Sunday, 6 April 2014

Re purposing SMCongress

In my review of Pink14 I mentioned that we held some discussions about the future of SMCongress.

The ever energetic Charles Araujo  has provided an update based on those conversations but the future remains unclear. To be honest I think many of us involved in those discussions are ambivalent about that. The  Rev Net/SM Congress meeting at Fusion13  was an exciting, perhaps overly exciting, moment in time. Despite, or perhaps because of the fallout I still regret that work commitments in Europe prevented me taking up my invite to be a part of it, whilst also standing by the views expressed about it by Rob England. Oddly I've been accused of being an "SM Congress hater" for agreeing with Rob, whilst Rob seems to have been spared the abuse.  You have to larf, as we say in England.

As Charles says in his blog it would be great if we could find a role for SM Congress going forward . So here is a sugestion that started off on the Back2ITSM facebook group.

SM Congress started as a sub-event at a mainstream conference. What if we were to relaunch it as a type of conference in its own right? An event that would combine elements of both an unconference and a TEDx style event?

An event where speakers could work within strict constraints to deliver very personal, very powerful  and very succinct messages? An event where audience and speaker would work together to deliver value, where there would be no free-rides?  And an event where the content would be made available to a wider audience using SocMed channels, but that would still focus on that special magic that can only be generated by face to face interactions? A conference as well that would include plentiful contributions from our stakeholders and other diusciplines from which ITSM could learn?

Unfortunately the official TEDx model and branding  is only available to multi-discipline  events arranged on a geographical basis, so we can't be part of that programme, and we obviously would not want to do anything that could be perceived as misusing their IP or branding.

Some of the initial thoughts on facebook   were about hosting the event in Iceland and setting up a committee to organise it. Obviously at some point it would need the involvement of a legal entity, either an existing one or a new one.

And the name for this new event? what about SM Congress?

Comments please.


  1. I'm at a loss to understand what is wrong with the existing conference mechanism.
    if people contributed more to Fusion and Pink and SITS and itSMFUK and their local itSMF events, we'd build and advance ITSM very well.

    We've done perfectly good streaming of presentations from these confs. And there's TFT, which is building a nice little body of stuff for those who can be bothered watching all that video. hardly changed the world though: it has fallen far short of its hype (of course). it proves a very good case study for why the TED model is not transformative in building and advancing IP within an industry. people need to get together and talk. We're still human.

  2. Rob. I dont think it is a case of anything being wrong with the current events. But I think some of us would enjoy something a little left field that probably wouldn't appeal to a larger audience. Think of the value you and I got out of participating in the Pink Think Tank but extending the experience to more people. And I think there would be a big social element to it as well. In the UK the socmed ITSM crowd meet up for regular meals where lots of ideas get discussed and then instantly forgotten.