Presented by

  • Christopher Neugebauer

    Christopher Neugebauer

    Christopher Neugebauer is an Australian developer, speaker, and serial community conference organiser, who presently lives in the United States. He serves as a Director and Vice-Chair of the Python Software Foundation, and when All This is not currently preventing it, is co-organiser of the acclaimed North Bay Python conference, a boutique one-track conference run in a live music venue in Petaluma, California. By day, Christopher works as an Engineering Manager at AlphaSights, where he uses Kotlin to build communications tools that put clients around the world in touch with knowledge they need.


**CONTENT WARNING**: This talk discusses natural and human disasters that have resulted in loss of life, and damages to property and livelihood, including floods, wildfires, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Flood, fire, and plague. Far from being signs of the apocalypse, these have been the sorts of disasters that Free and Open Source Software conference organisers have faced in the leadup to their events over the last ten years. in 2011 took place in the immediate aftermath of a one-in-forty year flood on the Brisbane River. North Bay Python in 2019 took place amongst nearby mass evacuations and the threat of smoke pollution from nearby bushfires. PyCon US 2020 cancelled an in-person event and rapidly regrouped to produce online material, barely weeks after Coronavirus became widespread in the United States. All three of these events delivered an event that was significantly different to what they had originally planned, but successfully navigated unexpected circumstances to deliver valuable material and a memorable experience for attendees. While events like conferences are unique in that people (used to) travel to them, have real deadlines, and have physical constraints that online communities don’t have to deal with, unexpected crises can affect any project. Through interviews with organisers from three disaster-impacted conferences, we’ll explore common themes that helped them successfully navigate a crisis, and important lessons they learned through the process including: * Maintaining the trust of your community through effective and timely communication * Developing and evaluating alternative plans when time is of the essence * Effectively navigating your commitments with external vendors This talk uses conferences as case studies, but this talk will be of value to anyone who needs to navigate a community-led project through a crisis. Whatever’s next, you’ll be able to prepare for it.