I’m organising a Conference!

Posted by on May 13, 2011 in Conference | 5 Comments

My major learning from my open space session about the organisation of the ALE2011 conference at the XP2011 is:
To organise an amazing conference, you just need two things:

  • An amazing crowd, and
  • One hour.

Planning a Conference

Yesterday, on May 12, 2011, in the Open Space at the XP2011 in Madrid, about a dozen people met and created the main design for a new kind of conference. This is our current plan (pictures of the original session results are here):

The ALE2011 will take place in Berlin, Germany, from Sept 7-9, 2011.

What makes it special?

There are some aspects we build into the plan that make this as special type of conference. This conference is organised by and meant to strengthen the new ALE network. Therefore, it will

  • have speakers and participants evenly distributed across European Countries.
  • host spouses and children as well as practicioners and idea farmers from the European Lean/Agile community.
  • ask every participant to prepare a lightning talk, and to show their commitment to the conference by submitting a positioning paper.
  • be seeded by 30 min talks in the mornings, continued by open space focusing on the collaboration across Europe.
  • constrain the number of participants to 200 people.

How can you contribute?

Please get in touch with me through Twitter, the ALE2011, Berlin discussion in the Agile Lean Europe (ALE) LinkedIn Group, or by mail, and tell me how and what you could contribute.

This conference has Sofas instead of Chairs. Some still need some more people to sit upon them. We have:

  • A Planning Sofa (Sergey, Cat, John, Cesario, and me)
  • A Local Sofa (Me, taking care of the things in Berlin—I need support for that)
  • The most amazing Open Space facilitator: Mike Sutton from Wizewerx
  • An Exciter Sofa: Erik Lundh, Jens Hoffmann
  • A Program Sofa: Marcin Floryan
  • A Participants Sofa: Marc Clemens
  • An Industry Partner Sofa: Andrea Heck, Ken Power
  • A Goal Sofa (Jurgen Appelo)
  • A Volunteer Sofa (Greg Dziemidovicz)
  • A Website Sofa (Alex)

We need:

  • A Speakers Sofa
  • Sponsors (you may contact me but it’ll take a few days of sorting out before I can tell you details)
  • an organising professional (I do have someone in mind, so please don’t storm me now)
  • and some unimportant things like a venue…

We’ll get that sorted, I’ll keep you posted. What A Week!.


  1. Cuan Mulligan
    May 13, 2011


    going to be away for those dates…gutted…was looking forward to it.

    will there be videos taken ?



  2. Paul Klipp
    May 14, 2011

    This looks terrific. I organized EuRuKo 2010 and the ACE! Conference the last two years and several other events in the US and South Africa. Please let me know if I can help.

    Best regards,


  3. Pierre Neis
    May 16, 2011

    Sounds crasy… I’m in.

  4. ALE Conference 2011 – Submit a Talk, Bring Your Family « System Agility
    July 19, 2011

    […] to 9th 2011. Olaf has written about how he got into ALE, and all about organizing the conference here and […]

  5. Paul@Training & Conference Venues
    October 28, 2011

    I am going to undertake an environmental project and need to plan a big conference for about 300 people in Staffordshire. I am looking for a big venue around this area, if you have any experience or ideas about it, that would be very helpful.


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