RELATIONSHIP the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected.


connection, relation, association, link, correlation, correspondence, parallel, alliance, bond, interrelation, interconnection, being in relation, entanglement.

Relationships are the foundation for civility, for healthy work environments and for diversity to flourish, we need to honor and respect our fellow human beings. Let’s talk about relationships.

Humans are not meant to be solitary creatures. We all share a need to be part of a community, to express and receive love and to bond with one another in the workplace or at school. Why is it, then, that chronic loneliness has become an epidemic in the United States and abroad; that millions of people have been relegated to the margins of society, and that suicide and other mental health challenges associated with isolation are on the rise? Why is it that people with disabilities feels excluded, over 60% of people are not happy in the workplace and that a top down paradigm persist leaving millions of people feeling powerless and without a voice. At some point, we have to go back to relationships to find the disconnect.

Many experts are concerned with decreasing social intelligence of humans. This trend towards greater isolation is not sustainable for the future of the species. Our societies are built on cooperation, and many of the ills and challenges we face – whether they be political, economic cultural or personal – can be understood if not mended through the lens of relationships. Without dynamic collaboration, the future of human creativity, innovation and social change is in doubt.

So how can we reconcile the impulse towards individualism and self-interested hierarchies of power with the imperative of community that gives us meaning and purpose? What can be done to dismantle the barriers that have kept the disenfranchised and the silenced from participating as full community members? No less than the future of humanity depends on inclusive solutions that embrace our better nature as social animals.

We are looking for proposals in the following areas:

  • How society disables people and fosters the problem of disability in intimate and/or friendly relations;
  • Inter-disciplinary and cross-disciplinary perspectives on sexual expression among people with disabilities, encompassing cross-cultural and transcultural angles;
  • Collaboration and partnerships that foster effective sustainable practices for equality, justice and inclusion;
  • How diversity facilitates creativity, innovation and positive relationships;
  • The role of leadership in fostering and implementing wide-scale transformations;
  • New research paradigms to analyze and suggest solutions for social isolation and disenfranchisement;
  • New considerations in behavioral research of social bonding vs predation;
  • The role of relationship building in mending exclusionary practices in the community, workplace and in the society at large;
  • The role of friendship and love in human daily life;
  • Best practices for expressing diversity through relationship building;
  • Innovative programming and initiatives that reduces the potentiality for suicide, for the isolation of veterans; and other marginalized groups;
  • The role of relationships and healthy multi-stakeholder approaches in reducing homelessness, exclusionary policy practices.
  • Best practices for community building when change takes place in neighborhoods – whether it be migration of families from another country, youth homes, etc.

We are particularly interested in receiving presentation proposals from advocates, activists and community leaders concerning their experiences and recommendations and from international participants providing cross-cultural perspectives. We welcome all proposals. Please see presentation formats on our webpage at: /presenters/formats/. Please read criteria for each format and ensure that you have the appropriate number of presenters for your chosen format.

You may submit proposals online at: /submissions or send your proposals via email to

If you have questions or need further information, please contact the Pacific Rim team at For general information on the conference, please contact Charmaine Crockett at, (808) 956-7539. For registration questions please contact the registration desk at, phone (808) 956-8816, fax (808) 956-4437.