Friday, 18 March 2016

A very special Friday morning

On the final Friday of UCISA, we try and line up some excellent keynotes, usually a Gartner Speaker, our Platinum Sponsor, a talk with some fun in it, and a closing keynote. Well, we followed this pattern and it worked perfectly!

Ant Allen from Gartner gave us a good overview of Identity Management and how our strategies are going to have to change. Then Marcus Jewell from Brocade talked to us about the network - probably the only real technical talk from the conference. We've tried to move away from very technical issues to more strategic ones, and this one ticked both boxes as it was a strategic look at a technology. And whats the most important thing we need from any network? Zero downtime, obviously. Talk is here.


Then it was time for the fun. Jamie Anderson trying to get us to think creatively. Lots of interaction, lots of getting us to do things - including drawing a picture of the person we were sitting next to. And a call to do the things that make us more creative - exercise, eat chocolate and have sex. Preferably in the lunch hour.

Watch his talk here, it's brilliant!

And finally, the very last talk of the conference, and the one I've been waiting 30 years to hear. In 1986 John McCarthy, a young british journalist went to Lebanon on a two month posting. When things started to get a bit dangerous, he tried to leave the country, and was kidnapped about 10 minutes away from the airport. He was the same age as me, and I followed the story, as much as you could - there were no mobile phones, no internet, no social media - for the next five years. When he was released 5 years later, like many people, I cried. He has been a hero of mine ever since, for the way he coped with a dreadful ordeal, and dealt with it with such dignity and strength. It was a real honour to meet him, and talk to him over dinner about his 5 years as a hostage. He is a lovely, lovely man. Today he gave a talk to our conference about his time as a hostage, and what he had learned from it. So, so moving. He told the most awful stories, including being wrapped from head to toe in parcel tape and loaded into a metal cylinder under a lorry, and yet still made us laugh. You could hear a pin drop in the auditorium. And virtually no-one moved to tweet.   And he gave me a hug and a kiss, which was a great way to end the conference.

1 comment:

jonoble said...

Surely the most important thing that we need from a network is that it moves packets of data from A to B. If we're actually talking fundamentally.