- Oxford University, B.A., Physics
- University College, London, Ph.D., Experimental High-Energy Physics
My First Industry Job: Designing and facilitating peer conferences (aka unconferences) for numerous small associations as an amateur in my spare time for about ten years before I began getting paid.
My Previous Three Jobs
- Tufts faculty post-doc, working on various experiments in high-energy physics at Fermilab and the Stanford Linear Accelerator.
- Owning and managing a (thermal) solar energy manufacturing business from 1978 – 1983.
- Independent IT consulting for 23 years.
What I Do Now: I currently design, facilitate, and consult about participant-driven and participation-rich meetings, write books about meeting design — my third, on crowdsourcing events, should be published in 2019 — and cover all matter of meeting-related issues (and other things that tickle me) weekly at conferencesthatwork.com.
My Favorite Thing About My Job: I love to facilitate meaningful connections between people — and that’s exactly what I get to do in my work!
Most Influenced in My Career by: Two people that readers are unlikely to know: my recently deceased mentor Gerald (Jerry) Weinberg who taught me so much about being a better consultant, and Jeannie Courtney, my mentor and now friend, who helped me discover who I am and how to learn to be that person.
What I Learned From My Biggest Professional Mistake: The importance of written contracts that clearly define responsibilities — minimizing the likelihood of misunderstandings and disagreements — and include appropriate outcomes if things don’t go according to plan.
My Next Big Career Goal: Finishing book Number 3!
My Advice for Young Meeting Professionals: In my experience, meeting industry professionals are some of the most friendly and supportive folks around. If you’re good with people, patient, willing to be flexible, and work hard, you deserve a great work environment; don’t settle for less!