Plone Strategic Planning Summit 2008 at the Googleplex

In early February 2008, the Plone Foundation organized a summit with key decision makers and influencers to produce a plan for the strategic future of Plone at the Googleplex in Mountain View, California.


The first-ever Plone Strategic Planning Summit was a resounding success!  Fifty Plonistas (and a few special guests) enjoyed three days of California sunshine and Google hospitality, along with intensive conversation, brainstorming and follow-up actions.

Summit photos on Flickr!

We've got a lot to report out, and more on the way!



The challenge

Over the past six years, Plone has become one of the world's most successful content management systems. It's widely used around the world and across many diverse communities. The Plone community is vibrant. It has a strong tradition of face-to-face gatherings — five annual conferences, three regional symposiums, and dozens of “code sprints.”

However, the focus of most Plone community events has tended to be on code and community, but very short-term, next-actionish. There hasn't been much opportunity for structured conversations about the longer-term future of Plone. The rapid growth of Plone — both in sophistication and size of the community — makes such planning more necessary than ever.

The opportunity

We're going to convene the 2008 Plone Strategic Planning Summit, a three day event, the purpose of which is to bring together leaders and key stakeholders in the Plone Community in an intimate, focused setting in order to do some big-picture, medium-term planning, through which we:

  • Develop a strong shared vision for the future of Plone
  • Make clear, specific plans for our work together over the next 2-3 years.
  • Improve our community practices to better support this work


So that…

  • Plone-the-product continues to evolve and to fulfill its potential as the world's best content management system.
  • Plone-the-community continues to grow, become better connected, and increase its capacity to deliver the benefits of Plone to the world.
  • Plone-the-foundation is able to continue fulfilling its mission of “Protecting and Promoting Plone.”

How we're going to do it

  • We'll do background research in the Plone community (and beyond)
  • We'll gather together key people in the Plone community, including core developers, leading integrators, up-and-coming contributors, strategic users and selected outside advisers.
  • We'll design a carefully crafted agenda of exercises, conversations and presentations that will allow us to thoughtfully assess the current landscape and to chart a course towards the future.
  • We'll capture our ideas and present them to the wider Plone community.
  • We'll identify appropriate followup steps that can be taken in 2008 and beyond.

Who's invited?

We have already secured participation of some of the key participants from the Plone, Zope and Python communities, as well as leading industry players that use Plone.

However, we are still interested in having other people join us. We are especially interested in people that can:

  • Offer relevant insights about successful open source project management
  • Have significant marketing experience
  • Can present a competitive analysis of other content management systems, commercial and open source
  • Represent education, nonprofit, government, or enterprise users of Plone

We will have a maximum capacity of about 40 participants, so if you already know you'd like to join us, please drop a us a note as soon as possible and tell us a bit about what you'll be able to add to the conversation.




Thanks to the 30 individuals and organizations who contributed over $5000, matched by the Plone Foundation, which enabled us to sponsor travel expenses for 11 summit attendees:

CIGNEX, Alexander Pilz, John Habermann, George Bray, Christopher Johnson, Aleksandr Vladimirskiy, Boussard Youenn, Headnet, Jean-Pascal Houde, Jesse Snyder, Florian Schulze, Graham Perrin, Virginio Fanelli, Denis Mishunov, Totsie Marine, Pompilio Fanelli, Jennifer Crandall, Thomas Zeleny, Tannic Inc, Tobias Ahlers, Yves Moisan, Matthew Latterell, Jon Stahl, Patrick Shaw, William Murphy, Eric Steele, Scott Paley, Vincenzo Barone, Niels Steen Krogh


A special thanks to Google's open source team, who provided extremely generous hospitality, food and logistics support.  And sticky dots, lots of sticky dots.