Conferences, diversity and planning travels

Now back to the reality of work after SXSW, I’m looking at where to go next. And with prefect timing, an email from Reboot arrived in my inbox this morning. This is an event I’ve attended for the last 2 years and intend to go again; it seems to fot quite nicely with some other travel I need to do to Europe.

And for those who challenge the diversity of presenters and attendees at tech conferences (although this is not really a tech conference) here’s your chance to do something. Thomas is calling for contributions:

Like last year there isn’t a final speakers list or a black box creation model. reboot is a platform for bringing the European (and beyond) community together, a platform for conversations and relationships, a platform for sharing visions and meeting the people you never knew you’d meet.
So the platform is all yours, and this is an invitation to participate and help co-create reboot..:
– an invitation to submit topics you would like on the agenda for reboot,
– an invitation to submit pointers to interesting people you know in your country or industry that has something to contribute, and help us recruit them to come as speakers or participants,
– an invitation for your proposal to host or present if you’ve been doing some interesting thinking the last year or have created something that’s worth sharing,
– an invitation for you to help make sure that we have the people that have open minds and are ready to make a difference at reboot. To connect Europe, to widen the community, to add perspective.

Want to see someone speak – get them involved, suggest them, encourage them. It’s not just up to the organisers, it’s up to you too.

I’m also planning on going to Gnomedex, an event that currently has an attendance of 95% men. Although gender is not the only variable used when discussing diversity, it’s often the most visible. This is another conference that plans speakers based on attendees, so there is a further opportunity to influence what you see.

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