We had a chat with Johan Berndtsson, Program Chair, about the fact that we're already sold out and what his thoughts are just weeks before the conference.
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As many times before, the conference is sold out weeks in advance. How does it feel?
– It feels magical – amazing. The team has done a fantastic job. We’re putting together something really special this year. There’s still lots to do of course, but we’re in a perfect position. The tickets are all gone now, and we can focus on the show.
Is there anything particular that’s different this year compared to previous years?
– Well. One thing that I think is quite interesting. As usual we have many returning visitors. But a new trend is that many organisations seem to be sending their entire teams. Electrolux, iZettle, Swedbank and many others. They all have more than 10 attendees each. Talk about engagement... I think this is a great thing, not just because it confirms that we’re on the right track, but also because these teams will have a shared experience, something to reflect on, and build on, as they continue to hone their skills and grow within their organizations.
You have talked to the speakers, and heard a lot from people who are coming – what would you say is the most interesting about this year’s conference?
– I’m really happy about the theme. In a way “engagement” is a natural extension of last year’s “sustainability”. Regardless of what you try to accomplish in this world, you cannot do it without engagement.
– I’m really looking forward to hearing more about Danielles work with the Cape Town Laneway Project. There are so many levels on which we need to engage, both globally and in our local communities, to shape the society we want to live in. I also look forward to meeting Mike again. Al Gore was on fire last year, and I think that Mike has a thing or two to say, not only about design, but also about the current state of things. Should be interesting. And of course: Dawn. She has a great story on how design really can affect the bottom line of a large corporation. I’m really looking forward to that!
And, finally, how do you prepare yourself before the conference? Last weeks, last day?
– The last weeks? I try to stay out of the way. That might sound strange, but my main contribution is largely around the theme and the speakers. When it comes down to the actual event the real work is done by Jane Murray, Marie Johansson, Josefin Wickström, you (Ola Nilsson), Åsa Dahl, Lisa Lindahl, Boris Kehr, Lukas Råberg, Emil Björklund, David de Léon and Emma Estborn – and many other wonderful colleagues at inUse. They are the ones that make this happen. They are the ones creating magic on the 27th.
– On the actual day of the conference? Oh, that’s like Christmas Eve. Pure bliss.