VRM West Coast Workshop 2009

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The first ProjectVRM West Coast Workshop (tag vrm2009) took place on Friday-Saturday 15-16 May, 2009 at SAP Labs at 3410 Hillview Street in Palo Alto. (This is a beautiful space in the hills of Palo Alto, overlooking San Francisco Bay, with plenty of parking. And we thank SAP kindly for making it available.)

The event went from 9am to roughly 5pm on both days.

As with earlier VRM gatherings, the purpose of the workshop was to bring people together and make progress on any number of VRM topics and projects. The workshop was an "unconference" on the open space model, which means session topics were chosen by participants.

In open space there are no speakers or panels -- just participants, gathered to get work done and enjoy doing it. Participation includes contributing to the workshop wiki. Here is the Wikipedia page on open space.


The workshop was free. Registration was through this EventBrite link. VRM West Coast Workshop 2009 Attendees is also a partial list of attendees.


Here are some of the topics discussed at the workshop:


Below was a live agenda.

Session 1

Session 2

Session 3

Session 4

Wrap-up Day 1

Day 2

Session 5

Session 6

Session 7

Session 8

Session 9:

Session 10:


Friday May 15

Morning Refreshments - 8:30

Opening 9-11

  • TBD (will involve brief reports from various VRM projects)

Sessions 11-4:30

  • 11-11:30 Agenda Making
  • 11:30-11:45 Lunch, which will be provided by SAP
  • 11:45 - 12:45 - Session 1
  • 1:00-2:00 Session 2
  • 2:15-3:15 Session 3
  • 3:30-4:30 Session 4

Sessions reporting to the group, 4:30-5:30

In open space workshops, topics are suggested by participants in the Agenda making session, which is attended by everybody. Participants write the title of their topic on a sheet of paper with a bold marker, add their name, then describe the topic to the group and post it on a large "spreadsheet" of times and session locations, a blackboard in the front of Pound 101, which will be our main room.

One person in each session takes notes, either directly (or eventually) on the workshop wiki. At the end of each day somebody from each discussion session reports progress to the group.

4:30-5:30 Larry Chiang made Hot Dogs. They were amazing. #hotdogs


Non-hosted Dinner

  • Location: TBD
  • Time: TBD
  • Attendees (please add your name here if you plan to attend so we can get reservations):
    • Iain Henderson
    • Doc Searls
    • Judi Clark
    • Maurice Sharp
    • Keith Hopper
    • Joe Andrieu
    • Drummond Reed
    • Markus Sabadello
    • William Heath
    • Craig Burton

Saturday May 16

Morning Refreshments - 8:30 (Open. We provide this ourselves. How to do this is TBD.)

Opening group gathering (adding or moving sessions, reports of insights from yesterday) - 8:30-9:00

Sessions: 9am-4pm

  • 9:00-10:00 Session 5
  • 10:10-11:10 Session 6
  • 11:20-12:30 Session 7
  • 12:30-1:45 LUNCH - Pizza, ordered in. We'll pass the hat to pay for it.
  • 1:45-2:45 Session 7
  • 3:00-4:00 Session 8

Closing session, summarizing both days, personal comments, more - 4:00-5:30


SAP Labs is a beautiful facility with plenty of parking in the hills of southwest Palo Alto. A map is here.


This list is maintained to make it easier for the next session to copy and paste.

  • Blank name tags
  • Easels with pads
  • Markers
  • Large sticky edged post-it notes
  • Stacks of paper or cards for posting topics on the wall
  • Wide paper to put up on the wall and create the spreadsheet of topics and locations