Software for Good Logo
Insights / February 25, 2014

For All the Lady Geeks

By Sara Simon

“An event.” That’s what I kept repeating to myself. I’d be at an event.

The truth: It was an unconference, a word so silly to me that I was embarrassed to even say it. I mean, it’s really just a conference, right? A conference without any speakers, preparation, or agenda. An unorganized conference. An unproductive conference. An unconference.

To say that I was pleasantly surprised is the understatement of the month. The conversations at last weekend’s Twin Cities She’s Geeky unconference were some of the most productive and thoughtful I’ve had.

Look at all those lady geeks!

For those unfamiliar with Open Space Technology and the¬†unconference, here’s a bit of general info:

  • “Open Space Technology” refers to a specific method of hosting meetings, events, and conferences.
  • An event begins without any formal agenda.
  • Participants pitch and post ideas to the agenda board.
  • The group splits into breakout sessions, participants getting to decide which conversations they’d like to join.

And She’s Geeky itself? Two days full of fascinating conversations. Here’s a tiny sampling of the topics:

  • Gendered toys: GoldieBlox meets the pink and blue aisles
  • Adulting, or help: I don’t know how to lady
  • Inspiring young girls to get involved in STEM fields
  • Changing careers
  • Negotiating salaries
  • Technology and activism
  • STEAM: Adding an “A” for art into traditional STEM conversations
  • Dealing with impostor syndrome
Day one agenda board

I had a great two days at She’s Geeky. Thanks so much to Software for Good and all of the other sponsors, along with Girls in Tech Minneapolis for hosting. I can’t wait for my next unconference, and I’m not the slightest bit embarrassed to admit it.