Thursday, May 10, 2007

Inspiration, Technology and the US Army

I spent the day at the Tristate CIO Executive summit in NY. It was a great one-day conference, although the 7:30am start and jacket/tie dress code were not my style (I complied). It was an excellent networking event, I encountered fellow New York CTO club members who like myself were masquarading as CIOs. Event was put on by SIM (Society of Information Management), which I will now join.

The highlight of the day was a presentation titled "Inspiring culture, collaboration and change", by Colonel Curtis Carver of the US Army, West Point. Besides Curtis being completely inspirational himself, I was amazed to hear that every West Point cadet trains in technology, hands-on. They build circuit boards, write code, config networks, and build 3-tier applications. That's every cadet, every future leader in the Army! I guess they've decided technology is important. Imagine if your CEO, CFO and VP sales/marketing had all programmed while completing their degrees?

The Army is also a huge user of social networking technology, connecting every platoon leader around the world online, creating case studies, promoting discussions online, outside of the regular chain of command. There was a later session on social networking in corporations, by Tsvi Gal of Deutsch Bank (and fellow New York CTO club member) and IBM. This is a big topic that I am really getting excited about.

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