NED Speaker Selection Process

How does NED choose who will present?

Our presentation selection process is anonymous to the fullest extent possible.

When proposals are submitted through our Call for Proposal (CFP) form, only members of our Content Committee have access to them. Proposals are scrubbed for any identifying information (name, location, organization, details in the abstract that gives away their identity, etc) before being given to the full NED committee for review.

Committee members individually conduct an anonymous review of each proposed session and rank it based on relevancy of the content and strength of the abstract. Each committee member cannot see how anyone else has ranked the sessions. Content Committee members are recused from the anonymous ranking process.

We then aggregate all reviews to calculate a score for each session. These are used to guide the full-committee selection process, with the highest ranked sessions being given the strongest consideration.

Once the first slate has been chosen based on the top scored sessions, it is evaluated for diversity in the following areas:

  • Subject area
  • Skill level
  • Commercial / Non-profit / Higher Ed
  • First-time NED speaker

If the slate is not balanced, sessions may be adjusted, again based on the full committee rankings.

A second review is then conducted to evaluate the slate’s diversity of speakers based on any identity information that has been shared on the CFP form. We intentionally ask for identity information in a very open-ended way so that we can include all identities.
This is the first year we are explicitly asking for this information, and it is part of our broader effort to make NED more inclusive and welcoming overall.

We will evaluate the slate to ensure that it is balanced with regards to gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, and any other identities that are shared. If it is not, we will again adjust sessions until we have a more diverse final slate.

We recognize that this process is new and imperfect, especially with regards to achieving diversity among our presenters. We’re looking forward to learning as we grow, being in continued conversation with you our community, and increasing transparency into our processes. We welcome any questions or feedback at at [email protected]