CLSx License 1.0

Written by Jono Bacon, with feedback and additions from the community.

The Community Leadership Summit ( is the leading community management and leadership event. A significant focus of the event is to create a place where new and seasoned community leaders can share and learn from each other and thus grow the art, science, and profession of community leadership and management.

While the main Community Leadership Summit takes place each year, we also encourage locally organized events known as CLSx. These events are designed to take the core format and spirit of the main event and provide a framework to organize smaller local events.

This document provides these requirements for an event to meet the CLSx criteria. If you have questions about this document, please share it on

How to use This License

This license is designed to be simple. It provides a set of requirements for an event to be called a CLSx event. It also includes some recommendations.

This license is not meant to be an exhaustive contract nor a constitution, nor a revenue stream for lawyers. It defines the minimum requirements to name an event CLSx. In the absence of legalese or in case of ambiguity, please reach out to the CLS founder (Jono Bacon) for guidance. Communities (including the CLS community) are built upon trust and goodwill. Let's always start with that.

If you would like to organize a CLSx event (thank-you!) you can obtain this license by emailing Jono Bacon with the following details about the event you are planning:

  • The venue, location, and date of the event.
  • How many days the event will be.
  • A summary of the event, how it will work, and what content you will have.
  • Confirmation that you have read this license in full and agree to abide the terms herein.
  • Jono Bacon will review this and likely follow up with further questions. If it is felt you meet the criteria outlined here, Jono will formally offer you a CLSx license.

You will then be asked to sign the license using an electronic signing service such as DocuSign and send a return copy via email. At this point the license is granted. If you do not have an explicit and signed license, then your event is unauthorized.

Please don't hesitate to email Jono with any questions at


In using this license to create a CLSx event, you should be aware of the following expectations:

  • You cannot call an event CLSx unless you have been formally offered a CLSx License by Jono Bacon. This will be sent in the form of a document via email.
  • All organizational, logistical, equipment, and other responsibilities fall to the CLSx event organizer.
  • No sponsorship or financial support is provided for CLSx events.
  • No organizational support is formally provided (although we will try to help and provide guidance where time permits).
  • Equipment, merchandise, and other materials are not currently provided at this time.
  • The organizer of the CLSx event is responsible for any damages that may result from organizing the event. The Community Leadership Summit and it's organizers will not be held liable.

Event Requirements

The requirements for an event to be a CLSx are now listed below.


  • The event must strive to provide free admission. If admission costs are required, it must be purely to cover the costs of the event, not to generate revenue.
  • The event must be accessible and open to all.
  • The event must observe the anti-harassment policy (
  • The event (and associated social events) must adhere to local laws and regulations.
  • What we recommend: your CLSx event should provide free and open access to the event, and if admission is required, keep it as low as possible to ensure as many people can join as possible. We recommend finding local sponsors to help cover any costs associated with the event.


  • The event must include at least 50% of the content in an unconference format. This ensures that attendees can define and drive the content. Other scheduled content is welcome in whatever way the organizers see fit (e.g. plenaries, tutorials, or presentation content).
  • If you have sponsors, sales pitches are not permitted at CLSx events. Sponsors are welcome to speak, but their talks should be of general interest to the audience.
  • The content must not violate local laws or community norms. Please keep the content suitable for all ages, and if for some reason that is not possible, please provide a warning or caveat at the beginning of the session(s) about the content.
  • An opening plenary should be provided at the beginning of the event which includes the following core content: Showing a video from the founder of CLS, Jono Bacon, which covers some of the over-arching goals of the CLS and CLSx events. This video will be provided to you digitally.
  • An overview of the logistics of the event.
  • Explain how an unconference works.
  • Q&A from the audience.

What we recommend: we recommend you make the full event an unconference and include an hour of post-lunch plenaries as well as the introductory plenary. You are welcome to add additional scheduled content. If you are in doubt, send along a draft schedule to to ask for input.


  • The venue shall be centrally located, and have sufficient capacity for the intended audience/participants. * The venue shall provide access to those with disabilities, pursuant to local legislation. * Where possible, the event should provide access for those with disabilities.

What we recommend: choose a venue that is professional, and that suggests a community spirit. Make it convenient, local, accessible, and fun. If your event is going to attract a larger audience, we recommend you choose a venue that is already hosting another conference, and run CLSx before the other event.

Social Event

  • Social events are not required, but are strongly encourages. Communities are social by nature, and building social time into your event is very important.
  • Social events can be in whatever form the event organizer chooses, but please ensure the social event serves the audience as well as possible (e.g. you might not want to hold an evening event at a rave :-) ).
  • Social events must not be at adult establishments (e.g. strip clubs).

What we recommend: ideally the social gathering should be about mingling. Sit-down dinners at restaurants aren't very good for this. Better are gatherings where people move around, are not permanently seated, are reasonably conducive to conversation, and provide a comfortable setting for everyone. Avoid neighborhoods and places that feel unsafe or that set the wrong tone.


The event is required to use the official CLSx material present in the CLSx media kit (this will be provided soon). We do not allow derivation of the content there other than adding the location in this format: CLSx Location (e.g. CLSx Boston or CLSx Paris).

The event organizers are expected to provide adequate marketing to encourage people to join.

The following are required:

  • An event web page that provides the following information:
  • The location and date(s)/times of the event.
  • Travel details for how to get to the event.
  • An overview page that explains what the event is, what it covers, and how it works.
  • A regular stream of active marketing. This can include, but is not limited to:
  • Social media promotion.
  • Blog posts, videos, and other online marketing.
  • Putting up posters in local coffee shops, universities, etc.
  • Radio/TV/podcast spots.

What we recommend: the true success of an event is significantly affected by how much effort goes into marketing it. We recommend you promote your CLSx event extensively both online and offline.

Apply For a License

If you would like to run a CLSx event, click below to apply for a license.


Questions? Join our clsx-discuss mailing list to ask your questions and learn more.