I’m off to beautiful Auckland in Aotearoa (New Zealand) for Kiwi Foo! My second time Fooing. Last time was wonderful. I was very apprehensive before arriving, because while I’ve lectured, done dozens of conferences, and led hundreds of presentations and workshops, Kiwi Foo is an “unconference,” which I’ve never experienced. It is a unstructured event where none of the day talks are pre-organised. Instead, the 150 participants arrive on Friday night, introduce themselves to everyone else one by one and then together negotiate individual talks and panels. The idea is to put your idea for your talk on the wall (newbies first) and then see if others are talking on a similar theme and try to collaborate. A broad aim of the conference is to bring together people from many fields to work together on a better future.
The format was daunting because I was unsure about the process and how my talk would be received by the crowd. It turned out to be one of the best conferences I’ve attended, with an amazing range of talks, from new tech ideas, to making the law more accessible, to advertising for social good.
Last time I talked about gender equity and diversity in science, technology and mathematics (STEM). This time, I’m going to talk about sexual harassment in academia and STEM organisations. I’ll discuss intersectionality (how gender inequity impacts on experiences of racism and other forms of exclusion); how institutions perpetuate a culture of silence; and how we can change status quo.