To an audience of 100, I gave the keynote at FOSSCON, a one-day, open source conference held in Philadelphia for attendees from around the country this Saturday. (I also covered the event for Technical.ly here).
It was easily the most technical event at which I had a prominent speaker role — usually, I’m a side show to offer reporting background on a related issue. This time, I was closing out the event, which featured prominent open source leaders. But I wasn’t there to offer technical insight — which I don’t have — but instead meant to take reporting perspective and put it through the open source lens.
My title was “How Open Source is Changing the World,” and the argument was that open source software culture has shaped so many other changes happening in local tech communities — how technical recruiting gets done, why governments are pursuing open data, where tech businesses are locating.
I did an OK job at this.
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I’m proud to say that the Fox Business School of my alma mater Temple University honored me with their third annual ‘Self-Made and Making Others’ award during the Be Your Own Boss Bowl.
The honor is a recognition for entrepreneurial work that helps others do the same. I gave a keynote address to students and other alumni, which I wrote out and shared below but mostly just used as notes.
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I was asked to join a leadership podcast run by Joel Capparella, a marketing executive I know in the Philadelphia area. It’s about a half-hour.
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I flubbed the current events quiz to be sure but otherwise a worthy appearance on the podcast of Baltimore-based news gamification startup NewsUp.
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Gigaom’s Matthew Ingram recapped the Aljazeera hackathon that brought me to Qatar over Thanksgiving. I got a mention in his nice write-up. His words:
Christopher Wink, who founded the Technical.ly network of local technology sites in Philadelphia, Brooklyn and other cities, was one of the mentors that Al Jazeera brought in for the event — which pulled together 90 participants from 37 countries, out of more than 1,600 applications. He has a blog post in which he lists some of his favorite projects, and almost all of them seem like they could help make the job of a journalist easier, or in some way expand the practice of news (there’s another good list here). [[MORE]]
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On editorial teams that I’ve been a part of, two tasks not core to reporting still take up time that I think could be more automated. Both were attempted to be addressed at Canvas, the first media innovation hackathon organized by Aljazeera in Qatar this weekend.
I am proud to say I was there in Doha this week serving as one of 10 mentors for the 90 participants from 37 countries who were chosen out of 1,600 applicants (40 percent of those chosen were women). The winning projects were chosen out of 19. (Other favorites)
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The hard part of entrepreneurship may not be succeeding, as much as it is about deciding what success if for you. That might be the cause of so much argument about this moment of entrepreneurship — should it be wealth, mission, personal satisfaction, longevity, legacy or something else? More likely, it’s a mixture of them all, with your own happiness the leader, and deciding on that balance is part of the process.
But the point here is you can’t ever succeed in anything (including building your business) unless you know what you want to happen. That way you can optimize for whatever you most want.
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Innovation hubs are dense collections of knowledge workers developing new methods for old ways. With like-minded members of the creative class can come community, and the retention that comes when we develop networks where we live.
The web has allowed for a more organic, smaller-scale kind of growth that is developing faster vibrancy in urban ways, but it doesn’t only have to happen in big cities, like how I’ve described in my home Philadelphia. Since launching Technical.ly Delaware, I’ve become really excited by how Wilmington could develop an innovation corridor of its own.
At a recent conference called Tech2Gether on that 70,000-person city’s future, I spoke on that very subject. Following an article I wrote, I called those in attendance to see a Delaware pipeline that could result in a celebrated, healthier urban core of Wilmington.
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When you run a publicly-traded company with an $80 billion market cap, it’s easy to focus on the short-term. Strained by a year of declining share price, Bill McDermott, the first American CEO of German software giant SAP, says he’s far more focused on making an organization-wide shift that will better suit the company for the future.
“You can’t build a company for 60 days; build for 60 years,” he said.
I interviewed McDermott as a keynote for the IMPACT venture capital conference held by PACT in Center City Philadelphia last week. Find my coverage of our conversation here.
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Neighborhoods and cities always change. Concerns about gentrification come when that change happens with such speed that those new to a place don’t even realize a community predates them.
After a special performance of 100% Philadelphia, something like an on-stage census map with real-life residents, at FringeArts, I was part of a panel discussing the issues the production brought up. The performance has been organized around the world. In each case, 100 residents of that city were selected to represent the dynamics of that place — race, location, income, politics, etc. Throughout the show, the residents are given prompted questions and move about stage to help give an in-person sense of thoughts on issues, both local and human-wide.
It brought thoughts to mind for me.
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