Whenever I go to a conference, I have a rule: if I can learn five new things or meet five interesting people then it was a success. By that criterion, the IAP2 North American Conference in Portland was a definite success story. Here are my top 5 highlights.
- The people. The best thing about IAP2 conferences is being in the same place as fellow practitioners, making new friends and meeting old. It was a pleasure to finally meet in person so many people who I talk to regularly on the phone – including members of the IAP2 Canada Board and the municipal P2 practitioner’s community of practice.
- Hearing about innovations in the field, like Toronto exploring Mindcraft for public consultations, Montreal’s experimentations with augmented reality and Portland’s new map app.
- Having the space to reflect. During the IAP2 Spectrum at 25 workshop we had a frank conversation about the strengths and weaknesses of the spectrum, which will ultimately help to advance the practice.
- Canada House! The IAP2 Canada board held a Canadian-themed house party complete with Hawkins Cheesies, ketchup chips and Timbits which allowed people to connect in a relaxed environment.
- Portland. With its ambitious cycling infrastructure, light rail lines, food carts, craft breweries, and ping pong tables in public parks, exploring what makes Portland weird is never boring.
Thank you to the IAP2 USA and the Cascade Chapter for organizing the conference. I left Portland feeling recommitted to my practice. Next year, I hope you can join us in Montreal. The organizing team is hard at work and you’re sure to get more than five things out of it.
What 5 things did you get out of the North American Conference? Comment on this blog and let us know!