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” :-)

A couple of panels in IT conferences

As Spring starts in Italy, conference season fires its engines. I’ve been involved in a couple of panels in the forthcoming weeks.

On Thursday, March 25th the fine guys at IDC have been so kind to invite me to join their “Virtualization & Cloud Computing Conference 2010” in the “IT on demand” panel; the conference is free for non IT companies; you should subscribe here.

I’ll be on another panel at the Business International organized “Unified Communication and Collaboration” Conference, that’s going to be held on April 22nd: “From dedicated social networks to workflows“; if you subscribe before March 26th the ticket costs 600 €.

I love public speaking, but I’m really mad for panels! They give you the chance for a real conversation (instead of a one way only speech) and I do love express my opinions especially if the contradict what’s just been said by others: I think this is the best way to entertain the public. On the subject I suggest you to read the Guy Kawasaki post “How to kick butt on a panel“.