We’re launching our call for content: Propose experts, speaker and/or sessions for the upcoming PIRATE Summit here.
To find out more about the changes we’re making to this year’s agenda and topics, read below.
The overarching topic: Purposeful Disruption
For the first time we’re giving PIRATE Summit a theme meant to run through the agenda like a red thread. The idea behind Purposeful Disruption has always been very close to our hearts. It’s been something we’ve been pondering and discussing internally as well as externally in when assessing the current status quo of the startup ecosystem, its impact and its perception. Although nothing new, it probably couldn’t be more relevant than right now with the debates about negative impacts of tech companies and unhealthy trends in the startup scene worldwide.
We strongly believe that as entrepreneurs we aren’t in a bubble but are part of a society just like any other individual and company. We have the responsibility to push the status quo in meaningful ways and create a world that functions better for everyone, not just ourselves. Yes, you might be able to raise a shit ton of money with the next Tinder for Dogs, but that’s not the kind of innovation and entrepreneurship we want to feature at PIRATE Summit.
With the idea of Purposeful Disruption, we want to turn the spotlight to ideas, businesses and entrepreneurs that solve the hard problems that we have in the world, all while building profitable businesses that live up to their responsibilities towards all stakeholders, from employees to customers to the environment.
Doubling down on networking
Our goal has always been to enable meaningful connections. This year we will start to implement “forcing” measures. Specifically, we will increase the “net networking time” and one of our central indicators is the number of actual meetings we enable.
How will we do it? We’ll reduce the “dead” conference time and instead double down on the proficient networking time. Therefore, we are adding another evening to the agenda (the opening night July 3rd) as we have learned that often the best networking happens then. Or by removing most parts of an official agenda on the morning of the 3rd day — where our participants are usually still quite struck from the party the night before — and by adding one huge & long hangover breakfast.
Agenda & Formats
As we already announced, at PIRATE Summit 2018 there will be zero panels, fewer keynotes and more exchange between peers. Basically, we set PIRATE Summit up in the spirit of the wave of unconferences from a decade ago: Every speaker is a participant and every participant is a potential speaker.
The agenda will be divided into three categories:
#1 Networking (as stated above, it will be a huge part of the agenda)
#2 (P2P) Education
We’ll offer the following formats and are actively looking for people who want to contribute:
Participants bring their challenges and receive feedback and advice from experts and peers. In the past, we’ve had clinics that were extremely useful with only ten participants, but also had successful ones with 100+ people.
Examples: Everything that give founders sleepless nights, e.g. fundraising issues, recruiting challenges, but also achieving high growth without compromising your mental health, the health of your employees or your customers’ privacy.
These are intense, pre-booked and prepared (by 1–2 people) discussion rounds around all kinds of topics. These sessions offer opinion leaders to debate over a certain topic and offer the participants a deep dive into specific topics.
Examples: The pros & cons of different organizational approaches (e.g. holacracy). The use of AI in your company. How to expand into the Asian market?
A format that we introduced in 2017. Five minutes to share a meaningful story of your entrepreneurial journey that only a few people know.
Examples: This could be failures, but might as well be great success stories or insightful learnings. For example, giving insights into an acquisition/exit process, a behind the scenes of a funding round, a burn-out, firing/hiring employees, acquiring a big client, your most impactful pivot etc. What we definitely don’t want to hear is a sales pitch of any kind.
We’ll offer very few, but high-value masterclasses. Usually this is (at least) a 30min deep dive on one specific topic, with a lot of hands-on hacks/hints. Basically a useful keynote 😉
Keynotes & Fireside-Chats
We’re cutting down heavily on the number of keynotes and fireside chats. If we think it’s highly entertaining and/or inspiring, we do have the possibility to add those to our agenda. Especially interesting for the evening program.
Call for experts
We are looking for the right people for any of these sessions. We are especially interested in topics that are controversial, experts that are not speaking at every conference and grasping stories that are seldom told.
The application forms for the agenda are now live. For the keynote/fireside-chat, you can only refer someone else. For the P2P-formats part you can suggest yourself, too.
While not all content needs to have a direct connection to the theme of purposeful disruption, we’d love to see applications and referrals that do.
Next week we’ll open the pitch competition application phase. Stay tuned 🙂