What’s this all about?
This is a mini-conference, aimed at people who mainly work in the development of digital products. They often work with Lean, Agile, and Systems Thinking techniques.
The primary audience is drawn from the communities in Sydney, although you’re also welcome if you are from elsewhere. The event will be participatory, and collaborative. Workshops, activities, and discussions are favoured ahead of one person speaking at the front of the room in front of a slide deck.
The event is being run by practitioners from the Australian agile community. 2023 will be the fifth time the event will be held in Sydney. There are also versions in Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane and Adelaide.
Our guiding principles are:
- To increase knowledge, understanding and capability of lean, agile and systems thinking principles and practices in the community of practitioners in Sydney.
- We believe that the best way to achieve this is to involve as many local community members as possible, as session leaders (speakers, facilitators), content curators and Local Organisers.
LAST stands for “Lean, Agile, Systems Thinking”. Increasingly, we focus on people who work on developing digital products.
Our day is inspired by the Agile Tour, the inaugural Australian instance was held in December 2011, in Sydney. The organisers of LAST in Melbourne, thought that their community could really benefit from something similar, and so LAST Conference was born. Here’s Ed’s writeup of that event. He also explains “Why I started LAST Conference”.
With the naming of the event, we wanted to provide a broad remit, so that the full scope of practice could potentially be covered.
Who should come?
The event is aimed at people of all levels who want to level up their skills by learning from peers, and for those who want to share their experiences with others in an inclusive, collaborative, and interactive environment.
We are interested in topics that contribute to this. A sample (but not exhaustive) list of topics could include:
- Product management
- technology developments (e.g AI)
- digital “transformation
- modern Systems Thinking
- workplace change
- software and product development
- user and customer experience
- leadership and management
- organisational design and strategy
- project management and process improvement
- innovation and creativity
This may include but is not limited to: Developers, Product Managers, Business Analysts, Product Owners, Designers, UX Designers, Iteration Managers, Testers, Scrum Masters, CTOs, Project Managers, Trainers and Coaches. Technical and non-technical practitioners are welcome.
We want to be more inclusive and help people with a wide range of knowledge to level up their skills and understanding. Don’t be afraid to ask and learn from others.
As we are focused on the local community, we don’t expect people to travel from interstate or overseas to participate, although you are welcome if you choose to come. As LAST is an event with low registration prices, we need to keep overheads low. Therefore, we generally do not reimburse travel and accommodation or pay a fee to session leaders/speakers.
LAST Conference is a place where the community can gather and exchange ideas and experiences. We encourage people who haven’t “spoken” at many/any events to contribute a session idea. You will be able to receive support on our Slack channel and through some other initiatives that are planned in the lead-up to the event.
The theme this year is Together At LAST. We are here to help people come together again as a community of people who want to learn from and to share what they know with others.
We will start announcing the sessions for the day in August. We encourage activities and workshops, as well as talks, about real-world experiences (both positive and problematic).
We will build the schedule iteratively, adding sessions if great new ideas come in or if there is a gap that needs to be filled. Session leaders are also free to alter their session in the lead-up to the event if they need to.
Be as detailed as possible in your submission, as this will help you to refine your idea in your own mind, help the content curation team select your session, and allow people who are coming to LAST to decide that they want to come and participate in your session/s.
Interpret the brief widely. Pitch us your ideas.
The submission process is open until the end of July, with the schedule being released in August.
Will there be stress balls/t-shirts/bags/schwag/tchotchke?
Not really. Our view is that there is too much tchotchke at a typical conference, so we aren’t having very much, if any. We want to focus on communication, interactions and value rather than schwag.
If you have a lanyard holder from a previous event (and we bet that you’ve got a few), please bring it. Otherwise, your name badge is self-adhesive, so stick it on your shirt! Similarly, you’ll probably have your own bag, so you don’t need another one, right?
Don’t worry, we still love you though, and have thought about all of your really important needs.
We don’t include the cost of a shirt in the registration fee, but we will have a 2023 conference t-shirt available for purchase.
You can also get a LAST Conf t-shirt
Will there be food?
You’ll be adequately fed and watered at lunch, and morning and afternoon breaks.
We always have a post-event gathering, with sponsored drinks. Make sure you allow time to stick around and engage in stimulating follow up conversations about the day!
Registration is now open. Previous events have sold out weeks before the date, so it’s best to get in quick. Once full, please join the waiting list, and if any spots become available, they will be released to the waiting list first.
What is the Diversity Charter?
This charter is for event organisers, speakers, individuals, employers, sponsors and venues, and was founded by Emily Webber. By signing the charter, we publicly committed to doing what we can to increase diversity. This includes engaging with groups in the community to encourage as wide a range of submissions to the conference as possible. We also provide support for people who may not otherwise have the confidence/experience to facilitate a session.
Do you have a Code of Conduct?
Yes. We want to create a safe and inclusive event for the participants. Read our Community Code of Conduct.
LAST grew from the Agile and Lean community in Melbourne that holds regular evening user group events throughout the year. Colleagues in Sydney and Brisbane also wanted to run their own flavour of LAST Conference. Tabar, are the organising sponsors of LAST Melbourne, and they also support the local organisers in other cities. Tabar is a group of agile practitioners who provide coaching, training and consulting services…and events!
For Sydney 2023, David Martin, Gareth Bowell, Ed Wong, Keith Pitty, James Harris, Soma Mazumder and James Zhang, are leading the organisation of the event, along with others in the local agile community.