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Security Leaders Village at DEF CON 29

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  • Security Leaders Village at DEF CON 29

    Security Leaders Village

    Many of us who started out learning how technology worked through the security community now have leadership roles. There are many of us who don't wear the title of suit well, however we're in these positions. There are also quite a few of us who aspire to these roles and responsibilities, and don't know where to go. The goals of this village are to provide better support to security leaders who did not take the traditional career path, and to assist those currently on their path to achieve more.

    We have not paid attention to how the hacker community has developed a significant amount of leaders. They are responsible for the safety and security of much of our critical infrastructure, including finance, healthcare, energy, and transportation. This village recognizes and realizes that, and gives these leaders the tools they need to further succeed. It's also there to develop a new generation.
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  • #2
    This brings to mind an interesting question - what does ‘leader’ mean in this community? Many of us do not have the genetics to seek out or feel comfortable in the spotlight. This community draws us, for me, an autistic, leadership is never going to be on a stage at a conf like Defcon. To me, leadership is the female mentoree you bring into our community. For me the leader is the one who says “No” to the CEO in a quiet conference room when the unethical is asked. What the rest of society, neuraltypical society often lays the mantel of leadership upon are the people I often need to say “I think that’s a bad idea” to or “we promised people who trusted us not to do that”.

    How large is our tent? Can we fit all the ways that people in this community lead? I am cautiously optimistic, but sadly will not be joining in person this year.

    I look forward to this village succeding.


    • TieShort
      TieShort commented
      Editing a comment
      To me, leaders are those that chose to move their ideas forward. Those that take action, rather than just think about it. In that way, leadership is natural for most hackers.

      People often conflate managers, directors, etc as leaders. The hold responsibilities in an organization, but it is the leaders, those that move ideas forward that really make things work. Not mutually exclusive, but not a causal relationship either.

      Great questions to ponder over!

  • #3
    Very interested in this village as well. I have been a "formal" leader the past few years and would love to help folks coming up.


    • #4
      I think more mentoring is needed as well, Cybersecurity is often more times art than science, and while the classroom attempts to train the next generation, it will never supplant the value of a good mentor, helping guide ones path through experience that develops the curiosity, and instincts (gut feelings) that make a really awesome cybersecurity professional.


      • #5
        Gang! As a 'slightly older' Security Person, I'd like to throw my hat in to help/advise/mentor/etc. Been at this since 1983 and have seen-experienced SO DAMNED MUCH... and, for those of you who follow, my work on Hiring the Unhireable, Autism, etc. etc. I would be honored to help! BUT - not as the leading organizer. :) I really hate day to day ops, but would love to follow the leader in this worthwhile endeavor!
        WInn Schwartau

        If you cant find my phone number you shouldn't be calling me anyway. :-)


        • #6
          As another slightly older Security Person who has run security programs in different industries, I'd also be happy to help out here.


          • #7
            Try 1982. 1984 cDc.


            • #8
              I would love to get involved with this village but I am remote only. Is there any way I can help out?


              • #9
                As a slightly old, but absolutely new to security, I would like to submit myself humbly as a mentee. Also, as a local in 702, I would love to offer a couple bottles of mead made with NV honey to the mentors. To kiss a little ass but mostly to thank them for this awesome village in advance! Obviously if this is allowed!


                • #10
                  I would be more than happy to get the opportunity to join the Village, help, and exchange my knowledge and experience with others.

                  In my opinion, learning, teaching, and sharing are essential for continuous growth and be able to find new potential candidates.


                  • #11
                    Hi All,

                    I'm pleased to announce that the Security Leaders Village has been formed. Our site is available at
                    We are about to announce our CFP (yes we know, last minute) as well as a call for clips (more information coming).

                    For more information, please feel free to reach out to myself or any of the other board members. You can reach me at See all of you very soon!

                    Alissa Knight

                    Click image for larger versionName:	leadersvillage-logo-final-white-1024.pngViews:	0Size:	122.2 KBID:	238221


                    • #12
                      The Security Leaders Village (SLV) Discord channel is alive and hopping!! Please join us!


                      • #13
                        Hey all!! We are curating the SLV content of cool talks from the community , with a focus on current and aspiring security leaders, which we plan to stream on Saturday, August 7th at 10am to 6pm PT, followed by a networking event on discord at 6-7pm PT. Join the discourse on discord at And meet with Mitch Parker and alissaknight at the SLV in Vegas! Stay tuned at the SLV website for more details for the talks and times! Hop into discord for further networking and info. Ciao.