Blogging was where we began, and how we built our company so we have preserved this archive to show how our thinking developed over a decade of developing the use of social technology inside organisations

Social Business Summit roundup


This Thursday sees the Social Business Summit roll into town – we have a great lineup, including some Jazz improv that is a lot of fun, and a super venue. We are very keen to ensure that we have a broad selection of people interested in the future of social business at the event, so if you think you should be there, but have not yet been invited, then please drop us an email and we will get back to you straight away.

Based on the experience of the Sydney and Austin events, you really don’t want to miss it.

The first of our series of four social business summits took place in Sydney, Australia, on March 2 at the Mint. Peter Kim talked about Dachis Group’s global vision for social business design, Kevin Tate shared lessons from over 300 Facebook social media marketing campaigns and Dion Hinchcliffe shared some high impact social business stories from around the world. Dave Gray began telling his story of the connected company – a theme he picked up later in Austin and will also develop at the London event. The Sydney event also included excellent sessions from IBM, Virgin Blue, Cisco and Optimice. You can see photos from the event on Flickr and an animation of Dave Gray’s notes of the events on Animoto.

Cookie Monster at the after party in AustinThe following week, in Austin, I was lucky enough to attend the second summit, with wonderful contributions from Jeff Dachis, JP Rangaswami, John Hagel, Rawn Shah, Josh Bernoff and others. Shiv Shingh from Pepsi talked about the future of real-time marketing, Dave Gray discussed the connected company and Philip Kaplan of Blippy talked about extreme sharing and its impact on privacy. I gave a talk on the importance of leadership, followed by Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, who talked about the huge role culture plays in the success of their company. We saved a curated twitter stream of the event and Jim Worth put together a great wiki page gathering various other details. Also worth a look is this post: 27 Insights On Social Business, which summarised the talks. There was, of course, also a rocking party, including a rather frisky Elmo and Cookie Monster (UPDATE: Amadeo captured their initial fight on video, but it got a lot less appropriate later) as well as some very interesting conceptual art.

This series of events will end on April 6 in Singapore with our final summit for 2011, where Jeff Dachis, Dion Hinchcliffe, Kevin Tate, IBM’s Ted Stanton and a selection of smart speakers working in Singapore, China and the wider region will provide a range of perspectives on the role of social business in these rapidly accelerating economies. Registration is still open for this event, and we are keen to see a representative mix of large and small firms keen to explore social business, so please drop us an email if you would like to be there.

8 Responses to Social Business Summit roundup

  1. By George Por on March 21, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    Lee, thanks the opportunity to “join discussion” even if it came late for any substantive conversation about the event among the participant, which can make a difference.

    I am struck by how little “social” is the Social Business Summit. Didn’t you guys missed an opportunity to demonstrate your unparalleled understanding in action by creating something different form the usual talking head conferences.

    In the agenda I couldn’t even find some social process to support professional networking among the attendees. If your thought of it and there will be some surprise, I’d love to be wrong about this point.

    Based on the description, it seems the conference is built on a straight transactional model. You give us your tuition fee; we give you a great line up of speakers. Knowing you, I’m sure that you guys have the capacity to do it better than that and wondering why it is not happening.

    Enough of critique! Here are some positive ideas of how could be an undoubtedly high-value event even if better. I was involved with the design, here’s what I would have done differently.

    1. Wrap the conference into a blanket of collective intelligence tools and methods capable to leverage the significant knowledge and experience present in the audience.

    2. Use some time and resources before, during and after conference, to facilitate ridiculously easy group formation across the SBC location, by people interested in communities of “social business” practice.

    3. Create a business model that will ensure that the Dachis Group can reap a much higher return from the relational business philosophy than from the current transactional one.

    C U on Thursday –


  2. By Lee Bryant on March 21, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    Hi George,

    Firstly, I am delighted that you can make it. As you know, we think your work on collective intelligence is very good and ahead of its time 🙂

    Regarding the structure of the event, we considered various online add-ons for the event, but these rarely achieve critical mass, so we are instead focusing our efforts on a good old conversation on the day.

    During the day’s sessions we will have some time for traditional discussion, plus we have a participative Jazz improv session to loosen people up and get them collaborating, and finally we have swapped out a talk for a discussion panel in the afternoon, where we will try to involve the whole group as much as possible.

    There *should* be some time for BOF-type meetups around the event, since it finishes quite early, and we also have an after-party where the conversation can flow more freely.

    To be honest, our goal here is not transactional (the ticket price will not cover our costs) but rather to simulate conversations that continue in some form after the event.

    Look forward to seeing you – it’s been too long!

  3. By Chris Dymond on March 21, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    Following on from what George said, I was going to ask why there isn’t a lanyrd profile for the event so we could see who else is going, but then I just created one 🙂

    Here it is:

    Cheers, CD

  4. By Samuel Driessen on March 22, 2011 at 8:59 am

    Hope to see you and other there, Lee! 🙂

  5. By George Por on March 22, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Lee, thanks for sharing where are you coming from, which makes sense. Given your openness to going more social and co-intelligent, here are three simple ideas that I think are still actionable.

    1. Make the interactive, online participant directory initiative that Chris Dymond launched above visible to all who come, by sending them an email today with the URL of the directory.

    2. In the email encourage them to tweet anything related to the conference, using the #SBS2011 hashtag.

    3. Give us something beyond our expectation, which can both seed new conversations, and help creating after-meeting buzz (that can also serve as attractor to future events and functions.) For example, curate the #SBS2011 tweets at, as you did in Austin, AND organize them in collections that can break the linearity of the tweetstream, make visible the emergent patterns, and help us connecting with each other around them.

    There’s much more to say about the various ways that can mobilize the collective intelligence of conference attendees. Deciding to use some of them smartly, could lead to new added value for both the attendees, and the organizers, beyond the expectations of each group.

    A future-responsive organizing team could even envisage to integrate in the event design, gamefully, the use of the shared mind of attendees for addressing an inspiring, worthy challenge, e.g.: the co-creation of a video, or a knowledge garden, or a pattern library, around a focusing issue that floated to the top of the participants’ burning questions collected in Quora.

    If Ci-focused event design is of interest to you or any of your colleagues at Dachis, why not chat about it at the party over a glass of Merlot.

    Back to what is possible for SBS1011 London, what do you think of the three suggestions above?

    Those of you reading these comment stream, what ideas do you have for things that can make SBS1011 London more social and smarter?

  6. By George Por on March 22, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Inspired by our exchange here, I’ve just sent 30 friends of mine this invitation to a 3-day serious game for boosting the collective intelligence of the conference.

    hi All,

    Many of you know that the Dachis Group, the world’s leading Social Business Design consultancy, will host a Social Business Summit in London, this Thursday. I’ll be there and am looking forward to meet some old and new friends. There’s a brilliant line up of speakers but what attracts me more is the possibility to discover the collective brilliance of the participants’ shared mind. That possibility inspired me to following simple game design.

    The challenge is to demonstrate the answer to this question:
    What can be done today, tomorrow, and Thursday (only 3 days!),
    which would make SBS2011 more co-intelligent and
    create value and fun for all players, regardless whether they are at the event or following it in social media?

    The game rules are few:

    1. Have as few rules as possible.
    2. Make each move as easy to find as you can, by the largest number of those, who may build on, amplify, or get engaged with it in any way, using any media.

    The scoring mechanism would be decided by a self-selected panel of players.

    The initial game objects are y/our contributions to the transmedia conversation stream that starts with Game Object #001, this tweet: .

    The rest is left to your imagining what is possible and your passion for meeting the challenge.

    In the next three days, you can play this “social conference” game as much or as little as you want, on any of the following levels:

    1. If you’re really interested to see the game’s challenge met but super-busy with other things, then you may stop after re-tweeting or commenting on Game Object #001.

    2. If you have more time, you can follow the two links inserted in that object.

    3. If they inspire you to more engagement, then you can jump into the convo, right there, where those links lead.

    4. If you’re serious about serious social gaming, join the panel of players that will work on the design of the scoring and the improvement of the game mechanics

    No matter at which level you decide to play, you are going to make a difference and hopefully will enjoy the game as much as I enjoy starting it…

    C U online!

    p.s. Please note that I’m not affiliated with the Dachis Group and this game is an initiative of CommunityIntelligence.

    George Pór

    evolutionary thinker, mentor, and strategic learning partner
    to visionary leaders in business, government and civil society, in matters of
    innovation, collective intelligence & wisdom, communities of practice, and social Web strategies

    “amplifying your collective intelligence & wisdom”

  7. By Luis Suarez on March 22, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    Hi Lee! Thanks very much for making my mind water while reading through your blog post with the highlights from previous SBS events! Looking at the agenda for the SBS event in London, it surely looks like it’s going to be another one of those events not to miss out! Alas, this year I won’t be able to join the fun since I’ll be travelling myself to mainland Spain to visit a customer, but I surely plan to keep an eye on the live tweet streams and everything!

    Hope you guys have got some really good fun and look forward to the next one! Hopefully, that time around without any conflicts! See you soon!

  8. By Abraham Heinemann on March 24, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    In reply to Georges post, specifically point four:

    “If you’re serious about serious social gaming, join the panel of players that will work on the design of the scoring and the improvement of the game mechanics”

    and inspired by these two points above:

    “focusing our efforts on a good old conversation on the day.”
    “Jazz Impact: The Art of Collaborative Innovation”

    For the purposes of Georges point 4, on game design, and for future consideration on actually making “focusing our efforts on a good old conversation on the day” as good as possible. I would suggest taking what is already part of the Summit, Jazz improv, and looking directly at the dynamics between improv players, and work with the process they go through, to be able to play improv together and the performance itself.