Over the past couple of days, I’ve been extremely lucky to attend the MLOVE ConFestival.
There’s much one can say about this outstanding, extraordinary event and I likely will. Later, once I had a chance to digest all the good stuff.
For now, there’s one common theme, that crosses my mind again and again, when thinking about MLOVE: It’s all about the people.
When Peter Giblin and Harald Neidhardt set out on their journey to create the MLOVE concept, there was one key driving factor: Putting the people back into the center of everything. Many, if not all, business events and conferences are grouped around the central concept of an audience and speakers. Two distinct roles. Some who listen. Some who talk.
While “a great chance to network” is on every agenda these days, I never quite experienced it as intense, as enriching as during the MLOVE days. Both, for work and for my personal life.
MLOVE has been truly interdisciplinary, crazy, funny, encouraging, motivating, eye-opening and passionate for me.
With the youngest participant aged 15 (Jerome Nadel’s son) up to the 31.5 years old :-) UNICEF Chairman Oliver Rothschild the diversity and genuinely multi-cultural view points couldn’t get any better for, I’d say, any discussion.
Yes, we discussed mobility. After all, that’s why it’s called MLOVE. But mobility in a much broader sense than on any other industry event I’ve yet been attending. How can we bring power and education to the developing countries? Is education the key to most privacy concerns? Can noise be valuable? What’s the overall role and responsibility of the geeks?
The way the event has been structured and executed put the participants in the center of it all.
The notion of audience vs. speaker has only been there during a few (outstanding) keynotes – thanks Shaherose, Nicholas, Jonathan, Aape, Jerome and everybody else. But most of the interaction happened between us. The first day’s Open Space was just fabulous. And Jonathan MacDonald’s moderation unparalleled.
What’s the most important learning from MLOVE for me? It’s to do everything, to surround yourself with great people.
Whether it’s your private life or professionally. Try to incorporate different perspectives into everything you do. Seek for masters in their respective disciplines. Hire the ones, who are even better than you and greatly stimulate thinking out-of-the-box.
Do not accept the status quo. Never.