At least 3-4 people I respect in the Indian software community have asked me:
Why are there so few Indian speakers at the upcoming Agile India 2013 Conference?
My question to them:
Should we pick speakers based on their nationality?
I strongly disagree. We pick speakers purely based on the quality.
I care a damn which country they belong to, what is the color of their skin, who they worship, which sports they like, which beer they drink, etc. These things should not and won’t matter.
Would I like more speakers from India, bloody yes. Which is why, we run tons of other smaller, local conferences in India. First we want them to speak at these local events, get good at it and then present at an international conference.
Also to give some more context around what went into making of the program this year:
Poor quality speakers at Agile India 2012 Conference was the biggest complain we got last year. Personally, I believe we had an issue with the speaker quality. Open submissions and open review, somehow just does not work that well.
To fix that issue, this year we identified some exceptional speakers with a proven track record. We asked them for proposals, picked the best proposals from them and created a program with many open slots in it. Then we opened the submission system like last year and invited speakers to submit proposals that best fitted those slots. Best proposals were picked and the program was created. This process went on for 3+ months.
Our single, most important driving goal during this process was to create a conference program that the best of the conferences will struggle to match. I hope you will support us in this mission.