Dienstag, 18. Oktober 2011

KnowTech 2011 - Overview

The KMUK 11 blog posts I was running in food metaphers (here, here, here, here, here), but this doesn’t work for the KnowTech11. As I was going to represent Ericsson on stage in front of a huge number of experts, my stomake indicated no appreciation for any food from the huge buffet (which was a pity!). But there was enough food for thought!

For the first time Ericsson was presenting at the KnowTech. The KnowTech is the biggest German annual conference on Knowledge Management; this year the 13th conference was held 28/29th of September in Bad Homburg (Frankfurt area, Germany), with more then 300 participants. It is organized by the BITKOM, the Federal Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media (representing more than1.350 companies in Germany), and thus Ericsson was among top presenters from Siemens, IBM, Cisco, Forrester Research, SAS, Deutsche Telekom AG & T-Systems, Wikimedia, PWC, Deloitte, major German Knowledge Management Consulting Companies and some 10+ universities and academic institutions and various speakers from the public sector.

The strenth of the KnowTech is also its weakness, with up to 6 tracks in parallel; it’s a law of nature that you are going to miss the better part of the 69 (!) presentations. “Conference cloning” really would be a value adding. Up to the realization of it, some philosophy goes into organizing one’s way: Do you hope from what sounds interesting in all fora (sometimes fooled by a loud title with not much substance), or do you stick to a theme and enjoy the seredipidous moments, or do you sometimes use you filter to avoid information overload and have great discussions outside.

 There were 9 fora and the headlines give a good indication of the topics:
  • Social Business / Enterprise 2.0 – to steer the transformation
  • Social Media – challenge for business and competence
  • Individual work place of the future – how to organize the mobile work place
  • Employee of the future and demographic change – how Knowledge Management shall prepare the employees and the enterprise for the future
  • Modern management of ideas and innovations
  • Knowledge Management in the public space – implementation scenarios and Best Practice examples
  • How to organize Knowledge Transfer
  • Social Buisness / Enterprise 2.0  - the technical factors
  • Innovations and trends of Knowledge Management technologies

As a red line trough all topics I could detect for the KnowTech: The KnowTech clearly looks into the future, there is less reflection on the past. Change is inevitable and knocking at the doors. The future is social and there is a creative chaos how the first steps into this future look like. The KnowTech is the conference for IT supported Knowledge Management, and thus IT topics demanded their right and time (Sharepoint or Jive, IBM communications or Newsgator, etc.)

As with probably all conferences, the most exciting part is not what’s happening on stage (this at least I was trying convince my stomake), but the interaction that is facilitated by the conference. And clearly this is strength of the KnowTech; it brings together agile startups, small and medium sized companies, global corporate enterprises, KM consultants and practioners, academics and institutions and the public sector. 

More will follow.