Saturday, December 15, 2007

Osmosis - Celebrating Innovation @ MindTree


Osmosis - MindTree's annual technology festival

The whole of MindTree looks forward to this mega event that is scheduled in the month of December every year, where MindTree celebrates innovation. Osmosis the celebration of the nerd within all of us as we like to call it. It is MindTree's way of celebrating technology through showcasing achievements, through collaboration in form of discussions and various events & contests. We have lots of knowledge sharing that happens through out like daily quiz, crosswords etc. I had heard a lot about Osmosis, but hadn’t had the opportunity to be a part of it. I was eager to be a part of this celebration. My wait finally ended this morning when I got to experience the ‘Heat’. Boy! It was truly a memorable experience.

The specialty about this year’s celebration was the ‘unconference’ sessions that MindTree had organized. For the uninitiated, ‘unconference’ is this really cool concept of sharing thoughts where the audiences get to choose what they wanna listen to. Since osmosis truly stands for celebrating innovation, MindTree ensured that it would break the norms, by dropping the concept of having traditional conferences, and give this ‘unconference’ idea, a try and see if it works out well. By doing that not only did MindTree ensure that the ‘unconference’ topics addressed the intended audience, but also ensured that people get a common platform to discuss issues that would often be considered ‘unconventional’ for a conference. Trust me when I say this… ‘It simply rocked!’ MindTree is the first company in the corporate space to have implemented this new concept of unconference on such a big scale.

What was really cool about it?

1. To facilitate an unconference session you don’t need to have a mastery over that topic. The only requirement is that you should be able to guide the session in the right direction.

2. Also the topics to be discussed weren’t restricted to hard core technical stuff. For eg: we had topics like ‘I and my project manager’, ‘Are we losing Indian tradition because of globalization?’, ‘Self Deception’ etc.

3. The sessions are scheduled over a period of 45 minutes (between every session, we had a break of 15 minutes to facilitate people move to the respective halls, just in case they wanted to attend a different session of their interest), where it’s driven just like a group discussion, where people get to exchange thoughts and share their knowledge.

4. You are ensuring that the audience in the hall is present because they truly are interested to know about the topic, and not just for the heck of it! So you wouldn’t find people drowsing in the hall anymore!

5. I appreciate that MindTree broke the rules and was vigilant enough to pick up the changing trend of sharing thoughts! I consider myself fortunate to have got a chance to attend 3 unconference sessions in one single day. I attended these really enlightening sessions on ‘ Twitter for real time Micro Blogging’ and ‘ Jump start Open Social -- use existing networks for your benefit’, facilitated by Ujjwal Grover.

If you have built an impression, by now that Osmosis was all of unconference sessions and technology stuff, you got me perfectly wrong! We also had some real good fun. We witnessed a short play from MAG (MindTree Artists Guild), loads of song dedications (a stall put by Talent Acquisition Team), some hard core rock music by the October ’07 batch of MindTree.

All in all it was a truly festive atmosphere at MindTree. It’s also the time in the year that all the co-founders of MindTree are here to celebrate innovation with the rest of the family. I had a great time being a part of this festival. I am eagerly waiting for the next year’s Osmosis festival. I will definitely try to facilitate an unconference session!

Update: A few others who attended Osmosis wrote...

1. Shahnawaz Khan

2. Ujjwal Grover

3. Codelicious

Wanna get a flavour of how Osmosis'07 looked like? Follow the link below...

Shahnawaz Khan's photo take on final day


~IT's My Life

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46 comments:

Harish - ಹರೀಶ said...

Hey, I would like to know more about that unconference about blogging...

Suresh S. a.ka. Suri said...

@ harish,

Ujjwal (who facilitated the session) has written a post on this tool called 'Twitter' (which was the topic of the unconference, I referred to in my article). Here is the link to it:

http://ujjwalgrover.blogspot.com/2007/12/twitter-for-microblogging.html

If you have any further queries, please reach out to him. He would be all the more happy to help you out.

See you on twitter:)

Vidya said...

I like the concept of unconference! :) As disorganized as it might sound, I clearly think that a lot of planning has gone into this!

Vidya

Suresh S. a.ka. Suri said...

@ Vidya,

Yes! People here have definitely put in some serious planning in going ahead with the implementation of unconference concept! Trust me it's serious fun yaar:)

niveditha said...

unconference...!
A really neat concept!
it must have been a lot of fun and a great learning experience...

P.S: Happy new year!

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