As a member of the PMI Slovenia Chapter I was given the opportunity to attend the Project Zone 2011 project management conference in Budapest. It was organized for attendees from the Eastern European region and was attended mostly by project practitioners from Hungary, Romania and Slovakia with a few people from neighboring countries as well.
The keynote speaker was Gregory Balestrero, former president of Project Management Institute (PMI). Although he clarified that due to his retired status his speech is not officially from PMI, the spirit of the organization which he led for many years with tremendous success was nevertheless not far away. He spoke about sustainability, for example, how we humans influence the environment, how we drain its resources and what we can do today to ensure that future generations can still have a world to live in. Gregory Balestrero also spoke about his personal life during retirement. He bought a motorcycle to ride across the USA and raise awareness about environmental issues and money for charities. I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to listen to this unique man in person.
The rest of the conference was made up of presentations by invited speakers. The organizers were able to round up an impressive assortment of speakers from all over Europe. As we are often surrounded by information that comes mostly from North America, this more European experience provided a fresh view of project management in this part of the world. And based on the current euphoria around agile project management, the conference obviously couldn’t end without several presentations related to this topic.