Conference Diversity

By January 9, 2010Uncategorized

Context: There was a bit of a kerfluffle last year when some folks started pointing out the lack of diversity at some tech events. I’ve addressed this in the past on the Defrag blog, but it’s worth saying again — this is a problem I’m aware of and actively working on (year in and year out). And I want your help.

To that end, O’Reilly Media recently published a Conference Diversity statement. I asked Tim O’Reilly if he’d be willing to put the statement under a Creative Commons license, so that smaller guys like myself can copy, rip, mold and twist…all while aiming at a common goal. As such, what follows is Gluecon’s version of O’Reilly’s original statement (and a big thanks to Tim for so quickly responding with a “use it”):

===

Conference Diversity

Glue LLC (a.k.a., “Gluecon”) believes in spreading the knowledge of innovators. We believe that innovation is enhanced by a variety of perspectives, and our goal is to create an inclusive, respectful conference environment that invites participation from people of all races, ethnicities, genders, ages, abilities, religions, and sexual orientation.

We’re actively seeking to increase the diversity of our attendees, speakers, and sponsors through our calls for proposals, other open submission processes, and through dialogue with the larger communities we serve.

This is an ongoing process, and one that we are consciously working on. We hope that you’ll work on it with us.

Here are some ways you can help:

1. Recommend appropriate speakers and sponsors.

2. Forward blog posts and our conference URL to relevant affinity groups with the message that we are looking for a diverse speaker roster.

3. Suggest to potential speakers that they submit a proposal directly to me (enorlin AT mac.com).

4. Suggest ways that the onsite conference experience can be more welcoming and supportive, free from intimidation and marginalization.

5. Share your ideas and best practices for how we can realize our vision.

6. Encourage active participation of diverse groups via attendance. Our events are interactive, and the makeup of the audience is probably actually more valuable than simply who is “on stage.”

We value diversity in the communities we bring together, and we welcome your contributions to bringing balanced representation of the richness of our collective human experience.