A who’s who in current personal knowledge management and tools for thought convened in Utrecht, where I was at the PKM Summit the past two days. It was loads of fun, I learned new things, and the atmosphere was great with participants from a dozen countries.
I’m a pkm practitioner, not usually given to missionary work around it, nor part of the various business models around it. I do like discussing practices and tools with others though, especially in the context of learning and agency (rather than mainly about focused productivity). And that is what I got at PKM Summit. It was my kind of conference. Where speakers were just regular participants and everybody interacted with everyone else. Where everyone of the 150 participants just geeked-out on each other’s pkm practices. Whether you’d been doing it for decades or days. There was also plenty space in the schedule for people to suggest additional sessions, an opportunity that was well used. Also by the invited speakers, who did sessions together too.

That it worked out that way wasn’t entirely a surprise to me, because I had volunteered in the run-up to help bring in speakers and curate the program with the hope of it having that effect.
That for instance Harold Jarche, Nicole van der Hoeven, Chris Aldrich, Beth McClelland and Zsolt Viczián were part of the program was a result of that. And some organisational aspects I had suggested to the organising team based on my Reboot and Open Space experiences (as participant and organiser respectively) also were adopted.
That Nick Milo would be there in person, as would David Allen of Getting Things Done fame were pleasant surprises I learned of in the days before the event.
The informal setting of Seats2Meet, the high quality of the catering, and above all the enthusiasm of the all-volunteer team (some of whom also took the opportunity to do a spontaneous session on the program), brought it all together. The meet-up that Nick Milo hosted in the evening of the first day at the Green House was fun to chat with a wide variety of people including some who weren’t at the conference.

I’m happy four of my colleagues came along and had an equally good time.

A next edition was announced for 14 and 15 March 2025. It might be hard to top the synergy and novelty of this edition though. Also because what caused surprisal and excitement this time, might become expected and the subconscious baseline next time.
Still there were plenty of people that I reached out to who couldn’t make it this time, and hopefully can be there next time. Like Beat Döbeli, Bianca Pereira and Bob Doto.
The way to pull it off once more I think lies in the strength(ening) of community. To keep building and deepening the connections made, to nudge and have space for self-organisation, and keep putting mutual learning and exploration first.

A big thank you to Lykle, Kim and Martijn, and the many volunteers around them for two great days.

5 reactions on “European PKM Summit 2024

  1. Somehow I completely missed this event. But it sounds like 2 days I would have really appreciated attending. Hopefully next year I can make it. 🙂

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