Frontiers Workshops: revealed

In the last 8 years I spent most of my spare time together with Leeander (and lately with Massimo, Marcello, Gian, Paola, Valentina, …) crafting the first of the two days that together are what we call the Frontiers Experience.

It’s a day packed with excitement (the final wrap up of the venue, the attendees registration, all the information we have to provide) and work: it’s the workshops day.

We introduced the workshops for the first time in 2010 in Rome: 4 workshops in parallel for the half a day day. Result: too noisy. We partially pivoted in 2011 in Florence with 3 parallel tracks. Our guests where confused and, at the end, we weren’t happy.

That’s why this year we decided to cut the tracks down to two (for a total of 4 workshops) and, oir the first time – thanks to Biccio – you can now have a glimpse of what it means being there.

Feel the energy. Feel the fun. Feel the passion. This is Frontiers.

My commencement speech for Frontiers of Interaction 2012

Matteo Penzo at Frontiers of Interaction 2012

I usually don’t prepare my Frontiers commencement speeches (note: I’m founder and CEO of the conference) but – this year – a lot of people invested a lot of time/effort to transform Leeander and myself into proficient hosts on the stage: I studied what Bruno Giussani – the best host around IMHO – does at TED Global and we attended a coaching session with a professional film actor (thanks fishbone creek!), Paola followed us for the whole day, and they deserved a proper performance.

I prepared the following speech during the night between June 7th (workshops day at Frontiers) and June 8th (main conference) at Frontiers (I usually am sleepless in those days).


The most frequent question I got about Frontiers is:

Why have you created Frontiers of Interaction?

And my usual (bold) answer always has been: “Because I want to change the world; and Culture is the best tool we have to do it, we just have to find the most powerful mean to deliver it to people: and an event which stands in the middle between a conference and a show is my nuclear weapon”.

This usually answers the question. But if I got another (deeper) one such as

Ok but WHY do you want to change the World?

I answer a variation between “Because I want” or “Because I think it’s the reason for me being on Planet Earth”

This was till the first day at Frontiers 2012, during Luke Williams workshop I finally understood the REAL reason I do Frontiers.

I organize it for those who have no fear to fail

I organize it for those who always have a plan, and execute it.

I organize it for those who are motivated to succeed.

They are our children.

I then invited both mine and Leeander’s daughters, 7 and 6 year old, (incredibly they share the same name: Francesca) on the stage.

To me it was the most heart touching moment of these two days. Thanks everybody for having shared it with me.

P.S. when I asked Francesca whether she enjoyed being on stage she answered: “Yes, but you kick me off to soon” :-)

Forbes: innovative ideas from Florence to the web

Thanks to my friend Roberto Bonzio (of Italiani di Frontiera fame) Forbes today publishes a video interview to yours truly and my partner Leeander regarding Frontiers of Interaction (note: the innovation conference I founded and produce).

Here’s a snippet:

In this video, Matteo Penzo and  Lendro Agrò, Frontiers cofounders, explain Forbes their efforts since 2005, to build this unusual format, that  creates “an immersive experience featuring music, interactive and artistic installations, demo sites and keynotes”, an ideal venue “for thinkers and doers, innovators and academics, early adopters and long-term geeks”.