The Anita Borg Institute does a lot of things right. They sold out this year's Grace Hopper Conference during one of the worst recessions since WWII and attracted 2147 attendees--undergraduate and graduate students, industry professionals, sponsors who also participated in panels and workshops, along with 436 speakers over a four-day period of which I was fortunate to have been one of them.
When you have these many people showing up like they mean it, e.g. ready to engage, contribute and learn, the amount of creative energy generated has the potential to shift perspectives, open minds to new possibilities, and encourage personal risktaking.
Of course, things didn't always run perfectly (including my own workshop) and, yes, there were a few logistical glitches here and there, but I like to stand back and view the bigger picture and assess the total value which, in this case, was well worth the investment.
Now that I've had a chance to digest things a bit, below are my key takeaways / learning from this year's Grace Hopper Conference (+ and ∆).