions/performances.
  3. Applicants will be asked to select the topic area(s) most aligned with their session (e.g., Nursing Home, Assisted Living, Dementia, Workforce, Life Enrichment, Leadership, Team Building, Education/Training, Resident Voice, Clinical Practice, Non-Traditional Care Settings, Equity and Inclusion)
  4. Guides who have their submissions accepted are expected to be available to present on July 24, 2022, July 25, 2022 and/or July 26,
  5. All Guides must register and pay applicable conference registration fees. A discounted rate is provided to Guides, residents and students. More details will be shared with notification of acceptance.
  6. Descriptions of sessions accepted as part of the conference program will be posted online, along with guide photos.
  7. Presentation slides and handouts must be submitted prior to the conference and will be shared on the Pioneer Network App prior to, during and following the conference.
  8. If you wish to have hard copies of your handouts available for attendees, you will be responsible for providing these for distribution/use during your session.
  9. All Guides are expected to provide a short resource available electronically/PDF (e.g., 1-page summary or tip sheet) sharing the key take-aways or practical applications from their presentation.  Please include your contact information.
  10. Guides are not to include in their sessions any commercial endorsements or selling of specific products or services. Opportunities to participate as a Solution Partner (Sponsor/Exhibitor) are available. If interested contact Penny Cook at
  11. By submitting a proposal, all Guides acknowledge that if their submission is accepted, they may be photographed and/or recorded during their session. If this is a problem, please make note of this in the “Additional Requests or Special Needs” section of the submission form.
  12. All guides are expected to participate in a short virtual meeting to share and discuss the goals of the conference, guide expectations and how we can work together to create the best possible conference experience for our attendees. Meetings will be set on several different dates and times during the months of March/April 2022.

Note:  You do not need to complete the submission form in one setting.  You can work on your proposal on-line, saving it to complete at a later time by following the steps provided at the bottom of the application page.
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Submissions will be reviewed in consideration of their:

  1. Alignment to the Pioneer Network Principles and the conference goals, objectives and program elements;
  2. relevance to at least one of the culture change values (please see section called “Understanding culture change”);
  3. quality, clarity and thoughtfulness (e.g. coherence, logical flow, grammar/spelling, );
  4. applicability to practice (e.g., tools, strategies, implementation guides, etc.), and/or inspiring, forward-thinking ideas; and
  5. active engagement of diverse perspectives (preference will be given to sessions where older adults, residents and/or students participate as guides or which highlight collaboration).




All rooms will be furnished with a projector with sound, handheld microphone, lavalier microphone. Rooms will be set up in round tables of 6-8. Please list any additional requirements you have for your session (e.g. additional set-up time needed, alternative room arrangement, limit to the number of participants, internet requirements, etc.). All requests will be considered by the conference planning committee but are not guaranteed.

DENVER, COLORADO CURRENT COVID POLICY (We will update this as new information becomes available):

Face coverings are required indoors for everyone age two and older in all public indoor spaces. These spaces include but are not limited to: common areas of apartment buildings, offices, gyms, shops, cultural facilities, restaurants, bars and night clubs. Face coverings are not required while seated at a food service establishment or actively eating or drinking.

COVID vaccination will be required for all attendees.