About Un-Conference

About Un-Conference

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August 26–28, 2018

Innovations in Clinical Ethics: A Working Un-Conference will bring together experienced clinical ethicists from diverse healthcare systems for a purposeful and productive few days of promoting the cross-pollination and idea generation of innovative practices in clinical ethics consultation. There will be no plenary didactics or traditional presentation formats.

The event will include:

  • in-person peer-to-peer solution-sharing through structured and facilitated crowdsourcing
  • targeted lightning talks on cutting-edge practices in clinical ethics consultation
  • session formats that enhance constructive conversation, collaborative relationship-building, and concrete idea development

The event will culminate in the creation of enduring work products through capstone workshopping and white paper development.

Professional clinical ethicists who lead clinical ethics programs or serve on ethics consultation services will benefit most from this un-conference. An optional pre-conference course through the Cleveland Clinic Center for Excellence in Healthcare Communication is being planned during the day on August 26, 2018.


Organizing Committee

  • Mahwish Ahmad, MD, MPH
  • Marguerite (Peg) Augustine, MS
  • Joshua Crites, PhD
  • Margot Eves, JD, MA
  • Jane Jankowski, DPS
  • Cristie Cole Horsburgh, JD
  • Jordan Potter, PhD
  • Susannah Rose, PhD
  • Kathryn Weise, MD
  • Cynthia (Cindy) Wright


Sunday, August 26, 2018

Anchoring Before Breaking New Ground

TBD Pre-Conference Communication Course
Optional pre-conference course offered in collaboration with the Cleveland Clinic Center for Excellence in Healthcare Communication. More details to come.
4 p.m. Registration Opens
4:30 p.m.–4:45 p.m. Opening Remarks
4:45 p.m.–6 p.m. Agenda and Vision-Setting (Working Session)

Monday, August 27, 2018

High-Speed Engagement & Peer-to-Peer Solution Sharing

7:30a.m. Breakfast & Registration
8 a.m.–10:30 a.m.  Lightning Talks with Real-Time Crowdsourcing (Rounds I & II)
Lightning talks consist of 5-minute presentations on innovative practices in clinical ethics. Each lightning talk will include the solicitation of real-time feedback from the audience via a digital technology platform. Topics fall under the themes of organizational impact, practice innovation, and expanding interfaces. See the Abstract Submission tab for a full list of topics.
10:30 a.m.–10:45 a.m.  Break
10:45 a.m.– Noon
Lightning Talks with Real-Time Crowdsourcing (Round III)
Noon–1 p.m. Lunch
1 p.m.–3:15 p.m.  Peer-to-Peer Solution-Sharing
Presenters will describe a challenge that their clinical ethics program faces, and attendees will offer solutions and feedback in a small group setting. Attendees will attend groups based upon the challenges that most resonate with them (i.e., attendees may have successfully addressed a similar challenge, face a similar challenge in their practice, or have interests in the aspect of clinical ethics addressed by the challenge).
3:15 p.m.–3:30 p.m.  Break
3:30 p.m.–6 p.m.    Lightning Talks with Real-Time Crowdsourcing (Rounds IV & V) 

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Integrating New Knowledge & Creating Enduring Capstone Work Products

7:30a.m. Breakfast
8 a.m.–9:30 a.m.  Peer-to-Peer Solution-Sharing Report Out
Challenge presenters will report out on the solutions proposed by their groups and how they plan to integrate these new insights.
9:30 a.m.–9:45 a.m.  Break
9:45 a.m.–11:30 a.m. Peer-to-Peer Solution-Enhancing
Building on the lessons learned during peer-to-peer solution-sharing, small groups will offer refinements, advancements, or complementary ideas and processes  related to the challenges and solutions previously raised.
11:30 a.m.–Noon Capstone Vision-Setting & Lunch Pick-Up
Noon–3 p.m.

Capstone Workshopping and Whitepaper Groups
The Un-Conference will culminate in the creation of enduring work products through capstone workshopping and whitepaper groups. 

Workshopping Groups
These groups will develop best practice guidelines to further the field of clinical ethics on topics that grow organically from the ideas and practice innovations discussed throughout the event. Guidelines will be published on the Un-Conference website as a  resource for clinical ethics programs. Attendees interested in developing concrete, practical clinical ethics guidelines who will benefit from this form of in-depth, pragmatic collaboration are encouraged to attend a workshopping group. 

Whitepaper Groups
These groups will produce a conference proceeding in three parts on the Un-Conference themes of organizational impact, practice innovation, and expanding interfaces. Whitepapers will offer high-level summaries of the ideas developed around these themes and will offer new directions for the future of clinical ethics. Whitepapers will not discuss specific practice innovations developed by individuals or clinical ethics programs in attendance without permission or attribution. Attendees interested in contributing to the preservation of the ideas generated throughout this groundbreaking event and committed to continued writing and revision following the event are encouraged to participate in a whitepaper group.

Abstract Submission

Abstract Submission

The Un-Conference is accepting abstract submissions for presentation proposals that will engage attendees in developing action-oriented innovations and solutions to challenges in clinical ethics practice and program development.

Proposals must fall into one of two presentation categories:

  1. Lightning Talks with Real-Time Crowdsourcing
  2. Peer -to-Peer Solution-Sharing

The deadline for abstract submissions is May 1, 2018.

Please email abstracts and inquiries to wrightc1@ccf.org.

  • Individuals may submit up to 2 abstracts in each presentation category.
  • There is a limit of 1 presenter for each abstract submission.
  • Notifications will be sent by June 1, 2018.
  • Presenters must be able to attend the Un-Conference in person to deliver their presentation. 

Lightning Talks with Real-Time Crowdsourcing

The format for these sessions consists of a 5-minute lightning talk (with a maximum of 3 slides) regarding an innovative practice or advancement in clinical ethics. Each lightning talk will be followed by a 3-minute polling component using Poll Everywhere software in which the audience will offer feedback and/or ideas for enhancing the innovative practice. Topics—which fall under the Un-Conference themes of organizational impact, practice innovation, and expanding interfaces—are listed below. Each topically related set of lightning talks and polling will conclude with 10 minutes of Q&A. Abstracts for Lightning Talks with Real-Time Crowdsourcing must:

  • Include your name and institutional affiliation.
  • State the title of your presentation.
  • State the topic under which your abstract falls.
  • Describe an innovation in clinical ethics related to the topic in 200 words or less.
  • Include two or three poll questions. Questions can be multiple choice or open-text.

Proposals will be evaluated on the innovativeness of the idea presented, the impact of the innovation on clinical ethics practice, the relevance of the presentation to the topic, and the strength of the poll questions.

The topic categories are:

Organizational Impact

  • Optimizing Programmatic & Systems Design in Clinical Ethics
  • (Re-)Defining Meaningful Quality Improvement in Clinical Ethics Consultation
  • Refining Ethics Consultation Databases & Identifying Consultation Research Opportunities
  • Cultivating Institutional Buy-In

Practice Innovation

  • Innovations and New Directions for Ethics Committee Work
  • Thinking Outside the (Intensive Care) Unit: Embedded, Emerging, Outpatient, and Organizational Ethics
  • Leveraging Digital and Non-Traditional Tools in Consultation Delivery

Expanding Interfaces

  • Interfacing with the Public & Philanthropic Efforts
  • Measuring the Effectiveness of Ethics Education
  • Miscellaneous Topics

Peer-to-Peer Solution-Sharing

For these sessions, presenters will have 5 minutes to describe a systems or programmatic challenge that their clinical ethics program currently faces, and attendees will attend small groups around such challenges to offer solutions and feedback. The structure of these sessions mirrors formats at the Association of Bioethics Program Directors meetings and workshops such as the popular Bioethics Summer Camp. Presenters will report out to all Un-Conference attendees on the feedback they received the morning after the small group sessions.

Abstracts for Peer-to-Peer Solution-Sharing must:

  • Include your name and institutional affiliation.
  • Describe a programmatic or systems challenge in 200 words or less.
  • The first sentence should offer a clear statement of the challenge. Subsequent content should include:
    1. support for the relevance of this question to real-world clinical ethics practice,
    2. a history of the problem, and
    3. a description of the potential downstream impact of soliciting solutions from Un-Conference attendees.


  • Registration will be $195 ($225 beginning July 1).
  • Registration includes breakfast and lunch on August 27 and 28, 2018.

Register Now!
Visit our Registration Page to register for the Un-Conference.

Pre-Conference Course

Pre-Conference Course

An optional pre-conference course will be offered in collaboration with the Cleveland Clinic Center for Excellence in Healthcare Communication during the day on August 26, 2018.

Please check back soon for details.




The Un-Conference will be held at the following location:

Cleveland Clinic Administrative Campus
Building 3
3050 Science Park Drive
Beachwood, OH 44122

There is ample free parking.


Room blocks at discounted rates are available at the following local hotels.

Marriott Residence Inn Cleveland-Beachwood
3628 Park East Drive
Beachwood, OH 44122
Phone: (216) 831-3030
Room Rate: $99–$129 depending on room type
Book by 7/26/2018
Book a room at Marriott Residence Inn

Homewood Suites by Hilton Cleveland-Beachwood
25725 Central Parkway
Beachwood, OH 44122
Phone: (216) 464-9600
Room Rate: $125
Book by 8/3/2018
Book a room at Homewood Suites