Obviously posting from an alt-account and going to leave details out so I don't give myself away.

I was offered to give a talk at my industry's leading conference. The catch is that my team has internally decided it would be one of our colleagues which would do this instead. Originally I had kept pretty modest even though I wanted to be the one to do it because I honestly thought the chances of being offered a spot were low. My team asked me to submit an application anyway, and I just saw I have been accepted.

I would by a liar if I said I didn't want to accept this opportunity. But now I'm trying to figure out what I'll tell everyone on Monday if I accept.

Should I accept the spot and just tell the rest of the team? Or should I take one for the team and tell the organizers that my colleague will do it instead?

For additional context, I'm not thinking about staying on this team long-term but definitely will still want to be on the team during the conference.

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    So did you apply personally, or did your team apply and you filled out the form for the team? – nvoigt Sep 1 '18 at 15:10
  • I applied under my own name, but listed the rest of my team as collaborators – voltair2 Sep 1 '18 at 15:14
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    Did your team member also apply directly, or were you the sole submission from within your group? – John Eisbrener Sep 1 '18 at 15:32
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    This rather depends on details you're leaving out like what exactly the plan was from your team regarding this event, how you arrived at the decision to have your colleague present and what you'd be presenting. And why are you leaving out the third option of telling your team that you were accepted as a speaker and seeing what they say in response? – Lilienthal Sep 1 '18 at 15:49
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    Why did you apply under your own name if the agreement was for your coworker to give the talk? How could they have accepted your coworker if the application was in your name? – Dukeling Sep 1 '18 at 16:25

If I were an/the organizer of this event, and I had accepted your application, and then you tried to send someone else, I would rescind the entire offer.

Your "team" is believing they are in charge of managing this engagement. They are not.

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    Other things can come up, so there may be some precedent for having a collaborator "fill in". Although I'm not sure how common this is. – Dukeling Sep 1 '18 at 16:20
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    Thanks. After talking to some people close to me this is the conclusion I came to as well. There was a reason they sent me the email and not someone else. I accepted. – voltair2 Sep 1 '18 at 16:33

So your team decided your colleague would speak and then this same team told you to apply anyway? I don't think they can complain if you accept, it is their fault you're in this position. So do what you want and accept.

  • No, they trusted OP and asked him to submit an application on their behalf as a team and didn't expect to be chosen, but if they were chosen they had decided on a speaker. OP decided to put his own name instead when applying for the team. – Jack Sep 4 '18 at 12:02

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