Wrapping up Think...
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Apparently Think was such an amazing conference event that it has required a couple of weeks of recuperation and processing for all of us. Whew!
Here are some highlights from the IBM Champions program at Think, along with a selection of content from the Champions themselves on the event.
By the Numbers: IBM Champions at Think 2018
IBM Champions Day at Think 2018
While open to all attendees, the day was focused on IBM Champions and those active in user communities around the world. IBM Champions started with a welcome from the 2016 and 2017 Lifetime IBM Champions, followed by a user group panel that brought representatives from across IBM products and business areas and around the world to set the stage by talking about the importance of user groups in building community and solving problems. The user group panel also shared many ideas for getting involved in and supporting user groups.
IBM Champions then gave 20+ sessions on user groups, both technical and soft skills, and Birds of a Feather gatherings to bring attendees into the conversation. Following these morning sessions and lunch (and the first attempt at our group photo!), we joined the full User Community Day crowd (more than 750 strong) to hear from executives Arvind Krishna, Marc van Zadelhoff, and Angel Diaz. One theme in these talks was on the power of community - and how much our user groups and community bring to the larger technical community and to IBM.
2018 Lifetime IBM Champions
During the keynote, I was privileged to announce the 2018 Lifetime IBM Champions. If you already think of the IBM Champions as the top 1% of IBM's external advocates and community members, you can think of these Lifetime Champions as the best of the best of the best. Over multiple years, these Champions have consistently not only excelled at the advocacy that makes them Champions, but they have also been invaluable to other Champions by mentoring and supporting them and by being active in helping the larger program to flourish. Our goal is that when we announce a Lifetime Champion that everyone in the audience says, "oh, yeah, that makes sense." These IBM Champions stand above their peers for service to the community as they lead by example, are passionate about sharing knowledge, and provide constructive feedback to IBM.
Congratulations again and thank you for all your work! These new Lifetime IBM Champions join Theo Heselmans, Gabriella Davis, and Julian Robichaux, our Lifetime Champions named in 2016 and 2017. Theo, Gab, and Julian helped open the event and host the Champion rooms during the day.
Other Think Champion activities
We also had a Champion area at Think, in Think Park. It was a spot to take a break, plug in the devices, and connect with each other. Most Champions made it to the spot during the week either to catch up with each other or the Champion team OR to join one of the many IBM Champion Chats - round table conversations on various topics from collaboration to GDPR to NodeRed. We'll be gathering write-ups of these round table chats and sharing them here and having more opportunities in person and virtually for these conversations to continue.
Champions participated in so much content creation around Think, from speaking, to writing blogs, to being interviewed. Below you'll find just a small selection of this content. Search by #ibmchampion to find more of their amazing content and reviews of the event!
Videos from developerWorks TV
Videos from the Champions who run the C3UG:
Tiago Moura, a new Lifetime IBM Champion, on the Champions & User Community Day
Andy Lin on AI in the Enterprise
Bob Hayes on Think
2-part series from Jonathan McKnight
Sessions and video from Chris Penn
3-part series from new Lifetime IBM Champion Paul Withers:
A set of blogs on Think from Lifetime IBM Champion Gab Davis, including some of the sessions Gab gave at Think:
Champion award winners and finalists in the Beacon awards:
Want to share what you thought about Think? Tell us your thoughts or share your content with us below or on Twitter.