Time Matters: National Conference



When: August 25-27, 2016

Where: Seattle University, Seattle, Washington

If you're interested in vacation time, family and sick leave, shorter working hours, flexible work and relief from the rat race, join us for Take Back Your Time's sixth conference, the National Work-Leisure Balance and Vacation Commitment Summit in sunny Seattle. Our themes include:

The value of vacations
Time for Parks–in celebration of the Centennial of the U.S. National Park Service
Changing Education
Time and Freedom
Time and Happiness
Time and Social Connection
Time and Health
Time and Technology
Time and Justice
Time and the Environment
Positive Changes in Business
Progress on Family and Sick Leave
Changing Workplaces
Changing Policy
Changing Culture
Time and Democracy
The historical fight for leisure

Time for Parks and a trip to Mt. Rainier
Our conference begins on Thursday evening, August 25th, just two days after the American Sociological Meeting in Seattle ends. August 25th is the actual Centennial date for the National Park Service, and we will be offering attendees who show up early a day excursion ($50 additional charge) to Mt. Rainier National Park, about 2.5 hours from Seattle. Mt. Rainier is an amazing place–a 14,410-foot volcano surrounded by vast gleaming glaciers, beautiful flower-strewn meadows and lovely small lakes. We'll leave by bus from Seattle University at 9:00 a.m., giving us 4 hours in the park before we have to head back. If you're never been there (or even if you have!) you are in for a treat at this spectacular National Park, one of the nation's oldest (created in 1899). If you want to go on this trip you must email John (jog@comcast.net) by June 28th.


Mt. Rainier and the beautiful Paradise Valley

One of Take Back Your Time's themes this year, in conjunction with the Centennial, is Time for Parks. We are troubled that the average visit to our parks is being shortened dramatically because people are pressed for time. The average visitor to Yosemite spends 4.8 hours there, down from 48 a generation ago. At Grand Canyon, the average visit is less than two hours. People without time to visit our national, state and local parks are less likely to support them and want to protect them.

Thursday Happiness Initiative Leadership Training
As an alternate to the Mt Rainier field trip, you can enroll in a one-day Happiness Initiative Leadership Training on Thursday, August 25 from 10 am - 6 pm held on the site of the conference and led by Laura Musikanski, executive director of the Happiness Alliance, fiscal sponsor of Take Back Your Time. This highly interactive training will focus on time balance, environmental sustainability and happiness or quality of life metrics and policies. After attending this training, you will have the knowledge, tools and resources for using wider measures of well-being in your community, city, work, and life. Registration is by suggested donation, with scholarships available (info@happycounts.org). REGISTER HERE

Thursday reception
The official conference will start Thursday evening with a welcoming reception, time to meet other attendees and opening speech by former Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber. SEE FULL SCHEDULE HERE

The main program starts on Friday morning with a plenary session, as well as an extended networking/coffee break. Plenaries will be held only on Friday and Saturday morning to ensure wider engagement and greater choice of topics for attendees.

Afternoon workshops. Afternoons will be filled with two sets of 90-minute breakout sessions and another extended coffee break. The first breakouts (eight for each session) each afternoon will be two-four person panels relating to the above conference themes. We will be able to accommodate about 40-50 total workshop panelists, who will have 10-15 minutes to present, followed by small group conversations and large group discussions. If you are interested in being on a panel, please contact John at jodg@comcast.net.

The second set of Saturday breakout sessions will be facilitated conversations to allow the entire audience to brainstorm, network and add their ideas. The focus will be on building a larger movement for work-leisure balance and how we all work effectively in the future–possible partnerships, funding opportunities, creating Take Back Your Time Day events, reaching media, needed research, promotion, etc. We will collect all ideas and share them in a document after the conference. This will be an opportunity for each of you to talk about your own work and how it connects to Take Back Your Time. Breakout sessions will be facilitated by Take Back Your Time board members.

Evening sessions. After dinner, evening sessions will include a Friday night film.

The conference will end on Saturday evening, so participants may return home on Sunday–unless you want to hang around and vacation in sunny Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. This is truly our best time of year, weather wise and the mountain trails are all free of snow!

Presenters must register for the conference. Prior to June 30, the conference fee is $125 for the entire conference and $75 for one day. There will be a student and low-come fee reduction of $50 for the entire conference and $25 for one day. The student/low-income rate will apply to accepted speakers. Of course, we would be delighted if you can pay full fare, as this will allow us to provide some limited scholarships. If you are unable to pay even the reduced rate, please contact us and we will try to negotiate a reasonable rate for you.

The August 25-27 Time Matters: National Take Back Your Time Conference at Seattle University will host between 50 and 60 speakers and 200 to 250 attendees. You can find a tentative schedule here (final schedule by July 1). Confirmed speakers include:

Keynoter John Kitzhaber, former Governor of Oregon
Keynoter Nick Licata, former Seattle City Council member
Cylvia Hayes, former First Lady of Oregon
Barbara Fagan-Smith, CEO of ROI Communications, a San Francisco marketing company
Taylor Cole, Public Relations Director, Hotels.com
Charles Sylvester, leisure historian
Joe Robinson, author of Work to Live
Robert Levine, author of A Geography of Time
John de Graaf, co-author of Affluenza and What's the Economy for, Anyway?
Brian Derdowski, former King County, Washington council member
Laura Musikanski, founder and executive director, The Happiness Alliance
Al Runte, National Parks historian, featured in Ken Burns' National Park series
Stephen Bezrucha, University of Washington School of Public Health
David Levy, U of Washington Information School
BJ Cummings, executive director of Sustainable Seattle
Lonnie Golden, Penn State University
Cecile Andrews, author of Circle of Simplicity, Less is More and The Living Room Revolution
Vicki Robin, co-author of Your Money or Your Life
Dawna Ballard, Professor of Communications, University of Texas
New film “Screenagers”–director Delaney Ruston has been invited to speak
…and many others…

Click here to see the full schedule of speakers.

This is a conference for activists and academics seeking to build a movement for better work-leisure balance in America. We are keeping registration costs low so all can participate.


Puget Sound Ferry

Cost. Low-cost facilities at Seattle University enable us to offer this conference for a lower conference fee than most. The cost of the conference will be:

$125 before June 30, $150 after
Register early for a discount.

Low income and student rates + speakers will be $50 less than regular rates.

Day passes will be available at $25 less than the full conference fee.

Registration (Buy Tickets Here)

Accommodations and Food. Conference goers are welcome to stay with friends or in hotels, etc. but Seattle University provides low cost accommodations and meals that will range from $60-$80 per day.


Seattle University Library

The conference is limited to approximately 250-300 attendees, allowing for intimate conversations and easy sociability.

Board meeting. The board of Take Back Your Time will meet from 9 am until noon on Sunday, August 28th.

Sponsorships! We are looking for partner organizations and financial sponsors for this conference. If you are interested in being a partner or sponsor, please contact John de Graaf at jodg@comcast.net

We look forward to seeing you this summer!