We don’t need experts on stages.

There are many instances in the world where women (and POC) were not granted an opportunity due to bias. Shaking off bias, educating the industry and community takes time. Some speakers — male / female / blue / green / brown / purple / white / mixed / rich / poor / privileged / variety of abilities / survivors / etc — will bring a unique voice and perspective and, because their voice wasn’t given an opportunity to be heard before, they may falter. As my friend Jonathan Snook tweeted recently, “You don’t need to be an expert to share. You’re allowed to make mistakes.” We don’t need experts on stages. We need diversity. We don’t need the same freaking voices all the time. We need everyone to get up and share, because each and every person can (and should!) contribute. We need to open ugly minds to imagine an inclusive, compassionate world.

Personally, I’d prefer to hear someone new who was mentored by someone who spoke before. THAT’s what ought to be happening. Hey, experts, choose some people who haven’t spoken before and mentor them.

Leave this world better than you found it.