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Tuesday, August 8 • 2:00pm - 3:15pm
Why the tech industry needs all kinds of minds and how to support them. (Sallyann Freudenberg)

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In our work transforming our organisations, sometimes as an industry we appear to have forgotten that teams are still made up of individuals. That we are different to one another. That sometimes we need to work in different ways or different environments to each another.
The diversity that helps create amazing teams and products may ironically be being drummed out of us by our own practices and environments. Inadvertently creating a mono-culture when far from being a weakness, our diversity is our biggest strength. Perhaps we have moved from an “old school culture” (one that focuses too heavily on the written word, on working alone and thinking things through carefully up-front) to a more agile culture (that replaces these with exclusively open-plan spaces, intense collaboration, thinking on one’s feet and lots of audio and visual noise). Neither of these fit everyone all of the time.
In addition, as we work in more cross-functional teams and/or cut across organizational boundaries we will need to find ways to work together whilst still respecting our differences.
This talk is about embracing diversity of thinker and Sal takes a "neurodiversity" approach - that is, a belief that autism and other types of divergence of neurology are normal variations in the human genome rather than "illnesses" which should be "cured". This talk is about making our collaborations more inclusive. About experimenting with how we can create teams, spaces and practices where people can turn up authentically and have their differences not only supported but celebrated.

Learning Outcomes:
  • An appreciation of the prevalence of neurodiversity in the general population and in the tech industry in particular.
  • An understanding the benefits of having a neurodiverse team - what special talents someone neurodiverse might bring.
  • A basic understanding of the superpowers and challenges that come with Autism, ADHD, bipolar disorder and depression.
  • Some ideas for how to modify our agile practices to make them more inclusive to all kinds of minds.
  • Understanding how to make our recruitment process more neurodiversity-friendly so that we don't inadvertently screen out some of the brilliant minds our industry needs.

avatar for Sal Freudenberg

Sal Freudenberg

Sallyann is a neuro-diversity advocate and an Agile Coach, trainer and mentor with 25+ years in the IT industry, 14 of which have been firmly in the Agile and Lean space.She has a PhD in the Psychology of Collaborative Software Development.Along with Katherine Kirk, Sal is co-founder... Read More →

Tuesday August 8, 2017 2:00pm - 3:15pm EDT