DPI – Summit 2008

http://www.summit2008.ca/

I was able to attend days 2 and 3.  The keynote speakers were very entertaining.  Day 2 dealt mostly with new technologies and how they impact our work and play.  Day 3 was more about the cultural shifts required for future growth.

As some may know, I’m a geek;  I am not a techie by any means.  I love using the tools and learning new ways of doing things.  I am also an avid gamer but not for the button mashing reasons.  As I mentioned previously about GTA4, it’s the tiny details that seem to revolutionize experiences.  It’s not like there’s a switch and everyone is doing it the new way, it’s a gradual thing.  Looking back though, just the past 5 years have seen more advancement in information sharing than in the past 100 years.  Someone with a computer can learn about ANYTHING now.  It kind of puts the whole school experience into a new light (more in another topic).

Ok, so back to DPI.  Day 2 started well.  First keynote was a young guy who sold mydesktop.com for a chunk of cash and was in near the beginning of peer collaboration.  Good notes about how there is a definite stigma about online activities being seen as anti-social when in fact, they are the complete opposite.  This is more so due to VoIP, where I can play a game, talk to other people and achieve a goal with 12 more.  Think about a 15 year old who just spent 4 hours with 12 people, finding the solution and pattern to some challenge.  Then they go to school the next day and have to listen how differentials are imortant in life.  How can you compete?

The seminar I wanted to attend, WIFI, was cancelled and I decided to try a communication workshop.  Worst event I have ever attended.  Everything said by the speaker was contradictive and contrived.  When the midpoint arrived I left for another seminar, as did half of the group.  She’s also a “career coach”.  I forsee her losing a lot of business because I would never want that attitude in my career.

Next up, Leadership and Change.  2 very interesting men with enough material to fill up 2 weeks and only 50 minutes to talk.  What a shame.

Lunch.  Met some new people, including an IT architect.  Good food.

Next session was Jean Ricard, an Everest climber.  Not the best speaker but his content was great.  To see the trials he had to go through to even attempt the climb, amazing.  The level of commitment is more than most people will have in their entire life.  Really a beacon of what is humanly possible.

Last keynote of day 2 was David Eaves, a young member of Canada25.  It was supposed to be about Public Sector renewal but actually touched more on the inability for the public sector to adapt to current pressures and needs.  Everything needs to move at breakneck speeds and many people just can’t catch up.  He also touched on the community experience.  People used to sit in a cafeteria to talk.  Well, when you’re 50 people, that’s an option.  We’re tens of thousands in the NCR alone, we need a virtual cafeteria to grow further.

Day 3.  First keynote was Linda Duxbury.  Crazy lady or crazy ideas?  Neither.  One of the most coherent analyses of the government workforce.  Dealing mostly with the generational gap and the huge communication and motivational gaps thereing, it was an eye-opening note for most.  If it only helps 10% of the people there, they’ll talk about it to others and the word will spread.  The way the government works today is wrong.  It’s archaic, conformative, throttling and non-rewarding.  The downside is, it doesn’t have to change for 10 years, because that’s when the last of the brass leaves.  The good side is that the young people coming in from the bottom are forcing change on management.  They just won’t take no for an answer and they will just get up and leave if it doesn’t make sense.

Session 1 was about harnessing collaborative tools.  I live in this world, so there really wasn’t anything new for me.  It was an eye-opener for many though.  This was the perfect time to give a tech demo of how the tools work.   Why this isn’t done on a large scale…I have no idea.

Session 2 was about Change Management.  Great speaker.  Touched on what doesn’t work and what you need to do to make it work.  I think the latter part was what really got me going.  She used real world relateable examples as well, making the concepts much easier to grasp.  I think I’ll be using many of the ideas discussed in the future.

I missed out on the last keynote though.

Overall, a good experience.  It’s unfortunate that such an event happens on a yearly basis.  If this session proved anything, we need to get together in some fashion more frequently.  The world evolves at a breakneck speed and an annual meeting is just not effective.  Maybe a sharepoint site  ? 🙂