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MassTLC unConference Shakes it Up

Logomtlc Yesterday the Mass Technology Leadship Council held its first "unConference."  Designed to bring all the participants in the New England technology ecosystem together, this conference delivered a new twist.  Rather than defining a specific agenda in advance, this conference was more like a meet-up.  People dynamically came together in sessions that were based on what they wanted to talk about.  Listen to what Tom Hopcroft, executive director of the council has to say about the conference objectives here.

While there may have been a little skepticism about how it was all going to work, clearly it was something that people really wanted as the conference was oversubscribed as Tom mentions in the video.  What was heartening about the conference was not just the attendance level, but the types of people there.  I was able to catch up with many leaders of great companies.  Here's a quick conversation with two notable people, Dan Bricklin, who almost needs no introduction given his contributions to the New England technology industry, and Don Bulens, former CEO of EqualLogic.  Don and his company are a recent example of how great technology companies are still being created here.  EqualLogic was acquired by Dell earlier this year.  In the past, these events seemed to attract the same people and were often thin on the younger entrepreneur types.  But this time there appeared to be many more.  I hope that the angel investors and VCs were listening to their pitches. 

Finally, I was asked by Scott Kirsner, technology reporter and blogger who covers the technology market in in his Innovation Economy blog to participate in a panel discussion on the media, blogging and other forms of social media and how they can be best applied for effective communications.  The room was packed.  Here is an excerpt of Scott directing the session.  What was interesting was the degree that participants were using these tools and are now focused on learning best practices.  Maybe as a group we're way ahead of the game on this, but it reinforces how much these tools have changed behaviors and the need to always keep your communications skills fresh.

All in all, it was a good day.  In the face of the tough economic news it's great to see people coming together to try and do things in new ways.  It's something that we'll need more of in the coming months. 

For anyone else at the event, what did you get out it and its format?

UPDATE: I just saw Scott Kirsner's post on the event.  Great notes, Scott.

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