We changed the way we curate our conferences

We’ve just released the speaker lineup for Enterprise UX 2018. It’s the fourth edition of the event, and this one feels quite different.

Here’s why: we dramatically changed our speaker selection process, relying more heavily on user research than ever before—with the goal of creating an exceptionally diverse speaker lineup. The result might be one of the most diverse speaker rosters at a major UX conference yet. (Dave Malouf, one of our curators, offers a great writeup of our process.)

So it feels different—in a really good way.

Thanks so much to the hundreds of you who offered your input. After all, if UX conference organizers forego user research, well… what the hell? And thank you for helping us reach far beyond our own self-reinforcing networks.

For me, it finally, finally, finally sunk in: diversity isn’t worth doing just because it’s the right and ethical thing to do. You also do it because it YOU WILL DEVELOP BETTER PRODUCTS. Different experiences, perspectives, and contexts mean richer, more interesting ideas and lessons. I’m excited to hear from these speakers precisely because I’ve heard from so few of them before. And what’s the point of a conference if it doesn’t introduce you to new ideas?

So thank you for indulging us; I hope you’ll enjoy this year’s program. If you’re considering attending Rosenfeld Media’s other major conference—the DesignOps Summit (in NYC November 7–9), know that we’ll be using a similar research-driven approach to ensure diversity.

One more thing: this will be the first Enterprise UX conference with a scholarship program. We’re making two complimentary passes available, with travel support if necessary, to people from underserved communities (applications are due by end of day, April 1, 2018).

Please spread the word and—if you think you might want to join us—register before March 19 to take advantage of the early bird discount. I hope you’ll join us in San Francisco June 13–15!

PS Apologies to friends like Laura Klein and Whitney Quesenbery, who’ve been trying in vain to educate me about the design benefits of diversity for years.