ThingsCon mission statement
Over the weekend, we gathered our core community—the local organizers plus a handful of key stakeholders, supporters and partners—for a weekend retreat out in the countryside. Among many other things, we worked out a mission statement for ThingsCon. So far this hadn't formally existed: Intuitively we knew where things were headed, but it hadn't been made really explicit.
Since the network and global footprint of ThingsCon has been growing quickly and steadily (in 2016 there are about 20 events around the globe, from small meetup to large conference), it was time to define the essence of ThingsCon, its raison d'être.
Every activity should—and going forward can—be evaluated against this mission: Does it move things forward into the direction laid out in this mission statement? Does it promote this mission?
Here it is, followed by some note to elaborate:
ThingsCon fosters the creation of a human-centric & responsible IoT.
To this end we provide practitioners with an open environment for reflection & collaborative action.
This is a big, bold, ambitious and exciting goal. Let's go through it step by step.
The first sentence is the purpose, the why. This is what everything is about. We'll need to fill the terms human-centric and responsible with life, but overall this statement should be pretty self-explanatory.
The second sentence is the shape it takes, the what. This outlines how we'll operate going forward: With a focus on practitioners (i.e. everyone working professionally with touchpoints to IoT, as opposed to for example general public), aka the people who make IoT happen. We'll be hosting the conversation, cultivate a culture of open, no-BS reflection, and a bias towards action (rather than, for example, build technology platforms).
There's a third bit, the how. These are the tactics and formats we might employ to fulfill our mission statement. Here we are pretty agnostic, we'll do whatever gets the job done. This could take all kinds of shapes, including but not limited to: toolkits, events, research, labs, publications...
With that in mind, let's get to work. There's a lot to do!