occasionally, I talk about stuff

panels & presentations

Jun 2021. Culture is More Than Free Snacks: How We Got Here, with Betaworks Studio
Mar 2021. Women in Business, with Upwardly Global
Oct 2020. Building for an Inclusive Economy, with Zebras Unite
Jul 2020. Career Pivots, with Upwardly Global
Spring-ish 2020. “What is Engineering? Equity, Access to Resources, and Systems” presentation for elementary school students in a private school in California (available to share upon request)
May 2020. Distributed Leadership & Mentorship, with Write/Speak/Code


Jul 2021. How Well-Intentioned Leadership Can Go Wrong, and What We Need to be Doing to Create a Truly Inclusive Tech Culture
Feb 2021. REWORK on Greening Basecamp
Aug 2020. Chicago Techies on my winding road to the Chicago tech scene
Jul 2020. REWORK on keeping perspective during a product launch
Feb 2020. REWORK on a collaborative Right to be Forgotten project
Jan 2020. REWORK on anti-trust policy work


Mar 2021. Speed Wins: my perspective on handling data at scale
Jan 2019. On my joining Basecamp, from David’s perspective
Jan 2017. Princeton Alumni Weekly Tiger of the Week
Jun 2011. Engineering as service
May 2009. My idea of a better world


For much of my life, I jumped whenever asked. These days, I’m privileged to be able to pick and choose. Here’s how I go about doing that:

  • I am currently comfortable speaking based on my experiences on the themes of:
    • Leading from behind
    • Human-centered data analysis
    • Shifting culture to be more inclusive
    • What to do when with newfound privilege
    • The urgency of justice (in the fields of the environment, race, class, gender, healthcare, immigration, food, housing, community development financing, education, agriculture, transportation, and policing)
    • Community building as the practice of connecting principles to process
    • Why cooking, board games, and rock-climbing are so awesome
  • I am willing to speak on other topics that may be more uncomfortable for me to talk publicly about, but you have to ask (nicely, please, keeping in mind that I am a human not a robot).
  • I use an equity lens to determine who to say “yes” to when people ask to “pick my brain” or “grab some tea” (I’m not a coffee drinker). I don’t ever ask for money in return; my ask is typically that you pay it forward through mentorship or a donation to an organization that builds grassroots community power meaningfully.
  • I will read all requests but I do not respond to everyone. I do not think people are entitled to my thoughts. Growing up in poverty in America teaches you who has the privilege of privacy.
  • To set expectations on timing, I try to cap the number of meetings and social gatherings I have at 2/day. As a result, I tend to schedule out pretty far: on the order of months.
  • I have stopped saying “yes” to requests to speak when I am the only woman of color on a panel of otherwise white people.
  • If I refer you to other potential speakers, I tend to recommend communities rather than individual people. That’s because I believe that opportunities are not evenly distributed even amongst communities, so it is important to me to offer speaking and writing opportunities broadly.

If you are interested in talking, you can reach me at hello[at]janeyang.org.