Ed Wong is one of the organisers in the local meetup community. He's passionate about helping teams adopt agile practices, design user centric products and helping others learn. After going to the Agile Tour event in Sydney last year he returned to Melbourne with the idea that we run something similar in Melbourne.
I argued that we extend the scope a little and we came up with Lean and Systems Thinking as two additional themes we should include and that led naturally to LAST as an acronym. When we discovered LASTConference.com was available as a domain we settled on it pretty quickly.
The biggest deal when arranging things like this is arranging a convenient venue. Fortunately I am working at a University. I went to the faculty of ICT and asked whether they would be interested and of course they were, so we scored a win by being able to host our event at Swinburne on July 27th.
Next we started asking Australian agile, lean and system thinkers people if they'd be interested in participating and several generously said yes instantly, and while we have not yet settled on the final line-up we can rest assured that we will have at least some interesting and engaging people facilitating sessions on the day.
Right now you can see some of the submissions on the LASTConference.com site, and you can also read more about the details of the day.
Our event is not designed to compete with Agile Australia. It will be more grass roots, led by practitioners and designed for practitioners. There will be no big names from overseas and no CEO perspectives. But it should be a fun day. If you are going to be in town, come along.
(A last note, Rowan Bunning contacted Ed a few days ago and let us know that Simon Bennett is a Lean/Agile/ST coach and consultant in the UK trading under the name LASTing-Benefits. We don't know Simon, and are not directly associated with him, although I have discovered him in my Twitter feed. It's a small world isn't it.)