We tend to close ourselves in groups of people from our industries. I remember one of blogs about project management I used to subscribe. When I accidentally learned it is written by a guy from construction industry I unsubscribed, uninstalled reader, formatted hard disk and then physically destroyed laptop I used to read the blog. Well, not exactly but I started thinking differently about the blog, like it wasn’t the part of my world.
This way we end up being able to discuss only issues related to industries of ours (actively) and our spouses’ (passively). This isn’t such a good thing. I realize that every time I’m kicked in the butt to get out of my wooden (actually software) box and check what is happening in the rest of the world. Somehow I then keep meeting great people who might have little idea how to build software but they definitely can help me to unwind myself.
One of these moments will be TEDxKrakow. I still find it hard to answer the question what the conference is going to be about. It’s a bit like talking with 6-year old child. Is it about technology? No. So what is the theme? Ideas worth spreading. What kind of ideas? Um… various.
But the reason I find it hard to describe what the conference is all about is also its main strength. A couple of months ago I recognized just a couple of people from speaker lineup. Now, I know about them just a little more than they put in their bios. And this is great. They’re going to talk about ideas I’m unfamiliar with. In terms of learning new things and widening my horizons I will get much more from a diplomat, organic farmer, physicist and artist than from a bunch of project managers.
When I go to industry conferences I don’t look for epiphany – I care more about networking. This is by the way exactly what Olga Kouzina wrote about AgileCE. You see? When I give examples they are from my playground. However TEDx conferences are different. I’d be surprised if there was even a single person, among 500 which would attend TEDxKrakow, who would be familiar with all discussed ideas.
Listening to people from other industries definitely widens our horizons, makes us more aware to the world outside our areas of specialization. Of course we won’t start attending typical events from other industries, but TEDx conferences, which bring cross-disciplinary experience, are great way to learn new things.
If you’re going to be in Krakow on Oct 15 and haven’t yet registered I wander what you are waiting for.