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Friday, March 2, 2012

AgileAustin Conference 2012 - "Mix Tape" - Does anyone have Open Space experience?

There are some really exciting things happening with the conference planning and things are proceeding nicely.  I noticed however that the team had initially been struggling with some of the following challenges:
-          Should it be paid vs. free?
-          Should it be on a Friday or Saturday?
-          Should it be content tracks or Open Space / Unconference?
-          What should our theme or themes be?

It dawned on me that AND is often more helpful than OR, so I came up with a proposal (enclosed) for a Saturday Open Space that would be free for all conference participants.  It would also be free for anyone else who wanted to attend that was not a paid conference attendee J

The theme is “mix tape” (80’s lingo—it could be “mashup” 00’s lingo) where the goal would be to have every session be a mix of at least two (more = better) disciplines getting together to achieve agility.  These can be cross-functional, cross-organizational, etc.  The classic example is something like DevOps, but what about UX and QA, executives and individual contributors, technical writers and salesfolk, chip designers and product marketing folks?  It could also be a conference track in and of itself and the open space could riff off of that.  Think about it—one day of presentations/workshops, and the next day of engaged discussions. To me, this is a really exciting idea.

In my typical style, I have signed up to run this if no one else does.  However, seeing as I’ve never run an open space conference before it would be really nice if there was someone in the community who had the experience and wanted to partner with me in this effort. 

Please let me know if this strikes your fancy and you have some relevant experience in doing this type of thing.  As usual, we’ll have all the logistical support (room, food, sponsor, etc.) from AgileAustin.

Thanks everyone!


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