Society Street 2020

Virtual Conference Program

At Society Street HQ, we have decided to provide society leaders and future leaders with a timely virtual conference for the same date as the in-person conference was scheduled:
March 26, 10am – 3pm (Eastern).

Coronavirus changes everything. Our speakers will provide their thoughts on the current situation as well as their original topics. Please join us for several stimulating conversations, and the opportunity to touch base with your industry colleagues. 

10:00 AM - 10:50 AM

Welcome and Keynotes: Change!

Margaret Vitullo, Deputy Director, American Sociological Association


After a welcome from our conference chairs, come and listen to two short talks from speakers well versed in dealing with change, who are also familiar with learned societies, followed by a brief discussion and a few questions.


  • Mary Williams, Features Editor, American Society of Plant Biologists 
  • Cindy Sparrow, Acting Deputy Chief - Community & Support Services at Red Deer Emergency Services 

11:00 AM - 11:50 AM

Where is Your Community? (Global / Local)

: Colleen Scollans, Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), Colleen Scollans LLP

What does it mean to be a convener of a community in today’s environment? This session brings together society leaders who were briefed several weeks ago to consider what Global / Local means to the activities of their societies (membership, meetings, education, professional development, publishing). They will be adding to that to address how Coronavirus is affecting their thinking.

  • Ed Liebow, Executive Director, American Anthropological Association
  • Beth Craanen, Director of Publications, The Electrochemical Society
  • Margaret Vitullo, Deputy Director, American Sociological Association 
  • Steve Smith, Executive Director, American Political Science Association

12:00 PM - 12:50 PM


Chair: Andrew Chamberlain
, Managing Director, Consort Strategies

Advocating is an increasingly important – and relevant – part of a society’s activities. As mission-based organizations, advocacy – and sometimes lobbying – is core to a society. What should societies be doing now? How should they be advocating for their communities in today’s environment?

  • Susan Dentzer, Senior Policy Fellow, Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy
  • Seth Denbo, Director of Scholarly Communication and Digital Initiatives, American Historical Association
  • Elizabeth Landau, Public Affairs Director, American Geophysical Union

1:00 PM - 1:50 PM

Conference and Meetings

Mona Hidayet, Executive Director, Clients & Products, Advantage CS

What does the Coronavirus mean for meetings and conferences, both now and in the future? Our speakers for this session will consider what their societies are doing, what options are available in a world where in-person meetings are unlikely to happen for a while, and how to make those options work well.

  • Violaine Iglesias, CEO & Co-founder, Cadmore Media
  • Paco Nathan, Founder, Derwen. ai
  • Diane Kovats, Executive Director, International Society for Computational Biology
  • Alexa Tullet, Associate Professor, University of Alabama & President of the Society for the Improvement of Psychological Science

2:00 PM - 2:50 PM

Publications and beyond

What now? Does Coronavirus mean that Open Access is a slam dunk? What impact does it have on your publication activities – right now? Next month? Next year? Join Angela Cochran, Judy Luther, Simon Inger and Sam Burrell in conversation.

  • Angela Cochran, Managing Director and Publisher, American Society of Civil Engineers​
  • Judy Luther, President, Informed Strategies
  • Sam Burrell, Society Street Program Chair
  • Simon Inger, Society Street Conference Chair