We want to improve diversity at Scala conferences, and I suspect you do too. I’ll tell you what we’re doing, and also list a few simple things you can do to help.
Our New Speaker Programme at Scala eXchange is up and running. But we realize it’s about more than just new speakers. It’s also about improving diversity. What does that mean? What does it mean for you?
For us diversity just means:
- new voices, sharing their experiences and views; or
- under-represented groups.
We can help anyone falling into those broad categories. The help is via mentoring, speaker training, and money. But more on that in a moment.
You should talk (even if you’re hesitant)
But maybe you don’t feel you fit in, think you have nothing to say, don’t understand the speaking process, afraid of public speaking, not “the expert”, or because it costs too much?
None of those have to be barriers.
It’s very easy to start, to test the water:
- Talk to us about an idea or experience you can share. It’s just an email.
- Notice that Scala eXchange is looking for 15 minute talks, as well as 45 minute slots.
And remember, as Excuses, Excuses! say: “giving a talk is a fantastic way to learn. Give the talk you want to hear.”
Twelve people are already taking part. Why not join them?
Encourage others to talk (especially if they’re hesitant)
Look around you. Who do you think should be talking about the kinds of things you want to hear about? If not you, someone you work with?
Perhaps they need encouragement or pointing at this post. Talk to them, tell them what you like about what they do or how they look at the world. We can help from there. But they need to apply.
How to apply
Just send us an email. Send it this week, and tell us the kind of thing you’re interested in. Applications close 31 July 2015.
What we will do is:
- give you feedback
- help you create a talk outline (abstract)
- if your talk is accepted, give speaker training
If it’s not something you want to continue, you stop.
We also have bursaries for new speakers who particularly need them. It’s not an endless pot, and we can’t guarantee to fund everyone. The money is to help fund travel and accommodation expenses. Tell us, in your email, if you need this support.
Ready? Steady! Go!