The Agile CULTURE Conference 2012: Call for Speakers

Our Call for Speakers for 9/12 (in Philadelphia) and 9/14 (in Boston) DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: June 30 2012

Taking place in the American cities most associated with freedom and revolution, the Agile CULTURE Conference (Philly 9/12 and Boston 9/14) promises to be a historical event.

The Opening Circle, Agile Day in Boston, 245 attendingThe Agile CULTURE Conference focuses on culture analysis, culture design and culture implementation. The objective of the conference is to bring to more popular awareness how culture is the gating factor in satisfaction, productivity and learning at work.

Agile is a CULTURE hack.  Blog posts explaining this idea appears below. It is suggested that you examine these blog posts for catching the idea and getting aligned around it. Culture matters. Agile is part of a larger idea of self-management. Business is the opening and leverage point to apply these ideas. This conference connects people thinking about Agile to the idea of culture.  Culture is the big tent containing Agile. Agile is a CULTURE hack.

The objective of this conference bring to more popular awareness how culture is the gating factor in satisfaction, productivity and learning at work.


The Audience

Our audience is about 65-70% Agile and Agile-curious people from leadership, management, product development, and software development and management. The remainder are a mix of testers, culture hackers, consultants and coaches, and folks from academia and other disciplines.

What We Are Looking For

We are looking for sessions that have a deep and solid foundation and can provide ABC guidance to attendees regarding the analysis, design and implementation of cultural dynamics at work. We want the conference to teach exactly how to engage in hacking culture.

“Hacking culture” here is defined as:

modifying a culture, for personal betterment and the betterment of others

The Agile CULTURE Conference in focused on intentional culture analysis, design and implementation at work. The idea is to help managers and others develop an awareness of culture dynamics and associated tools for deliberately engaging in culture development at work.

Consider submitting a proposal if you have ideas, experience, tools and other technology that can add to the body of knowledge we are coming to call culture engineering. Topics include culture analysis/design/implementation, Culture Hacking, culture technology and the like. Anything you present must be immediately accessible to managers, decision-makers and teams in enterprises that already have above-average cultural vitality. Your content must be of practical use to people that want to experiment with culture, at work, immediately.


The conference wants to deliver practical tools everyone can use to deal with culture like software:

Analysis includes diagnostic and measurement tools for decomposing and understanding social system design like Tribal Leadership triads, Scrum etc

Design includes tools and techniques for composing socially constructed micro-worlds such as Tribal Leadership triads, Scrum, sociocracy and the like.

Implementation includes experience reports and descriptions of tools. The ideal session speaks directly to managers who want to engage in some cultural experimentation at work.

We are very interested in sessions that connect common Agile concepts to the concepts and facilities of the emerging art and science of cultural design. We are seeking practical ideas that people can take back to work and tinker with. Here is a example of a book of practical, culture hacking tools and techniques: THE CULTURE GAME by Dan Mezick.

Bring your very best ideas and concepts to your session. We want a body of knowledge to develop as a result of this conference. We completely expect leadership in and around culture technology to emerge from this conference, kicking off a new focus and a new movement around culture engineering at work.

Agile Day in Boston Open Space; Open Space Session Dan LeFebvre









Sample Topics

This is by no means a complete list and the list below is widely representative of what we are generally looking for:

  • Tools for Cultural Analysis at Work
  • Culture at Work
  • Scrum as a Culture Hack
  • Engagement: How to Get It, How to Use it
  • Introducing Sociocracy
  • Freedom at Work
  • The Agile Manifesto as a Cultural Design
  • Living Great using Core Protocols
  • Kanban as a Culture Hack
  • Introducing Self-Management
  • Conflict Resolution Techniques
  • Making and Keeping Agreements

Session Types

We are seeking speakers who want to engage in both cities. Yes a speaker can speak in one city of the other; that said we have a definite preference for speakers who are willing to speak in both cities.

We have 2 specific opportunities for potential candidate speakers.

Open Space Conveners commit to convene at least 2 pre-approved Open Space sessions. They are responsible for convening these sessions and seeing that proceedings are captured for the overall event proceedings.

Conveners of selected Open Space sessions get:

  • Promotion with picture, bio and session abstract on the conference web pages.
  • Complimentary Ticket(s) to the event (1 city, the other city or both, depending)

Open Space conveners who speak in both cities (Philly and Boston) ALSO get:

  • $120 for covering Amtrack train travel from Philly to Boston, and some expenses.

NOTE: Buy Amtrak train tickets early since they go up as the date gets closer. If you buy early, your train ticket is just $59. You are responsible for arranging your own travel. We suggest the following train for everyone coming to Boston from the Philly event:


Breakout Speakers talk in a space that holds up to 1/3 of the full attendance and present a talk of 30 minutes. Breakout Speakers are featured with a picture, bio and session abstract on the conference web pages. We want breakout speakers to be present all day in the Open Space and also be present for the Open Space Closing Circle.

Breakout speakers get:

  • Promotion with picture, bio and session abstract on the conference web pages.
  • Complimentary Ticket to the event (1 city, the other city or both, depending)
  • Hotel Lodging for one night (in one city) and
  • Paid Amtrack train travel from Philly to Boston. (If you speak in just one city, which we discourage, you get 1 hotel night only and no further travel expenses)

Breakout Speakers Must Commit To The Following:

  • Staying present the whole event day
  • Convening at least one Open Space session
  • Being present and participating in the Open Space close.


Expenses. We cannot cover much in terms of expenses. To cover even some of your expenses, as outlined above, your proposals have to strongly align on the conference theme:

The Agile Culture Conference: Managing in the 21st Century

…the session must also strongly support the conference objective:

The objective of the conference is to bring to more popular awareness how culture is the gating factor in satisfaction, productivity and learning at work.

We are looking for practical sessions that

  • Provide a strong introduction to cultural design and implementation ideas to leaders, directors, managers and team members
  • Map Agile to cultural change at work, describe Agile in cultural terms at work, and
  • Provide tools and techniques that people attending can immediately use to implement a more Agile culture

The Open Space Closing Circle, Agile Day in Boston 2011









How to Submit A Session: Please read carefully ! Please note: Sessions submitted earlier are preferred. Submit your session as soon as possible !

  1. Specify your preference for session venue: Philly, Boston or BOTH (Both is preferred)
  2. Provide the abstract(s), in under 175 words.
  3. Provide the bio, in under 150 words.
  4. Deliver both in a single document saved in WORD97 format
  5. Include a link to your picture or paste the image into the WORD97 .DOC file.
  6. Send it by email with the following subject line: [ACC Speaker]: Session submission
  7. Email: Send to dan [at] not later than June 30