One of the greatest joys I get from building community is the positive impact it can have on peoples lives. At the end of the day, this is why we exist and why I do what I do. Last week at our Code Writers Workshop in Seattle, I believe we acheived a milestone as the event was cited by many as the most welcoming and inclusive tech event they'd ever attended. See pics here. I'm not sharing this to brag, I'm sharing because it is more clear than ever, that before all else, this has to be my goal as a community leader. Our Code of Conduct has evolved to reflect these values, but our mission hasn't caught up with it, until now. It may seem obvious that this should have been my priority all along, but as a tech event organizer for the past decade, so many other priorities sneak into the top of the heap- content, speakers, sponsors, cool venues, attendee experience, etc. Diversity, inclusion, welcoming environment have always been important, but when running a business and looking at the bottom line, it's easy to get distracted. But now I see it clearly, and I had to get here through experience and allowing others to help guide me.
Last weeks event was the most valuable we have ever produced. And it was the most valuable because it was the most welcoming and inclusive event we'd ever produced. Just as there is science that shows improved company performance, profitability and longevity through a diverse workforce, the same applies to community and our value to those we serve only improves when our mission gets focused on the right thing.
To align with this mission I am immediately opening up seats and issuing $225,000 in scholarships for our two upcoming Aspen EXO Summit events to well deserving attendees who may not otherwise have access to such a forum. Applicants can apply to either the EXO Software Delivery Summit May 21-23 or EXO Software Security Summit May 23-25. Those that are selected receive a $4500 pass to one of the events - which includes the event fee and all expenses in Aspen such as airport pickup / dropoff, two nights accommodations at the Aspen Meadows Resort, all meals, receptions and event gift. All scholarship recipients will be responsible for air travel to and from Aspen.
This effort is part of a renewed journey to make sure every event we organize regardless of topic or location is the most welcoming and inclusive event possible. We are excited to see the applications come in and look forward to sharing the winners with you on the Modev blog.
Always happy to chat - you can reach me on twitter @peteerickson and pete at modev dot com.