Global Diversity CFP Day Brisbane 2020

posted in: Events | 1


On Saturday I was one of the organisers and mentors for Brisbane’s Global Diversity CFP Day. This is a global event held on the same day worldwide. This year there were 82 workshops run across 35 countries.  This was my first time involved with this event but many of our mentors and other organisers have been involved in previous Brisbane GDCFPDay events.

The aim of the day is to help the attendees craft a Call For Paper / Call For Proposal (CFP) that they can use to submit to meetups, workshops and conferences. Each event is free to choose their own agenda and target it to their audience and specific skills.


Photo: @sammyherbert

Brisbane was fortunate to have Vanessa Love as one of our organisers and mentors. She is not only a well known presenter but she also runs workshops to help new speakers for free! With that in mind – it’s no wonder we were in great hands with her able to lend lots of invaluable insights from her experience.


There’s lots of elements involved when looking that these proposals with:

  • Knowing your target audience – are you targeting a meetup vs a conference? What is the target audience of the event and what should you think about with your proposal to make it more suitable? Do they have a particular format to submit the proposal in?
  • Writing a catchy title that makes people read further
  • Writing a description that summarises your talk and makes people want more
  • Write a personal bio
  • Thinking about the type of language (inclusionary vs exclusionary)

just to name a few.


One of the important aspects for the day, was to allow everyone a safe space to talk. It was great to see the new networks form and to have the ability to bounce ideas off other people, and to be able to interact with like-minded individuals.  We also had a number of mentors and facilitators who organise local meetups and conferences which gives the attendees some great contacts to help them feel comfortable approaching these groups to speak.


We can’t run these events successfully without the support of our local sponsors.

  • Thoughtworks kindly allowed us to use their office to host the event and provided financial support and staff on the day, with Deepti and Harsh there on the day to let us in and help where we needed. Nothing was too much of an ask.
  • SixPivot provided financial support and the fantastic Sammy Herbert was one of our organisers
  • Microsoft provided financial support.


I should have taken a photo at the very start of the day so unfortunately I didn’t get a group photo with everybody in it.

Of course the day couldn’t happen without our great mentors on the day: Julian Scharf, Emily Taylor, Tharanga Kasthuriarachchi and Sarah Smith

It was a great privilege to work with Sammy and Venessa organising this event. The day ran smoothly and that’s always helped along when you work with people that know what needs doing and just get it done.  It was refreshing to work on a smaller event again after running DDD Brisbane for so many years. It’s exciting when everything you need for the day fits in the back of your car.


We had a bad storm the night before and it was raining on the day with some of our mentors and facilitators unable to make it due to storm damage and flooding. It was great to see our attendees brave the weather and give up their Saturday to participate on the day. The range and variety of talks this group are working on was truly diverse and I look forward to seeing these appear over the coming year with participants already submitting the proposals crafted on the day to to various places.