Intranet Conferences: Reimagined

13 Aug Intranet Conferences: Reimagined

What is social business about? I get this question a lot. Occupational hazard I suppose. Well, it is really about a new way of connecting, right? In fact, everything about social is about a new way of connecting. The difference between social business and traditional business is the social construct. Specifically, how we humans are choosing to interact with other humans in the context of daily life and business. What is an Unconference? I personally view it as just another instantiation of this fundamental shift.
Traditional technology-related conferences are flawed by design. Or should I say, flawed by intent. Most conference organizers start well-intentioned. They want to genuinely bring new information and insights to their audiences. They do this by arranging talented speakers and attracting attendees who will benefit from networking together. Then the reality sets in. Thoughts turn from creating business value to paying for conference and venue. It is a natural shift. How you as the conference organizer deal with that shift, however, is up to you.
The intranet unconference known as ‘Intranet Now’ is a grass roots effort started by Wedge. A man, not unlike Madonna, known only by one name. Thankfully they serve two different audiences. I would hate to see Wedge try to mimic her fashion. Wedge’s audiences are intranet lovers. And while you have probably not before seen those two words so close together, I can assure you they exist. The intranet lover is passionate about (wait for it) enablement. To understand this you have to reimagine intranets. They genuinely want to enable their fellow employees to more efficiently and effectively find the people and information they need to do their jobs. This too is the remit of the the Unconference. And to understand this, you have to reimagine conferences.
The Intranet Unconference is a change in conference construct. From long self-serving Powerpoint presentations created to justify the presenter’s corporate travel expense to short, pithy TED-like vignettes designed to inform and inspire. Free of 1970’s style hotel ballrooms with cardboard seating and food to match. Without the electronic scanning devices that send your personal contact information and complete financial history and medical records (yes, I am kidding) to the world’s most aggressive vendors (but not about this last bit). And finally, with the appropriate audience, venue, and vibe to actually meet someone and learn something.
This year’s intranet unconference is being held at the Radisson Blu, Portman Square in London. It is sponsored by our friends at Interact Intranet along with several other of the intranet lover usuals. And it is event not to be missed. You should check it out. And if anyone wants to pitch in for my airfare…


Andy Jankowski

Andy is a Social Business researcher, advisor and keynote speaker. During the last 19 years he has served as a trusted advisor for several leading organizations including Andersen, Ernst & Young, JP Morgan Chase and Oracle. He is a career long student of enterprise communication and collaboration. He has both written for, and been written about, in Forbes and The Huffington Post. Andy is a frequent conference speaker and an avid road cyclist. He enjoys connecting people and dots.

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