At Intersection19 conference

It’s been a while since I’ve been to a conference – eldercare-commitments have rather limited my options for longer-distance travel over the past year or two. In that sense at least, the Intersection19 enterprise-design conference in Lisbon was a very welcome change.

And a welcome change in several other senses too – for example, the conference was held not in yet another bland corporate hotel, but in Lisbon’s stunning Academia das Ciências:

But it’s also a welcome change in that Milan Gunther’s concept of ‘enterprise-design‘, which underpins pretty much everything in the conference, is close to what enterprise-architecture should have been from the start. And that really showed, all the way through almost every session in the conference.

Okay, yes, there were perhaps a few throwbacks to the rampant, rabid business-centrism or IT-centrism that pervade throughout most of what purports to be ‘enterprise-architecture’ these days. But for the rest, no: instead, just solid human-centred good architecture and good design – that blend of thinking and practice that we really need right now.

Between the keynotes at the start and end of each day, the conference-programme was split into two parallel streams: conference-sessions or masterclasses. Of the latter, I went to two: one by Milan Guenther and Dennis Middeke, on the Enterprise Design Framework, the other by Wolfgang Goebl on his cross-disciplinary Architectural Thinking initiative. Of the conference-sessions and keynotes, for me there were three absolute standouts:

  • the session ‘Scaling CX: A Story About Building Bridges Together’, by Tomomi Sasaki and Mael Inizan, on the process of developing and using a support-app for front-line customer-service staff at Eurotunnel
  • the keynote ‘Creating Pattern Languages for Creating a Future Where We Can Live Well’, by Takashi Iba, on his development of practical, visual pattern-languages for real-world concerns such as presenting new ideas to others, or dealing with dementia
  • the keynote ‘Building Better Worlds’, by Cennydd Bowles, an eye-opening exploration of what enterprise-designers will likely need to face in the relatively near future – to my mind a truly brilliant exercise in what I’d term as RBPEA, ‘Really-Big-Picture Enterprise-Architecture’

The videos for those, and all of the other sessions and keynotes, should eventually be available via the conference website and YouTube channel. The slidedecks for some are also already available on Slideshare, such as that for Takashi Iba’s keynote; no doubt others will appear there soon.

And talking of videos, whilst I was there I recorded four interviews, all of which are now up on my YouTube channel:

  • Interview with Heidi Beets: “What is the relationship between enterprise-design and enterprise-architecture? What are some lessons-learned on this in the Australian context?”
  • Interview with Wolfgang Goebl: “What is enterprise-architecture right now? What should it be? And how do we get it to change from here to there?”
  • Interview with Annika Klyver: “What is the Milky Way framework? Where does it fit between enterprise-architecture and enterprise-design? And how does it help guide change in the enterprise?”
  • Interview with Milan Guenther and Dennis Middeke: “What is enterprise-design? How does it differ from and relate with enterprise-architecture? And how do we get them to work together?”

Thanks again to Milan, Dennis and their team for an excellent conference that gave plenty of time for really-useful conversations – and thanks also to all of the presenters, and all of the people with whom I had those great conversations, too!

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