Kate Matsudaira, co-chair of O'Reilly's first Cultivate Conference, shares her take-aways from the event
Last week I had the pleasure of co-chairing Cultivate. The conference was one-day event focused on technology and leadership.
The original idea for the conference came from my co-chair, Eli Goodman, who wanted a place where like-minded folk could discuss some of the challenges, successes, and experiments that come along with leading technical teams. I have been super passionate about this topic since I started my career as a bad manager, and I have had to work hard to build the skills necessary to lead groups of highly intelligent and opinionated people.
When we were planning the conference, we thought about all sorts of ways we could shake things up with format – panels, structured networking sessions, or even shorter/longer talks. In the end, though, we decided it was most important to have fabulous speakers with compelling messages, so we stuck to a typical conference format (45-minute slots) and just let people do their best work. The only thing we did differently was adding a closing networking event and morning yoga session to get things started, both of which were quite positively received.
I was so worried our speakers would overlap with one another’s topics, but thankfully each person had a clearly different message, style, and, when put together, they all added up a day where you couldn’t leave without learning something new.