ALE2011 Unconference in Berlin – Status Updates

When And Where?

Robert Buchholz made the very intelligent suggestion to add the date of the event to this post.

The conference will happen on September 7-9, 2011 in Berlin. Venue is being selected… And now we also have a website.

Updates

I’ll stop updating this page with sofa fellow changes and commitments now, as of May 22, 2011. Contents of this page has moved to the official ALE2011 site, specifically to Who’s in Charge? and the Sofa pages… If you make additional commitments or suggestions on this post, I’ll update the pages there.

What happened?

It’s been only two weeks since the community decided to bring the ALE2011 conference to Berlin. As I posted last week, I’m organising that conference—the first gathering of the ALE network that will bring together idea farmers and practitioners from most European countries… Where Europe either means that your country is taking part in the Eurovision Song Contest or, that you contribute to the growth of the ALE network. So basically, this event is open to anyone interested, but constraints are tight to make sure we get the most diversity in speakers and participants regarding the number of countries involved. All of this information is still discussed, so please consider it as draft and give us your ideas through comments or on the LinkedIn group thread.

Who’s part of it?

A growing number of agile practitioners and linchpins committed to being part of the organising team:

Even without counting the places of origin, these about 40 people cover 16 European countries… I created a Twitter list with the organisers I found on Twitter, please comment with your Twitter id if you want to join or dm me. And please add a comment if I forgot you. So many people contact me on Twitter, LinkedIn, email and personally and I couldn’t honestly keep track of all request. This is my try to get things sorted…

Those of you who are on this list: please comment to indicate your commitment, including the sofa you want to take. If I misspelled something, or your Twitter name is missing, please tell me…

How the Organising Works

We use Basecamp and MindMeister to organise the conference, the mind map is public and will be kept up-to-date as things progress. You’ll get a Basecamp account when you join the organiser team and take responsibility. Responsibility is not taken by chairs (like General Chair, Program Chair etc.) but by sofas to indicate team commitment. I’ll list current responsibilities for the various areas below and keep that updated.

Speakers and Content

The sofa fellows of the speakers and content sofa are:

  • Marcin
  • Oana
  • Olaf
  • Franck
  • Inbar

They take responsibility to design a selection process that ensures

  • coverage of (ideally) all European countries by the speakers
  • that new content is favoured
  • that all proposals include a video of a lightning talk
  • that the community can vote
  • that inexperienced speakers get a chance and find a mentor.

The program will consist of 30 minute talks in the morning and open space in the afternoon. The idea farmer Mike Sutton will facilitate the Open Space, and the grumpy old skeptic coach Rachel Davies kindly committed to giving a keynote! Maybe you want to suggest a topic in the comments?

Additionally, the sofa fellows will take care of the speakers during the conference.

Vision

Originally, we had a goal sofa… Then that was integrated into the exciter sofa which became a bit crowded. So now we end up with a vision sofa

The vision sofa fellows are:

  • Jurgen
  • Oana
  • Eelco

 

Exciters

The exciter sofa fellows are:

Exciters have to take care of two things:

  • spread the word about the conference and the ALE network and
  • actually sit on a sofa on stage during the conference and challenge the speakers during their talks, Waldorf & Statler style, as from the Muppet’s balcony.

Aliens

The alien sofa fellows are:

  • Fabio
  • Thorsten
  • Angel

We want to include talks into the conference which come from outside the software development domain. If you know people from outside software development you want to give a talk at the conference, contact these guys. I’ll try to get Terry Pratchett to talk on “Granny Weatherwax as an Agile Coach, and Death as the final Change Agent”. The conference will sport a geek book shop.

Participants

The participants sofa fellows are:

  • Marc Clemens
  • Eelco
  • Franck

They sign responsible for the registration process, which will consist of three stages (draft):

  1. people can sign in up to a limit of 10 participants per European country (including organisers, not including speakers). European countries are those that participate in the ESC (see above). We guess that we get about 120-150 participants this way. This stage should start as soon as possible, hopefully by the end of the month.
  2. we invite people from less represented countries, or from countries outside Europe, to maximise diversity.
  3. open registration for everyone up to a limit of 200 participants.

Acceptance criteria will be made public.

Facilitators

Mike opted to facilitate the open space, and Naveed volunteered to support him. So now, we have two facilitator sofa fellows:

  • Mike
  • Naveed

Community

Jaume suggested to have a sofa responsible for the integration of local communities all over Europe. It’s his responsibility now to handle relations with the different existing communities all over the place.

Industry Partners

The industry partner sofa fellows are:

  • Andrea (Siemens)
  • Ken (Cisco)
  • Will (Nokia)

We are in touch with Google and other companies already as well. The fellows will make sure that companies who use agile and lean in Europe will pay attention to what we do, produce content for the conference and sponsor participation.

Student Volunteers

Similar to the XP conferences, our conference will be supported by a staff of student volunteers. The Student Volunteer sofa currently has one fellow only: Greg.

Greg was part of the volunteer team in Madrid and already started to poke around his peers… We want one student from each European country! (It’s allowed to actually live in Berlin, so I suppose that should not be a problem.)

Spouse/Kids Program

The spouse/kids program sofa fellows are

  • Monika
  • others we’re currently talking to:-)

They will take responsibility for the creation of an amazing off-conference program for the participants’ families. This might include a visit to the zoo (Berlin Zoo has the greatest diversity in species of all zoos in the world, that should be fun!) and will be heavily supported by the student volunteers.

Public Relation

The public relation sofa is currently fellowed only by:

  • Jule
  • Pablo
  • Christian
  • Michael
  • Michael

Please join her! These fellows are taking care of questions regarding the conference, for instance from the press. I guess when more than 50 kids from more than 25 EU countries visit the Berlin Zoo, we might even make it to the front page of the local newspapers… They can obviously create more responsibilities for themselves!

Planning

The planning sofa fellows are:

  • Sergey
  • John
  • Cat
  • Cesario
  • Olaf

They take care of milestones, cross-communication among the different other sofas and taking care of the local organisation and sponsors (with additional help by a professional conference organiser). Rally and Thoughtworks already offered to sponsor the conference.

How Can You Help?

As stated above, some sofas still need occupants, and most of them could use more. Comment on this post if you want to join the team. And please remember: even if you already are on that list at the top, take a few moments to state your commitment and your sofa in a comment, and double check I have your correct LinkedIn and Twitter references.

Finally, thanks to Jurgen for having this idea, and for letting me join the inner circle of ideators and communicators. Thanks to Michael Sahota for the amazing facilitation of Jurgen and me when we started connecting. Thanks Ken for your support. Thanks to the amazing crowd at XP2011 in Madrid last week for contributing all the awesome ideas! Thanks, Mike, my dear friend, for the offer to facilitate the open space:-) And, last but not least, thanks to Marcin, Oana, Cesario and Jule for an awesome Skype chat that got these ideas sorted. We’re organising a conference!.

48 Comments

  1. Jule
    May 18, 2011

    Hi,

    as already committed I will take care for the PR sofa. I would be happy if someone with some international PR experience wants to join me. Of course everyone is welcome.

    Whoever it is, he/she should sign in here and/or contact me via Twitter or linkedIn. Then we can start brainstorming on our own about the work to be done for this sofa. I already have some ideas 😉

    And when it really comes to the fact that I will have to decide between a Keynote of Terry Prachett and 50 kids from all over europe visiting the Berliner Zoo I will get into really hard trouble to decide what to choose!

    Best wishes, Jule

    Reply
  2. Jurgen
    May 18, 2011

    Yes, I’m in.
    I’m also on the Goal sofa, isn’t it?

    Reply
    • Olaf
      May 18, 2011

      Yes. But as you might remember, we joined the Goal sofa and the Exciter sofa last night…
      Do you want to suggest a name change?
      take care
      -Olaf

      Reply
  3. Oana Juncu
    May 18, 2011

    Hi I’m committed also on the “exciters” sofa, as we decided that there will be a roll of “exciters”.
    I also suggested to join Jurgen on the Goal sofa as he doesn’t have any pair there, but the goal joined the exciters. I’m not sure yet how that will work together, but I’m sure we’ll figure it out.
    Oana

    Reply
  4. Inbar
    May 18, 2011

    I’m also in.
    I’ll sit on the speakers and content sofa if there is still room in it 🙂

    Reply
  5. Grzegorz Greg Dziemidowicz
    May 18, 2011

    I will help with volunteers 🙂

    My twitter account is @dziemid

    As You noticed, I’m the only one at the volunteer couch at the moment. I am happy to pair with someone on this role 😉

    Reply
  6. Thorsten O. Kalnin
    May 18, 2011

    you already did a great work here, wow, awesome =;-)
    I’m in and I would like to take care of the Aliens Sofa. I have some people in mind which have nothing to do with Software-Development but their opinions and lifestyle is pretty much agile… count me in.

    Take care,
    Thorsten

    Reply
  7. Wolfgang
    May 18, 2011

    Hi Olaf,

    sure I am in, but to be honest I don’t know which sofa I could help best 🙂

    Wolfgang

    Reply
  8. Fabio
    May 18, 2011

    I would like to cooperate in the folloeing sofas:
    – Alien
    – Exciters

    Ciao
    Fa

    Reply
  9. Jaume Jornet
    May 18, 2011

    Hi All,

    I will be very pleased to help with the #ALE2011 organization.
    One point that I miss is about local groups. Virtually all participants in the ALE Network are both members of aagile local group or community, so any activity, event, etc … to get organized will surely come to the ears of the local community near the activity, but I think it would be nice to have someone dedicated to relations with the different communities in Europe, to inform them when we go do something near their area and pass all the information to them, or vice versa, with whom the communities can contact if they want to organize something in the ALE Network can help. I’m not sure about if I have been able to explain me. Do you think it would be nice to have a community sofa? or extend the student volunteer to something as ‘Volunteers and Communities’. I was fortunate to work with Greg in the past QCon London as a crew, and I would be happy to share a sofa with him!

    Best regards,

    Jaume

    Reply
    • Olaf
      May 18, 2011

      Great idea! Makes much sense to create a community sofa. Don’t think it should be joined with the volunteers, though. Maybe someone else wants to take that seat?

      Reply
  10. @pablopernot
    May 18, 2011

    Hello all,

    very nice work.

    I’d like to help.
    I have no PR experience at all, but I can help the PR sofa.
    I have no idea (or very few) in mind but I may/can help the Alien sofa.
    Or any other sofa that need help.

    so please count me in.

    Bye

    Pablo

    Reply
  11. Andrea Heck
    May 18, 2011

    Hi, I commit to the Industry Partners sofa and will be happy to find very interesting industry speakers from all over Europe that actually combine agile and lean values and practices to a powerful way of creating value.

    🙂

    Ciao
    Andrea

    Reply
  12. Franck Depierre
    May 18, 2011

    Hi,
    ok, I’m in.

    Speakers and Content, Participants.
    Can help on others topics.

    Franck.

    @FranckDepierre : No really active on twitter
    linkedin.com/in/franckdepierre

    Reply
  13. Christian
    May 18, 2011

    I’d like to participate in either the PR or Exciters sofa.

    Despite not having international PR experience, I have some
    contacs in Berlin and friends familiar with this business.

    Happy planning to all volunteers:)

    Cheers,

    Christian

    Reply
  14. Jaume Jornet
    May 18, 2011

    If it will be a specifically sofa, I think I can contribute more in the community sofa. I will try to collect in one list all the local communities at Europe I can found, and launch to the LinkedIn group to people can add communities and contact persons that they knows.

    Best Regards,

    Jaume

    @jaumejornet
    jaume.jornet@gmail.com

    Reply
  15. Catia
    May 18, 2011

    oh oh oh please add me to Exciters… you just got me with the Muppet’s balcony .. 😀 ..

    I can also support anyone that needs help, although I think I don’t have enough to take a sofa alone I can surely help others to do it.

    Reply
  16. Marcin Floryan
    May 18, 2011

    I’m absolutely in.

    Committed to making the ALE2011 conference the best event we can from the Speakers and Content sofa.

    Marcin

    Reply
  17. Angel Medinilla
    May 18, 2011

    If you are really chasing ‘pTerry’, sign me up for the Aliens sofa. I’m a big fan. 🙂

    Reply
  18. Eelco
    May 18, 2011

    Put me in the exciters sofa as well, it triggered me immediately! And i would like to be on the goal sofa as well, to cuddle with jurgen et al.

    Reply
    • Olaf
      May 18, 2011

      We joined the goal & exciter sofas last night, they seem to serve similar purposes. Looking fw to have two Dutch guys challenging a speaker;-)

      Reply
  19. Naveed Khawaja
    May 18, 2011

    I have not been able to contribute towards organization of any such event in the past and would be more than happy to pair up and let someone else take a lead on this (on sofas or chairs) and help effectively in the background.

    Having seen all the comments on the blog till now – I am still undecided on where to opt for. One possibility is to pair up with Mike Sutton as we have paired up recently in agile coaching and seem to share many values.

    Reply
    • Olaf
      May 18, 2011

      I haven’t asked him, but I’m quite sure Mike will be delighted to have a pair for facilitating 200 people;-)

      Reply
  20. Nick Oostvogels
    May 18, 2011

    Hi,
    I’m willing to help wherever you run short on volunteers.
    So you can consider me as a wildcard 🙂

    Reply
  21. Marc Löffler
    May 18, 2011

    I still don’t know if I’ll be able to come to #ale2011 but I’m glad to help organizing this event. I’ll sit on the exciter sofa for the moment but I’m open to help whereever my help is needed.

    – marc

    Reply
  22. Michael Leber
    May 18, 2011

    I am happy to serve the exciters and / or PR sofa.
    Just let me know.

    – michael

    Reply
  23. Michael Laussegger
    May 18, 2011

    Hello all,

    What an amazingly passionate tribe! I am happy to join the PR and Exciter sofa too. Maybe I can help with logo, brochure, website and other promotion stuff.

    Cheers
    Michael

    PS: I am not on your list yet. My Twitter id is @ScrumVienna

    Reply
  24. William Gill
    May 18, 2011

    Hi,
    Sign me up for the Industry Partners couch. I’ll be representing Nokia.
    Cheers
    Will.

    Reply
  25. Jurgen
    May 18, 2011

    @Jaume: I love the idea of the Communities Sofa!
    Very happy if you could lead there.

    In fact, I think it could be a collaborative effort with the people interested in the “Agile Visiting Speakers” idea:

    http://alenetwork.eu/agile-visiting-speakers/

    Because, in order to have speakers visit local communities we will need to have an overview of which communities cover which local territories in Europe.

    Reply
  26. Jurgen
    May 18, 2011

    I am loving the enthusiasm here. Though I think it is already getting a bit crowded on the Exciters Sofa.

    Maybe have a separate Vision Sofa after all? Personally I like thinking at the meta-level and observing whether all activities stay in line with the overall vision of ALE.

    I think that is different from the Exciters Sofa. Which is about generating buzz. Happy to be part of that. But also happy to leave that to others.

    Personally I would go for small sofas with a clear focus…

    Can we have an update of people involved?

    Reply
    • Olaf
      May 18, 2011

      Good point. Let’s discuss this on the basecamp. I’ll update the organiser list, sofa fellows and the mind map early tomorrow morning.
      Why does your name have a photo?
      -Olaf

      Reply
  27. Inbar
    May 18, 2011

    Olaf,

    Do you have a Gravatar?

    Reply
    • Olaf
      May 18, 2011

      obviously I don’t… what ever that is. will have a look tomorrow:-)
      thanks!

      Reply
  28. Alexandru Bolboaca
    May 19, 2011

    I would be interested in the Alien sofa. I’ve always thought that we should reach out to other domains in order to understand better what we are really doing when developing software.

    I hope I can raise up to this challenge, but it’s a very exciting topic.

    Reply
  29. Monika
    May 19, 2011

    Hello Everyon 🙂
    Spouse/Kids Program looks interesting for me 🙂 I thought about some simulation games for them -> to show that agile approach applies to daily life or to show nice places in Berlin.

    If there is still some free space on Exciters sofa – I’d be happy to join (maybe we could think about simulation games or gamification add-ones?)

    Reply
  30. Sven Röpstorff
    May 19, 2011

    Moin,

    this conference is a great idea. I would like to support you on the exciter sofa and on the planning sofa, if this makes sense not being a resident in Berlin?

    Best,
    Sven

    Reply
    • Olaf
      May 19, 2011

      Actually, place of residence is not important;-)
      But: please choose another sofa, as both planning and exciter are quite crowded already…
      Thanks for your engagement!
      -Olaf

      Reply
  31. Olga
    May 19, 2011

    Hi,
    great idea.

    I would like to join the spouse/kids program sofa. I’m from Poland but based in Berlin and I know the city a bit now. I’d be glad to help!

    cheers
    -Olga

    Reply
  32. Christian
    May 19, 2011

    As there are so many people at the PR sofa and only one on the Community sofa, I would like to switch.

    Reply
  33. Sergey Dmitriev
    May 19, 2011

    Count me in on the planning sofa 🙂

    Reply
  34. Rachel Davies
    May 19, 2011

    I am really looking forward to giving a keynote at this new conference. Please do let me know you ideas for topics that you want to hear about. I not really that grumpy or skeptic 🙂

    Reply
  35. Olaf
    May 19, 2011

    I know.
    Grumpy was because of your session last week, and skeptic because of your blog post I linked to your name…
    Happy you’re doing it!
    And you know, I’d prefer a topic involving magic…
    take care
    Olaf

    Reply
  36. Jens Hoffmann
    May 20, 2011

    I’m in. The idea to take a seat on the Exciter Sofa excites me totally. I also could imagine a comfortable fit on the Alien Sofa, I manage mostly Strategy, Service Design, Change and Compliance projects with KANBAN or SCRUM.

    Cheers
    Jens

    Reply
  37. Aleksey & Natalia Kolupaev
    May 21, 2011

    We would gladly join Vision, Planning, Exciter or Community sofas, we can help to get connected to local russian, ukrainian, belorussian communities.

    Reply
    • Olaf
      May 21, 2011

      Great, guys!
      I think it’s best if you join the Planning sofa to add some local support there. We need to find a venue, fast! Suggestions? Re Community pls get in touch with Christian Dähn (you know him from p4a) if they need help there!
      Thanks for joining!
      Olaf

      Reply
  38. John McFadyen
    May 24, 2011

    Sorry for the late reply, took a much needed break with the family.

    I’m in to lend a hand with planning.

    Reply
  39. Olaf conradt | Poopatrol
    August 5, 2011

    […] ALE2011 Unconference in Berlin – Status Updates « OlafLewitzMay 18, 2011… Juliane Conradt (@julezwitschert, DE)—committed for PR sofa; Christian Dähn (@da_chrish, … and myself, Olaf Lewitz (@OlafLewitz, DE) … […]

    Reply

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