Speaker Submissions

Welcome to the 4th Annual WiT Regatta – Seattle! In 2019, the WiT Regatta attracted over 1,300 womxn (and men) from a variety of technology-focused organizations and roles. Based on attendee feedback, this year we are partnering with the Seattle WIT Consortium to expand our slate of in-depth technical sessions. On Saturday, April 25th we will navigate the Deep Sea with three tracks covering a wide range of fields for every technical woman.

In total, the week will include 60+ sessions and 250+ speakers focused on connecting women (and men) in tech to mentors, peers, and resources. We provide educational, informational, and inspirational content with a deep focus on developing strong relationships. Each session offers an opportunity to learn from experienced leaders from the tech industry and time to engage in smaller groups to discuss the material more intimately and directly.

We seek high-quality submissions that showcase the latest trends and research, emerging technology, practical experiences or technical solutions, and projects led by women in one of the domains highlighted below. If you are passionate about a technical topic that you feel would add value to the WiT Regatta event, which does not map to one of the tracks below, we encourage you to submit anyway! We invite perspectives from academic, industry, entrepreneurial, governmental, and non-profit sectors.

Accepted session formats include presentations and panels at intermediate and advanced levels.

  • Call for speakers will close on Friday, February 28, 2020
  • Selected speakers will be notified by Wednesday, March 25, 2020

BECOME A SPEAKER

Deep Sea Technical Tracks

Deep Sea Data Dives: Data Science & Artificial Intelligence

Data and Artificial Intelligence are playing an ever-increasing role, not just in the technology sector, but society as a whole. The shift to mobile technologies, Internet of Things, and cloud services has enabled the collection of more data than at any other time in human history, fueling ever-improving machine learning algorithms and increasing artificial intelligence capabilities.

The state of the art in these fields is changing almost weekly, so we are looking for submissions in the following areas:

  • Data engineering and infrastructure including data pipelines & architecture, data management & quality, data security & privacy
  • Data analysis and modeling including knowledge discovery, data mining, search & recommendation, new interfaces & visualization
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning including supervised, unsupervised & reinforcement learning, neural networks, evolutionary & genetic algorithms
  • Ethical considerations for data science and AI including algorithmic bias, weaponization of AI, AI for good

Crafting The Deep Sea Vessel: Software Engineering, Systems, & Security

Software systems are integrated with all aspects of our lives—be it productivity tools at work, social apps to manage our connections with others, embedded computers in our cars that keeps us safe, vitally important healthcare devices, and endless options for media and entertainment…the list goes on. As the pervasiveness and complexity of software grows, it becomes ever more important to establish and follow well-defined practices for architecture, design, execution, security, privacy, and ethics.

This track seeks submissions related to best practices and principles in these areas, as well as case studies of creative software solutions built by cross-discipline teams, such as business, design, engineering, and science.

  • Software Engineering and Architecture including requirements, design patterns, software lifecycle, software engineering methodology, software quality, maintainability, and refactoring
  • Computer Systems including distributed & real-time systems, virtualization, containerization & orchestration, cloud & mobile, storage & caching, IOT & embedded systems
  • Security and Privacy including cryptography, compliance, risk management, audit processes, security attacks & defenses, intrusion & anomaly detection

Uncharted Deep Sea Waters: Technology & Research by Women for Women

Products focused on women, women-led startups, women-centered bootcamps, accelerators, and communities are reshaping the technology innovation landscape around the world. Seattle-based female founders have disrupted industries ranging from co-working spaces and fashion to privacy compliance and satellite launching. Seattle area programs such as Ada’s Developer Academy and Female Founders Alliance are changing the face of Tech by focusing on providing training, networking, and funding for women.

Yet, despite the immense economic opportunity that female-focused innovation represents, venture capital (VC) funding remains heavily skewed towards male-led startups, with only 2.3% of VC funds going towards women founders in 2018. Moreover, women remain heavily underrepresented in the technical force, filling between 20 and 30% of technical roles as reported by major technical employers.

Technology & Research by Women for Women track seeks to bring together founders, technologists, researchers, community organizers, and policy makers who are working to change these ratios through products, services, programs, and communities for women and by women. We are looking for submissions related to:

  • FemTech & inclusive innovation in the areas of health, fitness, fashion, safety, lifestyle, and more
  • Investments and VC funding for women-led businesses
  • Impact focused and mission-driven products and communities
  • Policy, activism, and philanthropy focused on women and underserved populations
  • Media initiatives and communities fostering female leadership and innovation

Submission Requirements

Speaker selection for WiT Regatta is highly competitive. To improve your chances of being selected, we recommend that you closely follow the speaker submission requirements.

General Requirements

  • Structure: A submission should include an abstract, introduction, details of the approach and contribution, plan of action for any interactive portions of the session, outcomes, conclusion, as well as the author bio(s).
  • Size limit: Abstract – limit of 400 characters. Overall – recommend 3-4 pages, double column, 10 point font. Only the abstract will be published to the attendees. We will not edit these, so please pay attention to formatting and grammar.
  • Submission requirements: Submit your proposal as a PDF and complete the submission form on the WiT Regatta submission site. Feel free to add any additional information that supports your proposal.

Presentation

Presentations allow a subject matter expert to share their in-depth knowledge about a particular technical topic.

  • Eligibility criteria: Subject matter experts from industry, academia, government or non-profit, and PhD students.
  • Number of presenters: One or two presenters per presentation.
  • Presentation Time: Plan on 25 minutes for your presentation, including the Q&A. You will also need to facilitate a 20-30 minute interactive activity among attendees.

Panel

Panels let a group of individuals convene and discuss/offer opinions on a specific technical topic. Diverse, cross-organizational, or interdisciplinary panels are strongly encouraged to ensure breadth and depth in discussion.

  • Eligibility criteria: Subject matter experts from industry, academia, government, or non-profit.
  • Number of panelists: One moderator and three to four panelists. To ensure a diversity of voices, we require a male-identifying voice and panelists representing a variety of backgrounds and organizations (company or institution). Please indicate in your submission if the moderator has had previous experience moderating a panel.
  • Presentation time: Plan on 60 minutes for your panel, including the Q&A. You will also need to facilitate a 20-30 minute interactive activity among attendees.

Set Sail with WiT Regatta

With our roots firmly established in Seattle’s South Lake Union district, the WiT Regatta has a strong connection to water and its ability to support exploration of previously unknown lands. As a result, participants enjoy visiting multiple ports to acquire info, make new connections, and chart a new course for the days ahead.

When preparing your speaker submission, consider having some fun and aligning the title and synopsis with our nautical theme. If you are selected as a speaker, the WiT Regatta crew will be happy to help fine-tune your nautical connection! Feel free to submit your ideas even if they don’t seem to fit into a specific Deep Sea track. When submitting, do your best to steer it into the Port you think is most closely associated. We are flexible and happy to work with you on what best suits your audience.

Sample Titles – some from Prior Sessions
2 titles from our “port” dedicated to Startups:

  • Launch It Broken, Fix It Live: Put the Life Vest On and Jump!
  • Pitch Event: Batten the Hatches – We’re Hitting the High Seas!

3 titles from our “port” dedicated to Healthcare & Technology:

  • Navigating Disruption in Healthcare
  • Calming the Turbulent Waters of the Healthcare Workforce
  • Deep Water: Optimizing K-Means Clustering Algorithms

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