Hi all!

I’m Kari – I’m a Portlander and I am thrilled to be coordinating the Career UnConference at Expo!  With so many people from Support Driven gathering in Portland for Expo, we wanted to find ways for community members to connect on career topics, in particular those related to our diverse identities.  We thought, “How about an UnConference? We’ve never done one of those before!”

What is an unconference?  It’s a moderately structured and loosely moderated environment designed to encourage conversations and connections with other folks who are thinking about similar topics.

There are a number of ways that unconferences work, but ours breaks down into 3 steps:

  • All community members contribute Discussion Questions prior to the Expo via a community Trello board.
  • Each morning of the Expo, you will get a chance to vote in-person which 3-6 Questions are most relevant or important to you.  All the questions for that day will be on display by the registration table.
  • During each 40 minute UnConference session, you are encouraged to spend time in the small group or groups that are most interesting to you.  You can stay with one question/group for the entire session, or float every 10-15 minutes, if you’d like.

The most important thing to know is that the UnConference is community-driven.  It’s your opportunity to decide what is most relevant in the present moment and engage with others on that topic.

We look forward to having you there!


If you haven’t gotten your ticket yet, get it now — Expo is next week! And don’t forget to download the app for iOS or Android (search for Support Driven once you’ve got the app).

Career UnConference Details

We encourage all interested community members to submit Discussion Questions in advance of the Support Driven Expo. Questions are due by 11:59pm Eastern on Tuesday, June 19. Please – submit your questions by joining the UnConference Trello board.

Session topics include:

  • Creating a new career in support
  • Women working in the support world
  • Getting started in support management
  • Being a person of color in tech
  • Building and leading support organizations
  • Being LGBTQ in the field of support

You can read more about the UnConference in the Expo Guide and see which day/time the different topic will be discussed each afternoon in the Expo Day One and Day Two Schedules.

Ready for more speakers?

Here’s the final round of speaker announcements before Expo begins NEXT WEEK!

Sejal D’Souza

Working effectively with Agile teams
Everyone is doing Agile these days. Agile is the new buzzword. So how do you work with teams that follows Scrum and KanBan even if you do not? How do you fit into their Agile world if your world looks different? Come and find out more. Let’s chat about it.

Rachel Etnire
New Relic

The Need to Belong: The Neurology of Inclusion
A huge chunk of inclusivity is recognizing the core needs of others as real and valid, even when they are different from your own.I will talk about cognitive distraction, the amygdala and flight/fight response, and how those concepts relate to the feeling (and science!) of belonging and inclusion. When someone’s core needs are not being met, they can be distracted and less effective. Working to meet the core needs of others not only makes them feel included, but is an investment in the effectiveness of your whole team.

In this talk, I’ll teach you about the BICEPS model (belonging, improvement/progress, choice, equality/fairness, predictability, status), a useful tool and framework for identifying those core needs. This talk will encourage the audience to introspect about their own core needs, empathize with the core needs of others, and talk more candidly about these things so we can build a more inclusive and effective workplace together.

Using Customer Effort Scores to influence Product and win customers
Product and CX often have very similar goals, but often have very different strategies to get there.

In this workshop, we’ll talk through what Customer Effort Scores are, how they work and how they can make an impact on satisfaction and referrals.

While you may not be collecting this information now, we’ll work on finding the issues you have today and how you can launch a similar program internally.

Welcome to the Empathy Economy
As customers increasingly demand that less people come between them and the support they receive, ironically, businesses now need to be more human than ever. AI and Machine Learning might pave the way for a more frictionless customer experience, yet consumer appetites signal a new era of customer relationships focused on authenticity, trust, and nearly familiar.

Meanwhile, with consumer trust at an all-time low (according to market research firm Edelman) and by 2030, predictions estimating that more than 400 million jobs will be displaced by automation, fears of a bleak dystopia of robots, and an increasingly polarized world abound. But now is not the time to lose hope. As we enter what many are calling the Age of Automation, the silver lining is an important and incredible opportunity to capitalize on empathy. Empathy will be the new currency that brings balance to our increased reliance on technology to build and maintain relationships.

But how do you successfully operationalize empathy, especially across your customer-facing teams? By tying Corporate Social Responsibility — the connective tissue—to your business strategies. CSR maintains your humanity and is the key to succeeding in the Empathy Economy. During this workshop, you will learn why bringing more trust and authenticity to customer-facing teams will be a key differentiator across millennials and new generation businesses, and the best practices for creating diversified experiences that can bring this new thinking to life.

Mikhail Naumov
Digital Genius

James Lemire

Mike Yakovlev

Briana Cahn

Panel: How Working with AI Tools Lets You Deliver Superb Service
Has the calculator made the job of the accountant easier?
Can you imagine a finance team without spreadsheets?

At DigitalGenius we feel the same way about support teams, and we’re building some amazing AI-powered tools that make your job easier and your customers happier. From case classification to automated actions, we believe support teams should be freed to focus on thinking and complex queries. Now is the time to let the machines do what they do best: automate the boring tasks. Join us in this panel with two DigitalGenius customers to hear their thoughts about the empowerment brought by the next wave off customer support tools.

Are you getting excited yet? Go ahead and grab your Expo tickets, and we’ll see you in Portland June 21-22!

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