My Session Proposal for ALE 2011

The ALE 2011 unconference in Berlin, on 7-9 September, is the best proof that a self-organizing network of people can create something unique and memorable. With more than 100 pre-registrations from 28 European countries (and some non-European) it already looks to be the international gathering of Agile and Lean idea farmers.

I really didn’t expect this…

Almost two years ago, at AgileEE 2009, Vasco Duarte, Maria Diaconu and Alex Bolboaca discussed how nice it would be to have a pan-European Agile conference. However, we did not want a Big Conference to compete with the Agile conference in the USA. We thought that Europe would need a two-layered approach: local conferences for everyone, like AgileEE, ACE, and XP Days, and a (small) pan-European conference for people to exchange ideas across borders.

When I started Agile Lean Europe only 4 months ago, and contacted people all over the continent to generate ideas, I didn’t expect the emerging network to decide it wanted a conference within half a year! But it did. And now it’s coming…

I’m very happy to see that the ALE network really has a bottom-up approach to organizing things. For example, in some other organizations it has happened that the leading figure arranged himself to do the opening keynote of the conference. But not so with ALE 2011! Nobody asked me, the initiator of the ALE network, to be a keynote speaker at the first ALE conference. Thanks heavens, no! Instead, the network asked Rachel Davies, Dave Snowden and Bjarte Bogsnes. Not me. (I suspect they might ask me to bring the keynote speakers coffee. Or clean their seats.)

I couldn’t be more proud…

Within months after its inception the network is already finding its own way, without relying on me. My wish to see emergent behavior on a pan-European scale has come true.

Like everyone else, I will submit a session proposal. (My proposal is called “How to Change the World.”) And, like with everyone else, there is of course a chance my proposal will be turned down. I wonder if that will make me laugh or cry…

But no matter. Either way, I already got what I wanted.

How about you?

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