2020 AEE International Conference

Pittsburgh, PA
November 12-14, 2020
The Omni William Penn Hotel
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Hi There, Neighbor!

For years, individuals and organizations have looked to the Association for Experiential Education (AEE) as the informational authority in the field. AEE’s mission is to elevate and expand the global capacity of Experiential Education, and to achieve this, we provide opportunities and spaces for the practitioners, researchers and inquirers of experiential education to connect and learn with and from one another. 

From November 12-14, AEE’s 48th Annual International Conference will bring more than 600 attendees together in Pittsburgh who share the goals of promoting, defining, developing, and applying theories and practices of EE. We believe it is our responsibility to provide the inclusive setting in which this kind of collaboration can be fostered. Our Conference is designed to create the shared space where you can grow your career, discover valuable new strategies to integrate into your work, and develop lasting personal and professional relationships. With over 1,800 members from 35 countrieswe recognize and champion the fact that Experiential Education represents a broad spectrum of professional fields and backgrounds, and our Annual Conference provides the ‘neighborhood’ for this diverse community to come together. 

We hope you will use this friendly space to connect, discover, expand, and refresh. Find people who work and study in many areas; including K-12 education, colleges and universities, recreation, outdoor and adventure programming, therapy and mental health, youth development, programming for people with disabilities, service learning, and organizational development. Educational opportunities abound throughout the conference in areas of trauma informed care, technology in the outdoors, emotional resilience, servant leadership, risk management and much, much more

We are all ‘neighbors’ in the same Experiential Education community, and we strive to make #AEEConnect48 the hub for connections that cross any boundaries of profession, background, or border.



*More information regarding lodging & registration to come

*More information regarding lodging & registration to come! 

Follow Us For Updates! #AEEConnect48



So, how exactly will the 2020 Conference impact you?

CONNECT with the Global EE Community

  • Want to meet some amazing people who practice what they teach? At AEE you can connect with some of the leaders and innovators in our industry - authors, researchers, professors, and organizational founders. Maybe you’ll partner with them in a workshop activity, sit together during a keynote presentation, or simply find yourself sharing an elevator. Regardless of where and when, there will be plenty of time to connect.

  • Have a question about the data behind EE? Organizations and programs will have abundant opportunities to discuss quantitative and qualitative results with the researchers performing those studies to help inform future programming. 


DISCOVER what is happening in EE 

  • How is EE taught, shared, and studied in other cultures? Boost your informed facilitation by learning from practitioners from all over the world.

  • New to EE? Our Conference will expose you to all areas of the field, kick-start networking, and help you see the full scope of what is possible with a future in EE.

  • EE foundations have deep roots and are constantly growing with their environment. Learn from the trailblazers of a wide array of EE practices, standards, and initiatives. 


EXPAND your EE world

  • Looking to modify and/or advance your practice? Our Conference will provide a wide array of collaborative spaces for you to learn from and with other professionals using EE in different ways.

  • Curious about what is happening with EE in other parts of the world? With the diversity of attendees, you’ll have countless opportunities to learn about the global impact of EE.

  • Find yourself saying things like, “I need someone to train my staff.”? Increase your professional network by collaborating with trainers in the many facets of facilitation and practice during our robust workshop and speaker offerings. 

REFRESH your EE self and your personal self 

  • Have you been ‘stuck in a rut’ doing the same initiatives over and over again? Need new, inclusive language for your participant liability waiver? Want to find new ways to engage your students, team, or community? With over 600 attendees from around the world, get your questions answered and discover ways to grow professionally and personally. 

  • Need to hit the reset button in order to bring your best self to your practice, studies, work, or life? One of the most common things we hear from attendees is that they leave our conferences feeling refreshed and re-energized. Leave with the momentum to take on your next goal.


Take a look at just some of the incredible programming we are offering this year:

  • ActivatEE 

    • ActivatEE is a sharing platform designed by AEE members for attendees to participate in during the International Conference. ActivatEE is a developmental process, both for the speaker and the audience, where we share ideas, test assumptions, and are asked to view a perspective through a different lens. It is designed to facilitate the process of creating one’s story, inspiring the use of one’s voice, and launching an idea - all on stage during a conference keynote.

  • The Kurt Hahn Address

    • “I regard it as the foremost task of education to insure the survival of these qualities: an enterprising curiosity, an undefeatable spirit, tenacity in pursuit, readiness for sensible self denial, and above all, compassion.” – Kurt Hahn Annually, the Board of Directors invites a leader in experiential education who has contributed to the development and advancement of experiential education to present the Kurt Hahn Address. 

  • Connection Sessions 

    • We hope to create spaces for you to make meaningful connections while at the AEE conference. To help facilitate these links, we have developed Connection Sessions in which individuals who share like-minded ethos can come together for facilitated conversations and sharing. 

  • The Symposium on Experiential Education Research (SEER) *Call for proposals now open!

    • The Symposium on Experiential Education Research (SEER) provides an outlet and venue for researchers in the field of experiential education to present, share, dialogue, and further develop their ideas. The symposium involves the presentation of research papers from leading international scholars in the field of experiential education.  

  • Miga’s Playscape

    • Miga’s Playscape is a fun, creative space filled with a variety of interactive, hands-on activities. This “playground for the mind” encourages collaboration, play, communication, and community while also providing useful ideas or “jump off points” to use in classrooms, programs, and organizations. It utilizes the philosophies of experiential education to create lasting memories and learning for the participants. 

  • Kidference

    • We at AEE value family and want to inspire the next generation of Experiential Educators. We also understand that each person may have their own challenges when it comes to attending a conference. The Kidference is intentionally designed to engage young minds and hearts while also providing a more accessible conference experience for families. There will be a pre-conference day that offers kid-friendly activities while you attend your pre-conference workshop (or you can tag along with the kids!). During the conference, there will be kid-oriented workshops nearby while you attend your conference workshops, kid-friendly food options so that you can share any of the large group mealtimes, and activities during large group events so that you can both attend that keynote as well as know that the kids are learning, too. There is no better way to model life-long learning than to share this inspirational community with your family!

  • Pre-Conference Workshops *Call for proposals now open!

    • Prior to the start of the conference, in-depth workshops and activities are offered to provide expanded opportunities for professional development and to enhance the Conference experience. Some pre-conference opportunities may include: Therapeutic Adventure Professional Group (TAPG) with continuing education credits, Wilderness Risk Management Training through the National Outdoor Leadership School, and outdoor recreation experiences such as climbing or rafting. Be sure to check back to view the full list of pre-conference offerings!

  • Workshops *Call for proposals now open!

    • Workshops are the foundation and the fulcrum from which attendees and presenters alike are able to rejuvenate and sustain momentum in this great work. They provide a time to present our collective resources and knowledge to elevate and advocate for EE. Presentations are rigorously reviewed and evaluated, as we strive to make sure our workshops are the most informative, innovative and entertaining in our industry.  

  • Keynote speaker

    • Every year AEE invites a dynamic individual who can share their experience and knowledge with our community in the form of a keynote presentation. We strive to find a speaker who can introduce new topics, inspire actions or ignite change in our attendees.

  • Poster Presentations *Call for proposals now open!

    • We provide the opportunity for those who wish to present information on research, programs, and ideas to do so in the form of a poster presentation. Presenters will prepare their poster in advance and answer questions, provide information, and offer follow-up opportunities for those who are interested during the Exhibit Hall Reception. 

  • CEU’s

    • Colorado State University-Pueblo in partnership with the AEE is proud to offer attendees of the 2020 AEE International Conference the opportunity to gain Continuing Education Units (CEU) issued under the seal of CSU–Pueblo’s Division of Extended Studies. Demonstrating your earned CEUs to your organization or employer can help increase your chance for promotion, salary raises, or chance to make a career transition as it demonstrates your commitment to continued education, enhancing your marketability as an employee.
  • Ready, Set, Go!

    • Calling all first time AEE Conference attendees! Ready, Set, Go! provides a time and space for you to get oriented to the AEE International Conference. Meet new people and learn more about what makes AEE so special.

  • Dinners & Social Events

    • Yes, you can have fun AND make meaningful and lasting connections! Stay tuned to hear all of the fun activities we’ve got planned for this year.

  • Community/Regional Meet-Ups

    • Looking to connect with people who live or work near you? Join attendees from your area to exchange ideas and make new connections. In North America, the Association is broken down into eight geographic regions. Regions play a significant role in AEE by providing opportunities for those in a particular geographic region to get better acquainted with AEE and with each other. 

  • Exhibit Hall Reception

    • Check out the exhibit booths while enjoying food and drinks! Participate in the silent auction, chat with poster presenters, make connections, and have fun.

  • Award Ceremony

    • There are many outstanding, often unsung, experiential practitioners whose high standards, commitment and contributions have inspired others to dream and to act. AEE Awards recognize individuals and organizations for their contributions to the theory of experiential education and their service to AEE. Join us for an evening where we honor our 2020 award recipients.

Follow Us For Updates! #AEEConnect48