The Board of the Plone Foundation has decided to designate the 2015 edition of Plone Open Garden (PLOG) as a strategic summit. Of course this has been done after consulting Abstract (the organizers of PLOG) and other community members.
We live in fast-changing times, and it is important for mature software projects like Plone to keep re-aligning itself with the changing landscape and markets around us. This is a continuing process, and fruitful discussions are taking place all the time. The 2014 Plone conference in Bristol saw a great many discussions, characterized by enthusiastic and thoughtful participation by many attendees.
And of course the upcoming Plone 5 is itself the product of continuous discussion by the community. But not only in the core product itself: there are groups and individuals working hard on marketing, documentation, communication and community. New models of cooperation are being tested, like the Plone Intranet Consortium. In short, there is plenty of activity, yet it can be difficult to make out what is happening overall and where we want to go next.
Therefore we think it is a good time to come together, bring the discussions forward and turn them into an actionable Roadmap for the near future of Plone. And PLOG, with a format that emphasizes enough time for reflection and fosters community spirit like few other events, is a very good place to do this.
This is a project that will take more shape in the coming weeks and months, but here are the important things to note for now:
- Set your agenda for PLOG: April 7-11, Sorrento, Italy. You can find all practical information on the PLOG website
- We will be aiming to get a wide variety of people attending. This summit is as much about Plone-the-project as it is about Plone-the-software, and ideally will have people from all the teams that drive different aspects of Plone present. The Board will try to assist this wide representation as much as possible, but of course is also depending on your sponsorship to make that happen.
- This will be an open summit: everybody is welcome to participate. There will be multiple forms: moderated discussions in the mornings, and breakout sessions in the afternoon for those that think better with their hands on keyboards, exploring ideas.
- Of course, not everyone will be able to attend. Time, space, money... That is why we will try to keep the whole process transparent, and create the best possible ways for remote participation during the event, as well as get input in the lead up to the Summit.
- Given enough interest, there will also be 'regular' PLOG sessions: the Summit will take place at PLOG, yet PLOG will not only consist of the Summit. Most notably, the character of PLOG as a place where you get to meet other people as a whole, and not just their 'Plone side', is something valuable in and of itself.
We are aware that this has a partial overlap with PyCon North America, making it difficult to attend both. And while some people find Plone gatherings so invigorating they run marathons hours after leaving one, this is indeed unfortunate. Yet, in a community that is geographically so widespread as Plone, we will always have problems to get everybody in the same place at the same time.
Obviously there will be many more gatherings of Plone people during this year (notably the Anniversary Sprint, Plone Symposium Tokyo, more sprints and of course culminating in the Bucharest conference).
Yet this is a very good time, and a very good place indeed, to set our collective course for the further development of Plone.
Keep your eyes out for more in the coming weeks and months, and start thinking already what could be your contribution.
We'll need your skills in moderating, we'll need your team, your project or your company already discussing their input in advance, we'll need your expertise in whatever field you choose to help make this work in the best way possible.