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PyCon 2014 - Summer Update

Saturday, August 03, 2013

PyCon 2014

us.pycon.org/2014


Hello, Python Community! I figured it was about time for a PyCon 2014 status update from the chair. It's pretty long, but can be summed up with this call to action: 

Please actively encourage all corners of our community and beyond to submit proposals for PyCon 2014 in Montréal. The deadlines are fast approaching. Do it now!
Proposal Deadlines

You can submit four different kinds of proposals for PyCon 2014. Please spread the word at your regional user group meetings, at other conferences, during outreach events, on twitter, and in blog posts, etc.

  • 30 & 45 minute talks (deadline September 15th)
  • 5 minute lightning talks (deadline October 15th)
  • 3 hour tutorials (deadline September 15th)
  • posters (deadline November 1st)
Brian Curtin has written a couple of great blog posts you can link to, more information can be found on the PyCon call for proposals page, and we have new logos you should feel free to use in blog posts etc. You can also help spread the word by re-tweeting @pycon.

Conference Diversity

There is no easy way to achieve speaker and topic diversity. It requires a focused effort and means reaching out directly to individuals and communities that don't as readily jump at the opportunity to present at conferences. Quoting Jessica McKellar:

The thing that works most consistently in my experience is reaching out to great, diverse candidate speakers individually. Even better is customizing the e-mail in which you reach out based on the candidate's background.
There is no getting around the fact that this is time-consuming, but it works and is part of how PyCon US 2013 had record-breaking representation by women. I personally sent out around 30 e-mails recruiting speakers for PyCon US 2013.

* Action item: If each one of us sent just a few customized emails to great, diverse candidate presenters, encouraging them to submit a proposal and offering to help brainstorm ideas, it would go a long way in increasing the number of diverse proposals in the pipeline.

Remember there are four different kinds of proposals you can submit to PyCon this year (talks, lightning talks, posters, and tutorials). Please approach diverse candidates on all four fronts.

Financial Aid

There are a number of different diversity fronts that PyCon tries to address. Diversity in economic ability is another one of them. Last year PyCon gave out a record number of financial aid grants, totalling $100,000. These grants enabled a large number of people to attend that otherwise wouldn't have been able to because of financial constraints.

Financial aid applications will open by September 1st. New this year: we will be collecting financial aid applications directly via the PyCon site dashboard, just like talks proposals. Applicants will be able to login to the PyCon site to review their financial aid application status and communicate with the financial aid review committee.

In the mean time, if you are getting questions about financial aid please point them to the financial aid information on the PyCon site, and encourage them to check back in a couple of weeks.

And don't forget to let potential speakers know that financial aid priority goes to speakers with accepted talks, lightning talks, tutorials, and posters. Especially in those customized, diversity outreach emails we'll all be sending... Right?

Volunteer Shout Outs

PyCon is run entirely by volunteers. As always, they have been amazing. Thank you!

  • Thank-you everyone for your feedback during the site launch, miscellaneous planning, and brainstorming sessions. Keep it coming!
  • Thanks Noah KantrowitzGreg Ward, and Douglas Napoleone for converting the past PyCon sites to static sites and moving them to PSF hosting so that we can preserve that bit of Python community history.
  • Thanks Jessica McKellar for leading the outreach and recruiting effort for a diverse speaker pipeline again this year.
  • Thanks Brian Curtin for stepping up yet again this year, writing great blog posts and press releases for PyCon.
  • Thanks to the entire Montréal Python team (Mathieu Leduc-HamelDavin BaragiottaMarianne CorvellecÉric AraujoJulia EvansRory GeogheganYannick Gingras, and others) for your warm welcome, enthusiasm, help with the site launch, venue planning visits, and so much more!
  • Thanks Peter Kropf and Jean-Philippe Caissy for all your work on the new, in app, financial aid application functionality and process.
  • Thanks Jesse Noller for heading up PyCon sponsorship again year and securing a great batch of launch day sponsors.
  • Thanks to the proposal chairs (Luke SneeringerStuart WilliamsJuan GomezLynn Root, Alex GaynorRuben D. OrduzNilovna Bascunan-Vasquez), past and new, for revamping the proposal process and kicking-off the call for proposals.
  • Thanks Ernest W. Durbin IIINoah Kantrowitz and team for all the ops work that went into the launch of the PyCon 2014 site.
  • Thanks Mathieu Leduc-HamelEwa Jodlowska, and David Wolever for all your work on so many fronts. Too many to list.
Stay tuned for our next set of 10 volunteer shout outs, and be sure to thank these volunteers for the work they do year-round to make PyCon a huge success.

See you all in Montréal!

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