We’re purpose and experience-led, because these are mutually uplifting things, with practices that respond (in small ways) to societal challenges around systemic inequity and the age of the Anthropocene.

The commitments below are some of the things we’re doing to make our community better. We experiment and iterate on these with every event, and are actively making them as inclusive and accessible as possible, growing and changing with the community.

We’re open to constructive discussion around these, acknowledging the limitations of our personal experience and the privileges of our organisers. If you have any thoughts, please send us an email at hello@sdnow.co.


We always aim for the program to reflect our community and broader society, with practitioners from across the spectrums of identity, culture, race, gender, sexuality, and life experience. We purposefully work with people from across these spectrums as part of the selection process.

Our advisory panel are aimed at being a representative group of well regarded practitioners and past speakers, although we also acknowledge the limitations of this, changing the panellists each year to bring new thinking and perspectives.

We openly seek to create space for voices from underrepresented communities, and rebalancing systemic inequity is one of the key considerations in all our decision making.

We’re providing support to speakers from across the Asia-Pacific region, rebalancing euro-centric design practices with stories and thought leadership from our local contexts.

We also provide equity scholarships to practitioners from underrepresented groups, working with our advisory panel to allocate these based on need.

There’s more to do within this space, and we’ll keep working on this wherever we can.


We look for conference venues in design-led organisations that are aligned on values and make a positive contribution toward architecture and the community.

All venues are considered through a number of lenses around accessibility, sustainability, inclusion, flexibility, seating, audio-visual capabilities, and aesthetics – with the aim of providing a positive experience for everyone. We physically test all venues and work with them to adjust their spaces for these requirements.

We’re proactively looking for venues with gender-neutral bathrooms, and asking for them to be created if they don’t already have them (making our own signage if we need to).

We select venues in central locations close to public transport and vehicle access, with accessible entries, lifts, bathrooms, and clear viewing spaces for all attendees.

We also look for venues that provide flexibility around catering and coffee, ensuring we can provide quality produce at minimal cost to our attendees, and making sure lunch and catering spaces have appropriate access for all.

If you have any particular accessibility requirements, please let us know and we’ll work with venues to ensure the space works for you.


Sustainability is a consideration in all our decision making, and we’re working to minimise our environmental impact wherever possible. We look for suppliers, producers, and organisations that showcase the best of the communities we work within, while being aligned on values and impact.

We ask that all attendees bring their own reusable water bottles and coffee cups for use throughout the conference – with water and coffee provided for attendees participating in this. We specifically don’t provide plastic water bottles or single-use coffee cups.

We minimise the use of printed collateral, providing digital content wherever possible. We also aim for any items we do provide to be useful, ethically sourced, and encouraging of sustainable practices.

We work with caterers to ensure that all packaging is recyclable and sustainable, providing separated bins throughout the conference and working with venues to ensure strict recycling and waste minimisation policies are followed. We also return any waste to community recycling or composting locations when venues are unable to provide this service. We’re asking all supporting organisations to do the same.


We always aim to create a safe and inclusive space, where diversity of thinking, shared learning, and respectful discussion are experiences that everyone can be a part of.

Come to the conference knowing that we’re looking out for everyone there, and everyone there is also looking out for each other, a mutual responsibility throughout the community.

We’re not going to provide a long list of what not to do at a conference, as you already know this, and it’s defined by community expectations. If anyone does something disrespectful towards another person we’ll warn them and/or ask them to leave, and, if need be, we’ll approach appropriate authorities or support services.

Basically we ask that everyone respect each other, and you can always approach one of our volunteers, the conference desk, message us on Slack, or send us an email if you see something, want to chat, or need our help (with anything at all). We’re happy to keep this anonymous and you can also use our anonymous feedback channels if you like.


We’re conscious of personal privacy and data ethics, and are looking out for our attendees across all the physical and digital spaces used by the community.

We purposefully don’t have name badges at our events, as we know many of you would like to remain anonymous.

We avoid using photography or videography where people can be identified, aiming to use crowd or abstract imagery across anything we publish (apart from speakers on stage). Our team will always ask permission before taking a photo or video, and if there’s ever an image you’re concerned about let us know and we’ll remove it. Additionally, if you’re personally taking photos at the conference we’d ask that you seek the same permission, particularly at social events like karaoke.

We don’t use social media platforms or services like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Google, due to their records on privacy and data ethics. And while it’s not a rule, we’d suggest minimising social media posts at the conference – and instead focus on sharing the experience with everyone there.

We collect the minimum information required to run these events and nothing more. We strongly believe in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and as a general rule will never share your data with anyone, apart from the very specific circumstances outlined below:
1. We use four platforms to manage our ticketing and communications: Eventbrite, Mailchimp, Typeform, and Slack. All information is securely stored in these platforms under their privacy and data protection policies. We never store or have access to your credit card details.
2. If you purchase a ticket for an event your name and email address may be synced between or invited to these platforms to facilitate communications for that specific event, and you can unsubscribe from these communications at the bottom of any emails sent.
3. At some events we may need to provide names of attendees to venues or curators for ticketing purposes. For example if you’re attending a workshop at a consultancy we’ll provide a list of relevant attendee names, but will never give them your contact details or email address.


We donate 10% of our revenue to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, to help rebalance the shameful policies of the Australian government and make a real difference in our community. If you like the conference please consider making an additional donation, as every little bit helps.


Feel free to borrow as many of these approaches as you like for your own events, taking into consideration how the people and experiences in your community might differ from ours ☺️

We acknowledge the Woiwurrung and Boonwurrung people of the Kulin nation as the traditional owners of the lands on which our events are located, and the traditional owners of country on which we practice across Australia. We recognise that sovereignty over these lands and waters has never been ceded, and pay our respects to Elders past, present and future.

RMIT University RMIT Master of Design Futures Paper Giant Think Place Service Design Melbourne Melbourne Speculative Futures