Dr J Harrison

Bio

Out as Non-Binary GenderQueer for over 10 years, Dr J has been bringing queer theory (with a slice of humour) into the tech space, building on ThoughtWorks’ dedication to inclusivity and intersectionality. Dr J takes a strategic view of cultural change in Technology through a few lenses, notably queer theory.

This combines well with their years of experience using agile processes to build software and a talent for really understanding clients – looking at the problems they are solving and how to make great teams to deliver real value.

Their passion? How you can do things better with just simple changes – bringing their Service Design thinking into both the Technology and the Diversity and Inclusion spaces.

Troublemaker. #queernuisance

Topic

It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that agile teams produce better outcomes. But is that really as true as we think? Is it working to an agile format, or something else that makes these teams really work?

It’s been almost 20 years since the Agile Manifesto was created. How has it changed the way we work? Is the way forward about what we do, how our teams look or how we think?

This session presents years of research done with many TW teams – and a way forward, intertwined with the Agile Manifesto. We give a vision for the future that builds on what the best teams already do – but often do unknowingly. By making these actions a mindset, conscious and thoughtful, we can have huge impacts.

Favourite TED / TEDx talk

Travis Alabanza – Who is allowed to be a victim?

I adore this talk, as it starts with their poetry, and develops through the themes they address in their stage show “Burgerz” – transphobia, homophobia and hatred of otherness. They are eloquent in their description of the issues society causes, the impact on them and on trans and gender non-conforming people, and their responses are peronal and universal. They draw the audience in with their storytelling and vulnerability on stage. and challenges us to do and be better.

I’ve been a fan of Travis since I met them in 2016 – and they never cease to amaze me with the way they can articulate the experience of being different. and the risks we take by being outside of the normative, in this society.

What does limitless mean to you?

Some communities are required to mask and constantly hide. Or are hidden by others. In being visible we demand the world make space for us, pushing the limits of what identities are allowed into spaces, and how society moves to include us.

Limitless means not having to censor myself. It means being able to bring all of myself to a space, a problem, or a situation. It means being able to use my ideas and lived experiences, without having to hide parts of it, or dissemble to hide why I know some obscure factoid.

Not limiting the self I can be.

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