Call for Speakers

Call for Speakers is closed. Submissions are no longer possible. Sorry.
in 200 days

Design + Diversity Conference

event starts

05 Aug 2021

event ends

07 Aug 2021


St. Louis, Missouri, United States

The Design + Diversity Conference explores proactive ways to make the design and creative industry more diverse, inclusive and equitable.

finished 15 days ago
Call for Speakers
CfS opens at 12:00 AM

01 Sep 2020

CfS closes at 11:59 PM

01 Jan 2021

This event is in UTC-06:00 - Central Time US & Canada - time zone.
Closing time in your time zone is .

Thanks for your interest in becoming a speaker at the 20210 Design + Diversity Conference. Each year our curator selects a wide range of speakers from first-timers on a stage to seasoned speakers. Your proposal can include the following topics:

  • Using the creative practice to address social ills and systems of oppression through Social Justice
  • Using creative craft to meet the needs of specific identities through Designing Diversity
  • Developing a collective acumen of Traditional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

We look forward to reviewing your application and will get back within the coming months with our official selection.

DEADLINE: January 1, 2021

*Note: As a speaker + facilitator your travel and accommodations will be covered by D+D. You will also receive special speaker swag as a thank you for your time, energy and knowledge. 


  • CFP open: September 1, 2020
  • CFP close: January 1, 2021
  • Speakers notified by February 1, 2021
  • Conference dates: August 5 - 7 2021

Admission and Travel

All speakers receive the following benefits:

  • Free admission to Design + Diversity
  • Up to 4 nights of hotel
  • Airfare
  • Special Speakers Dinner with industry Leaders

If you have special considerations regarding costs or travel, we will accommodate if possible.

Presentation Format

Design + Diversity (Design Plus Diversity, aka D+D) is a design and diversity conference that explores ways to make the design and creative industry more diverse, inclusive, and equitable. The conference encompasses creative practices to address social ill and systems of oppression through Social Justice, it explores creative craft to meet the needs of specific identities through Designing Diversity, and it develops a collective acumen of Traditional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Design + Diversity does not focus on any particular design style or creative craft in general, but we are expanding to include more technological innovation from the tech industry.

This CFP covers two types of talks:

  • Keynote Presentations (45 minutes)
  • Workshops (3 hours)


Sessions are 45 minutes and take place on August 5th, 6th, and 7th, 2021.

Here are some additional suggestions on getting the best response for your talk:

  • Please submit no more than 2 talks! Contact for guidance on choosing which topics to submit.
  • Title - many attendees will read only the title of your talk. It should contain at least one or two nouns that convey the topic, language, technique, or whatever you are primarily talking about. Many speakers submit titles that are two parts, separated by a semicolon, dash, colon, comma, or parens. In almost every case, the title is better if you delete one of those parts. Likewise, many speakers submit snowclone titles like "The Hitchhiker's Guide to FOO" or "FOO is the new BAR". Please try to avoid these if possible.
  • Abstract - should sell your talk to attendees (and reviewers). The abstract should answer attendee's question, "Why should I attend this talk? What will I learn?" The sweet spot is 3-5 sentences. An attendee may be comparing seven concurrent talks, and they want to know whether it's relevant to them, and what they will learn.
  • What will the attendee learn? - this is where you can privately communicate the next level of detail to reviewers. Reviewers are trying to determine what main points you will make and whether you are capable of delivering on the expectations in the abstract. If the abstract says you'll learn 3 techniques for XYZ, list them! If you don't, we will assume you don't have a plan or can't deliver and move on to the next talk. On the other side, do not deliver the full text of your talk here - we are looking for an outline with 1-2 levels of info.
  • For more info on reasons talks are frequently rejected, please see these notes on talk selection from a prior year.


Workshops will take place on each day of the conference, and they will be 3 hours in length.

Please read these guidelines before submitting:

  • You should have prior speaking experience, preferably with a long-form workshop similar to the one you're proposing. You can submit without previous experience, but we weigh workshops heavier. They are our meat. 
  • You should be somewhat of an expert or advocate for this topic (creator, implementor, standards committee expert, author, known speaker, I've been working in this topic field for five years or more, etc.).
  • Your title should be simple and clearly mention the primary topic you wish to cover. Be as direct and straightforward as possible ("Intro to Social Justice").
  • Your title or abstract should clearly indicate whether the workshop is an intro level, intermediate, or advanced topic (all are ok, but please set expectations).
  • The two types of workshops that work best at Design + Diversity are foundational design + diversity topic with broad interest (taught from a how-too perspective) and very new bleeding-edge topics. If you have questions about whether your topic is appropriate, please email us before submitting.

Multiple Presenters

The CFP form allows you to add multiple presenters to your talk.

  • No more than two presenters for a single keynote on the main stage have ever been selected for Design + Diversity. 
  • Most of our keynotes have featured presentations from single presenters.
  • Multi-presenter workshops are often a good idea; however, we strongly prefer that you include all presenters at the time of submission (not request additional later) - this is critical as we manage our budget. Depending on travel, expected attendee interest, etc. you may miss the deadline for printing when which they will not make any of the print materials.


expenses covered


expenses covered

event fee

free for speakers