Announcing Our Keynotes: Abigail Mesrenyame Dogbe

We’re honored to announce our first keynote speaker for DjangoCon US 2023: Abigail Mesrenyame Dogbe!

Photo of Abigail Mesrenyame Dogbe

I recently sat down to chat with Mesrenyame about her upcoming keynote. While I don’t want to spoil any of her talk, I can tell you that she is passionate about the power of Open Source and the community that has grown around it. She is excited to share her experiences building a community in open source, inspiring women to be STEM leaders, and some of the challenges she has faced. I can’t wait to hear more!

Mesrenyame is an Open Source Community Builder, Programs Manager, and STEM Education advocate from Ghana who loves the power that Open Source can put in people’s hands. She wants to help create more awareness, through community building, advocacy, and research.

She is a member and contributor within the African Python and Django software communities and has invested time and effort in fostering collaboration, sustainability, and inclusivity within Open Source communities through research and events organizing in both local and international communities.

As a result of her tenacity and commitment to contributing to open source communities, she was nominated and is a fellow at the Python Software Foundation, an Individual Member at the Django Software Foundation, a recipient of a Python Software Foundation Community Service Award, and a Google Open Source Peer Bonus Award.

You can find her on the web at Github, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn

Mesrenyame’s Talk is titled “Finding Purpose in Open Source Through Community Building.”

Here’s the abstract from Abigail herself:

Growing up, I had little enthusiasm for Computers and Mathematics and I found it difficult to navigate these areas in school. However, after my first encounter as a mentee at a Django Girls event held in Accra, Ghana, I saw the value of Open Source Software and Community and was challenged to encourage the participation of more women. This challenge evolved into a bigger one which involved bringing together more Africans, to share ideas, collaborate, and find their career paths, while also inspiring the next generation of contributors. My efforts in strategic team building, projects, and communities like Django Girls and PyCon Africa helped us reach these goals.

In this talk, I will share my journey of how I was challenged to contribute to open source by bringing others into it, and how it has helped me develop resilience and a growth mindset. I will discuss how I discovered the benefits of open source, overcame the challenges of contributing, became strategic about community building, embraced discomfort, and ultimately found a sense of purpose and fulfillment in my contributions.

Through my experience, I aim to encourage others to keep welcoming new people, particularly those from underrepresented groups, to participate in open source. Show them the various ways that open source can help them improve the world and fulfill their goals.

We are excited to have Abigail join us in Durham this October!

Don’t miss Abigail’s keynote! Buy your ticket today.