Early project management event prep

I'm helping out with the program committee of the St. Louis PMI chapter this year. We were divvying up ownership of future events today and I've got the August event. Hi ho.

That means I've got a few weeks or months to think... Who would I want to invite? What would I like to learn about? What kind of industry or topic or program or product would I like to learn more about?

(Alternatively, maybe it makes sense to replace the "I" with "we" in each of those questions. It's a toss-up. You should design for your audience because that's who the programs are for, but some of the best programs originate from the passions of the people who organize them.)

Some of the ideas that have come to mind for project management topics are:

  • Creating a new beer—thinking of it from the point of view of an established company starting up a new product.
  • Developing a vaccine or treatment—what is it like to develop life-critical medicine at breakneck speed?
  • Project management in space—there aren't any space companies here in St. Louis, but since things are virtual now it doesn't matter, we could listen to someone from Blue Origin or Virgin Orbit or NASA or whatever from anywhere.
  • Big projects shaping St. Louis—the new MLS stadium, the development of the 39 North biotech district, development of the Great Rivers Greenway
  • A small-scale agricultural project—bringing back old tomatoes, spreading around many garlic varieties
  • Language reclamation projects—what is it like to bring a language (e.g., Miami, or Wôpanâak) back from the dead or from life support? How do you plan that? How do you sustain it?
  • A work of art as a project—a book, a movie, an album

That's off the top of my head. There are quite a few minor ideas banging around up there also, but I wasn't going for an exhaustive list (I've started that one in Evernote). I don't just want any program, but something interesting and meaningful. The problem I have with thinking about "presentation about project management" in the abstract is that it's easy to start forgetting what a project is—to literally forget what the word "project" means, to forget why it might be useful for someone to think about things in terms of projects.

Anyway, there's still a bit of time and space to think, fortunately. Let's see what we can discover.

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