The first part of the margins logo. The letters mar are outlined in white. The second part of the margins logo. The letters gins are outlined in white.

margins conference

Free One-Day Conference

For and by marginalised people in tech

22nd June 2019
Nottingham, United Kingdom

About margins

margins is a free one-day conference for people from marginalised backgrounds that work in/with/around technology (or hope to break into the industry!).

Everyone is welcome to join us in Nottingham for a day filled with inspiration, solidarity and compassion.

Register for margins here!
What does “being marginalised” mean? That’s a really good question! “Being from a marginalised background” means that someone is part of a group that is being dismissed as “insignificant” or treated unfairly as “outside the norm” in society. This includes (but is not limited to) someone's gender identity, gender expression, sexuality, ethnicity, religion, class, dis/ability, physical appearance and/or body size. (Please talk to us to make this description better!)
As an attendee, what can I expect? margins is a small, intimate conference for about 100 people. It will be a day filled with workshops and talks that are centred around technology, inspiration and solidarity. The conference is split into two tracks that run at the same time: One for workshops and one for talks. In between, around and outside these tracks, the space offers a chance to chat, network and meet new people on the day. Lunch and snacks will be provided for free. While the schedule is not finalised, margins will run from around 10am until 4pm-ish.
Do I have to identify as “marginalised” to attend? The conference is open to everybody. If you're not from a marginalised background, if the term “marginalised” doesn't sit right with you, if you're not sure if you belong: Please come around! We would love to see on the day.


margins would not be possible without the support of these companies:

Lead Sponsor:

Refinitiv logo. It spells out Refinitiv in black uppercase letters and has a stylised blue R next to it that can also be seen as an arrow.

Other Sponsors:

Samsung Internet logo. It's a white planet on a blue background with a purple ring around it. Samsung Internet is written next to it. GitHub logo. The logo is black type on a white background.

Would you like to join this list by sponsoring us? Please email us!


What about food & drinks? The event includes free lunch and snacks! We will have different free drinks on the day, but depending on the weather it might be a good idea to bring a drinking bottle (the university has free water fountains). We will cater for the widest range of dietary requirements possible (vegan, halal, kosher, gluten-free!), but please get in touch if you have specific needs!
Is there a Code of Conduct? Yeah! Everyone who attends will need to follow it. You can read it here.
Could you tell me about the venue’s accessibility? Absolutely! The campus has several entrances and it itself is quite hilly and has several slopes. The most accessible route is to drive by car to Portland Building and park close to Trent Building’s parking lot. From there, it is 5mins on even ground to the venue. From the tram stop it is a ~10mins walk on uneven, slightly sloped ground.

The space in which the conference is being held (the Studio) is wheelchair accessible and on the ground floor. There are disabled toilets available around the space. We will have gender-neutral toilets on the day. A calm, low stimulus room will be available in the building.

Need info about something else? Please send Velvet an email (!
(CLOSED) Is there a Travel Sponsorship? Yes! If you aren't able to attend margins without financial support, please send in an application so we can support you in attending (and hopefully having a good time)! [Closed 31/5/2019].
I would like to help out! Awesome, thank you very much! For volunteering, please send us an email ( If you'd like to give a talk or workshop, please check out our Call for Proposals!
Can I sponsor this event? Yes, please! Ping the lead organsier Velvet ( for more info.


Please note that this schedule is preliminary & will probably change!

Time What's On?
9:00 Registration
10:00–10:20 Welcome & Intro
10:20–11:00 Keynote by Khaya Job
11:00–11:10 Break
11:10–11:50 Talk: How to say no: serving your community whilst also taking care of your self by Amy
Workshop: Ren’py Crash Course by Clark
11:50–12:00 Break
12:00–12:40 Talk: Diverse representations in design and awkward conversations with colleagues by Eriol
(Continued) Workshop: Ren’py Crash Course by Clark
12:40–13:50 Lunch
13:50–14:30 Talk: In conversation with... Jessica & Vanja
Workshop: Practical self care and community care: How to recover from burnout & get our energy back ✊🏿 by LiLi Kathleen
14:30–14:40 Break
14:40–15:30 Talk: Minha
(Continued) Workshop: Practical self care and community care: How to recover from burnout & get our energy back ✊🏿 by LiLi Kathleen
15:30–15:40 Break
15:40–16:00 Wrap-Up & Goodbye


Khaya Job

Founder & Creative Director

Khaya is the founder of Nottingham’s Femme Fatale Gals, a creative platform aimed started to empower people through art and the power of vulnerability. Instagram / Website

Workshop Leader

Clark Seanor

Junior Developer at jh

Clark Seanor is a queer guy who's interested in web development, game design, and storytelling. He's a junior developer at JH, accessibility editor at Strange Horizons, and an Organisation for Transformative Works volunteer. In his free time, he creates cosplays and reads a lot. Twitter / Website

Ren’py Crash Course A crash course in making indie games using the Ren’py game engine. We’ll cover different aspects of game development—including coding, art, and writing branched stories.

Ren'py is used for making visual novels and games in the style of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, Butterfly Soup, Doki Doki Literature Club, or Dream Daddy.

This workshop is beginner- and intermediate-friendly and requires you to bring your own laptop.

Workshop Leader

LiLi Kathleen Bright

Agile Coach & Scrum Master

LiLi Kathleen practises creating environments that help people thrive, as an Agile Coach & Scrum Master. Listening is their superpower, which they use to look out for people & team health, stakeholder engagement and facilitating effective working. As a facilitator, they regularly design and lead workshops to include & engage everyone. Kathleen organises Liberating Structures London user group as part of a team. LiLi is writing a novel and two non-fiction books: a secular companion to The Artist’s Way, and a recipe book for people living with fatigue. Loves trees, herbal tea and learning about plant based nutrition. Often found singing. And dancing. Twitter / Website / Linkedin

Practical self care and community care: How to recover from burnout & get our energy back ✊🏿 Caring for one & all: a toolkit to help yourself & others recover from burnout or overwhelm

- Slow down, get support & re-evaluate goals and priorities to replenish your energy
- Learn & practise Liberating Structures to work through ways of recovering from burnout
- Create together & take away resources

Burnout is pretty common amongst marginalised people in tech. Sometimes it’s at a level that requires medical intervention. Sometimes it’s not and there are practical things you can do to recover and to help other people to recover. You can learn to recognise the warning signs to avoid burnout too.

As someone who’s been affected by burnout, depression & anxiety, and who cares about wellbeing and mental health, I love to do what I can to share what I’ve learned.

As a bonus, the practical activities we use in the workshop can be used in other ways to have better meetings & improve other interactions too. You can learn about Liberating Structures in various places, but the best way is to experience them.


Eriol Fox

Product & UX designer

Eriol is a product & UX designer who has worked in-house roles for 9+ years. Now working at Ushahidi, a humanitarian, non-profit technology leader, developing open-source, digital tools to help people with better democratic process, human rights issues, natural and human-made disasters.

Eriol is a non-binary, queer person who uses they/them pronouns and an LGBTQIA+ advocate and committee member of Bristol pride Festival.

They are deeply passionate about intersectional inclusion and promoting healthy attitudes towards mental health in the tech sector. Twitter / Linkedin / Ushahidi & Ushahidi Twitter

Diverse representations in design and awkward conversations with colleagues When working in design and user experience, people that need accessible and inclusive products of experiences often get referred to as ‘edge cases’ and subsequently pushed out of scope. It’s never easy to convince bosses or colleagues that aren’t themselves ‘edge cases ‘themselves to take the time and spend the resource caring for those that need more diverse design and representation in our visuals.

Covering real-life past examples of frustrations from projects that didn’t go so well, ones that did go well and how I work as much diversity and inclusivity into my work as I can possibly get away with now with the hope to not only make it the standard approach from the companies and people that I work with, but also for the customers and end-users that are not marginalised, to consider that products, services and marketing should be representative for and of everyone, not just them.


Marina Díez

Games Designer & Organiser

Marina Díez is a Spanish game designer, events curator and organizer, Italian and German philologist, video games journalist, activist, WIGJ Ambassador and IGDA Women in Games Ambassador. In 2017 she founded her own women-only video games magazine Terebi Magazine and started making her own games. Besides, she is a collaborator for associations such as Femdevs, an organization for women developers, as well as a curator for video games events. She is currently based in London, UK and her dream is to make games that help others and that contribute to a different vision of the world. Twitter / Website

Self-care in digital environments: building your own digital unique place in the world Can video games help with stressful situations through escapism? Yes, they can. The goal of this talk is to show how Bitsy can be used to create digital self-care spaces for escape, in case of struggling with anxiety, depression or simply to relax after a long day in a space of your own.

During the last year, I’ve been researching self-care in digital environments through different resources as well as my own games. At the same time, I noticed how important it is to establish in real life some kind of rituals for making our souls sparkle and our mental health healthy. But, what about digital spaces to help people achieve that? Can videogames be considered as digital spaces for escapism?

From these ideas, this talk was born, with the goal of helping others to build their own digital spaces with simple tools that also are used for making experimental games, and can introduce the attendees to the world of game design and development.


Minha Lee

PhD candidate at Eindhoven University of Technology

Minha is a PhD candidate at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands. her research interests include moral conflicts and moral emotions, and her PhD project concerns how technology shapes us as moral beings. The focus is on people's dyadic interactions with technological entities, which implicate morally relevant concepts like compassion and fairness. In prior empirical studies, a variety of digital entities like chatbots, robots, and virtual agents were introduced as interaction partners. Her diverse educational background led her to approach research in a multidisciplinary fashion, and she regularly combines qualitative and quantitative methods. Previously, she graduated from the University of Amsterdam with a M.Sc. in Information Science, Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY with a B.F.A. in Digital Arts, and University of Minnesota - Twin cities with a B.A. in Philosophy. Twitter / Website / University Profile

Workshop Leaders

Sean Hamilton, Annette Pressman & Joanna Bruce

Refinitiv Mentors

Following the popularity of this workshop at the inspireWiT's conference, we wanted to provide a further opportunity for attendees to experience this fun and interactive activity. Participants will create code using the BBC micro:bit Blocks environment. Website

Hacking LEDs with the BBC micro:bit! The code will be used to control a set of everyday fairy lights connected to the BBC micro:bit, with a variety of challenges for the participants to undertake. The session will be run and supported by mentors from Refinitiv.

Ideal for beginners in tech / coding, and fun for more advanced programmers! The workshops will be run as drop-in sessions throughout the whole conference!


Jessica Rushmer

Senior Technologist at Refinitiv

Jess is a passionate and experienced Technologist who has worked with and for various organisations spanning multiple sectors. Coming from an initial background in Information Security moving to freelance software engineering, she left him behind in London and joined Refinitiv as herself last October. She is a strong advocate of open collaboration and best practises allowing people to grow within the workspace. She is also very geeky and tends to rant about Event Sourcing, Domain Driven Design and Command Query Responsibility Segregation.

Vanja Ljevar

PhD Researcher

Vanja is currently a psychology/data science PhD researcher at the University of Nottingham. Originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Vanja worked for several years in advertising agencies in Belgrade and London. Always wanting to understand people, she became passionate about customer data insights and worked for 2 years as a Senior Analyst. During this role, she led a team of four men as a young, immigrant woman. Vanja is passionate about human rights, writing, entrepreneurship and jazz music. Linkedin

In conversation with ... This session will be an honest conversation about personal experiences and challenges at the workplace from the perspective of two women. Some leading businesses are making a conscious effort to increase the awareness and understanding of gender diversity, however, there is still a lot companies can do. Jess and Vanja will discuss the impact of perceptions, the role of support base and ways of navigating situations where one is made to feel marginalised, as well as potential ways forward — for both companies and individuals.

Workshop Leaders

Amy and Iqrah

GitHub Experts

Amy's Twitter / Iqrah's Twitter

Building your First Website with GitHub Pages! Join Amy and Iqrah in one of two 30 minutes taster sessions to learn how to get your own website up and running for free using GitHub pages (and also learn a bit of git along the way)!


The conference is happening at the University of Nottingham, on its University Park campus in the Studio Space near Portland Building.

The campus can be easily reached via bus (NCTX, trentbarton) or tram (Stop: University of Nottingham). There are two free parking lots close to the venue (~5mins and ~10mins walking).

Please see our FAQs for Accessibility Requirements!

Mailing List

Subscribe to our mailing list to get updates on the conference, tickets and everything else. You can also follow us on Twitter @marginsconf!